If you have seen (and fallen in love with) the whimsy of an American “Rag Flag”, I am here to show you how to make an All-American “Rag Flag” – no sewing required! If you can tie a knot, you can make this adorable flag! A perfect craft for kids, too.
Here is a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to make one of your very own.
This was one of my favorite craft projects to make.
I am literally seeing red. And white. And blue.
After seeing (and falling in love with) these adorable “rag flags” on Pinterest and Etsy for a while now, I decided this was the year that I would dive in and make one of my very own.
I love the whimsical take on the standard star-spangled banner and thought this would be adorable on my front porch for the holiday. Waiving proudly to all who turn the corner on to our street.
I love it even more than I thought I would!
I went to Joanne Fabrics to scout out the best options for my flag. . All of the patriotic fabrics were 40% off. SCORE! If you don’t have a fabric store nearby, you can order fabric by the yard over on Amazon. I started with the perfect star-spangled blue fabric for my flag. I love the antique coloring of the stars as they aren’t a true white. All of their patriotic fabrics were pulled out and placed together, which made beginning my search for the right fabrics so easy.
While I chose a few of the options that they had pulled out for 4th of July crafting, I opted for a lot of Calico fabrics for my flag, too. They are a little less expensive per yard. I chose a white one with little muted green dots, one with little red dots, a white with little white stars, one with stripes, etc.
I ended up with 12 fabrics and two yards of each one cut.
The plan is to mix non-traditional patterns together to make it more fun! Adding ribbon and trimmings can also add to the fun of this project.
And I think it turned out pretty sweet!
Instructions here are for a 4′ x 6′ flag. A lot of them are 3′ x 5′, but you can make any size you want! Adjust the amount of fabric you buy based on the size of your flag.
How to make a “rag flag”:
White patterned fabric
Red patterned fabric
*Optional ribbons and trim
Branch or dowel rod
Tape measure, cutting mat or ruler
2 hours of time
- Determine the size of the flag you want to make.
- Buy the fabric that you want to use to make your flag with. Find a combination you love. It can be any even mix of whites and reds, amount based on the size you’re making. Don’t forget your blue fabric with stars. *I chose to make mine 4′ x 6′ so I had two yards of each fabric cut, which is exactly the length I would need for my strips. And I have enough left over to make my daughter one for her home. If you only want to make a 5′ x 3′ flag, you can have one yard cut of each fabric.
- If adding trims, buy those, too!
- Choose what you want to hang your flag from and cut to size. You can use a tree branch, like mine, or a dowel found at your local Home Depot.
- Lay a piece of fabric out on a cutting mat or next to a tape measure/ruler and put a little ‘snip’ in the fabric every two inches for a total of eight strips. This ‘snip’ will be to get the strip started and they don’t have to be perfect.
- Rip each strip all the way down. No cutting necessary as long as your fabric is 100% cotton. Repeat with each color until complete.
- As you rip your strips, lay each color of strips in an alternating pattern over a couple of bar stools or chairs to make assembly easier.
- Leaving 2″ open at the end of the branch, start tying each strip to your branch or rod with a knot at the top, fabric pattern facing towards you. I left a little “tail” at the top.
- Continue alternating the strips as you work your way down the line until the whole branch is covered. Be sure to leave 2″ open at the end of the branch.
- Lay out your star fabric and cut a rectangle to fit your flag. I cut mine 20″w x 27″ long.
- On one end of your rectangle (the shorter side) cut a 4″ long slit every 2″. You will use these to tie to the branch.
- Lay the star fabric on top of your flag and tie two strips together on the branch until the star fabric is secure.
- Tie your string to the branch on each end, creating a way to hang your flag. I found this red and white string in my stash from the Target Dollar Spot!
- Hang and admire your craftiness!
What do you do with left over fabric? Consider making a smaller one as a hostess gift, for a kids playroom or playhouse. I hope you love this little festive project. I am so excited to have this adorning my porch for years to come!