So, let me just start by saying—I really do not decorate for every holiday.
Honestly, I’m more the type that gets annoyed when I have decor for obscure holidays because I feel like I have to keep it, but it takes up storage space, it’s a pain to remember to use it, the decorations are up for a day, etc.
But having kids will make you do crazy things. So, here I am—decorating for Valentine’s Day.
My three-year old Peanut has latched onto the idea of Valentine’s Day and is SUPER excited about it. Everything hearts, and red and pink (although she really wants purple, as that’s her favorite color), and LOTS of glitter. Unfortunately, when I pulled out the construction paper to make some valentines, I discovered we were completely out of pink, red, and purple paper…oops.
So, switch gears.
Time to bust the fabric stash!
I am a terrible hoarder when it comes to fabric. Every time I start to throw away a scrap, a tremendous idea for the perfect use for that exact piece just jumps out at me and grabs my hand away from trash can and I just can’t do it.
Does anyone else have this problem?
I put it down to some strain of Depression-era thinking that trickled down to me from my great-grandmother (who made countless quilts from clothing scraps that all her neighbors would bring to her) and my grandparents. “Waste not, want not” and all that, y’know.
But it’s seriously a little out of control. I need to use up as many of those precious scraps as I can this year.
For this project, I pulled out some heavy, red duck cloth and red checked fabric. (The checked fabric was actually a shirt that I bought at Goodwill over 15 years ago. Yes, I have issues.) I folded the fabric in half in a few places and started cutting out little hearts of various sizes. I used pinking shears on the gingham because it was very lightweight and would fray easily. And if I messed any up or wasted some fabric, no biggie. I was just rescuing this stuff from the trash!
The girls got to sort and play with all the hearts. They had fun putting them all over the couch and pretending they were decorating for Valentine’s Day. Problem solved.
But then I had all of these little fabric hearts. What was I going to do with them? Throw them away?
So, then I noticed that, even though it was cut up in chunks, there was still a lot of usable fabric in the duck cloth I had. More than enough to make a bunch of triangles for bunting!
Now I had my project in mind. Bunting with hearts sewn on them.
Now, obviously, this doesn’t have to have hearts, or be for Valentine’s Day, or anything like that. But if you’re interested in a really easy, fun little project to make something pretty, read on; here’s what I came up with.
Super Simple Sewing (Or None at All)
There are different ways of thinking about a project. In particular, there’s the “I’m not doing this unless I can do it the right way” approach and the “It could probably be better but at least it’s done” approach.
I am SOOOOO in that last camp.
I had two naptimes and one evening within which I could work on this project. For me, it wasn’t even really worth starting unless I could finish it. So, super simple sewing project it is.
I’m not exaggerating. Straight stitch and zig-zag—nothing fancy. No hemming. A few pins is the hardest thing about this. Like most of my sewing projects, this could be completed by anyone with a sewing machine who is just learning how to use it, from young to old. It’s really not complicated.
I cut out my triangles with a rotary cutter and cutting mat. I cut an 8 inch strip of fabric, then lined it up in the corner and cut along the 60° mark line to make as many triangles as I could. But seriously—do whatever you want. Do this clever little trick to make triangles out of a big square. This is just what worked for the amount of fabric I had left and the time I had to put into figuring out how to make a consistently sized triangle. Completion, not perfection, remember?
I pinned on all those cute little hearts in fun, mismatchy ways. And then it was time to pull out the sewing machine.
Nothing Fancy, Folks
Straight stitch and zig-zag. I occasionally (and with great trepidation) veer away from those. They are my comfort zone.
I did a straight stitch to sew down the hearts. With multiple layers, I often just sewed down the top layer. On the solid red hearts, I made lots of messy lines around because it was too hard for me to get a perfect heart shape just free sewing.
Another straight stitch around the edges. I didn’t hem it, I just made a straight stitch for decoration and in case my fabric started to unravel. I would recommend this method: start at one top corner, sew down the side, and leave the needle in at the bottom point, then lift the presser foot, turn the pennant, and sew back up the other edge. I didn’t put a stitch around the top because it would be sewn down later. Simple.
Okay, that’s all for the pennants! I wanted these to seem rustic (read: “like the sloppy, homemade look is intentional”) so I decided to hang them from twine.
(A word to the wise: you probably want to measure first. It’s always a good idea, they say. I didn’t. And now I have a beautiful length of bunting that’s really too long to fit anywhere in my house. I did leave about two inches between each pennant, so I would have the option of cutting them apart and tying them or something, but that’s totally a matter of preference. Again—I’m done, so I’m happy, but if you have a specific use in mind or you’re sinking lots of money into this project, you probably won’t be happy with the same results. Just saying.)
Up until now I had used contrasting white thread, but here I decided to use red thread to attach them to the twine. I wrapped the top edge over a length of twine and zig-zag stitched along it, sewing right over the piece of twine. (If this part is tricky, you can iron a crease in the top first and/or pin the pennant on.)
You can finish it off with an iron if you’d like; that helps the keep the top neat and the twine from flipping around, but it’s not necessary if everything looks good without a touch up.
Hang up your cute little bunting with pride and enjoy 🙂