The Fourth of July is fast approaching, and I just created this vintage American flag using ribbons. It’s a unique piece you can create yourself and adapt to your own style. Let me show you how I made this in case you want to make your own American ribbon flag.
Of course I chose to use a vintage look for this flag project since that’s my vibe, but you can use whatever style you prefer. I will show the technique and tips here in order for you to create your own masterpiece ribbon flag.
I know this craft has been around forever, but today I am sharing my own take on it. That’s the beauty of crafting your own decor, which you can adapt it to your own signature style. This was my inspiration picture, which I pinned a gazillion years ago. Seriously, a looooong time ago….
I have since seen it around as inspiration for many other projects, and I think I read somewhere that the above flag was created with real vintage remnants. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but it’s full of vintage goodness. For my own flag, I selected pieces that have a vintage vibe but are all new.
If you don’t want to miss out on any of the upcoming projects you can subscribe to receive all my new posts to your in-box.
*Affiliate links included for your convenience.
supplies you need to create a ribbon flag
I read a ton of tutorials on different ways to create this patriotic ribbon flag. I am sharing here how I chose to make it based on my own skill set. Some people sewed the ribbons on, while others tied them on and others simply glued them. I am in the camp of gluing them, but if you are a wizard seamstress by all means then sew away or use whatever magic power is your strength.
- Red family ribbon | trim varieties
- White|Cream family ribbon | trim varieties
- Blue star fabric
- Popsicle sticks
- Masking Tape
- Gold tassel trim
- Glue gun and plenty of glue sticks
- Fabric scissors
- Pinking sheers
- Ruler or tape measure
how to create a ribbon flag
Determine the size of your flag. The ribbon flag I created is about 12 inches wide by 20+ inches tall. The aspect ratio for the American flag is 3:5 to give you a guideline when you design your ribbon flag. I used this resource to help me determine the size of my flag
Keep in mind my dimensions are loosey goosey, since I staggered the ribbon lengths. The ribbons in the background are longer and the ribbons in the forefront are a bit shorter. This adds depth and interest to the final project. It’s a unique project so some creative license is totally acceptable.
Step by Step Directions
- Tape the popsicle sticks, and wrap with the masking tape to have full coverage around the popsicle sticks. This is the base so you want it to be strong. I used 6 popsicle sticks, 2 wide by 3 long and trimmed it to 12 inches long.
- Cut ribbon strips to the desired lengths.
- Using the longer length strips, hot glue ribbons on the top of the popsicle sticks, starting on one end and working towards the other end alternating between red and white ribbon, making sure to start and end with a red ribbon
- Glue a second layer of shorter ribbon lengths on top of the base layer of ribbons.
- Keep adding ribbon strips anywhere you feel there’s a gap or the ribbons look too thin.
- Allow the glue to set while you cut your blue star fabric; I used pinking sheers to cut my fabric for an added detail.
- Glue the blue star fabric rectangle in the upper left corner as you are looking at it. My union rectangle is about 6 inches by 9 inches give or take.
- Add a strip of the gold tassle trim to the very top to finish off the flag.
- I attached a gold twine to hang my flag.
tips about the American flag
The American Flag is also known as Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes and the Star-Spangled Banner. It contains 13 stripes and a blue rectangle with 50 white stars, which is called the union and represents the 50 states.
The 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from Great Britain and became the United States’ first states. There are 7 total red stripes and 6 white stripes. The stripes begin and end with a red stripe, alternating between red and white equally sized stripes.
When the flag is displayed, whether horizontally or vertically, the union should be in the uppermost right corner of the flag’s own right, which is the left of the observer. The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground. Also the flag should never be displayed upside down, unless used as a distress signal.
adding vintage vibes to the American flag
The traditional red, white and blue colors of the American flag are a bit strong for my decor preference. In order to meld the colors with my decorating style I have a few tricks. For the white, I choose more of a yellowed finish to give it that antiqued look. For the red I like the deeper reds that lean into burgundies and maroons. And for the blue, I like a washed, time worn look.
When I have store-bought flags, I tea stain them in order to get the above named effects. This gives the flags a vintage vibe and softens the strong color ways. Keep in mind I only do this to the small flags I sprinkle through the house for decor. The Old Glory, which waves on our mailbox is true to the traditional colors.
I hope this inspires to get behind our Independence Day and sprinkle some patriotic vibes of your own around your home.
more patriotic inspiration
Reminiscing what the side board in the dining room with the chippy shutters looked like last year:
Decorating with patriotic decor vignettes around the house:
Setting a patriotic table with a chalkboard flag craft:
Enjoying a patriotic refresher in the hot days of summer:
Decorating the mantel with patriotic vibes: