a patriotic craft – how to make a ribbon flag

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.

ribbon flag craft

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.

ribbon flag DIY

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.

vintage ribbon flag tutorial

*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.

ribbon flag craft


  • Red family ribbon | trim varieties
  • White|Cream family ribbon | trim varieties
  • Blue star fabric
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Masking Tape
  • Gold tassel trim
  • Tassels


  • 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

vintage ribbon flag craft

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.
ribbon flag craft
  • Cut ribbon strips to the desired lengths.
ribbon flag
  • 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
ribbon flag tutorial
  • 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.
vintage ribbon flag DIY
  • 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.
vintage ribbon 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.

vintage ribbon flag craft

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.

vintage ribbon American flag

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.

ribbon flag

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.

vintage age effect American flag

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:

a patriotic frame wreath

Decorating with patriotic decor vignettes around the house:

summertime patriotic decor vignettes

Setting a patriotic table with a chalkboard flag craft:

patriotic tablescape with chalkboard flags

Enjoying a patriotic refresher in the hot days of summer:

reed, white and blue Prosecco popsicle refresher

Decorating the mantel with patriotic vibes:

patriotic mantel

patriotic ribbon flag supplies

“I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.”

John Thune

sharing @ between naps on the porch


  1. Caroline ap Rees says:

    That is so different…..I love it ! ❤️🇺🇸

    1. Thanks! I’ve wanted to do this forever!!! XO- MJ

  2. Wow!!! So pretty!!! All of that vintage looking ribbon is amazing. You did such an amazing job of creating this flag. It looks so lovely hanging in your home for Summer!

    1. Thanks so much Rachel. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. XO- MJ

  3. Laurie says:

    I absolutely love this idea. It’s so beautiful! Just one little thing though, the stars are supposed to be on the right not the left. Regardless, I’m going to make some for my entire family, Love love love your ideas!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it Laurie. Just so you know the stars are always on the right hand side of the own flag, which is the left for the observer. I did a ton a research since I’ve seen it both ways. Just thought you should know for when you make yours. Please share, I would love to see them. XO- MJ

  4. This is so pretty. You do such lovely work.
    Visiting today from SSPS #172&173.

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your sweet comments & visit. XO- MJ

  5. Joy says:

    Turned out Great!

    1. Thank you so much Joy. I’m glad you like it. XO- MJ

  6. Cara says:

    I know you mentioned this has been around for a long time, but I have never seen it! I love the way you recreated a flag and making it appear to be vintage MaryJo! I would leave it up all year round, and the baseballs scream summer! So cute. You always rock when it comes to styling your home.

    1. Thanks so much Cara! I’m feeling all the patriotic vibes right now. I appreciate your sweet words. XO- MJ

  7. MaryJo,
    OMG!! How I love this!! what a fantastic idea…..I think I will try this and use an old ruler as the base instead of the popsicle sticks..And what a great way to use up an abundance of lace that I definitely have….Thanks so much for the inspiration….

    1. A ruler is a genius idea Deb!!! I wish I had thought if that. I might update mine. Thanks & please share if you make one. XO- MJ

  8. Kerryanne says:

    What an adorable flag MaryJo!
    Thank you for sharing your DIY patriotic ribbon flag at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring it at tomorrow’s party and pinning too.
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

    1. Thanks so much Kerryanne! I’m so glad you liked it. See you tomorrow! XO- MJ

  9. This is so pretty! You may have adapted this idea from someone else, but I’ve never seen one of these, so I’m glad you shared it.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. Thank you so much Richella! I’m so glad you liked it. XO- MJ

  10. theanswerischocolate4920 says:

    This is so creative and beautiful. I love all the textures. Featuring when my link party opens!

  11. Your vintage American ribbon flag is a delightful take on a classic symbol. The way you’ve incorporated the vintage vibe, yet kept the significance of the flag’s design is truly impressive. The use of ribbons adds depth, texture, and a sense of whimsy that’s unique and refreshing. I love the idea of adapting the colors to fit a more antiqued or vintage aesthetic, and the tea staining tip is a brilliant way to achieve that look. The tutorial is detailed and makes the process seem very doable even for someone who might not consider themselves crafty. Thanks for sharing your creativity and inspiring others to put their own twist on patriotic decor.

    1. Thanks so much Shannon. I appreciate your comment so much. I love the American flag & I love all things vintage. Hence my American flag version. Thanks for visiting. XO- MJ

I love hearing from you!