DIY: Oil Cloth Bunting

Join in our latest tutorial and make yourself some bunting using oil cloth fabric and rope, perfect if your new to sewing or if you don’t have a sewing machine as we have 2 different construction methods. A sewing method (for use with a sewing machine, or hand sewing) and a glueing method, for those without a sewing machine or sewing experience.

We recommend using oil cloth, PVC or a similar fabric because it doesn’t fray, plus as it’s slightly waterproof you could hang this outside. Check out our corresponding YouTube video for a how-to guide: DIY Oil Cloth Bunting. Read our corresponding blog post on how to sew with oil cloth for extra tips and techniques: Sewing Oil Cloth.

Start by collecting the materials and equipment you will need to create the bunting:
– Oil Cloth or PVC Fabric
– Rope (3 metres (3.3 yards)
– Thread
– Bunting Template (download for free: Bunting Pattern)
– Scissors
– Pencil
– Optional: Glue Gun or Glue

You are welcome to download the template from our website or simply draw out your own shape. We decided to work with alternate rectangles. However you are welcome to use triangles pennants, or any shape that works with your design.

Our rectangles measure:
Small – Width 3″ (8cm), Length 8″ (20cm)
Large – Width 5″ (13cm), Length 8″ (20cm)
The V at the bottom of the pennant is positioned in the centre, 2″ (5cm) up from the bottom edge.

Click here to download our Bunting Pattern, we also have triangle ones available for your use.

Draw the template onto paper or card for ease.

You will need to add an overlap onto the top of the template, this will create a channel for the rope. Add a measurement of 1″ (2.5cm) to the top edge of the template.

Cut out the template.

Position the template onto the WRONG side of the oil cloth and draw around the shape using a pencil. Think about how you position the template if you are working with a pattern.

Putting a shape (such as a boat from our seaside fabric) in the centre of the pennant can look forced. Instead try putting this off to one side. Keep directional fabrics up the right way (such as our seaside scene) and make sure the template sits straight on the fabric.

Cut around the drawn template. You will need to complete this for all of your pennants.

We decided to work with 11 pennants (5 large rectangles, 6 small rectangles), alternate small and large rectangles (finishing and starting with the smaller rectangles). Think about how many pennants you require and the order of your pennants, so that you can cut out the correct number.

Draw the 1″ (2.5cm) added for the overlap onto the top edge of the pennant. We are working with pen for clarity, however I would recommend you use a pencil.

Fold the pennant on the drawn overlap line.

Hold in position with bulldog or binder clips. You do NOT want to pin oil cloth or PVC fabric because the pins will leave marks and permanent holes.

Sewing the Pennant
To sew the pennant, position the material into the sewing machine with the WRONG side facing up. This will be the overlap.

Stitch 1/8″ (3mm) away from the edge of the overlap, using a walking foot or Teflon foot. You may find sewing with oil canvas difficult as the machine may struggle to pull the fabric through the sewing machine, a walking foot or Teflon foot will aid with this process. Some sewing machines will come with a ‘non-stick glide foot’ and this may help.

If you don’t have any of these feet available, try taping the bottom of your presser foot with masking tape  to prevent the oil cloth from sticking to the bottom of the foot. Why not read our guide to sewing with oil cloth: Sewing Oil Cloth.

You are welcome to hand sew the pennants rather than use the sewing machine. Sew 1/8″ (3mm) from the edge of the overlap using a running stitch or backstitch. Try to be even with the length of the stitching.

Check out our tutorial on sewing a back stitch: How To: Back Stitch (Appliqué).

Glueing the Pennant
Should you prefer to glue the pennant I would recommend using a hot glue gun for ease. Simply position a layer of glue along the edge of the overlap, press this down onto the main part of the pennant to secure.

Next decide on the order of the pennants.

Once you are happy with the order of the pennants, it’s time to start attaching the pennant to the rope. With our 11 pennants we decided to work with a length of rope that measured 3 metres (3.3 yards), however this may change if you decided to use a different number of pennants.

Tie a knot at the end of the length of rope. Pull the knot tightly and trim off any extra rope to create a neat finish.

Measure a length of 15″ (38cm) before tying another knot. This is for tying the bunting up, and again you are welcome to increase or decrease this measurement.

Once you have positioned the second knot, start feeding the pennants onto the rope in the desired order.

Push the pennant up against the first knot and leave about 1″ (2.5cm) before tying another knot. You will need to place a knot in-between all of the pennants so that they don’t move.

Continue feeding the pennants onto the rope and tying knots in the correct place.

Once you have fed all of the pennants onto the rope position a knot 1″ (2.5cm) after the last pennant.

Measure another length of rope that measures 15″ (38cm) before tidying the last knot. This is the same as the start.

Trim the rope for a perfect finish.

Congratulations you have made your very own Oil Cloth Bunting, hopefully you have enjoyed the tutorial and learned something new. Share your makes with us on Facebook and Instagram.