Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Tale of Two Flags... Part 2 of my Flag How To

Crafting anything is always more fun when you have friends to bounce ideas off of.  So I pretty much make it a practice never to craft alone. Well okay, maybe "never" is a strong word, but I'd say I rarely craft alone.  I mean you need your REAL friends there to let you know that what you think looks great, really looks like poo.     That being said... making spirit flags falls into the category of "crafting", which means that I needed a crafting buddy.  My friend Liz (who had the brilliant idea to do this How To) gladly volunteered.

So our mission for today was to make 4... yes you heard it right, 4 spirit flags.  Did we complete our mission?  OF COURSE NOT!  But we did make some great progress and feel particularly proud of the fact that we will not be burning the midnight oil on the night before these puppies are due.

Now I present to you... A Tale of Two Flags

Yesterday we showed you how to prepare your flag canvas using Gesso to prime and stiffen your material.  The huge advantage to doing this is that if you decide to have a white background to your flag (which I did) then you have cut out a HUGE step in your flag making process. Why?  Because Gesso is white!  Score one for me!

But today is all about the accessories... the bling, the fru-fru, the sparkle that you can add to your flag to give it that POP-A-COLOR, and that shot of WOW!  But how do you know what to choose from the thousands and thousands of items that your local craft store has to offer?  Aahh why it's elementary my dear crafty friend... a theme.  I love a good theme.  Whether it's for a party, a craft, a room I plan to decorate.  A theme just makes me happy because I have a jumping off point as well as some boundaries.

So what were our themes?  Liz's was lions and mine was stars.  Now you can go in several different directions with these, but let me give you a super great tip.  THE INTERNET!!  You can find tons of ideas to help you find some inspiration.  Liz went the way of The Lion King. I chose to go the All Star route.  So lets start with the border materials.

NOTE: Before you start to add any of the items to your flag, you must either sew or hot glue the pole sleeve on your flag.  This will allow you to cover the seam with whatever you choose to use for your border.

Now with a theme like The Lion King you have some great inspiration pictures out there to help you with the graphics.  To carry through the theme, what better material to use on your border than craft fur.  Yes it does have a tendency to look like some random hairy man's chest... but it's FUN, and creative, and really who wouldn't love fur on a flag?

For the All Star theme flag, I decided to go with a colorful star grosgrain ribbon.  Another option would be to find a cotton fabric that either matches the color scheme or the theme that you are going with and use that to create a border around your flag.

Now I personally prefer to put my border on the canvas prior to adding any of the added graphics or lettering to my flag.  This is simply because I want to have a definite space to work with.  Believe me, there is nothing worse than spending lots of time drawing out a lady bug on your flag only to find that part of it is going to be covered by your border.  Live and learn!

Because of the border that Liz was using, it was easier (and necessary) to do her graphic before adding her border.  This takes a bit more planning, but sometimes it is necessary.

To add some stability to your flag, you want to insert a wooden dowel into the top and bottom borders of your flag.  Now these dowels will be way too long for your flag, and I am not a fan of power tools that could possibly cut off some fingers.  SO... these pruning sheers are my best friend for this part of the project.  


Once your base color has completely dried then you can start to add the detail.  Liz printed out a picture of The Lion King Musical poster and used that as a guide for her flag.  She first drew it out in pencil and then went through and added the black paint.  

What if you don't have a super steady hand and don't want to outline a graphic using a paint brush?  A black Sharpie marker is a great tool to add some dimension to your graphics.  It is so much easier to outline not only pictures and shapes but your lettering as well.  It really helps everything pop and stand out.  

There are lots of different ways to add lettering to your flags.  Stencils, stamp letters, chip board letters, wooden letters, vinyl lettering, felt letters, foam letters or just free hand writing. There are so many possibilities.  If you have a theme then you can choose a font that goes with your theme. Again, the internet is a great tool for this.

I have a CRICUT machine, so that is usually our first choice for lettering options.  For Liz's flag we downloaded African font from the internet and then used it to cut out the lettering.  

I wanted a font that would have the feel of an athletic letter jacket, and Freshman font did the trick.  I also chose a handwritten font to add some interest.  We did notice that the vinyl didn't completely stick to the canvas.  So to solve this problem we just gave the whole canvas a quick coat of decoupage.  Problem solved!

 The Final Result
I absolutely LOVE how this flag turned out.  So different and fun!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

And I LOVE how fun and colorful the ALL STAR flag turned out.  This one may have been one of the easier flags I've done.

 Okay, so there you have it.  Now go find a reason to make a flag!!


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