Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We've Got Spirit Yes We Do!! (A Class Flag How To) Part 1

HoLy BLoG SlaCKeR BaTMaN!! Has it really been almost 8 months since I've visited my own blog? That's what happens when you are totally busy with life, and kids, and life, and crafting. But I'm getting my MOJO back!  School has started and Halloween is just around the corner so I'm ready to get to some craftin' (as we say here in Texas).

Okay, so in Texas we have some spirit... LOTS of SPIRIT! (Have you seen the way we love us some football?) We start them young here, and we are super proud to wave our spirit flags. We even have spirit flags for our classes. Yes you heard it right, Class Spirit Flags! We get all sorts of creative on these flags. From bling and boas, and Angry Birds and 3D animals. The sky's the limit... well actually the size of the canvas is the limit, but you know what I mean.

So since some people out there may be a little intimidated by making a spirit flag, we thought (this is my friend Liz's brain child) that it would be a great idea to put together a HOW TO. This is Part 1 which is the preparation of your flags.  Ill also be giving you some great ideas and tips.  Part 2 will be how we put together our own flags for this year.  So you'll have to come back to see how this year's flags turn out. Just remember, you don't have to be Martha to make a fun and cute flag.  It just takes some patience, paint, a glue gun and a HOW TO.  Now lets get to crafting!

First things first... supplies:
-canvas fabric (you will need the fabric to be 4 inches longer on the side where the pole will be and another inch longer all the way around to make up for your border.
- Gesso Canvas Primer
- foam brushes
- regular brushes
- 2 wooden dowels
- glue gun
- paint
- gems, fur, additional colorful fabric, glitter, or anything else you want to use on your flag.
- PVC tube ( this will be the pole used to hang your flag so the length is up to you.)

Before you start prepping your flag, you need to measure about 4 inches from the end of the flag.  Draw a line and fold over your fabric to meet that line.  If you are handy with a sewing machine you can sew a straight line down the edge here to make the pocket for the pole.  If you aren't then your handy dandy glue gun will do just fine.

Now it is super important to paint an even coat of Gesso all over BOTH sides of the canvas. You want to give it about two coats on each side. Without this, any paint you put on the flag will just be sucked up by the canvas, which means... more paint and more coats.  So believe me Gesso is your best friend on this project.  Plus it makes the canvas stiff and this is a good thing when adding all kinds of fun things to your flag.  

Once your primed canvas is completely dry, then you can begin drawing your image or painting your base color on the canvas.  I recommend using just regular acrylic craft paint for this.  It's easy clean up and the coverage is really good.  

Over the years I've done a variety of flags... from simple to wow!  It is really up to you how you do it.  I have found a few tricks along the way though.  

*  If you're doing a flag with an animal theme, don't be afraid to use a stuffed animal.  By cutting it in half and hot gluing it to your flag, you get a 3D look with a lot of impact.  Add a pair of child size sun glasses and you've got a Kool Kat

* Look for fabrics or trims that add to the overall theme and affect of the flag.  Fur around a lions mane and jungle type fabric for the trim finish off a fun Jungle Lion themed flag. 

* Make your flag colorful and fun for the kids to look at.  Also experiment with different fonts and mix them together.  You can use chip board letters, stamps, stencils, vinyl letters.  It makes for an interesting look!

Note:  And don't forget to decorate the back of the flag as well.

* Sometimes simple is a good thing.  

*Flags can be decorated with all kinds of fun things.  Here plastic gems are added (one per student) to represent all of Mrs. Thomas's Treasures.

*Finally, fun fabric, boas, fur, and fun themed ribbon can make great borders around your flag.  There is so many fun things you can use for this.  Go roam around the craft store and see what pops out at you.

How fun would it be to have a team flag for your little soccer player or baseball player?  Go out there and show your spirit!!


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