If you’re a Bonnaroo music festival veteran, then you know by now that homemade flags are as much a part of the scene as glow sticks and flower crowns. An eye-catching festival flag can do everything from help you locate lost friends over a crowd of people, or stake your claim in the campground. So we tasked textile designer and artist Leah Duncan with helping us create a bespoke Bonnaroo festival flag inspired by the official sandal of festival season: Teva Originals. Go ahead—let your freak flag fly.
-For the triangle flags: 50” X 30” piece of fabric
-For the center triangles and flag attachment strips: 17” X 20” piece of fabric
-For the six smaller triangles: 13” X 12” piece of fabric
-For the canvas fabric: 8” X10” piece of fabric
-Two four-foot pieces and two three-foot pieces of twine
-Sewing machine or needle and thread
-Access to a printer and word processor (optional)
-Flag pole (we used a 1 ¼-inch-wide bamboo pole, but feel free to use whatever you have handy)
*Leah used fabric from her Morning Walk and Gramercy fabric collections.
1. First, grab your 50” X 30” inch piece of fabric and fold it in half in length, and then again in width (see the picture above if you need some help). Place the 25” folded side closest to you and the 15” folded side on your right side.
2. Use your scissors to cut a diagonal from the top right corner to the bottom left corner—that will give you two triangles. The bottom triangle will be the big flag and the top triangle will be the small one. You’ll use this same technique with the rest of the triangles in this project, so try to get the hang of it now.
3. To clean up the edges of the fabric, fold about ¼” of each side of the triangle back twice and press it down with an iron to create a hem (this will hide any raw edges). Pin the folds down and use a sewing machine or needle and thread to sew along the edges of the fold.
4. To make the smaller triangles, cut the 12” X 12” piece of fabric in half, making it a 6” X 12” piece. Cut diagonally like you did above. The folded triangle creates the larger triangle, and the raw, unattached triangles will make the smaller ones. Repeat with the other half.
5. Open the folded triangle (it should look like a diamond). Hem the edges then fold back up into a triangle and sew the edges together to finish it up. Repeat with the other large triangle.
6. Now, pair up the unattached smaller triangles (good sides of the fabric facing out) and pin them together—sew them along the edges to create a clean finish. In total, you’ll now have four finished small triangles. Lay those out on top of the large triangle, pin, and sew (check out the picture for help with the layout).
7. Using the same method with the two 3” X 20” pieces of fabric, create a solid-colored triangle that will go in the center of your flags.
8. If you want to add lettering, draw out your letters or type them in a bold font using a computer and printer. Cut out the letters and trace them onto your canvas fabric. Cut out the letters using your scissors.
9. Pin the letters where you want them to appear on your flag, then secure by sewing them on.
10. Now it’s time to make the flagpole attachment. To do this, take one of the 3” X 20” strips of your leftover fabric and cut the length to 16 ½” inches. Hem for a clean edge as seen above. Repeat for the small flag.
11. Place two pieces of the longer twine in the middle of the strip. Place the small triangles into the middle of the strip and pin as pictured. Sew over the strip to secure the flag with the twine. Tie the twine in a knot on either end of the strip.
12. Repeat for the small flag using the shorter pieces of twine.
13. Turn the flag so that it is facing down on a table. Fold the small triangles over themselves and line the twine strip up with the hem of the flag. Pin into place, keeping the twine toward the back of the strip. Sew the strip to your flag edge to create triangle loops. Slide the loops over your flagpole and tie the twine to help secure your flag.
14. Find your friends more easily (or stake your claim) at Bonnaroo!