This project has been in the planning stages for quite a while! Inspired by this picture:
(I was able to find the original source for this pic so I edited it to link back to the flickr page)
… I decided to make a miniature version for my library windows.
I didn’t want to do any sewing or complicated folding so I chose double-sided origami paper, which would look pretty from both inside and outside. Originally I’d planned to do lots of overlapping strings, filling the whole window area from top to bottom and front to back (or, at least to where the blinds hang, about 5″ back from the glass), but I realized that would make it hard to open the windows so instead I did a single layer and pinned them to the frames themselves so I could still open them easily.
• cutting mat
• craft knife
• metal-edged ruler
• double-sided tape
• double-sided origami paper (or whatever kind of decorative paper you like, but I would recommend cutting it into squares before starting)
• thumbtacks (not pictured)
I had everything on hand except for the paper, which cost $2/pack. I also bought white string for this but ended up giving it to Sym and using this black ribbon, which I’ve had forever, instead. And I also bought a roll of double-sided tape, since I wasn’t sure I had enough left (I did, as it turned out, but I can always use more double stick tape)
Cut the paper in half.
Origami paper is approximately 6″x6″, which is perfect for these little flags. You can cut a small stack of five to ten sheets at a time.
Stack the two halves, and cut like so:
Each sheet of origami paper makes ten flags. If you like you can mark the cutting points with a little dot at the odd inches on one edge and the even ones on the other. I gave the little scraps from the ends to Sym for her own projects.
Now that you’ve got your flags ready, it’s time to assemble your bunting! My windows are about 27″ wide and 21″ high, so I cut seven 28″ ribbons per window (the flags are 3″ long). With gaps of approximately 1″ between each ribbon I used nine or ten per string.
First, choose your colours and arrange them however you like.
Double sided origami paper is different colours on each side so you have to lay them out right side up to see how the colours look together. I used different combinations in different arrangements for each string, but if you wanted you could do them all the same, or make a pattern.
Next, flip them over and apply double-stick tape.
These are the same flags as pictured above, so you can see how different the colours are on the reverse! I stuck the tape on each flag and THEN cut it, which I find is easier than cutting then sticking. The scissor blades can get gummy from the tape, but a quick swipe with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball will take care of that!
Peel the backing from the tape and stick each flag to the ribbon, leaving an allowance of about 1-2″ at each end.
I did this last night while watching the end of The Neverending Story (HOW IRONIC) and Legend with Taylor and finished twelve of the fourteen strands, and made the last two this morning while the kids drew pictures.
After cleaning the windows & sills, it was time to put up my bunting! You could use tape or sticky-tack if you wanted but I used thumbtacks.
I used the flat end of a closed pair of pliers to push the pins into the wood when it was too hard to use my fingers- I though using a hammer that close to the window glass would be a mistake! I didn’t mark or measure these or try to get them particularly straight.
One window finished!
With the blinds down but the slats open, which is how I usually have them during the day.
Since you can see these better from the yard I put the pretty, planned colour arrangements facing out. I wasn’t sure about the black ribbon, but it actually worked out really well- in fact, you hardly notice it! I also think it was easier than using the string I bought, which would have required folding the top of each flag over it.
A word about quantities and planning: I didn’t bother measuring or calculating how much paper I would need at all. Since I’d originally planned many more strings I bought four packs of origami paper and cut up two of them. Then I ended up only using seven strings per window, with nine or ten flags per string, for about a hundred and forty flags total. With ten flags per sheet, that’s just fourteen sheets. They come in packs of forty-five and I cut up TWO WHOLE PACKS. This is what I have leftover:
PLUS two unopened packs! Yeesh. Soooooo if anyone wants some strings of handmade paper bunting, let me know!