Sunday, July 1, 2012

American Flag Miniature Rag Rug

Inspired by July 4th coming up in a few days, I decided to make a little tribute of my own: this adorable little flag made in the style of a rag rug.

What You'll Need:

  • red, white, and blue fabric strips
  • buttons
  • red, white, and blue thread
White, Blue, and Red Fabric Ropes

Making the Flag:

1. Make Fabric Ropes.

Yesterday I posted a tutorial on making fabric ropes (Rapunzel hair) here. For this project, you will need to have like colors. Use only the white strips for a white rope, blue strips for the blue rope, red strips for the red rope. Since this one is so small, I recommend sticking to the same shade of each color as much as possible. For example, don't mix sky blue and navy blue on this one.

2. Check the Layout. 

Decide on the approximate size you want your rug to be. Mine is 8 3/4" wide and 6 1/4" long. I did add a little more red to the end of this rope. As you can see at the bottom of the picture, I didn't quite have enough.

3. Cut the stripes.

Normally, I have a diagram and make excessive measurements. This time I didn't (and yes, I paid the price, I had to trim down my blue section and even then I wasn't entirely happy with the length of it). I made 4 short red stripes, 3 short white stripes, 3 long red stripes, and 3 short red stripes.

To make the stripes from the rope, sew a length of same-colored thread through all three pieces of a section of the fabric braid. Then wrap the thread tightly around the braid several times. Finish by sewing underneath the wrap and knotting. Repeat about 2 inches away. Then cut between the sewn sections. In the picture, I left a gap of about 3/4", which was fine for this section, but when the flag was finished, I would have liked to have had some excess on the sides to trim away.

4. Make the Blue Section.

To make the blue section, lay the end of the fabric rope flat on a surface. Keeping the rope flat, gently turn it at the desired length and run parallel to the end. Use same-colored thread to sew back and forth between the two parts and attach them together. You can use pins to hold the rope in place. Continue to snake the rope back and forth until you have a square-shaped section.

5. Assemble the pieces.

 Lay out the pieces of your rug as shown. We'll be working on the reverse side so the stitches aren't visible from the front. I started with the short stripes first and sewed them together, adding one more at a time.

Then I attached the blue section to the long white stripe using blue thread. 
 Then I attached the blue section to the ends of the short stripes, then the long white stripe to the short red stripe. From there, I continued to add long stripes until I had used all of them.

 6. Add the stars.

Although I would have loved to have done 50 tiny stars, I simply couldn't find any. Also, we're aiming for cuteness instead of accuracy. I had bought some star buttons just for this project, but didn't like the way they looked. So I raided the button stash and came up with a few options. Maybe you would have chosen differently than I did.
Circle and Square White Buttons

Small and Very Small White Buttons

Medium and Large White Buttons

Yellow Stars

 I chose the small round white buttons and used navy thread to attach them.

7. Attach a Wooden Rod for Hanging.

You can use a dowel rod, or nab a wooden skewer from your kitchen. On the reverse side, carefully work the rod through some of the red braided loops. Then trim the rod to just under the width of the flag. Sew the other end to the blue section using navy blue thread.

8. Hang and Enjoy!

Just in time for 4th of July! 

 This little flag enjoyed its time on our wall, but it's ready for a permanent home. Maybe yours? As of publication, this flag is up for sale on my Etsy shop. Check it out here  or visit my Etsy Store.

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