Patriotic bunting is undergoing a big comeback.
Bunting has come a long way from its origins. Today, you’ll see bunting hanging from Southern Appalachian porches, town halls and city center gazebos on the Fourth of July. All summer long, buntings grace the tables at family reunion picnics and church bazaars. Bunting is especially popular at political rallies, but it’s even used by patriotic hawkers at car lots and flea markets.
The term “bunting” refers to most any decorative flags or drapes that you can hang from porch railings, rooftops, windows, doors and decks. Today, bunting can be made of anything from fabric to plastic or cardboard. And while bunting typically is used to showcase patriotism, it can come in an assortment of colors and themes.
The very first buntings were made for the Royal British Navy out of worsted parallel woven wool. The material was light enough to catch a breeze and wave at passers-by. At the same time, the heaviness of the wool made the bunting durable and strong enough to undulate as it wafted in the breeze.
The word itself comes from the action of sails on a ship when they are puffed out with wind. To “bunt” means to swell as you furl the sails. The lightly woven weaves on bunting cloth also was used to sift grains or meal. The mechanics of sifting grain is called bunting as well. Other uses of the word “bunting” include the name of a lark-like bird, a soft wrap for a baby and a short tap of the ball in baseball. But we digress….
Craft Your Own
You can pick up cheap plastic flag bunting in many retail outlets. It usually comes in rows of triangles, as pennants or miniature flags, for use as table drapes, towels and even floor coverings. The rows of flags can be square like the real flag, cut in a semi-circle, which is popular on gazebos, or pointed.
Or, you can make your own bunting easily and inexpensively. Show your patriotic Americana side with your own handmade bunting. Hang it from your front porch, around the picnic table or over your windows. Have fun with this easy craft project we found at the Frugal Homemaker.
· Red, white and blue fabric (look for solids or patterns; mix them up, use your imagination)
· Glue (or hot glue gun)
· Bias tape (as long as you like)
1. Draw a triangle on the paper to serve as your pattern. Cut it out.
2. Lay the pattern on the fabric and outline.
TIP: Fold the open-weave wool, nylon, cotton or polyester in half so you can cut two flags at once.
3. Run a line of glue on the top of a flag and press the bias tape on it.
4. Continue to glue flags across the length of the tape, alternating colors.
5. Make it as long as you like and when it dries, string it up with thumbtacks or tape.
Photo credits: thefrugalhomemaker.com, etsy.com