How to Make a Whimsical "Rag Flag"

Although I have found my design niche in styling spaces for magazines and media, I would not describe myself as an overly “crafty” person. I sold my sewing machine a week after buying it and I did not inherit any of my father’s carpentry skills. As the mother of seven children however, I’m the cut and paste queen!

To purchase this rug,  click here.  Photo Credit:  Evin Photography

To purchase this rug, click here. Photo Credit: Evin Photography

 After admiring a photo of an American “rag flag” on Instagram for over a year and learning that it was a rental when I tried to purchase it, several friends encouraged me to make one. Much to my surprise, I am REALLY GOOD at ripping fabric and tying it to a stick! This flag came out better than expected and with a little help from my children, turned into a great family project! Whether you are crafty person or someone who has never purchased fabric before, this is festive project that you can take pride in making!

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Materials Needed:

·      Fabric scissors

·      Various red fabrics

·      Various white fabrics

·      Jumbo White Rick Rack (1 ¼ in)

·      Jumbo Red Rick Rack

·      Pom Pom garland

·      Star fabric

·      3’ or 4’ stick or wooden rod

·      Fabric glue (optional) 

TIP: I made a 4’ x 6’ flag to hang from a pergola outdoors although I had enough left over to make a small 2’ x 3” flag to hang under a tree, pictured below. (Another popular flag size is 3’ x 5’ although you can make it to any length desired.)

The smaller flag made with leftovers. Perfect next to a tree swing.

The smaller flag made with leftovers. Perfect next to a tree swing.

 Prep Work:

1.     I first started by purchasing all of the fabric. I got red and white solids, red seersucker, red and white stripes and white cotton minky dot. If the fabric is 100% cotton, you can just cut a small cut in the top and it will rip in a STRAIGHT line. This was mind blowing to me! For my sized flag, I bought 2 yards of each.

2.     I also purchased various rick rack or pom poms for a bit of whimsy, roughly 4-6 yards.

3.     I purchased star fabric from Joann Fabrics. I got one yard for my flag.

4.     With a small hand saw, I cut a 4’ tree branch from a tree in our yard.  You can also use a dowel rod from a craft store (or even a wire hanger if you want your kids to make their own.)



1.     Cut red and white fabric into 3” in strands about 5’-6’ feet long if you are making a larger flag. (Adjust proportionately if you are making a smaller one.) These strips don’t have to be perfect or even all the same length.

2.     Alternate red and white strips across the length of the stick…leaving 2-4” inches of stick bare so that you can hang it up. Tie each strip to the stick making sure to leave the free end pointing up if you can.

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3.     After you have all of the red and white fabric tied, tie in some of the rick rack and pom

pom. This just adds a bit of pop to your flag.

4.     Cut the star fabric to fit your flag proportionately. I cut mine 18” x 24”.

5.     After you have your star fabric rectangle, on the shorter side, cut small strips, just at the top, to tie to the stick. (I cut 3” – 4” into the fabric.)

6.     Tie the strips of the star fabric, amongst the red and the white, to complete the flag.

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7.     You can fabric glue rick rack along the perimeter of the star fabric to give it a border as I did..or just leave it plain.

8.     Take pride in the USA by hanging your crafty creation with twine!