Sunday, May 02, 2010


I can't help myself. I'm having fun so why shouldn't my artist buddies have fun too. I thought maybe you might want to play and make some PRAYER FLAGS with me.

I have a large tree that fell almost to the ground right at the entrance to the woods. I was looking at it yesterday and I realized that it needed prayer flags across it.
Because I want these to hold up for longer than a season,

I'm using duck cloth.

You can use muslin.

Cut your cloth into 6" x 9" pieces.

You WANT fraying on the edged but not a lot. Fray about 1/4" down each side and the bottom.

To PREVENT any further fraying sew a loose large zigzag stitch around the entire cut piece.

STOP RIGHT THERE. You were paying attention, right? I said LOOSE and LARGE. This is not the time for you to fuss or stress about your sewing skills. I'm making 12 flags. I ran one side through the machine and then shoved another flag right up next to it and sewed that side.
So, all 12 pieces were going through the machine in an assembly line fashion.
Then I sewed across the last flags side edge and then down the other side and started feeding the rest of the flags through in assembly line fashion.
I didn't care if the zig zag ran off the fabric. IT DOESN'T MATTER.
I used thread the same color top and bobbin, as my flag. YOU AREN'T GOING TO NOTICE THIS.

Right now we are doing the basic, boring stuff to get our flags ready for the FUN STUFF.
Don't stress. If for some reason your machine doesn't have a zig zag then sew a straight stitch.
If you don't have a sewing machine then you have to decide if you want to do this step to prevent further fraying.

Now, honestly, this next step is a LOT easier if you have a sewing machine, even one of those little cheap "fix your hem" type.

You are going to turn down the TOP 1". You are making a casing. Then you are going to just sew across the bottom of the turned down 1" piece. I probably sewed 1/4" from the edge. I did not turn under to make a hem.

Next weekend, my son, DIL and grandchildren are coming down from Minneapolis. I think this is a GREAT project to do with them. We'll make more. I can think of lots of places that I would love to hang these bright cheerful flags. They can take them back and hang them at their house.

The next step can be done different ways. I decided to take the flags outside, put them on my painting plastic tarp and spray paint the BACKS. I didn't see any reason to waste paint and I'm not putting anything on the backs so why not just use the spray paint I had on hand.

If you use spray paint you do remember that it should be in a well ventilated place and outside is probably the best place to do it.

Once the backs are dry you can take them back to your work area and start having some fun with the fronts.

You can paint a solid color over the entire front. When that's dry you can use your texture stamps with different colors, your magic markers, more paint stencils, whatever you want.
You can paint and then write over the entire front your person prayer or message.

I chose to do some of mine in a graffiti manner. I got out my box of CHEAPIE paints and put blops of paint around on the fabric and them using my pallet knife I spread them around.
I tried to stick with three or four colors so I didn't end up with a muddy look.

I used some of my texture stamps with paint. I'm not worrying about composition. I'll paint a glaze over it when I'm done to unify the entire flag and then I'll use my LARGE poster magic marker to write on it. Right now I am leaning to one letter on each flag and spelling out a word.

That's what I have done so far. I hope some of you play along. Next Sunday, I'll post pictures of my completed prayer flags, HANGING, I HOPE in the woods.

If you do make some, please take some pictures and send me your link so I can post them for all to see. Send the link to

:)Bea Who loves to create art with others.


  1. I have prayer flags hanging in my sewing studio upstairs. They really are a gentle reminder of how we need to aspire and live in Peace each day. Looks like you had a great Derby Party...Maybe Riley will want to attend the University of Louisville and join in on all the festivals and excitement. She is growing so you ever want to just hold onto them a moment longer because time is slipping away. Have a great weekend. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. I can't believe how fast she is growing and what she can already do at only 10 months old. It seems like she should be more baby like instead of a toddler, already. I have some prayer flags, up in my studio, too, that someone gave me. I love looking at them. I'm having fun making these ones for outdoors. Hope you are getting lots of rest. :)Bea

  3. I have prayer flags inside and out. Love them and this is great to do. Plan on making some this week, following your tips.

  4. OOOOh, post some pictures of what you make, please. :)Bea