Mini flags tutorial: minimal amount of DIY, big amount cute

April 13 | Guest post by Chelsea Mac

When I was looking for ways to add some cute DIY touches, I came across Oriental Trading's mini canvas flags (seen here) and the proverbial lightbulb clicked on. Being that 1) I can barely draw stick figures and 2) my artist boyfriend (I can't say fiance, it's still weird) is, well, lazy, I decided to decorate these bad boys with some iron-on transfers.

So, for this project you will need the following:

STEP ONE:
First things first, if you go with the OT flags, the dowels have very pointy bottoms and they slide out of the flags. Unless you're trying to draw first blood at your wedding, do yourself a favor and snip the very tip of the pointed part so you just have a weak excuse of a pointy nub.

STEP TWO:
You'll notice the part of the stick that was actually inside of the flag is not potentially dangerous for the children for which these crafts were intended. Go figure, Oriental Trading.

Take a small bit of Liquid Stitch (or whatever) and put it inside the part of the flag where the stick came out of. I can't stress small bit enough; if you use too much, your stick will get caught. It only takes a little.

STEP THREE:

Turn the dowel around so that you're now inserting the once pointy part and slide it in quickly. They take just a few minutes to dry.

STEP FOUR:
Figure out the feel you're going for, and design your images on the computer. We've been together for seven years and we love our little pug Maggie, so I made silly ones like "FINALLY GEEZ" and "VIVA MAGGIE." The flags are 6" wide by 4.5" high, so plug those dimensions into your design program so you know the workspace you have.

If you are using text, DON'T FORGET TO MIRROR IMAGE THEM. Most programs call this "flip horizontal." (I won't name names, but someone forgot to do this and wasted two iron-on transfers.) I clustered several designs onto one piece of paper to make the most of each print.

Print your lovely designs, using an inkjet printer. I'm told this is very important; you should not print using a laserjet. I can't attest for the truth behind the warning, but I'm not ready to test the limit of our love by ruining the boy's other printer. Now get ready for mini flag magic.

STEP FIVE:
Plug in your iron and DO NOT put water in it. Then drape two pillowcases or t-shirts over your flat workspace. I used an IKEA lack side table and possibly melted part of it by only using one t-shirt so… use two.

STEP SIX:
Cut out your designs and try to stay as close to the edge as possible. Some text designs will show a clear film on the flag if you leave big gaps, but if you're not totally OCD like me, you'll live.

STEP SEVEN:
You'll probably need to iron your flags a bit first, then place your image over the flag and iron them on for a good 20 seconds.

Then put that flag aside to cool and move on to the next. (My rule of thumb was to iron six or seven before peeling the ones I'd already done, that way they had enough time to cool.)

STEP EIGHT:


Peal off the iron-on decal and voila! You're done!

STEP NINE:
Clean up the mound of papery mess all over your floor and have some fun waving your silly little flags around.


I plan to use them for photo booth props and for people to wave after the ceremony. They can also double as additional party favors if anyone wants one. If you have any left over, stick one in a flower pot or throw a few in a small vase for some decorative cute and a reminder of your big day.

  1. I love this! Ooooh if only I had seen this idea two months ago! Fantastic DIY <3

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  2. SO FLIPPIN AWESOME. An easy way to add something personal, and since a lot of my wedding is going to be DIY I love easy! Stealing it!!!

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  3. "I work better with a computer and DIY basics. Like tape."

    You are my DIY hero Chelsea Mac!

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  4. I showed my FH these and LOVED them! He hasn't been to keen on most of the stuff I've shown him but I think my idea for using them won him over. We're getting married in a state park and are unable to throw anything; so were going to use these for our friends and family to wave around instead!

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    • So rad. My hubs2be hasn't been excited about anything, so that's awesome.

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  5. Very cute! Not sure if I will use it, but I saved it just in case :) Though I'm a little intimidated that it's "minimal DIY" … apparently I'm not much of a DIY-er, because this looks like a fair enough amount of effort, haha.

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    • Maybe for the computer part, but the rest is super easy, I promise!

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  6. Yays!

    Totally stealing this idea!

    Our is in outdoor wedding, and I was worried that paper ones would fly away in the breeze. These ones look like the sticks are heavy enough and the fabric light enough that they'll stay put on chairs etc. nu?

    Now to find out if they deliver to the antipodes…

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  7. Heya – Can you attach your document? My computer skillz are nada – I love your designs though!!!

    Thanks!
    Meagan

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    • I'll trudge through my inbox to see if I can find them. I'm guessing I'll have to submit them to OBB to attach the PDFs OR I can send them to your email address if you wanna send me that.

      Chelsea

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      • Fantastic Idea! I would love the files also! You can e-mail them to me.

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        • Charity & Bridette,

          Just found the files. I have to X out the ones of Maggie the pug because it was something I paid an artist on Etsy to create and she might not appreciate me giving away her work! I'll get them up and emailed tomorrow night.

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    • Charity & Bridette,

      I have the files, I need your email addresses. If you don't feel comfortable giving them out, I can put them up on my wedding Web site for you to save.

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  8. Does anyone have the template for these flags or know where I can find them? I would love to make them for my wedding.

    Thank you!!

    Kim

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  9. Hi Chelsea,
    Absolutely love this, you're a genius. I however am part of the group here who are not as adept at photoshopping as you are. Is the offer to email your document/files still open? Would be very much appreciated!! My email is: colleen.olson@xtra.co.nz

    Cheers,
    Colleen

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    • Of course! I'm on my phone so I can't send them now, but I'll send them tomorrow morning.

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      • Mee too Mee too!!! I love these… my man friend… not so much. I will convert him though. Or just do it anyway! :)

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  10. Hi Chelsea! I have been wanting to do flags for awhile and am so glad I found your tutorial. Would you mind sending me the template for the flags? I already bought the flags, now I just have to finish up the project. Thanks a million!

    My email is jessika37@gmail.com.

    thanks!!!1

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  11. Chelsea,

    I'm absolutely jealous of your creativity. I would love to try & incorporate these flags into my wedding. Could you please email me the template as well? The email is: revathi.truong@gmail.com

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  12. Chelsea, I absolutely love your DIY mentality. I have the same mindset. I would also love to use your template for my wedding. Could you email me your template as well: candbar@hotmail.com

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    • I'm so sorry, but I can't find them anywhere; I think I deleted them from my computer and they're not anywhere in my sent box. Maybe one of the other people I sent it to will see your comment and forward it on to you!

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  13. Yes, I will look for them again tonight. For some reason they are not in my sent mail…

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  14. Hey everyone, I know I'm late to the party, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea, if anyone out there still has the flag template documents and could email them to me that would be amazing. My email is gakather@gmail.com

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  15. Katherine,

    I'm sorry, but I don't have them anymore. I've scoured my email and can't find them. I sent a quick email to people I sent them to previously to see if they have them. If they do, I'll send them and also see if OBB can add them to this tutorial as a download.

    Thanks for the interest!

    Chelsea

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  16. Hi Ladies!

    Chelsea, I actually still have the email you sent me. If you don't mind, I would love to send it Katherine's way!

    Let me know!

    Thanks,
    Revathi

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  17. Done & Done!!

    Thanks again, Chelsea for sending it to me in the beginning!

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    • They are the last item on the bullet list of things you need to do the project. There are two files to download.

      Thanks!

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