Friday, July 12, 2013

scrumdilly diy: make an upcycled necktie flag

I was and am really proud of the denim flag I made last year for the july bed. Last year's flag was originally going to be a necktie flag but I couldn't source enough red, white, and/or blue neckties in time. Fast forward to this year when the mister and I began buying up neckties whenever we found them. The mister uses them for his tinkers damn ukuleles and I use them for various craft projects. As I collected them I would put aside the red, white and blue ties.


June came and I pulled out all my ties and found all sorts of red, white, and blue prints. I also felt completely uninspired...I was over the red, over the blue, and over the white. I wanted more color, more fun, and I really wanted to use this amazing green floral tie that was most probably a gift from this happy spiffy lady (thank you, Nikki!)

And that was that. I pulled out all the happy ties and began stitch-stitching them are some details....

I used a medium zig-zag stitch in various contrasting colors to stitch the ties together. I originally pinned the ties together but quickly grew tired of having the pins poke me and ended up holding the ties next to each other as I zipped them through the machine.

Alternate the direction of each tie as you go to create as rectangular a flag as possible. I snipped the excess tie pieces at various lengths and stitched them down to keep them from fraying. My flag might actually look a little more flag-like had that bottom tie been less wonky and weavy and wavy and full of its biased self. It curled and I had no idea why or how and it might have been tension issues but being that I am a lazy sewer I rarely touch that dial and so I attempted to add another tie to the bottom but had to rip it out (which took me half of an hour) when it proved to be even more wavy wavy than the one above. I added it to the top instead and found to my dismay it too was full of its biased self. So now my flag looked a little less flag-like but it did look a little wavy so I went with it. Besides, after that point my seam ripper and I were not on speaking terms.


After you assemble the base of your flag pick out a bit of happy fabric for the base of your stars. I was super thrilled to find a blazing purple velvet top at the thrift to use. The only problem was that the velvet was of the stretchy kind and no matter how many pins I pinned it still slipped about all over the place. Stitch the second base onto your flag base and go rifle through your junk drawers for beads and old costume jewelry.

Yes, I actually managed to scrape up fifty odds and ends of the bejeweled kind for my stars. You really do not need to go that far but I had been holding onto these bits and pieces for a decade and decided to use them up.

The best way to attach the shiny baubles to the velvet is to use a hot hot HOT glue gun. No cute mini bedazzled gun will do, you need some super bond. Plug in the glue gun and while it heats up, arrange your baubles how you like.

Secure in place with a hefty dose of glue. Don't worry about the webby bits. Once the glue dries you can pull them off. Just get all glue happy and be careful of your fingers.

Once dry, tack it to your wall and salute!

All in all I think I made this flag for around $5 or maybe even less as many of the ties came from Nikki and/or a $5 bag sale from a local thrift. The velvet top was $1.50 and the baubles were from granny. In retrospect, I am wondering if the flag would be more stable and less wavy if I stitched my ties to the pillow case I had originally intended to use as a backing. So, think about it, gather up some ties and go for it! And if you do make one, please, please, oh pretty please send me a link and/or a photo! 


  1. it's wonderfully wonky and lovely just as it is.

  2. Wow. That's beautiful! I want to make one too.

  3. If I were the sewing type I'd make myself one of these in a heartbeat --- I LOVE(!) it what a great idea and job!