Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to Make a Sports Pennant Flag - DIY Tutorial

I'm still a little disappointed the Brewers didn't make it to the World Series. No National League Championship pennant this year. That's OK, though. Despite the outcome of the playoffs, the Brewers still had a record breaking season and we will remain loyal to the Brew Crew.

We decided to make our own pennant flags to celebrate the Brewers impressive 2011 season. A pennant is a triangular shaped flag typically used to show support for a sports team. Baseball pennant flags have been around since the turn of the twentieth century and vintage pennants are highly collectible.

Most full size pennants measure about 12" x 30." Traditionally pennants were made of wool or felt, although thinner, stiffer pennants are now produced and are available for sale at ballparks and online. However, it is much cheaper to make a homemade version!

This design could easily be adapted to make personalized name pennant banners to display in your child's room, too.


30" long piece of heavy interfacing (available at fabric stores)
Tacky glue (I use Aleene's Original Tacky Glue)
Acrylic Paint
Paint brush
Scissors or rotary cutter
Clear Tape
Computer and Printer

1. Use a ruler and pencil to draw a triangle measuring 12" x 30" onto the interfacing. Cut out the triangle using scissors or rotary cutter. (Interfacing is a pretty inexpensive material and works perfectly as pennant flag material. It is stiffer and thinner than felt. It is also see-though, making it easy trace a pattern onto your pennant. The 30" piece cost me a little under $2.)

Decorate the pennant with paint and felt. In this example I painted on yellow and gold stripes and glued felt letter cut-outs to the pennant. How you choose to decorate your pennant is completely up to you!

2. To add painted decorations: Thin the acrylic paint with a few drops of water and carefully apply thinned paint to pennant with a paint brush or foam brush. Before I painted I drew a stripe design onto the banner and then painted yellow and gold stripes using the design as a guide.

3. To add felt letters: I used Microsoft Word to design a template to make my slanted letters. I created a text box, choose the Britannic Bold font and applied the following Text Effect: Transform - fade right. You'll have to play around with the font size to get the desired effect and make the font decrease along with the width of the flag.

Once you have your letters the right size, print out your template. Cut out each letter separately and tape each letter onto the felt. Carefully cut around the letter using a pair of sharp scissors. This technique results in nicely formed, professional looking letters (we use this method to make letters for our banners at church).

Position your letters onto the pennant. Once you're happy with placement, glue on each letter using tacky glue. (Tacky glue is more flexible and adheres to fabric nicely.)

4. Make the pennant sleeve. Pennants usually have a sleeve at the end through which a stick may be inserted. Cut a 1" wide and 12" long piece of felt. To form a sleeve for the stick, sew the both sides of the felt to the end of the pennant using a sewing machine. (Because we're not planning on using a stick to display our pennant, I decided to forgo the sewing and glued the sleeve right to pennant.)

Here's a video showing another method for painting a sports pennant flag:


Upside Down Mirror said...

I love it! Thank you! I need to make around 10 flags for school and this was perfect! Thank you thank you thank you!

Shannon said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I'm making two pennants for my son's 5th birthday party. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to figure out how to slant the name on the pennant in MS Word for days so thank you so much for your helpful tutorial! This will make creating the pennants as party favors for my son's birthday party much easier!

Anonymous said...

i can't figure out how to slant the names on my pennant. when i go into word, i can't find an option for "transform" and "fade right." any help?