Nothing says summer quite like bunting. During the summer fair season, schools are covered in strings of colourful flags. ‘Bunting is the quickest way to create an immediate visual impact,’ says Klare Stratton, founder of Event Flag Hire. ‘It’s often made out of scrap fabric, making it a cost-effective decoration for PTAs. Hang your bunting at eye level in swathes to achieve the best effect.’
Make your bunting
Trudy Warren Farley from Milton Park Primary School in Portsmouth made school jumper bunting last year after the school decommissioned some of its uniform. ‘I knew many parents would still have old purple jumpers and wouldn’t know what to do with them,’ she says, ‘so I asked if I could take the jumpers home and use the fabric to make something for the Year 6 leavers. When I’d finished, I had a lot of material left, so I decided to make bunting for the school. I made my own templates, drew around them using tailor’s chalk and cut out the shapes with shears. Using a sewing machine, I added a zigzag stitch around the edges to protect them from wear and tear. Then I made binding using the collars and cuffs. The only things I bought were thread, acrylic paint and number stamps to stamp on the year.
I used purple and blue logo jumpers to represent the past and present of the school, as well as plain triangles, onto which I painted letters to spell out the school name. It took me about two weeks to make 55 leavers’ gifts and the bunting. The school and PTA were over the moon. It makes the school look so much brighter now that it is on permanent display.
Hang your bunting
‘It’s not necessary to use cable ties to hang bunting,’ says Klare Stratton. ‘It’s easier to tie it up with hemp twine using a slip knot – the perfect opportunity to teach the children how to tie one.’
Store your bunting
‘We store our PTA jumper bunting neatly in a waterproof plastic box with a lid so it is ready for use at each PTA event,’ says Nathalie Dawson, PTA secretary at St James’ CofE Primary School in Cheltenham. ‘It’s folded one flag on top of the other so it remains dry, untangled and ready to pull out and put up!’
Top PTA tips
‘If you don’t plan to put bunting made from summer dresses into the washing machine you don’t actually need to sew round the sides of the flags, just cut them with pinking shears.’
Rachel Khan, Friends of Culvers House Primary School
‘One of our mums made plain bunting for every class in the school. Each child drew a self portrait and wrote their name on a flag. Every summer fair, this bunting is strung up around the field and the kids love going round to find their ‘old’ picture!’
Nikki Burch, formerly of Friends of Halsford Park School
‘During the last FIFA World Cup, pupils painted flags (both real and their own designs) onto scrap fabric. These were then turned into bunting that has been hung up at summer fairs ever since.’
Katie Wyartt, Estcots Primary School PFA