There are many ways to make a flag depending on the purpose of the flag, but most people interested in this craft focus on fabric flags. Making a flag of this type at home requires some skill and planning but can usually be accomplished by hand or with a normal sewing machine. When trying to make a flag, planning and cutting out pieces is often the most complex part, but fitting those pieces together can be much like a puzzle. Some country flags have highly complex designs that can be difficult to sew, many of which are traditionally embroidered on the flag.
Typically, modern flags are made of durable materials that will last outdoors for long periods of time. This means that while flags may have traditionally been made of cotton or other materials, they are currently most often made out of synthetics like nylon. In order to further improve the durability of a flag, most people who make flags at home coat the fabric with spray-on fabric protector. Indoor flags often do not need as much concern for durability and can therefore be made out of more variable materials.
In order to make a flag, you must begin with a pattern. The pattern may be as simple as directions, as is the case for solid color flags or those with simple designs, or it may be highly complex, including a number of shapes that must be cut out. Cutting out complex elements of the pattern is typically accomplished with assistance from a light box, but some people are able to do so freehand. Not all elements of the flag are always cut out entirely in advance, so it is important to read directions fully before beginning a flag.
Once the pieces have been cut out, it is typically time to begin sewing the flag. When trying to make a flag from a homemade pattern, this can be difficult because the flag must constructed in a certain way in order to maintain a double-sided appearance. For example, the stars on the United States flag are typically made by embroidering the outline of stars on a sandwich of three layers of fabric, with two white pieces and a blue piece in between. The excess fabric is then cut away, leaving a white star. Different flags have different requirements, and there are many strategies used to accomplish this appearance.
The techniques used to make a flag vary depending on the design. This type of decoration is typically constructed so that it will attach to a pole for display. Finishing the edges may be done differently depending on whether they are straight or curved, but a strong hem is important in either case to prevent fraying. Patterns and instructions for flags can be found in many sewing books, and kits can often be purchased from craft stores.