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An outdoor bunting for a happy patio {tutorial}

Since I live in a small townhouse, my goal is to make the two patios as much a part of the home as the inside is. This not only gives my home some welcoming character, but it also gives me more space in which to flex my creative muscles.

I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m adding little touches of happiness here and there as my budget allows. Most days my dreams are much bigger than my budget, so when I can find a little touch of whimsy that costs me nothing, it energizes me to keep going with our Dave Ramsey-fied way of life.

As far as I’m concerned, a bunting adds immediate happiness to any space where it hangs.  This bunting features a fairly weatherproof fabric for the pennants since it’s hanging outside – I used a simple fabric-backed plastic tablecloth – although mine is in a rather protected area, so that should help with its durability as well.

Today’s project was made from supplies I already had on hand, and took about a half hour from start to finish. If you don’t have the supplies already, it will probably cost you around $5-10, and you’ll have lots of tablecloth fabric left for other projects (maybe some outdoor pillows or placemats?).

Outdoor bunting for a happy patio []


  • fabric-backed plastic tablecloth
  • 3 yards of double wide bias tape
  • scissors (pinking shears if you like)
  • straight pins
  • cardboard & ball point pen

How to make the bunting:

outdoor bunting-2

1. Make a cardboard template the size you want your pennant to be. Mine was 5.5″ wide and 7″ long. On the back of your tablecloth, trace around your cardboard template with ball point pen to make your pennants. I made eighteen pennants, which fit on my 3-yard-long bias tape with a bit of extra on each end for hanging.

outdoor bunting-3

2. Cut out your pennants with pinking shears, or regular scissors for straighter lines. I like pinking shears because they give a finished look to an otherwise-unfinished edge, and they hide it a bit if I don’t cut perfectly straight.

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3. Lay out your bias tape, folded edge up, and then lay out your pennants to give a rough estimate of where they will line up. You can decide if you want them laid out end-to-end or with a space between each one. Move them around if you want to vary the print more – some of my pennants have less of the design, so I wanted to spread those pieces out.

outdoor bunting-5

4. Insert the pennants into the bias tape, all the way in to the folded edge, and secure with 2 pins each. They slip easily when sewing, so the pins help keep them in place.

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Here’s a look at part of the bunting all pinned and ready to be sewn.

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5. Sew! I used a large zig-zag stitch on mine to coordinate with the pinking sheared-edges and to help keep the bias tape nice and flat, but a straight stitch would work, too. Sew all the way from one end to the other, back-stitching on either end.

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6. Hang up your bunting with nails and enjoy your happy patio!! If you like my chalkboard laundry room door, you can find the tutorial for that over at Amy’s blog, Mom Advice.

Have you used fabric for outdoor decor? What else could we use our leftover tablecloths for to decorate our patios?

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Emily @Random Recycling

    Love this idea for our beach house deck. It needs some love and this would be an easy way to spruce it up.

  2. Jessica

    I agree – bunting does add immediate happiness, that’s why I have some up all year round!

  3. Emily @ play talk learn

    I used shower curtains found on clearance to make the bunting and curtains for our girls’ outdoor cubby. I figured that they would repel water pretty well, and be a bit mould resistant too. Four years later and they still look pretty good! I love your chalkboard door – that’s the next cubby project!

  4. Robin from Frugal Family Times

    I once made a curtain out of an outdoor tablecloth. It was for a window that is right in our shower. I thought it was frosted enough – until I sent my husband to the street to check while I showered. His conclusion, “well…you can’t see nipples.”. Apparently I was giving the neighbours a peep show each morning. Enter: waterproof tablecloth curtain! 🙂

  5. sandy

    I super-love this!!! Running to chop up my tablecloths. . .

  6. dona Bumgarner

    Ok, this is a silly question, but where can I find plastic-backed tablecloths? I’ve been looking for some and kind find them!

  7. Breanne

    I mostly love that your chalk door says ‘Yay! Happy Patio!’ It looks like a happy place and that bunting is brilliant. I don’t have a patio but I’m going to be looking for a place to hang bunting because it is happy. =)

  8. Stephanie@Mrs.Debtfighter

    Our neighbor gave us a bunch of old sheets. One sheet has a bunch of bright colored flowers that matches my theme. I don’t like it as a curtain but the sheet would work perfect to bring some happiness to our patio as bunting! Great idea!! 🙂

  9. Kathy Lee

    I use the plastic back table clothes to make picnic blankets or stadium blankets. Sew the regular material to the back of the table cloth. The cloth side is to wrap around your body for weather plastic facing out if your at a game or sit on it and not get your bum wet at the stands or on a picnic if ground not completely dry. Those fleece throws are an almost perfect match.

    • Nicole

      Love that idea, Kathy Lee!

  10. Marina Klima

    Awesome guide Nicole! Buntings really do give a lot of colors and happiness its like you’re in Mexico attending some really wonderful occasion. 🙂

  11. Amy Allen Clark

    This turned out SO great! I absolutely love the bunting. And thank you so much for the sweet shout-out on the door! Your door looks fantastic!! xo

    • Nicole

      Thanks, Amy! I’m glad you like it! I get so many compliments on the chalkboard door, so thanks again for that great idea. 🙂

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