When constructing your flag,
a good place to start is to transfer your design
onto a posterboard. Before you do this, make
sure that you know the final desired dimensions of
your flag. Most posterboard is 36 inches by
28 inches. If your flag is larger than this,
you might have to cutout and tape together a few
pieces of posterboard to get the desired size of
your flag. Use a large ruler, or yardstick
to measure the posterboard and create the cutting
In the image below, we had to
cut out about 4 pieces of posterboard to get a 3
foot by 4 foot flag. The pieces were taped
together using masking tape.
After you have a properly sized piece of
posterboard, you next have to transfer your design
onto the posterboard. To do this, it is best
to use pencil for the initial drafting lines.
Then, once you have the design looking the way you
want, use a Sharpie marker to trace over the
In the image below, we've finalized our design on
the posterboard. We also labeled the colors
that correspond to each piece.
Now, it's time to cut out the pieces you've just
drawn. I've found that scissors work best,
but an Exacto knife will work also. Before
or after you've cut out the pieces, you should
assign each piece a number. This is to
ensure that you don't get confused when you start
cutting out the fabric because a lot of the pieces
could look very similar.
The images below show the pieces after being cut
out, and then being numbered.
The next step is to use the posterboard pieces to
cut the flag pieces out of fabric. I've
found the best way to cut poly china silk is to
use a solding iron, or wood burner. Exacto
Knives work ok, but they create snagging in the
fabric, and it take a little longer.
When using the soldering iron to cut out the
fabric, you need to make sure that you have a good
base, so you won't burn any tables. Plywood,
or particle board are good bases ...we use drywall
because it's smooth and doesn't burn easily.
The image below shows us cutting out a piece of
fabric using a soldering iron. (It's a good idea
to lay your pieces out before your cut them to
insure you don't waste fabric.)
This image shows the two tools we recommend for
cutting fabric, the soldering iron and Exacto
Once all the pieces are cut out for a certain
number, it is important to label the piece by
pinning a piece of paper or post-it with the
corresponding piece number. This prevents
you from mixing up the fabric pieces. This
also helps the sewer put the pieces together
without getting confused.
Below shows an example of the pieces being labeled
Once all of the pieces from your posterboard
pattern have been cut out and labeled, use gallon
sized freezer bags to put sewing kits together.
Put one of each number in the bag and include a
printout of the pattern and instructions on
how to sew the flag
together. (It may be a good idea to use
the paint image that you use when
designing your flag,
just add numbers.)
Below you can see the fabric pieces in the bags,
and then the finished sewing kit with the
Now, after you've finished all your sewing kits,
it's time to sew them together.
Read the next tutorial on Tips
for the best way of
sewing a Color Guard Flag