How to Make a Denim and Lace Fabric Scrap Flag

A denim and lace shabby ruffled flag made from fabric scraps, lace and drop cloth. Buttons replace stars in this neutral nod to patriotism. Full tutorial below.

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Remember being a teenager and falling in love for the first time? You couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't stop thinking about that one special person. They invaded your mind!

This denim and lace fabric scrap flag took over my mind and my heart! I lay awake one night, creating it in my head...wondering (and hoping) that it would be true love and it would come together as I dreamed.

Kinda corny, I know. Creatives tend to be that way 😊 but I can't wait to show you how to make this shabby ruffled flag!

How to make a fabric scrap flag

Whether you love neutrals or full on color, either will work for this DIY flag project. If you're trying to keep it as inexpensive as possible, shop the thrift store for supplies (or even your own closet!)


Disclaimer: minimal sewing skills are a must for this project

Step 1: Prepare fabric

Start by washing and drying all the fabric, except the lace trim.

Cut (or tear) 2 pieces of drop cloth to the size you want your flag to be (mine is 18" x 15"). This will be the base of the flag. I've doubled it to make it extra sturdy.

Tear strips of drop cloth and strips of denim/chambray. Long strips are good as they'll be ruffled in a minute, but size isn't that important.

Lay them across the base in a pattern that's pleasing to you, alternating the dark and light fabrics to create patriotic stripes.

Step 2: Sew base

Pin the two base pieces together and sew around the edges, about 1/2" in from the frayed edges.

Step 3: Pin stars material

Decide what you will use for the star section, and pin it onto the flag base. I cut a piece of denim fabric 7" x 5" and sewed the pleated pieces from my chambray dress on top. I love the texture this adds. A jeans pocket would be a great alternative.

The reason I didn't sew it onto the flag base yet is because I want the edge of the ruffled stripes I'll be adding to be tucked underneath so they don't show.

Steo 4: Add ruffled stripes 

Make the ruffled stripes and sew them onto the flag base, starting at the top and working your way to the bottom. 

How to create a ruffled strip of fabric

If you're unsure how to ruffle, sew one or two seams down the middle of one piece of fabric using the longest stitch width available (make sure to leave thread tails at each end). Grab the two tails from the top on one end and gently pull to ruffle the fabric. Space ruffles evenly so they fit onto the flag base.

Pin the fabric strips to the base one at a time and sew a seam right down the middle. I think the DIY scrap fabric flag looks best when the stripes are close together, even slightly overlapping.

Carry on ruffling and sewing one strip of fabric at a time to the flag base.

If you haven't worked with drop cloth before, you might be surprised at all the frayed edges. Just pull those off and keep going. That's actually part of the beauty of working with drop cloth when you're making something that has a vintage feel - all those frayed ends!

Step 5: Sew stars section onto flag

Now you can run a stitch around the perimeter of the stars section, securing it to the flag permanently.

Can we pause for a minute and just admire this perfect ruffly, shabby goodness? I love when a dream becomes reality, and this fabric scrap flag came together just as I was hoping!

Step 6: Add buttons for stars

Sew on buttons for the stars. You could glue them on, but I hand-stitched them. I did it fairly randomly, just spacing them out nicely.

I love a happy ending, and this shabby denim and lace flag turned out just as I'd imagined! It's neutral, matches my decor, and can be displayed year-round.

I have thought about turning it into a pillow, but just haven't done that yet. For now, I just prop it over an existing pillow. I like that this gives me options!

I hope you're inspired to see your fabric scraps in a new way! Let me know if you make a ruffled scrap fabric flag, I'd love to feature it!

Love it? Pin it to remember!

Interested in some of the other DIY projects picture here? Check these out!

DIY projects


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  1. This flag is adorable! Love it and pinning to my "America" board.

    1. Hey Jennifer, thank you for your sweet words and the Pin!

  2. Cindy,
    I love a recycle scrap project and this is so adorable. It's perfect for our roundup.

  3. Girlfriend, this has to be my favorite patriotic pillow of all time! pinned and hoping you'll make me one! ;)

    1. Aww, thank you friend! Haha, I think you need to learn how to sew 🤔 😏

  4. It's so adorable. I love it, Cindy. I plan to share a link to your project with my readers tomorrow for my week in rewind series.


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