Great British Button Challenge: Sew Life Cycle Bunting

We’re on a mission to get Britain sewing again, starting with our schools! As part of the Great British Button Challenge, we’re giving out free buttons to schools, and challenging teachers to bring sewing back into UK classrooms. The 2018 Hobbycraft Report found that 1 in 5 people in the UK can’t sew on a button, with 52% never taught at school, so we’re giving teachers, parents and budding stitchers creative inspiration for imaginative button makes, with projects suitable for individuals and group activities, and ideas that are both fun and educational! Find out more about the Great British Button Challenge, and the great prizes up for grabs, at

This project will allow the creation of life cycle bunting that will not only look fantastic hanging up in your classroom, but will aid in the teaching of various cycles of life! We have chosen to show the life cycle of a flower – what other cycles can you think of to display?

An original design by Debbie von Grabler-Crozier.

You Will Need Craft Essentials How to Make

NB: seam allowances are all ½ cm (1/4”) unless otherwise stated. Please read all instructions through and assemble the equipment before beginning.

1. Begin by cutting three bunting flags from the  felt using the template. These have a straight side. Then cut three coloured ones from the fabrics and on the two lower sides, trim these and decorate with the pinking shears.

Top tip! The idea is that the fabric part of the bunting is slightly smaller than the felt and will be framed by it when you have finished.

2. Use the flower template to cut the flowers and leaves from the felt. The first one is a bud, the second full bloom and the third drooping.

Top tip! The first two leaves are green and the third brown. The first two flowers are qqq and the third brown.

3. On the first flag, draw the stem (using the template as a guide) and stitch the stem with a running stitch and three strands of green embroidery thread.

4. Add the leaf and make a running stitch centre vein. Repeat this for the other two flags remembering to do everything in brown on the third one and use the template as a guide for placement.

5. The flowers are appliqued with a running stitch (three strands) of yellow for the first two and brown for the third. Use the template to get the bud, full bloom and finished flower.

6. On the first flag only, cut another leaf from green felt and cut in in half. Applique this either side of the emerging bud.

7. Buttons next! Attach a small one to the bud plus three small ones over the bud, a larger one to the centre of the full bloom one with eight smaller ones around it and three falling out of the dying flower with a further three on the ground underneath.

Top tip! The buttons for this make represent the seeds and show how in the dying flower, the seeds are distributed underneath the plant ready for regeneration the following season. This takes a little bit of the sting out of the death of an organism because it shows that death is not really the end. There is new life next spring.

8. To make up the bunting, lay a completed fabric flag onto a felt one and sew the sides with a running stitch using three strands of embroidery thread. Repeat for the other two.

9. Cut a piece of green bias binding 1m long. Lay the flags onto the bias binding in order (bud, full bloom, drooping) and use the fusible bias tape to adhere them to the bias tape.

Top tip! Centre the flags onto the bias binding so that you have equal amounts left each side to form the hanging loops.

10. Fold the bias binding over the raw edges and use some more tape to keep the binding together. Use a running stitch to secure the bias binding together.

Top tip! You can do this on a sewing machine too.

11. Fold the bias binding into loops each end and secure with a button. This will provide a way to hang the bunting.

Shop the project

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