What it is: Bunt•ing : (n) brightly coloured flags hung as decoration.
How to use it: This British tradition is generations old, but lately it’s showing up everywhere — birthday parties, weddings, even on cakes and cards.
Our variation: We’ve made it modern eco-chic by using twine and old books.
Ever since I was in London during the royal wedding last spring, I’ve been obsessed with making bunting. I considered cutting tea towels into triangles, browsed Etsy, and even toyed with the idea of using Swedish pennants at $12 a piece from Russet and Empire. Everything seemed expensive. Eventually I settled on using book pages because it’s cheap, I already had the materials and the colour is neutral enough to suit any party theme. And as a word nerd it just made perfect sense.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Find a book you know you’re never going to read. (One in a language you don’t speak is a safe bet.) I went with an old German novel; the pages have a nice slightly yellow shade, and once you get up close you realize you can’t understand it. The size of the book will determine the size of your bunting flags.
2. Open the book and find the centre of the page along the bottom. Draw down the depth of the book with a pencil. Using an X-Acto knife and a metal ruler, cut a straight line from the top right and top left corners down to the bottom centre. Repeat, cutting through a few pages at a time.
3. Take a length of twine and tie a loop on one end. Fold the top edge of a bunting flag over the twine, and use good quality “invisible” scotch tape to stick it down. Repeat, taping on the same side as you go along.
4. Leave some space between the flags so that you can adjust them. That way you can fit them around the items you affix the bunting to. Once you’ve run out of pages or patience, tie your length of twine off with another loop.