Celebrate Pride Month with a DIY Custom Flag

JUN 5, 2019

Spoonflower is built on a foundation of creativity, inclusion and personal expression. This year, we have the opportunity to partner with an organization that is both near and dear to us: the LGBTQ Center of Durham. We admire the work the Center is doing in our local community to create programming, resources and networks of support for those who identify as LGBTQ+. To kick off this partnership and the start of Pride Month, Spoonflower team member Meredith will show you how to create your own custom pride flag in this beginner-friendly DIY. And tune in to our Instagram and Facebook pages throughout the month as we get to know some of the amazing people behind this nonprofit.

Meredith: Last year I wasn’t able to attend Durham’s Pride Parade but I knew there had to be some way I could still be a part of the annual celebration of community, family, pride, and activism. When I learned the gym I belonged to was going to be marching in the parade, I got right to work making a custom flag for the members to carry.

While I would consider my Photoshop skills to be a bit “scrappy”, this project still ended up being within my design skillset. And now thanks to these free templates*, it’s easier than ever to create your own flag for your local Pride parade, to hang in your home, business or even as a custom piece to add to your wardrobe. Ready to get started?

*For personal use only

After the Durham Pride Parade, the gym I belong to hung up the banner to show that all are welcome.

Part 1: Designing the Flag

1. Download your free flag template.

We’ve created a one yard template for a two-sided 53” x 36” or smaller flag and a two yard template for a 71” x 53” or smaller flag.

Over the years the Pride flag has evolved to represent the diverse faces that make up the LGBTQ+ community. Learn more about the history of the Pride flag here and explore other versions in the Marketplace.

The six rainbow stripes featured in the most familiar Pride flag represent red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunshine, green for nature, blue for harmony and purple for spirit.
Choosing the Right Fabric for your Flag

While I made a two-sided flag using 2 yards of Silky Faille*, you could also try Performance Piqué for a lightweight, wrinkle-free option. Just remember, this template is set up for a fabric that is at least 54” wide so if you choose a fabric less than 54″ wide, the width of your flag will be shorter! You can view all of Spoonflower’s fabrics and their specific widths here.

*While this fabric has since been retired, you can learn more about all of Spoonflower’s available fabrics here.

Pro tip:  Not sure which fabric to order? Start with Spoonflower sample pack or swatch of your design to help you decide.

2. Prep your logo* for placement on the flag.

* If you’re not using a personal logo, you must have permission to use your company’s logo.

To ensure your logo prints clearly, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a high-res logo file that is a minimum of 150 dpi and an EPS file or PNG. If you are working with a high-res JPG and want to remove a colored background, you’ll want to do this prior to adding it to your flag.

To remove the background in Photoshop, select File > Open and choose your logo. Double click on the layer to unlock the file to allow editing access. With the magic wand tool selected, click on the white or colored areas you’d like to be transparent. Once all areas are highlighted, hit your delete button. Once you’ve updated your logo, save the file as a PNG.

Photoshop shortcut: Hold down your shift key to select multiple white areas at the same time.

3. Add your logo to the flag template.

Open your flag template in your preferred design program. I’ll be working in Photoshop since this is the design program I’m most comfortable with but programs like Illustrator, Canva or GIMP could also work. If using one of the free templates from Spoonflower, your file should automatically be set at 150 dpi, the default file/printing size at Spoonflower. To add the custom logo on top of the flag template, select File > Place Embedded and select the logo you edited in step 2 from the existing files on your computer.

Photoshop tip: If you’d like to make a smaller flag, we suggest placing the flag template on a design canvas that is set to your intended flag size with an added 1/2″ seam allowance. For example, if you want your flag to be 27″ x 34″, set up a canvas that is 28″ x 36″ at 150 dpi.

If necessary, you can enlarge your logo on the flag.

At this point it may be necessary to enlarge your logo size. With your logo layer selected, go to the top menu bar and under the Edit panel, select Free Transform (or use the keyboard shortcut Command + T). You should now see a bounding box around your logo. You can resize the logo by clicking and dragging from any corner of this box. When you’re happy with the size of your logo, hit “Enter” on your keyboard to commit the transformation.

Photoshop tip : If you have an older version of Photoshop, you’ll have to hold the Shift key while adjusting the size of your logo to retain the proportions.

4. Center your logo on the flag.

If you’d like your logo to be centered on the flag, select both layers (logo and flag template) and choose the align vertical centers and align horizontal centers options at the top of your canvas.

5. Save your design.

Select File > Save As and save your file as a Photoshop file and JPG. If you are using the 72” wide template, rotate your file 90º prior to saving your flag by selecting Image > Image Rotation > 90º clockwise.

6. Order your flag fabric.

To order your flag design on fabric, log-in to your Spoonflower account and upload your file here. Choose your fabric type and yardage amount in the dropdown menu.

Part 2: Finishing the Flag

Depending on your use case, there are a few different ways you can finish your flag.

How to Finish a Two-Sided One-Yard Flag

Method 1: Pillowcase

Cut out the two flags from your fabric and pin right sides together. Stitch around the border of the flag with a ½” seam allowance, making sure to leave a 2” opening so you can turn your fabric right side out. Flip the flag right side out and topstitch around the entire edge, making sure to secure the 2” opening

Method 2: I’ve Got the Urge to Serge

Cut out the two flags from your fabric and pin wrong sides together. Serge around the entire border of the flag.

To add an optional flag pole holder – we used a PVC pipe! – fold over the left side of the flag 3” (adjust this side based on your pole size) to the backside of the flag, pin and stitch in place, making sure to close the top opening. Remember to leave the bottom opening unsewn so you can insert the flagpole!

How to Finish a One-Sided One-Yard Flag

Fold over the edge of the fabric ½” to the unprinted side on all four sides and press. Repeat to enclose the raw seams and press. Topstitch the hem.

How to Finish a One-Sided Two-Yard Flag

Fold over the edge of the fabric ½” to the unprinted side on all four sides and press. Repeat to enclose the raw seams and press.

To add an optional flag pole holder – we used a PVC pipe! – fold over the top of the flag 3” (adjust this size based on your pole size) to the unprinted side of the flag, pin and stitch in place making sure to leave an opening at both ends.

Once you’ve finished your flag, wave it with pride!

I spy my custom flag! Members of the local gym walked in Durham’s 2018 Pride Parade with the handmade flag.

Are you making something handmade for your local Pride parade? We want to see! Share what you’re making by tagging your photos with #spoonflowerpride.

Featured designs: Love is Love and Rainbow Pride Stripes

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  • it’s great that Spoonflower is promoting LGBTQ awareness and supporting LGBTQ communities worldwide with this flag project.
    I recently taught textile design to 10 members of Transpire, the Trans network in South East Esssex at my weekly evening classes. They all had a great time and ordered their free fat quarters, courtesy of Spoonflower.
    thank you!