Ali Ward - Bunting
Rainbow Bunting to celebrate those who have served and kept us safe in the past and those who are keeping us safe now.
For the HMS Leigh project to celebrate The 75th anniversary of VE Day we thought you might like
to make some rainbow bunting to hang in your windows, to go with the beautiful rainbows you
have been making.
Bunting is basically a line of flags hanging on tape or string. You can make the flags in all different
sizes, shapes and colours, out of paper, cardboard or fabric. I made mine from an old newspaper
which had also been a paper aeroplane.
My flags were 13cm x 9 cm but that is just the size they turned out when I folded the paper up.
I like working with lots of components and decorating each small rectangle in a different way. But
you could use a big piece of paper, put lots of different colours and marks on it, and then cut your
flag shapes out when it is dry. Magazines have lots of colours in them so you could cover small
flags in pieces of magazines to make different colours or cut out tiny flags.
Have a look around the house and see what materials, paper, card, fabric, pens, paint, glue, wool
buttons, thread you can find. Start with a rectangle or a few and start making marks, playing
around, you can’t get it wrong. Enjoy the process and then take a picture and email it to us at
I used poster paint and some acrylic paint because I had them at home.
They both work well for printing too, especially on thin paper like newspaper or printer paper.
Have a look around see what you have and experiment making marks with objects, this blue stripe flag was made with a fork. (Be careful of small objects with children who put things in their mouths.)
For younger children or children with SEN art activities can be over very quickly. The children I
work with have SEN so I break the sessions down by offering different materials to slow the
process down. We start with scribbling in pencil, then pen, then add in some more sensory
materials like chalk pastels or crayons, then a little paint (painting doesn’t always have to leave a
huge mess: limit the paint = limit the mess.) Collage can be a good calming activity if you pre-cut
the pieces and then pass them one at a time, you can have a tug of war, and then create a paper
storm by sprinkling the last bits of paper like rain. If you have enough pieces, this is often the
most exciting part. If glue is too distracting then you can glue the individual pieces and pass
them ready to stick on.
If you are happy to unleash large quantities of paint in your home it is a great sensory activity
poured into a tray, hands, arms and faces get covered. If you have a lot of paint on paper, it will
get soggy, screwing up the paper is a nice activity and tearing and some pieces can be rescued
and dried to make your flags.
For older children and adults this can be as complex an activity as you make it, the flags are a
place to put some of your creativity. At the moment we are dealing with lots of difficult emotions,
making art can help to understand what we are feeling and share it. The flags could be covered in
words as well as drawing, colour and photographs.
The children at The St Christopher's School each did an individual drawing and then screen
printed parts of the Union Jack on top making, 90 metres of this fabulous bunting.
Happy creating, Ali Ward