Making Raffle Flags




(Too Long Didn’t Read/Who Cares. But there may be some useful heat-sealable ironing techniques below)

First, some racked canoe overhang flags. Always a quick and easy use of scrap material, starting with nearly all of the red heat sealable scrap I have left, to make a few warning flags for roof racked canoe stems.

Now I remember why I ordered red heat sealable material last time; red is easier to see in after a yard sale capsize than dark blue (yellow or orange would be better still), and I can use even the small, otherwise useless scrap pieces to make overhang flags.

P2010001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That’s enough scrap for another 5-6 canoe stem overhang flags, and I only have a few left from the last batch of red scrap. They haven’t worn out, they hold up fine flapping in a 70mph breeze, but I’ve been attaching them to the ends of sold canoes that go up the driveway and visiting friend’s canoes that lack a red flag.

PC020013 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

P7110007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And I keep a couple give-away spares in the truck. Nice to have a refreshed stash of shop spares ready to affix.

Folded over if large enough scrap, or two pieces, cut to match and heat sealed. No hems, no templates, no fence & clamps, just freehand iron that shit together. Couple of easy ironing minutes to make a supply.

Round off the corners and, presto, a half dozen red overhang flags. Well, not quite presto just yet; I need to affix some High Intensity reflective tape to both sides, seat a grommet in each and add some cord and a mini beeners. Might as well do all that grommet and tape work at the same time, including on the multi-colored tarp/site flags.

P2020006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I have only a few colors of scrap heat-sealable, blue, red and yellow. I could just stripe them like (trivia?) a Dr. Seuss Conrad hat, but that’s not multi-color enough. Fortunately Seattle Fabrics sells Sample Packs, 2 ½” x 5” pieces in eight colors, and I included a couple packs with my last order. vBfzo1CGCbEZ17ykSpwsE2_kjm_mFRCQoIRVBxDUTjYyLJpcXB oC79oQAvD_BwE

P2030009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The edges are pinked, which would be a huge PITA to pair together and iron, but a little paper cutter action straightened up my stock of heat seal-able material. There was a minor boo-boo involving the razor-sharp blade of the paper cutter.

P2030011 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I laid out a mixed color pattern, interspersed with some long narrow strips of red, yellow and blue from the scrap box. It has to be a mighty teensy piece of scrap heat sealable before it goes in the trash.

P2040022 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Two rectangles (for now) each 9” x 23”

Ironing the sample and scrap pieces to the backside of a larger scrap of heat sealable does not require a fence, but there is a trick to it. Not that I expect anyone else to be making multi-color flags. Unless they have too much time on their hands and multi-color scrap. No? Just me?

Iron the bottom piece(s) up close to the free edge. Align the next row of samples or scrap stripe, and temp-tape aligned square the top edges of those pieces at the top edges. Iron up close to the taped edges and repeat, repeat, repeat.

P2030016 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Hot damn I’m a quilter at last, now I can scratch that off my bucket list. But I don’t really want rectangles as tarp windsocks or site flags, some \/ taper would be better. Cutting those two rectangles offset diagonally gives me four tapered flags. Rounded off the corners for good measure.

Four tarp/site flags and seven overhang flags, not a bad afternoon playing with the scrap box. I still have 11 grommets to seat, and 22 pieces (front and back on all flags) of High Intensity tape to affix.

P2040017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

First, melt/seal the grommet holes. Instead of using a soso sized mail head, pounding on the grommet punch through that tough, double sided fabri, just heat up the end of the grommet punch and sizzleseal the grommet holes.

Side note – that hot grommet punch works very well for thick stuff like webbing.

P2040021 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

(I do ear lobe flesh tunnel piercings as a side business. Must be over 18, not a screamer, and dumb as a stump)

Grommets seated, big ones, which I think are less likely to tear through the fabric, I stuck some squibs of High Intensity reflective tape on both sides of the flags. I know that stuff winks back bright under a light in camp; it is on our canoes, tarp poles, barrels and etc.

PA050088 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Reflective tape on both sides of the the uncolorful blue flag backing material.

I finally had a chance to follow a car with a reflective taped flag dangling from a canoe stern. It flickered, winked and flashed in my distabt headlights quite noticably. On the possible downside, even though I knew what it was, I kinda wanted to catch up for a looksee.

It is a picky chore to separate that waterproof High Intensity tape from its backing, but worth the effort. And worth some extra effort. A bead of E-6000 adhesive sealant around the perimeter of the grommets, to soften the sharp brass-to-fabric transition edges, and a bead around each piece of reflective tape.

P2050026 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That waterproof tape adhesive is damn sticky, and has not come off the canoes, tarp poles or barrels, but they are not flapping madly at highway speed. A security bead of E-600 can’t hurt.

Having made sufficient shop stock of flags I will include a red overhang flag, and a multi-colored tarp or site flag, along with the two yards of heat sealable Packcloth.


Those are nice flags!

What can I say, I like bright, shiny things.

Whether dangling (and flashing mysteriously) from the stern of a roof racked canoe, welcoming me or attractive late arriving friends to my now-where-was-that site after a base camp day paddle, or simply flapping wildly in the wind off the tarp, a little color and reflection is often appreciated.