DIY Couched Flag

If you’ve been reading RHW since early days, you might remember that we redid our downstairs bathroom last year.  I’m still really happy with it, but there was one small area that has long stymied me.

Right above the red cabinet there’s a little expanse of wall that I never knew quite what to do with. For a while I had a fern in a hanging planter there, but Cromwell devoured it in a fever of vegetative desire.  Then I had the thrifted cross-stitched pansies (they had a cameo appearance in the breakfast nook too), but I was never really happy with them there.

Because this is the bathroom where I usually get ready in the mornings, I thought it would be nice to start the day with a positive note. I’m not usually one for typographical art, but I recently saw this tutorial for couching–a very simple technique for embroidering with yarn–and I was intrigued. I figured I would give it a try and create a flag with a positive note for the confounding bathroom wall. YES!

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

First I gathered my supplies:

-thick yarn

-contrasting embroidery thread

-a piece of fabric (I used canvas like hemp fabric left over from my headboard)

-small dowel

To make the flag I simply cut a rectangle of fabric that was a few inches wider and longer than the size I wanted the flag to end up being. Then I folded it in half, and marked where I wanted the angle to make the point on the bottom:

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

I folded the edges and seamed them, beginning at the bottom. To make the point seams lay flat I snipped the point, like this:

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

Then I seamed the edges, until I got to the top. At the top I folded and pressed the edge, and then did a second larger fold to make a tube for the dowel.

Next I wrote “yes” so many times that my eyes crossed and the word started to look like it couldn’t possibly be spelled correctly.

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

When I had a “yes” that I thought looked okay and was the right size, I cut the word out and placed it on the flag. Then I laid the yarn over the top, and did a few stitches with the embroidery floss to keep the word from shifting. Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

Because the stitches went through the template, I carefully cut the paper away, leaving the yarn in place.

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

Then I just added small stitches to the letters. I didn’t worry about making them perfectly even, I just eyeballed it as I went along. And voila! My own little fist pumping daily affirmation to enjoy as I spackle under-eye concealer on my vitamin D deprived face each morning.  YES!

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

A palindrome would have been a cool effect next to the mirror, but “able was I ere I saw Elba” isn’t quite the uplifting motto I was going for.

Here is a close-up taken in the only room in the house with a hint of sun during darkest January (sorry for the sub-optimal pictures in this post–dark times, my friends, dark times):

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

Now I need to make another flag for Winnie that says NO!

Red House West || DIY Couched Flag

I’m glad I have couching in my crafting arsenal now, and I’m liking the flag in the bathroom a lot.  Thanks for reading along everyone, have a great rest of the week!

9 responses on “DIY Couched Flag

    1. meramatthews

      Thank you, Netzy! Couching is definitely very doable and versatile–an accomplished quilter like you could probably come up with some really creative uses for the technique!

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