How to make your own “Yay!” celebratory flags

Guest post by MicheleLaFon

IMG 5880 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

I made these “Yay” flags for our wedding, intending for people to wave them for us as we walked away after the ceremony. They ended up being such an integral part of the evening, with everyone waving and shouting “YAY” every time we walked by! And since I added our names and the date to the back of them, they also served as the only favor we had for our guests. It is a quick and easy project — I hope you enjoy it!


  • Wooden dowels – I used 1/8″ diameter dowels.
  • Construction paper – I used some old, sun faded construction paper in warm tones to go with the color scheme for the wedding.
  • Some way to help you layout your design, computer or otherwise – I used Photoshop, but you could essentially use any program you are comfortable with.
  • Craft glue
  • Sewing machine set with a zipper foot

IMG 6041 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Step 1:
Cut dowels to desired length. I started with 36″ long dowels and needed 100 flags for our ceremony. So, I bought 25 dowels, cut them evenly into 9″ lengths, and ended up with 100 exactly. I used a pair of wire cutters to cut them, which was very easy to do, and left a minor crunched edge to the ends- but no splintered or messy edges. For a cleaner look, you can saw them.

layout1 copy alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Step 2:
Layout your design. I organized the page in 2 columns of 3 boxes to get a total of 6 flags per page. I added the text to each box, as well as crop marks to make cutting easier. Write your “yay” text (or “woot”, “yippie”, etc..) to fit into each box nicely, and justify toward the right. I chose six different fonts to write “Yay” in.

Step 3:
If you wish, make another page for the text on the back. Ours has our names and the date of the wedding. Use the same template as the front, and this time justify your text to the left so it doesn't interfere with the edge you are going to sew.

IMG 6043 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Step 4:

Print your pages and cut your flags along your crop marks. I used a paper cutter and actually cut off the crop marks so they wouldn't be seen.

Step 5:

At this point, set up everything in front of you to streamline your assembly: sewing machine, dowels, glue and flags.

Step 6:
Take a dowel and one of your flags. Place the flag, “Yay” side down, at the top edge of your dowel. With your thumbs, curl the edge around the dowel, leaving about .5″ past the dowel. This will leave you with enough room to sew.

IMG 5882 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Step 7:

Put a dab or two of glue on the dowel and place into the fold you just made with your thumbs. Place directly onto your sewing machine and stitch down the length of your flag. The zipper foot will allow you to sew right along the edge of the dowel. When your are finished sewing the length, trim the threads close to the paper.. and voila! You have your first “Yay” flag.

IMG 5881 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

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Comments on How to make your own “Yay!” celebratory flags

    • Oh how I wish I had a Yudu now so I could do a similar thing on some ribbon strips! This reminds me of those cute flags you get from Medival Times. So tempted to do this, I think it’s a great sub for rice/confetti!

  1. I made these for my wedding last week and people LOVED them! I used the thicker bamboo skewers (probably about 1/8" dia) and clipped off the pointy ends with those pet nail clippers.

    Michele gets a gold OBT star for this amazing idea!

  2. I don't know if it matters, but what kind of needle did you use in your sewing machine to sew through the paper?

    • I used a regular all-purpose sewing needle. I've sewed paper lots of times, for various art projects. It probably dulls the tip a bit, but I haven't noticed difficulty in sewing since the flags. I think I would change it if I were going to sew a lightweight fabric like silk or chiffon, but it's been fine otherwise.

  3. Wow, sewing a pole hem in the paper looks great. I have never seen this before, but I would definitely do something like this at my wedding.

  4. anyone know if you can recycle these after the wedding, with the dowels and all? I LOVE this idea, but I'm afraid of all the paper that would be wasted

  5. This is great! No one seems to allow rice, birdseed, sparklers, etc anymore (and for good reasons.) Flags are a neat replacement! Thanks.

  6. how about if you don’t have a sewing machine? any thought to attach them to the dowel with double sided tape?

    • you can do the double-sided tape around the dowel (i used glue), then secure it from the outside by hand sewing it if you want a similar look to mine. best advise is to do some tests. try the tape and see if it holds well enough for a few hours of waving. good luck!

  7. Beautiful! I’m thinking about trying 5 ft long dowels and using the flags to lead guests down a pathway.

  8. I love it, and I am making YAY fans instead since I am getting married in July outside. I am using large pop cycle sticks and thick paper and glue. When I saw this tutorial way back when, I knew I would do it…now time is ticking so I am gonna try it!!!

  9. Oh my goodness i LOVE this idea! we’ve been looking at venues who are really picky about what can and can’t be used for the departure and i was beginning to lose hope on finding something! so THANK YOU!!

  10. I would like to do this and have all the elements except for the sweing machine. Do you need to sew them. will it not work with just the craft glue?

    • hi andrea- you definitely don’t need to sew them, although if you like that look & don’t have a sewing machine, you can hand-stitch them. the sewing for me was an additional adhesive as well as decorative, but i’m sure craft glue would get the job done. i might put glue on the dowel, wrap the paper, and secure with a few more dabs of glue. hold on to it for a few seconds so it doesn’t slip crooked.

  11. I don’t want rice/confetti/crap all over our grass in our backyard so I am TOTALLY doing this. And I say Yay all the time anyways so it’ll be perfect.

  12. Love that combination of fonts! Do you know the names of the fonts you used?

    • hi Jaimie- thank you! here are the fonts we used (they were all free):
      jellyka, saint andrew’s queen
      MPPeony regular
      bleeding cowboys
      blackadderITC regular
      Eccentric std

  13. I am making flags for my daughter’s wedding guest favors/placecards. We are giving each family an Italian made canning jar with a herb recipe for oil dipping and tying a ribbon around each one. So there is no confusion about the favors on the table we will make a name guest flag with stick and glue onto each favor and set up at the “place card table with a large table seating chart on an easel. Thanks for the flag idea…as this was the next thing to do.

  14. Hi and thank you for the post, but did you do this in Word?
    I can set up two columns, but how did you get the line down the middle?
    Also did you hand write your info (names and date on the back?)

    Appreciate your post. Thanks.

  15. Hello,
    I was wondering what size construction paper you used? I seem to only be able to find it in 9X12″ which is larger than standard paper and thus I am not use it can go through a printer. Thank you for any help you can give and for this wonderful tutorial.

  16. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic.The article is nice and it’s pleasant to read. Thanks!

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