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Make Your Own Hapa Zome Dyed Bunting

Greetings from Lowestoft invited residents in the Lowestoft Heritage Action Zones to make their own bunting to celebrate Lowestoft’s rich history as a popular seaside resort – and to make the town all a-flutter for the 2023 First Light Festival Parade in June.

Local artist, Genevieve Rudd, suggested four different methods for creating bunting, reflecting the First Light Festival colours of green and blue and referencing the sea and local architecture.

In this online DIY guide, we will use a natural method for dyeing fabrics which can then be used to make bunting flags.

The full Guide is available to download at the bottom of this page; if you live in Lowestoft, you may wish to stick to the colours suggested, but please feel free to use whatever recycled materials you have to hand, to make your very own bunting in your very own style.

About Genevieve

Genevieve is a community artist based in Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth. She has been facilitating environmental and heritage-inspired art with people since 2011 and when she’s not leading creative projects, she loves walking and gardening.


In our first Bunting Guide, we showed you how to make some really simple bunting.

Here, we will use a technique known as Hapa Zome, the Japanese art of hammering plants and flowers to release their colour into the fabric.

You can either use the dyed material to make the actual bunting flags, or cut out some of the shapes you create and stitch them on to other flags.

You can also use it to make the ‘Tie It’ and ‘Peg It’ bunting in the previous DIY Guide.

You will need

  • Fabric – light cotton works best for this
  • A rolling pin, hammer, or even a smooth stone
  • A flat hard surface
  • A selection of colourful plants, flowers, fruit or vegetables

Once you’ve dyed your fabric, you will also need:

  • Bunting flags (either cut from the dyed fabric or any other material you choose)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Needles and threads
  • Pins

Hapa Zome bunting

  • Lay the fabric on a flat hard surface
  • Arrange the plants in a pattern and cover them with another piece of fabric
  • Bash, squash and hammer away at the fabric
  • Lift the top layer to reveal the natural colour beneath
  • Use the material to make tie it or peg it bunting, or as decoration on bunting cut from other fabric

Handy tip: Try dyeing your fabric, using a shop-bought blue or green dye and following the packet instructions. Use rubber bands to scrunch up parts of the fabric and experiment with tie-dyeing.


  • Choose a selection of fabrics and cut out your flags. You’ll need about 8 – 10 to make 2 metres of bunting
  • Stitch the flags onto your tape, either by hand using a ‘running stitch’ or with a sewing machine

Adding decoration:

  • Draw a shape or pattern onto a piece of fabric or use some of your Hapa Zome patterns
  • Cut out the shape or pattern and pin it on your flag
  • Use a thread colour that matches your fabric, or go for something with high contrast


Download activity guide

The Greetings from Lowestoft Bunting Activity Guide was created to encourage residents to decorate their windows and gardens as part of the First Light Festival in Lowestoft in June 2023.

It refers to the sights and sounds of the sea and suggests looking closely at the buildings in the town, as inspiration for the bunting.

Wherever you live, whether it’s near the sea or in the middle of the county, you might like to look at the landscape around you and use some of those ideas to inspire your own bunting.

Download pdf (9.70 MB)

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