Saturday, September 1, 2012

Prayer flags for all beings

I have been enjoying The Prayer Flag Project, and I finally got organized enough to jump in with a few of my own. Instead of overplanning, overthinking, and generally acting perfectionistic, I just did it.
A 50 cent garage sale sheet yielded 72 - 5x7" rectangles to play with. Having so many inexpensive pieces of fabric made me reckless -- if I did them wrong, it wouldn't matter because they were so cheap and there were so many of them. (The obstacles we make for ourselves!)
I dug around in my art supplies and found some fat tubes of Crayola finger paints, Radiant Rain, and big bottles of Colorations liquid watercolors from Discount School Supply. These materials, like the cotton fabric, will deteriorate rapidly. I think that prayer flags, like prayers, are meant to be transient and vanish into the universe.

I grabbed a few tools for making patterns and textures. One of my favorites is the purple rubber brush thing. It is soft and I can use it on my Gelli printing plate safely.I grabbed a few tools for making patterns and textures. One of my favorites is the purple rubber brush thing. It is soft and I can use it on my Gelli printing plate safely.
I placed the fabric on waxed paper on my worktable. I don't have a photo of this part, but I rolled out some blue fingerpaint on the Gelli and scribbled in it with the purple brush. I mashed each flag into the paint, adding more as needed.

And I painted. I globbed yellow finger paint on the fabric, then brushed it around and let it dry. I sprayed on some green Radiant Rain and when that was dry, added some orange. I like the Radiant Rain because it is sparkly, always a good thing in a prayer flag, I believe. I dropped the watercolors on the fabric to make blogs. When I decided that the colors were what I wanted, I had to decide how to add the lettering. After considering handwriting, image transfer, and printing on tissue paper, I decided on the latter. Easy and quick and more predictable than handwriting.
I stuck down the tissue paper captions with gloss lustre Mod Podge, then later wished I had used matte medium. Too shiny.
In order to hang the flags I added 2 machine made buttonholes to the top of each flag and then strung them on some orange twine I had around.
The flags read as follows:
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be loved.
May all beings love themselves.

These flags are intended as a housewarming gift for my son and his partner, Shannon. I want them to always be safe, well, happy, and loved.


  1. wonderful Donna! way to jump in. I love the addition of the button hole. very cool. and great sentiments too.

  2. Wonderful, Donna! I like the "jump right in" part a lot, too....

  3. You are so sweet. I love your flags!

  4. Hello Donna,
    I love your prayer flags! The sentiments are wonderful, and I loved seeing your process from start to finish. I love love love the colors you used! And the button hole for handing is brilliant.

  5. Hey, Donna. Just perused your blog and it has given me a mini-vacay from the daily drudgery of work. Thank you for sharing your creations. LOVE the prayer flags.

    May all beings be loved!

    I love you!

  6. Beautiful gift and I love the artwork! Thank you for sharing your processes too:)