Tibetian Prayer Flags




"Prayer flags are colorful panels or rectangular cloths often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside. Unknown in other branches of Buddhism, prayer flags are believed to have originated with Bon, which predated Buddhism in Tibet. Traditionally they are woodblock-printed with texts and images." -Wikipedia

I'll show you how to make cheap yet effective prayer flags to decorate your home.

Step 1: What You'll Need

What You'll Need

-Paper (Blue, White, Red, Green & Yellow)
-Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks

Step 2: Assembly

First you will need to download this template here: Template

Then print it out on your colored paper, make sure that you are printing in landscape mode, and that you print out one on each color of paper. Next cut out each flag along the faint gray lines. Then fold the excess on the top over to create a flap.

Prayer flags come in a traditional pattern of Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow
  • Blue (symbolizing sky/space)
  • White (symbolizing wind/air)
  • Red (symbolizing fire)
  • Green (symbolizing water)
  • Yellow (symbolizing earth)

In order to assemble the flags correctly you will need to lay them face down in reverse order:
Yellow, Green, Red, White, Blue

Cut a length of thread long enough for your desired length.

Then place a small line of hot glue on the back of the flag on fold created by the flap. Quickly place the thread on the glue and flatten it with your fingers.

Repeat until desired length is reached, leaving about an inch between flags.

I hope you enjoy!

To Learn More About Prayer Flags And Buddhism See The Links Below

Prayer Flags - Wikipedia
The Meaning of Tibetan Prayer Flags
Buddhism - Wikipedia
The Prayer Flag Tradition (PDF)



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    13 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

     I have seen these prayer flags all over the north east of India. I think these should be put up outdoor. The Buddhists believe that every time these flags flutter in the wind, a prayer drifts up to heaven.  

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Which is very weird, because in Buddhism, there is no, for lack of a better word, physical Heaven. "Heaven" may refer to Nirvana, which can exist in man on Earth. But as for prayers drifitng upwards to heaven, no.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The idea is that your prayers drift through the wind to reach all sentient beings... and since they're heavenly beings, sure, the prayers are going home to heaven.

    It's actually just blessings, prayers are just the translation to the closest western word. It's like when people drop pennies to spread luck, it's designed to bring good-ness to those to which the wind blows them :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Well, I haven't heard about hanging the left side higher than the right, but then again I'm not really an expert. Keep in mind though that prayer flag traditions vary greatly from region to region. If you wanted to have more authentic prayer flags you could carve the negative image of the design into a block of wood or rubber and then stamp the image onto sheets of colored cloth, traditionally black ink is used but I have also seen gold ink used and it looked amazing! "I am a simple Buddhist monk — no more, no less." -Dalai Lama

    1 reply

    how would you carve the negative image into a block of wood or rubber? actually that's exactly what I wanted instructions for when I came looking online. Or does anyone know if they already sell rubber stamps to decorate prayer flags with? It looks like far too complicated patterns for someone to know how to accurately do that let alone the negative image. But I'm thinking it must have been done and the ready-made rubber stamps must exist for purchase somewhere!! Let me know if you know where you can get them.
    That may not satisfy the DIY completely but I want to make many that look consistent and that seems to be the way to go for my purposes. I've got the black ink!! Just need the design.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    The only problem I encountered was the formatting, but it worked out nicely on my 6 x 9 in coloured paper after some trial and error. Nice Work!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Dude that is awesome because I am a buhddist and yes gezortenplotz i am fully aware of the tibet take over... :(


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I have heard from a reliable source that traditionally the left side of the flag rope attachment is higher than the right. Has anyone else heard this? I am not a Tibetan, nor do I play one on tv, but I pray the Chinese get their invading butts out of there.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if you could print the template onto iron-on transfer paper and then iron the design onto appropriately colored material. It might be a bit more complicated, but would be a bit more authentic... a bit.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    My world religions teacher had some of these he got from Tibet which were very cool. They leave them strung up outside in the wind so they eventually unravel and blow away, symbolic of their prayers going to "heaven."