Saturday, May 5, 2012

Let your patriotism show!

You can make this. . .

From this. . .

 When we painted our house, our raggedy old gate was in need of some love.  The gate didn't really even go with the yellow body and white popouts, so I petitioned our HOA and was able to do a white gate.  The metal was sprayed white and I needed new slats and use an exterior opaque white stain to do the slats.  So now I had all these old slats that were getting thrown out.  We had a fun ladies craft exchange coming up and I had a little inspiration from this Pottery Barn flag (that cost $129...yikes!!).  

I calculated with the wood I had from my gate that I would have enough to make 8 flags for very little cost.  I cut the slats to be 32" long and used 5 of them.  The overall dimensions end up being 32" x 17 1/2".  A furring strip was used to stabilize the wood from behind.  I used 1" staples with an air staple gun and drove them in on both side to assure they were on good.

The fronts were primed and painted white.  
 After the white was completely dry 1-1/2" masking tape was used to make the stripes and the blue square.  I tried to stay as proportionate as possible to the real flag and here are the measurements I used:

  • I first taped off the area that would be the square.  Note that the vertical piece of tape was only used for the lines for the red.  Later the blue will be taped off for the square.  The square ended up being 13-3/8" x 9-1/2"
  • For the stripes, the first piece of tape was placed 1" from the top, and spaced every 1-1/2" from there.  This left another 1" strip from the bottom. (The stripes by the square are 18-5/8" long)
  • Red painted was brushed in between the tape.
  • After the red paint was dried the vertical tape and small stripe tape was removed and another vertical pice of tape was put on to make the 13-3/8" blue square.  Be sure to leave the horizontal tape in place, this will serve as the border for the blue and still leave the white stripe.

This next part can be a bit tedious, but since I was making 8 flags it was well worth it.  
I had bought a blank stencil from the craft store and cut out 4 rows of stars with an exacto knife.  The bottom of the stencil had stars drawn on the stencil to use as a guide.  After the stencil was cut out the stenciling was quiet easy and went fast.  So when you are making a mass amount of flags and you are on your last flag a realize that you have stenciled all of the stars upside down, what do you do??  Me?  I just informed my friends there is no intention of any hidden message to this, and to just tilt your head a little to the left and the starts are perfect!  So the moral to to the story is to make sure you are stenciling the stars on the right way.  :)

When all the painting is done here is what you get:
But if you know me this is not done yet!!  I took some time and distressed the flag to make it feel finished off.  I like to look at the before and after pics and see the difference distressing makes.  I don't think many people really know how just that little detail of adding age to something can really be a dramatic finishing touch.  

Now you end up with this!!

The slats had a lot of wear and miscelennous knots and imperfections in the wood, this made it all the more perfect!!
 To finish off the flag I did spray it with a clear coat of matte spray paint and used some wire and screws to make a wire hanger on the back.  It is fixed to the furring strips. 

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