Rustic American Wood Flag DIY

You really have to hand it to Betsy Ross. She knew what she was doing. The American Flag design is so simple, yet so distinctive and also open to beautiful interpretations. Do I sound patriotic? Well, yes I am!

Gather up your favorite kids or girlfriends, and let’s prepare for the Fourth of July by creating our own version of this iconic slice of America. We will transform a piece of rustic wood into an American Flag with today’s easy DIY. This craft project is about embracing your imperfection! The less accurate the better, like Folk Art, which according to Webster, is the traditional art of untrained people. Folk Art is characterized by a naive style, in which traditional rules of proportion and perspective are not employed, according to Wikipedia. I love that, don’t you? It’s all about being human. And imperfect. In fact if the art is perfect, it’s actually not as appealing. The more mistakes the better it gets. Is this a message to us about life? Maybe so.

As graphic designer, I was taught to practice fine craftsmanship in college. We were held to high standards and I have practiced this for 30+ years in my own design work, so imperfect art is against all of my instincts. Surprisingly tho, it is so freeing, fun, and a wonderful form of therapy.

Materials

The materials are inexpensive and easy to find. The most important item will be your wood “canvas”. Old, rustic wood or planks from a pallet would be an amazing choice, if you happen to have access to that. If not, there are a variety of options at your local (or online) craft store. We found ours at Hobby Lobby. You can select a pre-made wooden sign board, or buy planks and glue them together yourself. You can also check out the clearance section and purchase a ready made sign and paint over it, for a fraction of the price. Next you will need paint and inexpensive brushes. If you want to roughen up or “age” the surface of the wood after the flag is painted, you will also need sand paper.

Wood Canvas of choice
Red, White and Blue Acrylic Paint
Paint brushes
Paper plate or paint tray
Stencil (optional)
Sponge (optional)
Sandpaper (optional)
Wood glue (optional)
Vice Grips (optional)
Saw (optional)

Instructions

1 Select your materials. Download FREE Star Template PDF for inspiration.

2 Glue your wooden planks together if necessary and trim to desired size.

3 Prepare your paint and brushes. Start painting with the blue first. Let dry.

4 Stencil or freehand paint your stars with white. Let paint dry.

5 Paint your red stripes. Let dry. Paint your white stripes. Let dry.

6 Great job! Now you can roughen the surface and/or edges with sandpaper if you like.

This is a great project for kids to celebrate the Fourth of July. It’s also fun piece to hang up year-round! I hope you will give it a try and please tag me if you do!

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