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DIY Craft Tutorial: Patriotic Flag Decoration for Memorial Day or 4th of July

Updated on July 19, 2016
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As an artist and a new home owner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.

Patriotic Holiday Sign for Memorial Day or 4th of July
Patriotic Holiday Sign for Memorial Day or 4th of July | Source
This patriotic flag makes a welcoming sign for Memorial Day, the 4th of July holiday, or any time of the year!
This patriotic flag makes a welcoming sign for Memorial Day, the 4th of July holiday, or any time of the year! | Source

This patriotic flag decoration is a cheerful welcome sign to remember and honor our service people on Memorial Day, US Independence Day holiday, or for any day. This sign is constructed with pieces of wood and can be hung inside or out. Although I decorated my sign like the US flag, you could use this same craft idea to make a variety of flag or welcome signs. I also added artificial flowers to brighten my flag display, but this is optional.

I designed this project to be made with scrap wood. I used wood lathe, but you can use any thin wood scraps. You can adjust the size, number of wood pieces, and measurements based on the scrap wood you have on hand.

Materials for Patriotic Flag Sign
Materials for Patriotic Flag Sign | Source

Materials for Patriotic Flag Sign

  • pieces of thin wood - I used 15 pieces of wood lathe that were 1 1/8 inch wide and cut 14 inches long, plus 2 more longer pieces for my backing support pieces. This is about 244 inches of wood in total, but these measurements can be adjusted based on the amount and width of the wood you have.
  • wood glue, Liquid Nail, or hot glue to assembly your sign
  • acrylic paint to decorate your sign
  • artificial flowers (optional) to add to your display
  • pencil, ruler, saw, and heavy duty stapler as needed

Basic assembly for flag sign
Basic assembly for flag sign | Source

Instructions for Making a Patriotic Flag Sign or Door Decoration

As I mentioned above, there are a number of ways you can create this flag sign. Below are the steps I used to make my flag sign, but keep in mind that my measurements can be adjusted to fit your project. My overall sign size is 14 inches high (not including the flowers) by 17 1/4 inches long. My sign is constructed with 13 vertical wood pieces making up the sign front, plus two pieces to finish off the sides. This sign is supported by two additional horizontal backing pieces.

My flag sign is a simplified version of the US Flag. Three of my vertical pieces are used to create the star shape in the upper left-hand corner, and my sign only has 7 stripes.

1. I took my wood lathe and cut 13 pieces that were each 14 inches long. I also cut two additional lengths to use as side pieces. These pieces are optional, but give a more finished look to your sign. Since I was using scrap wood, I ran out of length and these two side pieces are shorter on my sign, which is fine.

2. I also cut two pieces of wood to use a horizontal backing pieces for my sign. I cut each of these horizontal pieces to be 16 3/4 inches long. To figure out this measurement, I laid out my vertical pieces as I plan to use them, leaving about an 1/8 of an inch space in between each pieces, and then measured the width of my arrangement (see photo above).

Diagram for painting 3 wood pieces that create star shape on flag.
Diagram for painting 3 wood pieces that create star shape on flag. | Source

3. Next, I marked the star and stripes that decorated my 13 front pieces for my sign.

I used three of my vertical wood pieces to create my star shape. On each of these three pieces, I marked off 4 inches on the top for the star, then made 5 stripes that were each 2 inches wide (see diagram).

Then I found a simple 5 pointed star shape on the internet. I laid these three pieces of wood together and traced the star into the upper left-hand corner that I had marked off.

4. For my other 10 vertical pieces of wood, plus my two side pieces, I drew horizontal stripes that were 2 inches wide on each.

5. Then I got ready to paint my flag design. I painted each vertical wood piece separately, including my side pieces. I wanted my flag to have a slightly faded and worn look, so I used a mixture of shades of each color to paint each section. To avoid any confusion, I marked each stripe with a "R" for red or a "W" for white before I began painting my stripes. After painting, I let my vertical pieces dry completely.

You can paint your backing supports so they are less noticeable
You can paint your backing supports so they are less noticeable | Source

6. Before putting my flag sign together, I decided to paint my two horizontal backing supports. I painted these brown so they would recede into the background and be less noticeable, but you could also paint them the color of the door or wall that you plan to hang your sign on.

Laying Out Your Flag Design

One possible layout for your flag welcome sign
One possible layout for your flag welcome sign | Source

I had planned to lay out my flag design with my first three vertical pieces (with the star) lined up, then staggering the other vertical slats in pairs of two, creating a sign that looked a little like a picket fence. I thought this would look cute and have a nice summer feel to it. I still like this idea.

Flag pieces laid out to create a wave pattern
Flag pieces laid out to create a wave pattern | Source

Then my husband suggested moving the pieces into more undulating wave arrangement, which I thought looked more like a flag. I like both, and you can decide which works best for your flag sign.

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Assembling Your Flag Sign

1. Once you have decided on an arrangement for your flag design, glue your vertical pieces to your horizontal backing supports. However, wait to adhere your two side pieces until you have added your flowers.

When putting together your sign, making sure your backing supports are straight and perpendicular to your vertical pieces. You can use either wood glue, Liquid Nail, or hot glue to put these pieces together. Then let dry completely.

You can braid some twine pieces together to hang your flag sign
You can braid some twine pieces together to hang your flag sign | Source

2. While you are waiting for your sign to dry, you can think about how you want to hang your sign. I used some braided pieces of twine to hang my sign. I took three pieces of twine, each cut 48 inches long, and tied a knot in one end. I then began to loosely braid these pieces of twine together until I got to the end. I then tied a knot at the end.

You could also use some decorative ribbon or some other hardware to hang your sign.

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3. (Optional) I then used hot glue to adhere my artificial flowers to the back of my sign. I was careful to lay out and glue my flowers in an attractive arrangement, mixing my blooms by color and by height across my sign. I cut my artificial flowers so that their stems were long and glued them to the top backing support across my sign. Once the glue was completely dry, I trimmed my stems to just below the top backing piece so that the stems would not show between my vertical pieces.

adding your twine or ribbon to hand your flag sign
adding your twine or ribbon to hand your flag sign | Source

4. Next, I used a heavy duty stapler to attach my braided twine to the top horizontal support piece. You could also use some eye screws on each end to loop and tie your twine or ribbon through, then hang your sign.

Use wood glue or Liquid Nail to attach side pieces for finished look to your flag sign
Use wood glue or Liquid Nail to attach side pieces for finished look to your flag sign | Source

5. (optional) When all your decorative items are in place and attached to your sign, glue on your side pieces for a finished look. You can use wood glue or a little Liquid Nail to glue the side pieces along the the front of your sign. Place these pieces so they are flush with the front surface of your sign. I arranged my side pieces so the bottom edge was even on each side of my sign.

Copyright © 2015 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.

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    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 23 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Great tutorial on a very fun and timely project. Love this idea !

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 23 months ago

      What I love is how meticulous you are about showing us the details that go into your craftiness. You are a treasure.

      Voted up!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi linfcor - Thanks so much! So glad you like this project. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi poetryman - So glad you enjoy this tutorial. I try to break down my projects into easy steps so others can follow the directions. Thanks so much for your comments! I appreciate it!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 23 months ago from sunny Florida

      What a great DIY project. And one I would keep up all year long.

      Thanks for the detailed instructions...it makes it so easy to begin work.

      Voted up++++ shared g+ tweeted pinned

      Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 23 months ago from United States

      This should be a Hub of the Day! Awesome job.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 23 months ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      This is a great idea and very eyecatching on the fence! Thank you for sharing your magnificent craftwork and I'm sure there will be a lot of craftsy fans wanting to make this. Voted up and beautiful!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi pstraubie - I like this project too :) I had planned to just display it for a few weeks around July 4th, but now I really like how it looks on our garden fence. I'm definitely going to keep it in place throughout the summer. So glad you like it too! Thanks so much for your comments and support!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi Jill - Thanks so much! As always, I appreciate your comments, support, and shares. I hope you are enjoying warmer weather and your garden is set for summer. I look forward to reading more of your hubs :) Thanks again!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi Suzanne - Thank you! This is the first time in a long time that a project came out just as I planned it. Such a good feeling :) I'm so glad you like it too! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 23 months ago

      Love love love this! I would love something like this on my front door for the summer months. May have to make this one! Hope you are enjoying your summer months!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Thanks Glimmer Twin Fan! So great to hear from you! I'm sure you'll make something wonderful to welcome folks to your home for the summer season. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Enjoy the warmer weather!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 23 months ago from United States

      Cute flag decoration! I was thinking that you could use those paint stirring sticks to do something like this.

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi Virginia Lynne - Definitely! Paint stirring sticks would be a great material for the pickets, though I would suggest using clean ones. Thanks for the great suggestion and for your comments!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 23 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Very clever and timely. I'm not sure I have the right amount of patience, but I still like the project.

      Voted up +++ pinned and shared.

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi DzyMsLizzy - The stripes and star are pretty straight forward, so this project doesn't take any special skills or patience. The longest part might be waiting for the paint or glue to dry. I'm glad you like this idea. Thanks so much for your comments and support!

    • theframjak profile image

      theframjak 23 months ago from East Coast

      This looks great purl3agony. This would make a great project for the whole family. Keep up the awesome work!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi theframjak! Yes, this is a great weekend project, just in time for the upcoming 4th of July holiday! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. As always, I appreciate it!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 23 months ago

      What a creative and fun project. I am not crafty but I can see how this would give those who love art a challenge.

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 23 months ago from USA

      Hi teaches12345! Thanks for your comments! This is not a difficult project. The wood pieces can be easily laid out like a picket fence to make a fun and patriotic welcome sign. Thanks again! Hope you are enjoying your 4th of July!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 22 months ago from Chicago Area

      What a cute decoration for this holiday weekend! Voted up, useful and beautiful. Hope you're having a fun holiday. Cheers!

    • purl3agony profile image
      Author

      Donna Herron 22 months ago from USA

      Thanks, Heidi, for your vote up and kind comments! Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and that you are having a great summer!

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      jakifair 11 days ago

      saw this and fell in love with it. kept thinking of what I could use for the slats and thought about my yard stick that I had brought at lowes, just perfect. I get 2 14in pieces out of each stick with some left over but I've already got another project in mind for the leftovers so no waste Thank you for posting such a wonderful idea

    • purl3agony profile image
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      Donna Herron 9 days ago from USA

      Great! So glad you like this project!

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