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