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I’m continuing my trend this year of making use of the items I have lying around. In this case, we have a lot of weathered pallet wood lying around. I have always wanted a rustic pallet wood American flag, so I figured it would be the perfect time to make one, with Memorial Day so close!
I started out by gathering my materials. I knew I wanted this to be fairly substantial, so I found my longest boards. I used 6 in total- 4 to make up the flag, and two for the support brackets.
I cut the two pieces down for the support brackets, but left the pallets at slightly varying lengths to add character. I made sure they were flush on one side (the left side of the flag). Then, I screwed the brackets down using wood screws. The best policy, especially with pallets, is to pre-drill the holes so the boards don’t crack. I skipped this step (DIY shame) because I kind of wanted the boards to crack a bit. Luckily just the right amount of cracking and splitting happened.
Now- this is probably a good spot to mention that this is not a precise project. My pallet boards were warped like crazy, so there was no way I was ever getting it perfect. I embraced the imperfection. I like the call this look “Colonial Tavern”. There are gaps, cracks, rough cut marks, and knots. I love it!
After the whole thing was solid, I gave the whole flag a light sanding with a 120 sanding block. Just enough to get rid of the grime and splinters without going down to a fresh layer of wood.
Next, I applied a light coat of whitewash with some plain white latex paint. The key is to mostly dry brush this. Although this will make up the stripes, I intended for it to have a lot of wood grain showing through.
I measured out and painted the blue area using a small paint sample from Lowes. Once that was dry I taped off to create the stripes. I used 1.5″ painters tape, but had to layer two pieces as my stripes had to be slightly wider.
I painted the red with another paint sample we had kicking around. We had grabbed this from the clearance paint at Lowes some time ago (It was one of those “wrong color” deals). Since the pallet wood is so rough, there was some unavoidable bleeding under the tape.
Once that was dry, I created a vinyl stencil with my Silhouette, and applied it to the blue. I should note that I also sanded first to allow more of the grain to show through the blue. I very carefully dabbed white paint with a foam brush to create the stars. I wanted these to be fairly crisp. Once those were dry I removed the vinyl, and touched up where needed.
I succeeded, and was riding the adrenaline rush of a completed project… but then I noticed that I had goofed. While laying out the stripes I was so busy worrying about the proportions according to USFlag.org that I missed that the red stripe does not extend past the bottom of the blue area. I tell you, I would have bet a million dollars that it did… and then I would have been in a lot of debt. So, I fixed my goof with a sponge brush and more blue paint. All better- you can barely tell!
After letting it also sit overnight, I went back over it with the sanding block, distressing where it seemed to need it. Sanding also helped blend in the edges of the different colors. Then I gave it a coat of clear finishing wax.
There it is! I am so excited to finally have a patriotic accent in my decor! I’m not entirely sure whether it will live here or at Camp (where we spend Memorial Day and 4th of July), but we are sure to enjoy it wherever it ends up! I hope you all have a great Memorial Day!!
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