I have always had a soft spot for Americana decor. When I came across the great big American flag in the Pottery Barn catalog I was immediately drawn to it. So were several other crafty bloggers, it’s probably one of the most popular PB knock offs I’ve seen yet! I have known for a while I wanted to make it, but procrastination always seems to get the better of me.
Believe it or not, it was my husband’s nagging encouragement that finally got me to to the craft table to get this project started. The walls in our bedroom have been bare far too long and he’s been hounding asking me to hang something up.
Shortly after Memorial Day we purchased a new screen door and needed some thin wood to use as spacer/shim type material. We grabbed a bundle of 36″ lath boards from Menards for a little over $5.00 and used maybe 2 or 3 to install the door.
The next day I was looking through the kitchen window and noticed my husband had put the rest of the bundle into our fire pit! What?? I of course saved them from certain destruction and knew I would use them for this very project. :)
Over the next few weeks I began to see more and more flag knock off projects popping up everywhere. They are all different, which I love, each person adding their own twist and personality. My tutorial follows, but first I wanted to show you some of the projects I’ve stumbled across lately.
And here are several knock offs I’ve seen:
Now for my flag
My finished flag measures 36″ wide by 20″ high. Each of the lath boards are 1.5″ high and there are of course, 13 of them.
The cost for this project was pretty minimal, out of pocket cost was less than $10.00:
- $5 for a bundle of lath boards (and I will make plenty of other projects from the rest)
- acrylic paint and staining medium I had on hand
- Primer I had on hand, I used Kilz, but spray primer would work too
- picture hanger 2.79
- copper tacks 1.69
- Gorilla Glue – I used wood glue and super glue, again on hand
- Americana matte spray sealer, on hand
I did not sand the boards first, I wanted everything rustic. I primed the lath boards on hubby’s suggestion. He said that it would prevent any green or sap seepage. Plus it also adds a first coat so that your paint isn’t completely sucked into the wood.
The gray boards that you see are the ones that I used to create my frame. First I laid out the 13 lath boards that would be my flag. Then I placed the gray boards over the top to figure out the size of my frame. I didn’t want the frame to poke out from the sides or bottom, so doing this ahead of time was important.
Pardon the confusion here. I realize in this picture the boards are now white and there’s one middle one that is gray. The white ones are actually gray on the other side. See I ran out of white and finished with my spray can of gray Krylon primer. Anyway, I needed the center lath board because the center of my flag did not feel like it would get the support it needed due to its size. I used wood glue to attach it all together.
First I taped off the area where I wanted my stars.
Then I picked my paint colors. I didn’t want my flag to be red, white and blue, but rather I wanted the colors to match my room, which are brown and grayish blue tones.
Then I painted the canton with light mocha. I did this so that when I add the star stickers later, they will leave this color in their place. You’ll see…
Ok sorry for the back track here. I realize I just painted the canton and here it is, not painted! Ha! Just trying to type up the tutorial in order, even if I didn’t actually DO everything in order. So anyway, I found some star shaped foam stickers in my supply stash and created the 13 colony star circle for the colonial flag. When I had them set, I removed the backings one by one and stuck them in place.
Next I painted the stripes with the Light Mocha and Dark Chocolate, starting and ending with the Dark Chocolate.
Then I painted Uniform Blue over the canton area, carefully covering the stars. I waited about 6 or 7 minutes and got nervous. I was afraid of the stickers getting stuck to the paint, so I carefully removed them. I did have to do a little touch up with a thin paintbrush.
I let the boards dry and then took my sander to them to distress them a bit.
Now it was time to put the flag together and attach it to the frame. I used Gorilla Glue’s wood glue, and touched up a couple stubborn areas with the super glue.
I put wood glue down all three vertical boards and placed the flag boards on top, gently pressing them into the glue.
I actually WANTED my nails to be noticeable and visible, so I found some copper cut tacks at the hardware store in town. These would have been much cheaper at Home Depot.. just saying’. Regardless, they were inexpensive considering the project. I only used one of the packages and had some left over as well.
These tacks don’t have the sharpest points, so I did use a small nail to poke the holes first. Then I hammered in a copper tack on each board. I love the rustic look these give it!
After I had all the tacks in, I reinforced the corners of the frame with some nails.
There were two boards where the tacks weren’t quite long enough, so I added a little super glue and stuck them in place.
I wanted to get the picture hanger in place before I completed the flag. Seems like I always forget to do that part until I’m done, then I run the risk of harming the finished product. So instead, I went ahead and attached the hanger.
To give it that rustic, antiqued look, I mixed together some staining / antiquing medium with an equal amount of dark brown paint, I used Americana Bittersweet Chocolate.
Work in small sections. Brush on..
..wipe off with a dry cloth.
You can add more stain in some spots, or wipe off in different degrees of pressure to achieve the affect that you want.
I let the stain dry for about an hour then added 2 coats of matte sealer.
I think it’s kind of weird that these pictures make it look like the stripes are red. But they’re not, they are brown!