I have probably mentioned before that my parents are sailors. In fact they just took part in the Queen's Cup, a sailing race from Milwaukee, WI to South Haven, MI, and I just found out that the boat they were on won the race! So like I said, they are sailors and appropriately enough, they love nautical themed decor.
I had this idea for a unique Father's Day gift, and I LOVE the way it turned out! Thankfully so did he :-)
If you are not familiar with the signal flags, the quick explanation is that there is basically an entire code system that can be used for naval communication. It goes far beyond this, but there is also an individual flag to represent each letter of the alphabet. By simply googling Nautical Flag Alphabet you will find several images depicting them all.
It took me a long time to decide what his sign should say. I knew I wanted 4 letters and I started thinking through all of the options. I came up with several ideas but the color combinations were pretty dull on most of them so I eventually decided to use the symbols for their yacht club rather than an actual word.
I had considered simply painting the symbols on the wood, but I really wanted the texture and 3 dimensional aspect of using actual fabric so I headed out to Jo-Ann's with only a vague idea of what I was looking for. I knew I wanted white fabric with enough texture to show through the paint. After a long search I discovered this stuff. It's called shopping bag fabric and I was immediately sold on it because it wouldn't require me to stitch the edges after they were cut!
I also picked up a length of rope (though in sailing terms it would be a line not a rope ;-) I decided on the size I was looking for and cut the pieces to shape, allowing enough extra fabric on one side to wrap around the rope.
With my four pieces cut,
I was ready to start glueing. That's right I just glued it, no need to sew! Love this fabric!
I used the ruler to hold the fabric where I wanted, then applied a line of glue,
and pressed down evenly with the ruler. I then set a heavy book on top of the ruler to hold it in place while it dried.
Once all four flags were glued,
I placed a garbage bag underneath before I started painting.
I started with the most simple flag just to see how it would go. All I needed on this one was a strip of tape so that I could keep a white section at the top.
This flag for B is solid red so I just started painting with acrylic paint. (The bottom will be cut differently when it is done)
I was so pleased with the way the fabric took the paint. The texture was still clearly visable.
and there was no bleeding, so the tape worked perfectly.
Then I moved on to the more interesting letters.
I applied tape over the areas that needed to remain white, then painted everything else.
Like I said, the tape worked perfectly.
This flag has no white on it, so I painted the whole thing yellow prior to taping.
One last flag to paint.
Once everything was painted and dried, I found a piece of plywood to use as a background.
Then we built a frame for it.
I applied several coats of white paint, then found some eyehooks.
After drilling a hole into the frame,
I screwed in the hooks, and ran the rope through,
using a simple knot to hold the rope where I wanted.
I am seriously pleased with how this turned out, and it really wasn't very complicated at all.
I love how 3 dimensional it is!
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