Labor Day is nearly here. For many, myself included, Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. Here in Michigan, Labor Day is the last day before school starts. It is followed by cooler temperatures, fall storms, the changing of leaves… My family throws a big party to celebrate Labor Day Weekend, but once that passes I am finally ready to embrace the slow arrival of fall. To be honest, fall is quite possibly my favorite season, I just wish it didn’t mean that winter is on it’s way.
Anyhow, before I move onto fall projects I want to share one last summer DIY. Not to say that this has to be a summer project, but our American Flag always feels like summer to me. It brings to mind Memorial Day, Labor Day, and of course, the Fourth of July. Obviously it has a much deeper meaning and signifies so many important things, but it also makes me think of fireworks, hot dogs, family cookouts and late nights around the bonfire.
I recently received a custom order for this fun Reclaimed Fence Post American Flag and I want to show you how I made it.
I started with 13 old fence posts for the 13 stripes on the American Flag. I felt the shape was too square so I then ripped a ¼” off each side of each post.
It was just enough to make the overall shape more rectangular without taking away from the shape of the fence posts.
Then I cut each board down to the length of the shortest post. When I took this picture I noticed something I have never seen before.
This paint splatter is super creepy. I will definitely need to get rid of that! But first, let’s finish this flag.
The blue section of the flag is on the top 7 stripes, so I separated them out.
Then spread them out a bit and pushed them against a straight edge to make sure they were lined up correctly.
I used painters tape to make a straight line where I wanted the blue to end. (After I took this picture I noticed that the line wasn’t actually straight and I fixed it.)
I cut the tape between pieces and then wrapped the ends around the boards,
And added another piece to each just to be safe.
For the blue section I used Rustoleum Deep Blue.
While the blue paint dried,
I painted the solid white stripes.
Using Rustoleum Colonial Red,
I also painted the solid red stripes.
Once the blue was dry, I removed the tape,
Then taped over the blue edge,
And painted the remaining red and white.
When all the paint dried I laid out the whole flag,
And then flipped it over to attach it together.
I cut 3 boards to slightly shorter than the height of the flag,
Applied wood glue
And stapled each board in place.
While the glue was drying a bit, I got ready to make the stars. I started with a scrap board cut to the width of the blue section.
And a star cookie cutter the size of the stars I intended to make. I measured out the spacing for the stars and marked where each star should go.
I made a potato stamp to create the stars.
Starting with a potato large enough to fit your cookie cutter, slice off one end so you have a flat space.
Push the cookie cutter most of the way into the potato,
Then carefully use a sharp knife to cut around the outside of the cookie cutter,
About a ¼” of the way down.
Then remove the cookie cutter,
And you are left with a stamp.
Place the potato stamp upside down on some paper towel to dry out some of the moisture.
When the stamp seemed dry enough I poured some paint into a paper plate,
And practiced stamping on my scrap piece.
Stamping over my pencil marks also created a template for me to follow.
I laid the piece over the blue,
to mark where I wanted the stars to go.
I stamped every other row,
Then went back and stamped the other rows in an offset pattern.
I was really pleased with the way the stars came out.
Using the potato stamp created natural gaps and “mistakes” that really add a lot of character.
The way the paint soaks unevenly into the old wood adds to the overall effect as well.
You can also sand the whole thing to create further distressing, if you would like. I ordinarily would.
This time I decided to stick with the brighter and more crisp colors instead. I think it makes this flag very striking.
So, are you ready for fall?
For more fun DIY signs: