Nothing says Independence Day like the American flag, and with the right touches, it can be the perfect bold centerpiece in your home.
Making your own flag doesn't have to break the bank. As part of TODAY's "Nailing It series," we are breaking down this DIY into easy-to-follow steps. Soon, you can have your own weathered, avant-garde flag for around $40.
- Scrap wood planks
- Electric drill
- Screws (size depends on thickness of wood)
- Red, white, blue and brown acrylic paint
- 2-inch paintbrush
- Star-shaped stickers
- D-ring hangers
- Sand paper, optional
Visit your local hardware store's lumber section and find scrap wood sold by the bundle. Cedar is a great option because it is lightweight and has a warm brown color that makes the paint stand out.
Aim to find planks that are roughly 3/4-inch thick. Those pictured below are roughly 18 inches x 4 inches.
Form a rectangle with your planks. It may take a bit of rearranging to match up the inner corners and get the right fit, but the outer edges look better if they're rough and uneven. For reference, this flag is 54 inches x 30 inches.
Make sure you have 4 to 6 extra planks for the back braces. Align them over the joints and screw them into each plank so that they are all connected. Make sure your screws are small enough that they do not pierce the other side.
Flip it over and dry brush the entire piece white, leaving plenty of cedar exposed.
Apply the paint using a dry brush, using just enough paint to coat the brush and do not use water. The result is a weathered, rough look.
For the stars and stripes, you can find the exact dimensions here, but it's okay if it's not perfectly to scale.
To make the stripes, divide the height of the flag by 13 to determine the size of each stripe, then pencil them in. Beginning at the top stripe, apply tape along every other set of pencil lines so that each red stripe has the same width. (The tape will cover what will be the white stripe.)
Mix in a small amount of brown paint with your red and blue for a more antique look. Use the same dry brush painting technique.
Use stickers for the stars to preserve the white paint beneath as you paint the blue in that portion of the flag. Simply lay out the stickers in place, then paint the entire "star area" blue. When you're finished painting, peel off the stickers to reveal white stars.
When the entire piece of wood is dry after painting, you can use sand paper to roughen the paint up more, adding to the weathered appearance.
To give more of an aged look, mix one-part brown paint with five-parts water. Brush a light layer of this over the entire piece.
Apply D-ring hangers to the back for hanging.
Now all that's left is to hang it on your wall as you sing "Yankee Doodle!"