Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Better Late Than Never? 4th of July Painted Flag and USA/Declaration of Independence Sign

Another July 4th has come and gone.  I finished these patriotic projects just a little too late to share with you before the Independence Day holiday, but they are beautiful enough to display year-round.  Make them now or pin them to your 4th of July Pinterest board to make for next year!

Creating both of these projects was easy.  Let's start with the Pottery Barn Painted Flag knock-off.

My inspiration was this beautiful flag from Pottery Barn.

But at $129, I knew I could make my own.  I started by finding a piece of  alder wood in our garage (left over from our fireplace remodel) that was 26 inches wide (the Pottery Barn flag is twice as big as mine).  Then I did a bit of research on the U.S. Flag because I wanted to make sure that my flag was proportionally true to the real flag.  Using 26" as the width for the flag, I used the dimensional information from usflag.org to figure out the rest of the measurements (i.e., width of stripes, size of stars, etc.).  Here's what my kids who are better at math than me I came up with:  

Next I lightly sanded the wood and rounded the edges a bit (that alder wood is super easy to "shape").  I then painted the entire board with white craft paint and let dry (this was like a primer coat).  Then I applied a coat of antique white craft paint and let that dry.

Using blue painters' tape and a ruler, I marked off the area that would be blue.  Then I used tape to mark the red stripes.  Before I painted the red stripes I applied a coat of Martha Stewart Weather Crackle Effect and let that dry.  Red paint is then applied and when it dries, the cracks in the paint appear!

When the red stripes are dry, mark off the white stripes with painters' tape.  Apply the crackle effect, let dry, then apply a pure white paint.

For the blue Union part of the flag, tape it off once the stripes are dry, paint the crackle effect first, let dry then paint the blue.

For the stars, I created a stencil using my Silhouette machine.  The dimensions are 10.4" wide x 7.4" tall (the same dimensions as the blue union on the flag).  Each star is .84".

I cut the stencil out of vinyl, weeded out the stars, and centered it over my dried blue area of the flag.  I painted one coat of Antique White, then a coat of Crackle Effect, then a coat of white, drying each coat before applying the next.  Then I simply peeled off the vinyl to reveal the white stars.

For the song lyrics, I again used my Silhouette.  I used the font Minya Nouvelle in a size 62.0 pt.  I cut the letters out of red vinyl and adhered them to the flag using transfer tape.

The U.S.A./Declaration of Independence sign was an easy project as well (and less time-consuming than the flag.)

I got the 3-photo wood board and the U.S.A. letters from a local crafting woodshop here in Utah called The Wood Connection.  They do not ship their products, so if you're not in Utah you'll need to check Michaels or Jo-Ann for similar products.

The board measures 16.25" x 8".  The one I got from The Wood Connection has 3 raised panels, but you could accomplish the same look with a flat piece of wood.  

The letters measure 4" x 6".

I painted the board black and the letters red.  The Wood Connection has a great tutorial for applying the glitter here.

For the Declaration of Independence background I downloaded a copy of the document and sized it according to the measurements of the 3 raised panels.  You can download the pre-measured sections by clicking on each one's caption.


I printed these on Strathmore 140lb Watercolor paper because I wanted the paper to have a heavy texture.  Once printed, I cut them out and adhered them to the black board with Elmer's Glue.  Then I glued the letters onto the paper with Elmer's Glue.

Please let me know if you have any questions about either of these projects.  I didn't take photos as I went because I didn't think I'd be sharing tutorials (but I've had enough requests, so there you go!)

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!



  1. So much of harwork that you put in has paid off beautifully. Both the projects look very pretty. Belated Happy Independence day.

  2. you, my friend, are AMAZING!!!! I love these!!


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