Learn how to make this DIY planked cedar American flag. It’s the perfect patriotic project in neutral colors!
I’m SO excited to share today’s project… It’s one of those that was awesome in my head but even more incredible in real life. Drum roll…..
Stunning, isn’t it? In case you forgot, the challenge was to make something patriotic but not red, white, and blue.
I had some cedar planks left over from our attic renovation (I am still obsessed with our whitewashed plank walls, I admit), so I decided to make a planked American flag using stain rather than paint.
It was so easy, and I think the result is just gorgeous. Here’s how you can make one, too:
How to make a planked whitewashed American flag:
- Determine your desired size (I wanted mine 26″ x 34″) and divide the height by 13 (26/13= 2″).
- Trim cedar planks (or any planks – pallet wood would probably work, too!), making them whatever width you determined above – Mr. Pax cut me 13 strips that were 2″ wide and 34″ long.
- Cut two more strips the height of your flag – mine were 26″ long; these will secure your planks together.
- Stain 7 of the strips with a dark stain (I used Minwax dark walnut).
- Line up your planks with alternating colors, then put them all face down.
- Put a line of wood glue along your 26″ pieces and place them face down on the back of your flag.
- If you’re impatient like me and don’t want to wait for your glue to dry, use screws to secure the braces into your planks (don’t forget to pre-drill to avoid splitting).
- Tape off your “blue” section (where the stars go).
- Stain all the boards in that section (be careful not to let your stain seep under the tape… I’ve found that painting it on about an inch away from the tape and then rubbing it into the wood with a paper towel means less seepage).
- Using a star-shaped sponge (I cut mine from an old sponge brush and hot glued it to a wine cork!), place your stars accordingly. I used a chalk-based paint (simplicity by Country Chic Paint) so that it would dry quickly. Again, ZERO patience on my part!
- Whitewash the entire sign to soften the difference between the colors. For tips on whitewashing, see this tutorial.
I love all the imperfections… The knots, the cracks, and the texture.
And I was a little surprised (because, honestly, I don’t usually go all out for patriotic decor), but I think I could even leave this up year-round if I wanted. I love how it complements the warmth of the bed but is still understated against the whitewashed walls.
I think it looks beautiful with my simple bedside table, too.
I wasn’t originally planning to put it in the attic; I measured to put it above the mantel in my office… but it has definitely found its home…. for now, at least. 😉
What do you think? Does it inspire a little creativity and patriotism in you, too? I hope so!
Be sure to pin it!
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