March 31, 2011

Fence Picket Flag

As you have seen recently, we redid our fence.  We had to take down what was left of our old fence and when doing so, I got an awesome idea!  I wanted to make a flag out of some of the old pickets.  I have seen the Texas flag done in old reclaimed lumber, but never the American flag.  Even though I live in Texas and love it here, I don't have the need to plaster the Texas flag all over everything.  I mean no disrespect to all the native Texans out there, I birthed two.

To me, the American flag holds much more meaning in my heart than any state flag does.  My husband is former military, we married right outside of Fort Hood, TX.  My family has road tripped across this great country more times than I can count and I love it.  I love that I can say I have seen the World's Largest Ball of Twine.  I have stood on a corner in Winslow, AZ.  I have seen the sunflowers in bloom in Kansas fields.  It's this love that has made the top of my bucket list to visit all 50 states.  34 down, 16 to go!  It is also this love for my country that I rose to the challenge of doing the American flag in reclaimed fence pickets. 

Didn't it turn out amazing?  I LOVE IT!  My hubby loves it too!  It makes a very nice addition to our backyard.  Now I just need to landscape...a lot!

Items needed:
6 old fence pickets
old 2x4
5 cans of spray paint (2 white, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 clear coat)
hammer and nails (or in my case, our new framing nailer)
sandpaper or sander
drill and bits
eye bolts
dimensions for the American flag
Calculator and tape measure

The very first thing I did was head to this website to find out the dimensions of a standard American flag.  I then had to calculate the height and width.  That is how I settled on my approximate 3 feet by 6 feet.

I started off with cutting my 2x4 down to size.  I knew the height of my flag was going to be 36 inches.  So I cut two at that length.  I laid out  my pickets, then nailed them onto the 2x4.

I sprayed my front with a layer of white spray paint.  I am so HAPPY that I did that.  I didn't think about just how dry this wood was and how much paint it was going to soak up.  I ended up using an entire can of spray paint on just laying down a primer coat, or 3!  I then took my dimensions, tape and tape measure and blocked off my field of blue and spray painted that.

One coat of blue, I ended up doing 3 coats.

I while waiting for my many coats to dry, I made up my template for the stars.  I printed it out on photo paper and glued it to a piece of cardstock.  I then cut out my stars.  The side facing up is the card stock, I don't know why I didn't take a photo of the other side, which is the side I had up while spraying.

The reason for using the photo paper, I knew that it would need to take a healthy dose of paint on top of it and I didn't want it to fall apart or curl.  Photo paper is meant to take some wetness, but to ensure that it wouldn't curl I glued the cardstock to the back.  It worked like a dream!

All 50 stars in their stunning glory.

The stars only needed one coat of paint...THANKFULLY!  I then taped off my stripes and painted those.

This was my stopping point for the night and I managed to finish up everything the next day while kids were sleeping.

The next step was to distress my flag.  I didn't want it too look brand spanking new and freshly painted.  I like the aged look, like something has a story to tell.  I grabbed my random orbital sander and went to town.

I think the distressing went well and with the sander, it made very short work of what could have been a long job if I had done it by hand.  This also helped rid the issue of any spray over or drips.

I sprayed down the front of my flag with a clear coat, to help keep it from weathering too quickly.  

Once that was dry, I flipped it over and attached my eye bolts and my hanging wire.

I made sure that I got a strong enough wire for the job.  Also, the eye bolts go all the way through the 2x4 and are secured with a nut so they can't get pulled out if a wind storm puts any stress on them.  

All I have left now is to hang this bad boy on my fence with a hook.  I plan on sinking the hook into one of the 4x4 fence posts that has been sunk in concrete, to make sure there is enough support to hold the flag.  It weighs about 30 lbs.  

Showing off my hard work!

2 days of work and I have this awesome new American flag to show for it.  This came out exactly how I envisioned it.  Just perfect!  

Showing my awesome project off at a few parties!  

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  1. I love it! I am a little flag crazy and this oneis awesome.

  2. Love this! I always love seeing outdoor Americana decor.

  3. I ABSOLUTELY love this! Pottery Barn had a flag just like this, but it was pretty expensive! I am going to bookmark this and get ambitious! Thanks for doing all the figuring, and for the inspiration:)

  4. Oh my goodness, I have had old fence pickets in our garage for so long! Now I am inspired to do something with them. Your flag looks great.

  5. So darling! What a great piece.

  6. What a great idea! I've been planning on painting a flag to hang on the house similar to the pottery barn flag - but now I feel like digging thru the pile of treated lumber under my deck and trying something like this!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow that is amazing. I love how big it is. You did a great job!

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