DIY Rustic wooden American Flag

Make this DIY Rustic Wooden American Flag to add charming farmhouse style.  It’s also adorable patriotic decor for the summer months, holidays, or all year round.

I knew before we even moved in to Old Salt Farm that I really wanted a giant flag in my dining room. I also knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to find one already made that I loved, and even if I did, it would be incredibly expensive.  Since DIY is what I love to do, I decided to make my own! I absolutely love how it turned out, and it has the perfect farmhouse charm.  

DIY Painted Wood Flag

DIY Rustic Wood Flag

This wood flag is definitely perfect for all patriotic holidays. I usually put it up a couple of weeks before Memorial Day and leave it up through the Fourth of July. But even more often I keep it up the entirety of the summer. Sometimes I just leave it up for an entire year, because I love it so much! Six years later, it’s still one of my very favorite projects ever. Best of all, it was simple to make, and I’m going to show you how with step-by-step instructions. Tutorials are included for painting and framing the flag.

DIY Painted Wood Flag

This isn’t a hard project, but it will take some time.  I’ll be honest, I slaved over getting the stripes just the right size, and I had the math perfectly figured out, but then I accidentally made the blue part too big (too many kids to distract me, ha!).  Since the blue needs to line up exactly with the stripes, I ended up having to change it to 12 stripes to make everything work. I still think it looks pretty authentic!  Anyway…it’s not the math that was wrong, just my focus, so don’t worry. :)

Rustic Wooden American Flag

Since I was making the flag for a very specific place, I knew exactly how big it could be to fit the space. My flag is 3 feet wide and 4 feet long, painted to be hung vertically as opposed to horizontally. However, you can make your flag whatever dimensions you want or need them to be. And if you’d rather have it hang horizontally, you can do that too. You’ll just need to paint the stars and stripes accordingly. 

P.S. This is the appropriate way to hang a flag when it’s hung vertically! The stars should be on the left. (Source)

This isn’t a hard project, but it will take some time. I’ll be honest, I slaved over getting the stripes just the right size, and I had the math perfectly figured out, but then I accidentally made the blue part too big (too many kids to distract me, ha!). Since the blue needs to line up exactly with the stripes, I ended up having to change it to 12 stripes to make everything work. I still think it looks pretty authentic! Anyway…it’s not the math that was wrong, just my focus, so don’t worry. :) One day I’ll redo it to make the stripes exactly right (which I do think is important), but I just didn’t have the time to redo it right away.

Affiliate links are included below! I’ve included links to the products and colors I used in this project.

Rustic Wooden American Flag

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

FLAG MEASUREMENTS (for a 4′ x 3′ flag):

  • 13 stripes: 2.76 inches each (36 inches divided by 13)
  • Navy blue area for stars: 19.4 inches across x 21 inches down

Since the math wasn’t exactly even, I rounded slightly up/down. If you want them exactly even and easy to measure out, and your space is somewhat flexible, then I suggest going backwards–instead of starting with an ending measurement (mine was 36 inches), then start with the stripes instead. If you want 3 inch stripes, then make your board 39 inches. Don’t forget, the frame will add inches on both sides, so don’t forget to factor that in.

STARS:

I wish I could share my cut file and star stencil with you, but because the star came from the Silhouette library, it’s against copyright policy. However, I can tell you that the star came from set from the library called “Folk Heart & Star”, and the star I used is on the right. I sized it to 2 inches. (This fits the size of my flag just right, but you’ll probably need to alter the size up or down if you make a different size flag.) If you size one star, then go to Object >Replicate>Fill Page, it fills the whole page with that same star, perfectly lined up.

I sized my vinyl stencil page to 12×24, and 60 star shapes fits just right. I didn’t line them up in flag order on my Silhouette, because the rectangle is bigger than what it can cut. I could have done 2 or 3 lines, cut them out two or three times, and then placed them on there, but I was worried about lining them up exactly right. So, I placed them by hand, which is actually easier for me, and I prefer it for this project.

I laid the line on the left first, then the one on the right, then the one in the middle (rows of 6). Then I added the two lines of 5, that go in the middle of the lines of 6. It helps me line it up straight. You might want put them in flag lines before cutting, and that’s okay to–you’ll just need to do it a couple of times. Whatever you feel more comfortable with it totally fine!

***If you don’t have a Silhouette or Cricut machine, you could use mini wood stars instead–1 or 2 inch. Paint them white, and hot glue them on to your board after painting the star section navy blue.

DIY Rustic Wooden American Flag

SUPPLIES:

DIRECTIONS:

-Cut all of your wood to size using a circular saw or miter saw. 

-Stain the furring strips (all sides) and MDF board (if desired). Let dry completely. (I used Minwax Provincial.)

DIY Wood Framed Flag | simply kierste.com
DIY Wood Framed Flag | simply kierste.com

-Paint the MDF board white. (I used white latex paint.) It took several coats to completely cover. A roller is helpful, but you can also use a large foam brush. Let dry completely. You could also use plywood for this project, but it is typically more expensive. Ultimately this white will be the white stripes on the flag.

–Carefully measure the rectangle that will be navy blue/star area, and tape it off with frog tape or painters tape. (I like to measure the stripes at the same time, just marking with a pencil before I tape the rectangle, since the edge of one of the stripes needs to line up exactly with the blue rectangle.)

-Place the 50 vinyl stars in rows–6, 5, 6, 5, 6, 5, 6, 5, 6.  It can be helpful to use a credit card or other card to make sure the stars are firmly pressed into place.

DIY Wood Framed Flag | simply kierste.com

-Paint over the stars with navy blue craft paint.

DIY Wood Framed Flag | simply kierste.com

-Once the paint is dry, pull off the vinyl stars and painters tape.

DIY Wood Framed Flag | simply kierste.com

-Tape off the spaces for the stripes, and paint every other stripe red. I planned it so that the stripe laying right next to the long side of the blue rectangle would be white, so I didn’t have to worry about exactly lining up the painters tape and the red paint. Let the red stripes dry completely.

-Sand, sand, sand! I wanted mine pretty distressed, so I was pretty assertive with my sander. I did antique all the edges, and took the paint all the way down to the stained wood in several places, so it looked quite weathered. I prefer a medium grit sandpaper for this job. You can sand as little or as much as you like. Wipe off dust with a lint-free cloth.

-Now you’re ready to frame your flag, adding the furring strips to the MDF/flag. Specific instructions for framing can be found in my DIY Farmhouse Sign post, HERE.

DIY Painted Wood Flag

You’re finished! You will LOVE your rustic wooden flag. Hang it in your home, set it on a mantel, put it up on your porch…it will look darling anywhere you put it. It would also make a lovely gift for someone in your life that loves farmhouse or patriotic decor.

 

 

You might like even more of my DIY & Farmhouse Style projects!

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31 Comments

  1. I LOVE this!!!! I’m still trying to get around to making the Christmas Tree Farm sign, and now you post this! I can’t keep up. I love your blog!

    1. LOL! Thank you, Dana! So glad you love this one too! Just make them at the same time…that’s what I do. If you see the picture of the staining process in this post, you’ll see lots of signs being stained, not just one (including the flag AND the Christmas trees sign!). Even just the staining and painting them white—then I can do the rest later if I want to wait on one or the other. Just my little trick. :)

  2. Shouldn’t the blue field have been placed in the other corner in case you ever wanted to move the flag and hang it somewhere else horizontally? This is a great project. Just found your site recently. Will have to look for the Christmas tree sign mentioned above.

    1. I knew that I would always want it hung this way, and like the way this looks, but if you want the option to change directions, then you could certainly do that if you wanted to! xo

      1. Actually–this is the appropriate way to hang a flag vertically. :) http://www.flagandbanner.com/flags/flag_etiquette.asp

    2. im confused as to why the stars are on that side also. The stars are always on the right of a flag.

      1. Hi, Mary!! When you hang a flag vertically, instead of horizontally, the rules/etiquette are a bit different. I created the flag to those specifications. You can find them here, if you’re interested!! xo http://www.flagandbanner.com/flags/flag_etiquette.asp

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    1. Lol, yes it does! In my post I explain how I intended to do 13, and how I ended up with 12. :)

      1. Looks nice. I’m a stickler for correctness. I would try to add correct stripes.
        When hanging the u s flag, the blue should always be on left.
        Nice job!

        1. Thanks! I’m usually a stickler too, but man, it was lot of work to that point! And when you’re hanging a flag like this, this is the appropriate way to do it.http://www.flagandbanner.com/flags/flag_etiquette.asp

  4. Pingback: DIY Farmhouse American Flag Decor Ideas
    1. Thank you, Camille! I’m going to go through my things and see if I can locate the brand name and all the info. Will you email me at simplykierste@yahoo.com? Then I’ll have a reminder in my inbox. :)

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  6. Found your blog and am in love with your flag sign.. I am just now making it. hahaha.. It’s never too late right? I do have one question about the sanding part. Did you use an electric sander to sand your sign? I am just wondering about getting the red onto the while and not being able to wipe it off. Thank you

    1. yes—I did use an electric sander, but avoided the edges where the different colors meet. I then did that by hand, so I could be more precise. Hope that helps!! xoxo

  7. Haha I love that so many are so quick to correct you when you are right! Sometimes things do come across as funny to us but with the handy internet it only takes a moment to verify before we vilify!
    Love the flag!

    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! I love the internet too…so much quick info right at our fingertips!

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