I know you’ve seen these American flags made from wooden pallets everywhere. I have wanted to try this for years and finally woke up one day and started pulling old, half-way rotted pallets from my back yard and said, “today’s the day”. During our stay at home time, I’ve had to dig for craft supplies and inspiration from what I had on hand. I was shocked to realize that most of the wood and wood pallets I had been hoarding for years was slowly deteriorating in my back yard. I began by having a beauty contest to find the best looking pallet. I also did not want a square flag but something similar to the rectangular shape of a real American flag.
Here’s the winner of the contest:
Donnie cut the pallet to the size I wanted using a skill saw. Our flag measures about 42″ x 28.5″. Can you see how bad the wood looked that was sitting on the ground? We used as much good wood as possible from the pallet.
After the pallet was cut to size, Donnie used some extra wood he had to fill in the openings in the pallet. He attached the new wood to the pallet with an air gun and then trimmed the ends so they’d all be even. We also decided to leave a little bit of the pallet wood at the bottom to add height and keep the flag from sitting directly on the ground.
Here’s Lucy sitting outside Donnie’s “man cave” watching us work…or, should I say, napping while we worked…
I used a hand sander to lightly sand the entire front of the pallet. The pallet wood was very raw and uneven. I wasn’t looking for perfection but sanded the wood to make sure there were not any splinters or extremely rough areas. You can definitely tell the pallet wood from the newer wood in this photo.
Using painter’s tape, I marked the area separating the red and white stripes and the blue background for the stars.
I used the blue exterior paint left over from our rental house’s front door. I love this blue. It is Sherwin Williams 6230 Rainstorm.
The red paint is exterior paint left over from my front door. It is 6335 Fired Brick. It has a slight orange tint to it. The white is just some leftover exterior paint. I put two coats of paint for each color.
Do you remember when I made small burlap Easter bags with potato stamps? Using that same method, I made a star stamp with a potato.
When you make potato stamps, be sure to take a paper towel and dry the potato off as dry as you can. Using the same white exterior paint, I poured a little paint in a plastic plate and dipped the potato stamp in it. Try not to put too much paint on the stamp. You can lightly blot it off with the paper towel. I stamped stars in a semi-orderly fashion. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get 50 stars in the area so I just filled it until it looked good to me.
After the paint had dried, I lightly sanded the flag again with the hand sander just to give it a little more worn look. As a precaution, I sprayed a clear spray paint in satin over the front of the flag to give some protection. I don’t know if this was necessary, but I did it anyway.
Here’s the finished product!
I wanted to put a few plants around the flag. Red geraniums just scream Americana to me. Home Depot actually had these geraniums pre-potted in a container that looks like a wine barrel. For height, I had this metal bottle that was a prize Donnie had gotten at a golf tournament years ago. It was some sort of fire pit with a bottle as the chimney. The bottle top popped off to let the smoke out. I took off the top and placed this pretty ornamental grass on it. The little red, white & blue metal stakes are from The Dollar Tree.
I found an old rusted bucket in my back yard (hoarding is good, folks) and filled it with these beautiful yellow dahlias from Home Depot. The yellow just gives it a bright contrasting color.
I was very surprised at how quickly this came together. Honestly, if Donnie wasn’t around with the big tools, it would have taken much longer. It’s been kind-of fun to pull out items I’ve been holding on to for so long and finally giving them new life. I really love the finished product and am glad I didn’t overthink it (like I usually do) and just jumped in.
That’s it! I already have this out for Memorial Day but think it’ll sit in the yard all Summer long, if not longer. Celebrating America should be 24/7 anyway so it’s never out of style.
Thank you for stopping by Mulch and Paint today!
Until next time,
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