Tagged: how to make a flag from a pallet

American Flag

American Flag from a mini pallet

We celebrated my sister’s birthday last night.  It was a super fun get together out in the country, which was the perfect setting for giving Tina her gift!

A little bit ago Tina sent me a picture from Dishfunctional Designs of an American Flag made out of a pallet saying she would love something like it.

The link to the original post was broken, so I decided I would wing it and make it my own way.

I made a bit of a smaller version, using a miniature pallet which my local grocery store was nice enough to give to me (the bigger pallets have to go back to the vendor I guess, but the smaller ones they are happy to give away).

Materials:

  • Mini pallet
  • Hammer
  • Sand paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes (bristle and foam)
  • Wood sealer
  • Short nails (1/4 in in length should be good)
  • Mending plates (Example here)
  • Thick string or wire to hang

I tore up the pallet gathering 5 of the boards, doing a light sanding just to get the biggest rough spots out.  I probably looked like a crazy person spreading all of this out on the sidewalk in front of our house.  We live on a really busy street, and don’t have a yard at all (one of the downfalls to renting a townhouse).  It’s really fun to take a hammer and go to town, though.  Just HULK OUT and pry those boards apart with your hammer (wait a second… Thor’s the one with the hammer)!  I brought my phone out with me and was listening to the show “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix while I was working.  Wearing ear phones makes it easier to ignore people walking by 🙂

Tear pallet apart

Line up the boards how you would want them to look.  I particularly went for the boards with character because I wanted a rustic and weathered look.

Align boards in prep for painting

You really only need the three paint colors.   (Ignore the white, I decided not to use it).  I used a light beige color instead of the white so it wouldn’t look so new.

Paint stripes

I watered down my brush quite a bit and did one layer of really watered down paint to sort of act as a stain.  Then I dry brushed on top of it.

Tape off corner for blue square

Make sure to tape off the blue square.

Blue square painted

I created my own stencil of a star using a note card and used a foam brush to apply the paint.

Star stencil

Almost there!

Hold your horses, I know you’re excited, but you are not done yet!  You’ll reallllly want to make sure you put some kind of finish on your wood, especially since we used a pallet.  That pallet has probably gone through all sorts of nasty stuff, and you want to protect your home from it.  I used a spray-on finish.  Next time, I would use a paint-on one instead, just because I inhaled way too much of that crap and I want to be able to control where it’s going better.  Use whatever method you are comfortable with.

Here’s where you’ll have to use a bit of your imagination.  I realized after finishing all of this, I had no way to hold the boards together.  Basically, I used thumb tacks and some finagled metal pieces and a huge dose of luck to hold it together.  I will fix it for Tina as soon as I get the right supplies.

What you will want to do is, on the backside of the boards, connect them together using mending plates and nails.  I bet you could find one long mending plate… ?  You will also want to attach a string to the back with nails to hang the flag with.  Here’s my fancy diagram.

American Flag back diagram