DIY: Scrap Wood American Flag

DIY Scrap Wood American Flag


Posted by Alicia Sell

Randall and I have moved 7 times in the 15 years that we have  been married, and while the things we pack has changed greatly over our many moves, there has always been one thing that goes with us everywhere.


Our scrap wood bucket.  I have begged him to throw out the scraps.  Donate them.  Whatever works for him. But he just can’t part with it.  He says there is always a purpose for it.  I can’t knock him because that is how I am with my pile of scrap paper (we each have our oddities).  So this summer we had our annual argument about cleaning out the garage and throwing away the scrap wood and he said “I have some ideas of how I am going to use it this summer. I swear we are going to make something with it.”

And you know what?

We did! We actually  made a few projects that I will share with you, but I thought this one in particular was really creative and a good summer project.  It was also supposed to be finished by July 4, but you know, better late than never.   Today I am sharing with you our DIY scrap wood flag.


See all of those little squares?  They were made with leftover 2x4s that were sitting in that bucket of scrapwood.  It was really easy to make and I think it turned out great.  The best part is that it didn’t cost a dime!  We only used stuff we had lying around as leftovers.  As a side note, you can make this as big or as small as you would like.  If you do decide to hang it up – the wood makes it very heavy so you will want to get a high quality hanging kit meant to hold 75 pounds or heavier.  You can make it lighter by cutting the 2×4 blocks thinner, which I think we would do if we had to do it all over again.

Here are the supplies you need:
2x4s (or whatever scrap wood you want to use)
Wood glue
Furring Strips (1 x 3)
Miter Saw
Red & Blue tester paints

Cutting the Squares
We made our flag 13 rows down and 11 rows across but really you can make the flag as big or small as you want (we weren’t working from a template so we made some of it up as we went along.)  Using the miter saw, cut the 2x4s into 1 inch blocks (we ended up with 143 blocks).  The blocks are meant to look a little rustic, but you may need to sand some of the blocks slightly to get rid of splinters.


Cutting the plywood backer
Lay the wood scraps out onto a sheet of plywood.  Once they are all laid out, draw a template around the squares so that you know what size the plywood backing needs to be.  (I recommend doing it this way because the squares are never quite perfect).

While the blocks are still laying out on the plywood, label each block that will be blue with a “B’ and each block that will be red with an “R.” Remove the 2×4 blocks and set them aside into three piles (red pile, blue pile, and the pile that won’t be touched.).  Cut the plywood to the template size that you drew out.  Set it aside.


Painting the Blocks
Starting with the red paint, dip the brush in the paint but then remove as much paint as possible from the brush so that you have a very dry brush.  This allows the paint to stain the wood so that you can still see the grain of the wood.  If you want the paint  darker, apply more paint.  If you want it to be more muted, remove the paint with a cotton cloth.  Once the red blocks are done, repeat these steps with the blue paint and let all of the blocks dry thoroughly.  When you go to start gluing, lay out the first vertical row.  Glue each piece to the plywood and clamp them together and allow them dry completely in place.  Make sure that first row is firmly in place because otherwise they shift around slightly and make the rows crooked.  Do 4-5 rows at a time and make sure they are completely dry before moving on to the next row.


Making the Frame
The frame was made with some furring strips we had laying around but you can use whatever wood you would like for the frame.  Sand the strips smooth. Stain them with wood stain (we had some leftover stain sitting in the garage.)  Let the stain dry completely.  Once it is dry, paint over the stain with white paint.  While the white paint is still tacky to the touch, sand the corners and some spots along the frame to give it a distressed look.  Miter the furring strips at a 45 degree angle and nail the strips to the wood blocks using a brad nailer.

Finished Project
And here is the finished project!





I love how you can see the grain of the wood through the paint and that it has an interesting texture.


We haven’t quite decided where we are going to put it yet but the nice thing about this art is that it can be used inside or outside, year round or just seasonal, hung up or just leaned against a wall.  I also thought it might be cute as a coffee table if you added legs and a piece of glass to the top.  The possibilities are endless!

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This post was shared on the Inspiration Monday link party on I Should Be Mopping The Floor, on the Merry Monday link party on My Pinventures, on the Over the Moon link party on Marilyn’s Treats, on the Made By You Monday link party on Skip to My Lou, on the Two Cup Tuesday link party on Pint Sized Baker, on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Nap Time, on The Creative Collection Link Party on The Crafted Sparrow, on the Craft Frenzy Friday link party on Craft Dictator, and on the That DIY Party on DIY Showoff.

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