Thursday, May 16, 2019


We recently did a craft project at our ladies church group. We made the Rustic American Flag. It was so much fun. In total, it took about 2 hours from start to finish. No one was familiar with this type of project or using vinyl. It was easy to teach and just as easy for the ladies to do.

Here's how I set it up:

9 wood lathing strips (7 cut at 13", 2 cut at 9") (supplied by Vinyl Gifts and More)
strong wood glue (Gorilla Glue works great)
white vinegar
steel wool
paint - Three colors (red, white, blue)
paint brushes
vinyl stencil
Mod Podge or Clear Varnish Spray

1. I prepared everything beforehand including a sample flag. (See this site for detailed instruction on making the flag. To purchase wood and vinyl stencil, click HERE.

2.  Prepare the vinegar at least 24 hours in advance. (Use a goodly amount of vinegar for your group - I used about a quart - and small amount of steel wool. Drop the steel wool into the vinegar and let it set)

3.  I set up tables with chairs on each side so ladies could help each other and share supplies (also visit while making their flags). I covered the tables with plain newsprint (I used the newsprint purchased at Walmart then ripped each in half. Each lady had her own paper.)

4.  I set up a table in front of the group with common supplies (paint, glue, vinegar, sandpaper, vinyl, finish spray, paper towels, water, cups, etc.)

5.  At each chair, I placed the wood, a plastic covered plate, small cup of water, and a paintbrush. (The idea was that each lady would share by using one brush per color so, with the 3 colors, 3 ladies would work together. If they didn't want to share, they could wash out their brush after each color.)

6. I had my daughter-in-law help the ladies. The fun thing, when one learned, they would help the others so we didn't have to help everyone.

7.   At the beginning of the class, I explained the complete process of the flag. (The directions on this site explain that I mixed colors for the blue and lightly painted the colors. I bought straight colors - Barn Red, Antique White, and Navy Blue. I used the 8oz size. We ended with 17 in attendance. I had some left of each color.) Ladies would come up to the front to get their paint (put on the plate).

8.  The ladies measured for the blue area (I had cut papers on each table measuring the 5.5 inches to use as a measuring device.) They then painted all of the longer slats. (Blue area - 1 white and 2 red, the other slats - 2 red and 2 white. No need to paint the back but should paint the sides.) When the paint was completely dry, they turned their flag over and glued on the 2 shorter slats. (I used two Gorilla Glue containers) Then they waited. It takes between 10-15 minutes for the glue to dry enough to turn the project over and begin working on the stars.

9. After the blue paint was completely dry (you may need to use a hair dryer to help the process along - I didn't), they prepared the vinyl to apply to the blue area in preparation for painting stars. (remove the backing, press down on the wood using the lines and corner circles as registration marks, remove the plastic cover - I had extra wood around so the ladies used a small piece of wood to hold the vinyl in place while they carefully pulled off the plastic cover. Press the vinyl firmly on the slats to help from bleeding. Using a dry brush, load lightly with white and dab onto the vinyl covering each star. Paint lightly. They can go over that a couple of times. Let each layer dry. This will help prevent bleeding. Remove the vinyl when the white is lightly dried.

10.  When all colors were dry, some ladies wanted to distress the wood. Using sandpaper, they lightly sanded areas of the wood. Everything exposed will darken when the vinegar is applied.

11.  Put some of the vinegar solution in a small cup and with a clean brush, brush over the entire flag. Let that dry thoroughly. This may be applied more than once if desired. (I only did once)

12.  When the vinegar is dried, have the ladies pick up their flag (newsprint and all), go outside and lightly spray with a clear finish spray. Spray two or three times if desired.

All of the ladies were so proud of their flags. They turned out great!

Let me know if you have any questions

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