Stars and Stripes {Part I}

I love America. And I love our flag. There’s something about the patriotic combination of red, white, and blue, the crisp stripes, and the tiny dancing stars that just makes me feel warm inside. Maybe the ideals they stand for. Or the wonderfully diverse people they represent. Or the special significance they have to us as a military family. Or maybe it’s just that they match the color scheme of our house 🙂

Either way, I’ve been pinning and flagging {ha!} and folding down corners of magazines for a while now trying to find the perfect American flag wall art to bring into our house. There is a big old blank wall right when you walk into our family room that has purposefully been left naked just for this [manifest]destiny.

Back in DC, Justin and I fell in love with the artistic palette art pictured here and sold by a local artist at DC’s famous Eastern Market:

Eastern Market

{Photo credit to jtarrington}

We couldn’t afford the price tag, but safeguarded the Instagram shot for future inspiration. Faced with a sunny Saturday, a backyard full of pallets, a cupboard full of paint, and nothing else to do, I went digging for the photo and got to work.

Taking a look at the palet(s) I had, I decided that I didn’t want spaces between the boards that would make up the flag (in comparison to some of the pallet flags I found on Pinterest). I also didn’t want the wood to stick out from the wall at the full depth of the original pallet. To remedy both issues at once, Justin helped me gently pull the boards on the surface of the pallet up from the side and back support boards, keeping the nails in place.

We then borrowed three extra boards from a second pallet, cut them to size, and used them as the new back support boards. All we had to do was squeeze together the original boards to tighten up the surface area, and then hammer the recycled nails into the fresh backboards. Easy as [American] pie.

After that, my new special helper–Ranger the yellow lab pup–helped out by supervising while I power sanded down the boards. I used both a power sander to gently buff out the surface area of the boards, as well as a hand sander to smooth down the more delicate edges. A quick wipe down to get rid of the sawdust, and I was ready to get creative.

I measured my surface area and using a pencil, marked out the spacing for 13 stripes and blocked off a square for my stars. You’ll see when we get to the finished product that my measurements weren’t quite spot on, so the proportions aren’t perfect, but I think that adds to the charm of it, don’t you?

Before I started painting, I screwed two hooks into the back of the pallet and ran a hanging wire between them. I wanted to make sure that as soon as the paint was dry, I would be able to hang my flag on the wall, stand back, and admire. This would have been just as easy at the end of the project, but I was worried about laying the flag face down and possibly scraping up the paint job. {As it turned out, it didn’t matter either way.}

You might think I started with a coat of white. Or maybe a red stripe. Perhaps a blue background for the stars? But I didn’t. I started with yellow. It is my favorite color after all. I ended up covering most of the yellow up in the end, but I still wanted hints of it to peek through and brighten up the piece.

Next came blue. Then the red stripes. And the blue square. And finally, the white stripes. After each color, I wiped the excess paint I was using off on the rest of the piece. Blue on red. Red on white. White on blue. Yellow on everything. And so on and so forth, for layer after layer, until it looked just right.

I had SO much fun creating this and I can’t wait to show you how it turned out. Check back soon to see the finished project!



9 thoughts on “Stars and Stripes {Part I}

  1. I salute you (hey, I might as well get into the patriotic spirit too). Since I already got a sneak preview of the finished project – another amazing piece of artistic expression which invites your guests to enter a home you have crafted with love and inspiration.

  2. It looks way better than your original inspiration (as usual)! Also, I love when puppies help out on projects. Always happens!

  3. Pingback: Stars and Stripes {Part II} | With Love, From California

  4. Pingback: A Look Inside The Art Portfolio | With Love, From California

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