Introduction: American Flag Concealment Case

Over the Summer I decided I wanted to build something to store some of my weaponry in. I wanted it to be hidden in plain sight, but still readily accessible. I wanted it to also loudly say "I am a proud American who believes in the constitution of the United States". After doing a little bit of research, I came up with this design for an American flag concealment case. I wanted it large enough to store a standard rifle, 2 handguns, and a separate compartment for ammo and accessories. I wanted it to be proportioned right as well. For this project, I spent approximately $75 in total. This may vary depending on what tools and material you may already have.




  • Miter saw
  • Circular saw
  • Table saw
  • sander
  • clamps
  • bar clamps
  • brad nailer
  • 1/4" impact
  • drill
  • foam brushes
  • Phillips screw driver
  • measuring tape

Step 1: Design

After finding out the correct proportions for the American flag on [ ] this is the design I came up with.

The proportions I used are based on 1 1/2" stripes. I also found the exact size star template for this project on Amazon.[]

Step 2: Sand Material

Before making any cuts, make sure to sand all the wood material thoroughly, especially the CDX panels. I started with 100 grit and went up to 150 for the 1x boards.

For the CDX panels I used a belt sander and then switched to an orbital sander.

Step 3: Cut the Material

Instead of buying 1x2s, I prefer to buy a single 1x10 and rip the boards into 1 1/2" stripes myself. For my prototype project, I did initially use 1x2s and I regretted it because 1x2s are not cut exactly to 1 1/2" and have rounded edges.

  1. Using the miter saw or circular saw, cut the 1x10 into (4) sections. (2) 37 1/16" sections and (2) 22 1/4" sections
    1. Using the table saw, Rip (1) 37 1/16" section into (5) 1 1/2" stripes
    2. Next, rip (1) 22 1/4" section into (5) 1 1/2" stripes
    3. Now rip (1) 37 1/16" section into (2) 3 1/2" pieces and (1) 1 1/2" piece
    4. Finally, rip the last 22 1/4" section into (1) 1 1/2" first, and then cut the remainder down into 18" long and rip that into (2) 3 1/2" pieces
  2. Now make the following cuts into the 1x4
    1. (1x) 35 9/16"
    2. (3x) 14 13/16"
    3. (1x) 22 1/4"
  3. The second 1x4 will be used to make 1 more 1 1/2" stripe and guideboards that will be used later

  4. Using a circular saw or jigsaw, cut both the CDX panels to 19 1/2" x 37 1/16". In one of the panels, cut out a 10 1/2" x 14 13/16" piece from the corner as shown. Do not discard the cutout piece. This will be used later for the back of the Union.

Step 4: Add the Dado (groove) to Frame Board and Shelf Board

For this step I used my table saw, but this could also be done with a router if you would like.

  1. Start by taking (1) 37 1/16" x 3 1/2" and make a line at 14 1/16" and another line 1 board thickness away from that. Apx. at 14 13/16" This will be where your dado will go
  2. To make the dado, set the height of the saw blade to half the thickness of the wood.
  3. Setup your fence and make your first cut where you drew your line at 14 1/16" keeping in mind the kerf of the blade
  4. Continue adjusting the fence in small 1/8" increments and making cuts until you've reached your second line.
  5. Your dado should be about 3/4" wide.
  6. Remove any excess material with a chisel and sand paper.
  7. Repeat this process for the middle shelf board (35 9/16" x 3 1/2") only this time your first cut will begin at 13 5/16" and end at apx. 14 1/16"

Step 5: Assemble the Union

  1. To make the Union, take your (3) 14 13/16" boards and glue them together as shown
  2. Use a set of bar clamps to clamp the boards together tightly.
  3. if boards begin to push up, gently use a wooden or rubber mallet and tap them flat.
  4. Wipe off any excess glue and let it dry completely.
  5. Once dried, use a brad nailer and 1" brad nails and nail the CDX panel cutout from earlier to the back of the Union.

Step 6: Stain

In this step, you can explore your creative side and use whatever color stain you desire. For mine, I chose to use a black and gray stain. If you are more of a traditionalist, you can also do red, white, and blue. The red, white, and blue case pictured is a case I made for someone else. I used navy blue, crimson, and antique white-colored stain for that one.

My preferred method for applying the stain is using foam brushes. However, this can also be done with strips of cloth as well such as old cut up t-shirts.

For the flag, there will be

  • 4 black (red) short stripes
  • 3 gray (white) short stripes
  • 3 black long stripes
  • 3 gray long stripes

Apply stain to the Union and the frame as well

Also, remember to stain the edges of the CDX panels as they will be visible. There's no need to stain the back of the stripes and the back of the rear CDX panel, these will not be visible.

Step 7: Gluing the Stripes

Once the stain is completely dry, layout your stripes in the correct order and move them around a bit to find the best grain pattern and fitment. After you've decided on the layout of your stripes, it's time to glue them to the CDX panel.

  1. Start with the top short stripe and work your way down.
  2. Apply glue to the inner edge and the back of the stripe and line it up with the edges of the CDX panel that has the cutout in it.
  3. Carefully clamp it temporarily in place and brad nail the stripe and CDX panel together from the back of the panel.
  4. Remove the clamp and apply the second stripe using the same method.
  5. Repeat this process until all stripes have been glued and nailed to the CDX panel.

  6. Clampdown any boards that may have pushed up

  7. Wipe off any excess glue with a wet cloth or rag.

Step 8: Assemble the Frame

For this step, you are going to assemble the frame.

  1. Layout your frame and test fit everything and make sure it looks ok.
  2. The top and bottom frame boards should sandwich, (sit on top and bottom) the vertical sideboards. *The above pictured is an older construction method *. Please refer back to the dwg. file for the correct construction method.
  3. Using a corner clamp, square up 2 boards, 1 long and 1 short, to form a corner and predrill 2 pilot holes with a 7/64 drill bit where the two boards connect. (I've attached a link below of a video on how to make a corner clamp if you do not have one.)
  4. Now, attach the boards together using wood glue and (2) 1 5/8" screws.
  5. Attach the last two pieces using the same method.

A ratchet strap can be used if you would like for added tension.

Step 9: The Middle Shelf

This step is slightly different than what is pictured. The above picture was the original construction method I used and now I use the method described below.

  1. To attach the middle shelf, cut 2 scraps of wood to 9" and place them on the inside of the frame at each end. Place the middle shelf board on top of them as a guide to achieving the same height on each side.
  2. With the guide boards in place, drill 2 pilot holes with a 7/64 drill bit and attach the middle shelf board with two 1 5/8 screws on each side.

*Note: If you would like to adjust the height of your shelf, you will also have to adjust your guide boards accordingly. For example, If you would like more height or room in the bottom section to better accommodate a rifle with attachments you can raise the shelf up a few inches and use 11" guide boards instead of 9" or so forth.

Depending on high you make your shelf will determine the length of your vertical shelf divider. Once you have determined the height of your shelf, cut the vertical shelf divider board accordingly and insert in it between the dados.

Step 10: Paint the Stars

Painting the stars is fairly straightforward. To paint the stars, I used a stencil I bought on Amazon and a can of white Rustoleum spray paint.

  1. Tape all 4 edges of your union with painters tape so you don't get white paint on the edge
  2. Now, tape the stencil down so it doesn't move. If everything was cut right, the stencil should fit perfectly unto your Union.
  3. Carefully apply light coats evenly. I wanted my flag to have sort of a faded look so I didn't go real heavy on the paint.

Before you paint the union, apply several thick coats to the stencil first to give it some weight so you don't get paint splatters on the unpainted areas. Let it dry first before you use it.

Step 11: Hinges

You can buy these hinges at any local hardware store or order them on Amazon.

They are kind of tricky to put on and align but with a little bit of patience, it can be done. Here's how I like to install them

I like to install the Union first. I'm not sure if it really matters, but I find it a little easier. When installing, lay the cabinet face down as if everything was already attached. Line up your union with the edges of the frame. Fold the hinges closed and make sure they are both facing the same direction. Mark where you want to lay the hinges. Predrill just a tiny starter hole in the center of the 4 slotted holes on the hinge. Using a screwdriver, screw the hinges in place. Do this for both the hinges. *Do not do the other 4 circular holes yet. Now open the Union door. You may notice that the door won't open all the way. This is fine. Stand the cabinet on its end with the Union side down. Now gently loosen the screws you just put in one by one until the door will open all the way. Now tighten the screws back up and put in the remaining screws.

Do the same routine for the big door.

After both doors are attached you may have to do some adjusting, cutting, and sanding to get both doors to open and close freely without interfering with each other. Just be patient and take your time.

Step 12: Magnetic Catch and Foam

Attaching the magnetic catch is pretty straightforward. The magnet portion mounts to the bottom of the top frame board and the metal plate attaches to the door. Install the catch from the back of the case with the case laying on its face.

You may also choose to use another locking method such as RF locks or padlocks. Amazon has a great selection of different types of locks you can use if you choose to

If adding foam to your case, cut your foam to the inside dimensions of your case. The foam cuts easily with a razor blade. It should fit snugly and not fall out easily. I find it easier to install it from the back of the case and then push it forward.

To cut out the pattern, trace whatever it is you would like to store in the case with a permanent marker and use an adjustable razor blade knife to cut around the pattern. Gently peel away the layers to your desired depth.

Step 13: Back of the Case

The Final Step.

Attach the back CDX panel.

Do a test fit and make sure your panel lines up ok with the edges of your case. Make any final adjustments or cuts if necessary. Pre-drill holes using a 7/64 bit and mount the back panel with the 1 5/8" screws. I usually do 3 screws in each of the vertical boards and 5 in the top and bottom frame horizontal boards. For added strength, you can also add brad nails to the back panel.

All done! Flip it over and admire your new awesome, hand-made, patriotic case to store your weaponry in plain sight.

Thank you for checking out this Instructable.

Feel free to ask me any questions about this project.