Wooden American Flag

Introduction: Wooden American Flag

I was fascinated by these flags and had to figure out how to do it! I found a couple tips here and there so now I'm going to try putting it all together the best I can for everyone here!

Tools used:

Tape measure

Speed square

framers square

miter saw

table saw

orbital sander

couple wood clamps


wood chisel

brad nailer

propane torch


1"x4"@8' (is what i buy)

Minwax blue stain

Minwax red stain

Rustoleum marine varnish

wood glue

Step 1: Cutting It Up!

I bought a star stencil from amazon for a couple bucks but has been well worth the investment. The size of the template determined the size of the flag. You can go on to google and get flag dimensions a couple quick measurements and some simple math and you got your sizes.

For mine I am cutting my boards to 24.75" in length. After I cut enough pieces so I will be able to have 17 strips after running through the table saw I sanded the top surface.

I then set my table saw to rip these at just over 1" so I would have about a 13.25" total with all 13 strips together. the other 4 strips will be used to hold it all together!

Step 2: Burn It Up!

After you have the 13 strips you want (I would make sure to use the straightest pieces you have)

It's time for the fun! bust out the propane torch and hit the boards and make some grain pop! this is all at what you like!

*be careful with the torch*

As Frankenstein says "Fire Bad"

layout your strips how you want them. I use framing square to make sure I got this nice and square. then top left corner line up your template and lets put a line down the edge on the boards!(so we got visual of where the blue needs to stop)

Now for my own sanity I flip the pieces over and label them 1-13 so I keep the burn pattern how I like it.

The pieces that will be getting the blue stain I take razor blade and press into the wood on that line that way I have nice crisp clean lines.

Step 3: Slap Some Stain on It!

pretty simple deal here!

Step 4: Tightening It Up

Ok heres where the fun gets closer to being out the door! lol

put strips face down Use square and wood clamps to get everything lined up and square. (I check my numbers and make sure i have 1-13 again)

Trim the 4 extra strips down to 13"

slap a little wood glue on the 4 extra strips and use the brad nailer and make sure the flag stays together!!

Step 5: Looking Good But Here Comes the Work.....

After the glue is dry remove the clamps and flip it over! now bring back the stencil and time to outline the stars onto the blue! I use a silver sharpie.

After all 50 are on there I use a Dremel with the 106 bit to go over the outline and then a quick rough over to clear out the center waste. I then go back through with my wood chisel and clean up the lines and the recessed wood. This is all the time of this project but the results are well worth it!!!

Step 6: Finishing!!!

after all the removal of the wood chips and dust. time to pull out the varnish! I use a marine grade and put several coats on the flag so the weather will not destroy it! After it dries throw some hanging hardware on the back take it outside and put it up and show it off with pride!

Thanks for checking this out! If you liked it please give me a vote in the contest! I will be publishing more projects on here soon, follow me and I will try keep posting a new project every couple weeks! Thanks again!!!

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    1 year ago

    Fantastic project! I really want to make this with my 13 year old daughter. She has been asking for more "shop time"! Hoping I could ask a couple questions:
    1) Since you mention displaying it outside, what would did you use? Regular pine, pressure treated pine or cedar? Cedar is almost 3x the cost but assuming it still shows some good grain I figured it would last longer outdoors.
    2) What specific color stain did you use? Given the more rustic look of your flag with the burn marks, I really like the tone of your red compared to other flags that I have seen. Is it Minwax Barn Red and Navy Blue? Is it interior grade stain given that you coated it so well with the marine varnish?

    Thanks so much for any additional tips!

    american graphitti
    american graphitti

    Reply 1 year ago

    sorry for delay of getting back to you. I've had internet service issues. I have a couple that have been outside in the elements and going on 3 years with no touch ups. (rain, sun and snow) and to be honest still look great! I just used regular pine on them. Then the finishing process I hit them with a propane torch to get the grain to pop. I don't really burn the wood because if you do the wood won't soak in the stain very well. For the stains I use the minwax stains you listed. They are a water based stain and I do believe they are technically interior but I have not seen any fading in my flags that are displayed outside. Definitely use the marine varnish though! I'm sure thats what has kept them up to par being outside! I hope you and your daughter enjoy this!!! projects with the kids is the best! My 8yr old just helped me make this case! (I will hopefully get an instructable up soon for it!)


    2 years ago

    Fire bad! This turned out so coooool!

    american graphitti
    american graphitti

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank You! I actually make a lot of these and I love how each one is unique from the way the wood grain popping!