Today I will show you how I made this USA shaped flag out of pallet wood.
A few months ago, I made a USA shaped wood art sign, using pallets. But this time, I painted the pallet wood just like the American flag. It has 13 stripes and all 50 Stars.
In this instructable I will try to show you how I made it, for the ones that like Videos, instead of pictures. I have included the video I made while making this.Click here to Watch
I have tried to document as much as possible so that you can follow along. If you get lost in the Instructions, check out the video, it might make more sense. I made this over a few days, allowing glue and paint to dry.
Step 1: What You Will Need
Jigsaw with a Scroll saw blade
Straight edge or Level
Old pallet slats
A template of the US map
Pencil or Marker
Paint Brushes ( several sizes)
Red, White and Blue Paint
Blue Painter's tape
Titebond II Glue
Hanging Hardware ( I used D-Ring hangers)
Step 2: Step 1
Found yourself a pallet or two. I used a Sawzall to cut the pallet apart. Cutting the nails will preserve longer boards than prying off.
After you have your pallet slats, remove the nail heads with a punch or nail. Just hammer them out. Now pick thru your boards, try to find boards that are close in thickness. Also make sure that they are dry, if boards are wet, you will need to allow them to dry.
Step 3: Step 2
If you already have a patten, you can skip this step.
Otherwise, do a search on Google, find yourself a outline of the US map. Download the picture and open the image into a program of your choice and print it out.
To see how I made my pattern, check out my other instructable
Step 4: Step 3
After taking the nails out of the pallet slats. Edge off each side thru the Table Saw, if you have a Wood jointer, use it instead. You will have to edge off enough boards to fit your pattern. I use 8 boards for mine.
Step 5: Step 4
Layout your boards and test fit your pattern, making sure that you have enough boards. Now use Titebond II glue, be sure and use enough. You want some squeeze out, now take your clamps and begin to gradually tighten. If you tighten to tight, they will probably push up on you. As you see in the pictures, I had to put extra some clamps in the center, to keep it down. Wipe off any excess with a damp cloth, I used a old but clean sock.
Allow the glue to dry, I like to allow the parts to dry overnight.
Step 6: Step 5
After the glue has dried, lay your pattern back onto the boards, and trace with a pencil or Marker. I like using the Marker, it shows up better.
If I wanted to leave this in a natural state, I would use a pencil and cut right on the line.
Step 7: Step 6
Now use a Jigsaw with a Scroll saw blade, just follow the lines that you made. Note it doesn't have to be perfect, as long as you are close, it will be ok.
Note take your time when cutting, let the blade do the cutting, don't get in a RUSH here.
Step 8: Step 7 Sand
Sand the entire piece to your liking, I used a Orbital Sander with 100 grit sandpaper. Then blew the whole thing off with a air hose, if you don't have a air hose, wipe the piece off real good with a clean cloth.
If you don't have a Orbital Sander, you can hand sand the piece, remember this is out of pallets, it doen't have to be perfect.
Step 9: Step 8
Now we are ready for paint, I didn't buy any paint, I used what I had on hand. I had some outdoor White paint with primer. I use it as a base coat, covered the whole piece with it. Let this dry, paint time will vary on the paint that you use, please read your label. I allow mine to dry overnight.
Step 10: Step 9
Since this piece isn't straight at the top. I used a 4' long level. I guess at the location at the top. Then I took my tape measure and measured from top to bottom. Divided that by 13, and came up with a with of 1 3/4", yours may vary.
I then rip a piece of scrap to 1 3/4" wide and used it as a guide line, making a line with a pencil. Then move it down to the next line and mark it., until you have all the stripes marked.
I don't know if you can see the lines in the last picture. I use a pencil.
Step 11: Step 10
Get some Blue painters tape, and mask off every other line, you should end up with what I have in the pictures. Make sure that you put some on the ends like shown.
Step 12: Step 11
Then take your Red paint and brush, paint the Red stripes. Now let your first coat dry, read directions on your paint can, then re-coat if necessary. I put 2 coats on mine.
I like buying the Quart cans of paint and brush it on, it's cheaper than buying spray paint. But it does take a little longer, if you are in a hurry, buy the spray paint. Just remember that you will have to mask the piece off better.
Step 13: Step 12
After the Red paint has dried, remove your tape and then mask off area for the Stars. I put the Blue painters tape down, then I bought these little foam sticker stars at Walmart, I use ones that are about 1" diameter.
After using these foam stars, I would recommend using something else, the foam wants to stick to much. I think next time I would try and find some regular stickers or try to buy some vinyl cut ones.
Step 14: Step 13
Now we can paint the Blue parts, try and brush the paint away from the blue tape. Paint the piece using light coats, it's best the paint several layers, than one heavy one. Allow the coats to dry before painting again, read the directions on your paint can. I had to put 3 coats on mine.
Note if I hadn't made so many marks, trying to get my stars right. I could have got by with 2 coats.
After the blue paint dried, start pulling up you stars, I don't think I will use the foam stars again, the foam wanted to stick to the board. I think you would be better off, using just star shaped stickers or vinyl.
We'll I will have to chalk this up as a lesson learn, we live and learn from mistakes.
I took a little paint brush and touch up each star. Now let them dry, I think they turned out pretty good.
Step 16: Hardware
Now is the time for the hanging hardware, measure across and find the center. From that point measure over from the left and right 8" and make a mark. Also measure down from the the top about 6" or 7" down. Use those marks for your hangers, screw them in place.
I used D-Ring hangers with 3/8" long screws
Step 17: Enjoy
Now is the time to hang up your Masterpiece, find a good location. I am using this spot on the side of my Workshop.
I think the project came out great, if you wanted a more worn look, take some sandpaper over the entire piece afterwards. But I am leaving this one like it is, I might make another one like that, if so I will post a picture of it.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable, I hope you have learn how to do this yourself.
If you made one like this yourself, please post a picture, I would love to see it. Thanks again.