The other day I was looking at some wood projects and came across this picture of the American Flag created by using the end grain side of 2×4’s. The wife asked if I was able to make that and I said yeah. I’ve seen these go on etsy for $150-$200 for this type of design and size.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. --Colossians 3:17
This project took me about a total of 5 hours to make at most. The hard part is getting all the blocks cut. First, what I did, was grab some old 2x4s I had laying around outside. It doesn’t matter if they’re new or old. I plained them down on all four sides, you don’t have to do that, just makes it easier to clamp them altogether.
I was concerned from the start about the weight of this project, because it was going to be hanging on the wall. So I did 3 lengths for the blocks, 1 1/8, 1 1/4, and 1 3/8 inches. As shown below in the pic, I just put a guard on the saw so I could cut these as fast as I could.
As mentioned above, I cut three different lengths (52 blocks for each size). After I had them all cut, I put them in a bucket dumped them out, and put them back in. I did this a couple of times, just to mix up the different sizes, so when I started piecing together the flag; the blocks were random. This gives it a textured look.
For the first part of the flag I made the blue part where they stars would go first. I did 5 blocks across and 7 blocks across. I made 7 strips of 5 across individually, and then put them in the clamps as shown below. You could glue them all together and make one block.
Like I mentioned above, I made 7 strips of 5, thinking I needed to paint each one separately. If I was to stain these, I would go this route again, but if I was going to spray paint them like I did here, I would make it one big 5 x 7 block. To glue the ends together, I was using Titebond III glue.
I just gave these a quick couple coats of Rustoleom paint and then let them dry. I only have the blue parts showing in the pic below, but this is how I made the whole flag. For the red stripes, I made 4 strips that had 7 blocks, and 3 strips with 12 blocks; then spray painted them red, just like the blue strips shown below. For the white stripes, I made 3 strips of 7 blocks, and 3 strips of 12 blocks.
Once you have all your strips made and painted, start gluing the sides together. I did this fairly heavy so that it will have a good hold.
As shown below, I might have got a little carried away with using clamps, but this is the part where you want to take your time and let this dry and setup. I waited a little over a day, before I unclamped this.
After I unclamped the American flag, it was time to paint the stars one. I took some copy paper and pieced it together to be the same size as the blue part, then covered the rest of the flag. Then I spray painted the stars with white. I went with the original 13 colonies American Flag (13 stars). Because it is spray paint it’s going to not be as crisp of star, but that’s okay, it will give a faded look.
Now it is time to start distressing it to make the flag look rustic. I took a brass wire brush on my drill and went over the project multiple times. Then I took the blow torch and went over the project to give it the dirty look.
After all the distressing, here is what it looked like.
I flipped the flag over to take off any big glue gobs. I also checked the back to make sure there were not any major gaps between blocks. I found a few and inserted some more glue, just to make sure this would hold together.
I cut a piece of waferboard to fit the size of the flag. I covered the waferboard with titebond III glue and attached it to the back of the flag. I used weights from my workout bench to put on top of the flag to keep it pushed down on the waferboard. After a couple of hours, I then started putting some 3/4 inch screws in the back to help secure the flag to the wafer board.
Due to this being about 30 pounds, I went ahead and put 4 L-brackets on the bottom to help hold the weight. For the hardware to hold this up, I put 2 D-hooks that can hold 50 pounds a piece and then a 30 pound hanger in the middle (more to help keep it level).
The hardest part about making this rustic American flag project was getting it hung on the wall.
All together this project was pretty simple. It took about 5 hours of my time, I did most of it on a Saturday morning. The cost was about $45 if I had to buy the wood (I had 2×4’s laying around I used). So 3 cans of spray paint, some screws, brackets, and hanging hardware was about $30.