Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beadboard Flag Project!

I've been wanting to make one of these for years...why haven't I?  I don't know...short attention span...other projects on top of the list...the stars didn't align until now...(pun intended)
Here's the real reason why I finally decided to make my flag.  I was in my master woodworker dad's shop the other day,...admiring a couple of projects he was working on.  Out of the corner of my eye, I spied some beadboard leaning against some other wood.
"Whatcha doin' with that beadboard?" I asked, imagining a flag painted on it.
"Nothing, you want it?" he ventured
"YES!" I answered, jumping up and down with delight, "THANK YOU!"
"No, thank YOU!" he said, quickly handing it to my husband to load into the car, before I changed my mind.
My husband sighed...he was probably thinking about the vintage door I bought at a yard sale that sat in our garage for 5 YEARS before I FINALLY turned it into a very cool headboard for our bed.
I'm happy to report that the beadboard sat in the garage for a total of 2 days before I made the flag.  That's a personal record, folks.  I've never moved on a project so quickly!  :)

The first thing I had to do was cut the beadboard to the right size.  I love beadboard for this project because it has built-in guidelines!  I counted 13 stripes for the width and doubled that measurement for the length of the flag.  Then I cut it to size! 

I spray painted it an off-white...and not perfectly.  There were little areas where some wood showed through.  I'm going for a vintage look...a weathered old flag!  I taped off a square in the upper left corner for the blue part...and painted it...not perfectly.  
I was doing this on the back porch and kept running to the front porch to look at the flag hanging there for reference!  I measured with my eyes...not with a ruler!  I love projects like this because I'm not a perfectionist...I always make mistakes and hate to measure and re-measure and do perfect detail work.  Maybe that's why I'm such a fan of folk art!!  

After the blue part was dry, I taped off the stripes.  I used barn red for the stripes...and once again, I had to run to the front porch to peek at the flag...the stripes start and end with  

Once the stripes were dry, I peeled off the tape and sanded down the whole flag a bit.  I liked it much better after the sanding.  It looked a little beat up, like it had seen some weather and action!

Then it was time for stars...I'll admit, I was a little nervous about the stars.  I am not a perfectionist, but I do want the starts to look somewhat star-like and I don't want them randomly plopped onto the flag.  I decided to use a star shaped sponge to make my stars.  Finding a compressed sponge in my stash, I drew a star shape on it with a pencil and cut it out.  It was lopsided and a little sad, but so what!
I ran to the front porch to examine the stars.  Horizontally, there were 5 rows of 6 stars and 4 rows of 5 stars...starting and ending with rows of 6.  I placed all of the rows of 6 first, then filled in with the rows of 5.  I did my best to make the rows somewhat straight and spaced evenly.  They turned out perfectly imperfect!

Since I'm not one to leave well enough alone, I had to antique it.  And since I didn't have any stain available, I watered down some brown craft paint.  That had an unintended consequence which I will point out in a moment.  I painted the brown wash over small sections and wiped it off...just like stain. It collected in the grooves which I liked!  The unintended consequence was that some of the blue paint and stars rubbed away with the brown wash.  At first I was horrified, then I decided that I liked's quite weathered and wonderful!

A coat of sealer and hangers on the back and I'm all done!  I'm super happy with it and it feels good to check this project off of my mental list of projects I've always wanted to make!

This is one of those instant gratification projects that moves quickly with the majority of the effort going into waiting for things to dry...think of it as a chance to practice patience!  
Happy Creating!


Laura said...

I love this, Heather! One of your best creations! You should sell them! I know....Alex would just roll his eyes and sigh............. <3

olybrenda said...

This is great! I love your creativity and willingness to try out ideas. Thanks for sharing it and how you did it. I may have to try one myself! Love it!