It may be November, but we are getting patriotic around here in honor of Veteran’s Day! As the daughter-in-law and wife of veterans and the MOM of a United States Army soldier, anytime I can create something that honors their service, and the service of so many others, I jump at the chance!
This Saturday, November 7th, I am going to be partnering with The Home Depot, at their Buckhead, Georgia location, to celebrate our greatest heroes…American Veterans! Home Depots, by you, will be hosting a workshop where kids can create a special veteran’s day project, during the DIY Kid’s Workshop, for them to take home. Not only will our Home Depot location be creating fighter jets, they will also be helping me to create a special patriotic project that will be presented, the week of Veteran’s Day, to The Shepherd Center, a non-profit foundation committed to helping veterans recover from brain injuries and post traumatic stress syndrome. I feel so honored to be part of this celebration of service!
In the meantime, I’d like to share how YOU can create your own 3 FT BY 5 FT DIY Wooden Handprint American Flag!
Here’s what you need to get started:
Compound Miter Saw (or have Home Depot cut wood to size)
Tablesaw (or have Home Depot Cut wood to size)
Handsaw (optional if not utilizing Home Depot’s wood cutting service)
Nail Gun (or hammer and nails)
Paint Supplies (drop cloth, brushes, small spong roller, trays)
A small child for creating handprints ( grin)
19- (3 in X 3 ft X ¼”) Poplar Hobby Boards
¼ “ sheet of 2 ft X 2 ft) Sanded and paintable plywood
1” X 2” X 8 ft – Furring strip boards
Paintable Wood Glue
Indoor/Outdoor Latex Paint (I chose Matte Finish Behr in Ultra Pure White, Vintage Velvet and Fire Cracker)
Matte Spray Varnish
Custom Stencil of patriotic quote (if desired)
Clean-up supplies (I love to use Clorox Wipes)
If you do not have access to a Table Saw and Compound Miter Saw, have your local Home Depot cut your wood to size, using their free wood cutting service. You will need: Thirteen- 3 foot strips of poplar planking, Six -2 foot strips of poplar planking, One sheet of 18 X 24 inches of plywood.
Paint seven of the 3-foot strips and three of the 2-foot strips red. Paint six of the 3-foot strips and six of the 2-foot strips white. These will need two to three coats. Allow to dry between coats. Be sure to paint the edges of the wood for a finished look.
Lay your stripes out to make sure that they are all evenly sized and that your design is plum.
Now you will need to create the frame for your flag.
Cut your furring strips to size if the have not been pre-cut. You will need TWO 4 ft. 11 1/2 inch pieces for the width of the flag and FOUR 2 ft 10″ pieces. TWO for length of the flag and TWO to brace the “field”. You will need THREE additional 1 ft pieces if you would like to make the “field” three dimensional.
Once your furring strips are cut to size, lay your pieces out and create the frame. You will have two long pieces width wise, two shorter pieces length wise and two additional pieces to brace the “field” and the seam of the bottom six stripes. Make sure they are plum and using your nail gun or hammer and nails, attach your frame together, with the long pieces on the bottom and the shorter pieces nailed to the top. (SEE PHOTO BELOW) Then, using a small amount of wood glue, adhere SIX 3 foot stripes at the top of the flag to the right side of the frame and to the middle brace. Starting with red, alternate stripes, red and white, ending with red at what will be the bottom of the blue “field.” Make sure the edge of the stripes are even and slightly overlap the frame for a nice finished appearance. The left end of the strip should be center in the middle of the brace piece, to leave room to insert the “flag.” (SEE PHOTO BELOW)
Nail each stripe to the frame, placing the nail at the end and the center of each strip for added stability. Once the blue “field” is completely dry, using child safe white craft paint, you will create your handprints for the “stars.” as an alternate you can stencil stars onto the field. There are 50 stars on an American flag, but you will be able to get approximately 25-30 handprints on this size field.
At this point, you can insert your field using a small amount of wood glue and nails in each corner and in the middle to attach to the center brace, OR you can create a “three dimensional affect,” like I did, by adding three 1 foot sections of furring to the side frame piece and middle two braces to slightly elevate the “field” of the flag. (SEE PHOTO BELOW)
Once you have completed construction of your project, touch up any painted areas that need it and if desired, paint furring strips for a finished look. I chose to add a uplifting and patriotic quote to my flag for a finishing touch! I ordered my custom designed stencil through Vinyl Wall Expressions and following the simple instructions added this wonderful quote to my piece, “In Valor there is Hope…”
After project is completely dry, seal your piece with a light coat of matte varnish spray for durability. If you will be placing your piece outside, be sure to use one that is durable during inclement weather.
I’d love you to stop by and see me, and this beautiful project, in person this Saturday (November 7th) at the Buckhead, Home Depot #KIDSWORKSHOP from 9-noon! I will have our flag on display and we will be letting our littlest Home Depoters create the handprint stars for our final display of the project! Be sure to bring your kids by to join in on this worthwhile and fun way to give back to our veterans! Hope to see you there!