I just completed one of the easiest projects ever, an American flag made from old pallet wood. I've been working on the kids' rooms for the house that we're building because they've been displaced and having to share a room for a while. I'd like to set they're rooms and decor up first and get them settled in as quickly as possible. The direction that I have for my boy's room is an all-American down-by-the-lake theme. I'm envisioning some rusty tin on the ceilings, a bit of old barn wood, and a wooden boat bed. For wall decor, I'm searching for boat gear, skis, old bouys and flags. I can't wait to see it all come together, mostly because his reactions to such things are always over the top.
So, if you need a little red, white, and blue in your life I would suggest making a flag from a pallet. It was cheap, quick and easy.
Step 1: Removing the wood from the pallet
If you've done pallet projects before, this is no news to you, but getting those boards pried loose from the pallet is a task! I've had several fellow DIY'ers suggest sawing through the nails instead of prying the boards off for ease and speed. This would have been a less painful and quicker option. Oh well, hindsight! I pried each board off with a hammer. Luckily, I have some really sweet kids that cheered for me after each successful board removal and a precious angel daughter who helped me put a bandaid on my blistered hand.
Step 2: Painting the Design
I am totally aware of the flag's design and the meaning behind each of the elements, but for this project let's just call it an abbreviated version. I quickly laid my pallet boards out and chose the layout for the blue box in the top left corner and then painted every other board red or white, alternating between the two colors.
I didn't want the paint to look too perfect, so I used a small brush and very quickly brushed paint on unevenly and leaving bare spots. I also tested several colors before starting to get the perfect coverage and tones and settled on this paint. These paints were easy to spread, provided just the right amount of coverage, and weren't too bright. I expected to apply a stain to darken the colors after I painted, but liked the way it finished on it's own.
Step 3: nailing the boards
My sweet husband (he loves my projects...really he does) used a nail gun to shoot in a few finish nails and attach the boards to two 1x4's that I laid under them to give it a brace of sorts. Trying to make the boards even and square was nearly impossible due to the rough and warped nature of the boards.
STEP 4: Hanging it
This is to be continued once we have a bedroom in a house! Photo coming ASAP! Meanwhile, here is the finished product, propped against my parents' barn. I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial!
- Paint brushes (I used a pack of small ones)
- Blue, red, and white acrylic paint
- Finish nails and nail gun or hammer
- 1x4 cut into two pieces of the height of your "flag"