Pallet projects fill the web, and I stumbled across this one on Pinterest one morning. It looked easy enough. Pallets, after all, are already nailed together so no pulling apart the nailed boards is necessary.
When turned on their side, so that the boards run horizontal, you can already envision the stripes of “Old Glory.” There are 13 stripes on the flag, to represent the original 13 colonies. First thing, section off your boards so that you can square off the blue for the stars.
Next, though this is a vintage project—and vintage means it doesn’t have to be perfect (yay!)—you will want to download a star template for painting your stars. Print out on card stock to ensure that your paper doesn’t disintegrate during the painting process.
I suggest creating a “paint wash” on the boards to give the project an even more vintage feel. Take your blue paint and pour into a disposable cup. Dribble in a bit of water to thin it out. Now you can use an old cloth to dip and rub the paint across the wood surface. Watch that the paint isn’t too thin, so that it doesn’t run. I chose to do a full bright paint job—but next time? I think a paint wash would be even better to create that antique-I-found-this-in-a-barn feeling.
Pallet wood is perfect for paint-washes to create that old timey vintage feel of faded paint—as it is so dry it drinks in the water leaving a nice, thin painted surface.
When that dries, use your white paint and a small brush to paint each star. As this flag isn’t true to traditional size (it will end up a square) you can paint as many stars as you like. If you don’t end up with 50, chances are you won’t, it doesn’t matter. A field of white stars against a blue square gets the point across that would make even Betsy Ross proud.
Next, you’ll want to come close to creating the same effect of the 13 stripes. They start with red and end with red. Depending on the number of boards in your pallet, you may have to paint a few of them both red and white. I figured I would paint each pallet board slat red, and go over the dried paint with white.
Thin out your red paint with a bit of water, same as with the blue, to get that truly faded look. Or, if you want a flag that really pops, go with full strength color. It’s vintage, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, when you let the littles help, it most certainly WON’T be perfect, but it will stand proud in your front yard, and is always a good Flag Day and 4th of July lesson. I think the last time there were 15 stars on the flag was in 1792.
NOTE! If you paint all the red first, let it dry, and return to paint the white stripes you have less of a chance of ending up with pink on your American flag.
Finally, the only amount of time this project really takes is the drying of your paint, and touching up the borders. Before you know it, your DIY Vintage Pallet Flag will stand proudly in your front yard.