Celebrate the Fourth of July by hanging this flag-theme decoration you can build from pre-cut lumber.
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With the good side of each 3/8 x 3 board facing down, line up the boards side by side with the ends flush. Use painter’s tape to hold the boards together, and flip them right side up.
For this project, you can leave the boards unsanded for a more rustic look.
Paint the outside faces of the taped slats white and let dry overnight. Paint the edges, back face, and ends of the 1 x 2 boards white.
Use tape to mask off the outside edges of the blue rectangle -- you’ll be painting around the outside of the blue rectangle first. It should be nine boards wide by 16 inches tall. Press the tape firmly against the wood for crisp edges. Then apply strips of painter’s tape for the five red stripes, each about 4 inches wide.
Using the roller, paint the red stripes and let dry. Apply a second coat as needed. Remove the tape after the final coat and let dry overnight.
If the edges of the red stripes are slightly rough, you don’t need to touch them up. The flaws will match the rustic look.
Reverse the tape mask for the blue rectangle and tape off the area to be painted blue. Print the Flag Decoration Star Pattern and transfer the shape to adhesive-backed shelf liner to make five copies. Cut out the stars and distribute them evenly inside the rectangle.
Using the roller, apply at least two coats of blue paint to the rectangle and let dry. Peel off the shelf-paper stars after the final coat, and let dry overnight. Then remove the tape on the back of the slats to separate them.
On a flat work surface, lay two painted 1 x 2s with the bare face up and a 31-inch space between the inside edges. Align the ends with a straightedge and carpenter’s square and tape them in position. Then tape down the third 1 x 2 centered between the other two.
At one end of the three 1 x 2s, glue and nail the first slat in place using 1-inch brads so that there’s a 1-inch overhang on the top and bottom ends. Lay a 1/2-inch dowel against the edge of the first slat as a spacer and press the second slat against the dowel. Glue and nail it in place and repeat for the remaining slats except for the final one.
Rest the final slat in position against the dowel spacer and mark the 1 x 2s along the outside edge of the slat. Cut the 1 x 2s to length, then glue and nail the final slat in place. Allow the glue to dry at least four hours before handling.
Lightly hand-sand with 120-grit sandpaper for a weathered look.
On the outside edge of the top 1 x 2, measure in 4 inches from the end and drill a 1/16-inch pilot hole. Drive a screw eye in place and repeat for the opposite end of the top slat. Repeat for the bottom slat -- the 1-inch recess of the slats will help hide the screw eyes. Then cut four pieces of steel wire long enough to suspend the flag.
Tie a steel wire to each screw eye on the flag. Where you’ll hang the flag, install screw eyes about 29 inches apart and tie the wires to them. To keep the flag from blowing in a breeze, install screw hooks beneath the flag and wire them to the bottom screw eyes on the flag.
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