Free Americana Decor!

I was in the mood to make something but was home with the kids, so that limited what I could do. I remembered I had a bunch of paint stirring sticks in my trunk so I brought those inside. Why I had so many I do not know but it worked out well for me. I think it’s from when I would get a can of paint and they’d give me 2 sticks when I only needed one…then I slowly stocked up.

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I counted seven sticks, laid them out, and thought they looked like a good flag shape. I got some old acrylic craft paint I have had for years, red, white, and brown. By the end of the project I used 9 sticks total, FYI.

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I eye-balled how much red I thought I’d need to cover the front of half of the sticks then mixed some brown in it. I didn’t want it to be primary red and thought the brown would vintage it up a bit. You can change the amount of brown you put in for the look you are going for.

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Then I painted the sides and top of four of the sticks. I painted the side without any writing on it from the store so it wouldn’t show through. I also didn’t put a SUPER thick coat on because I wanted to see a little of the wood grain through the paint.

Once the red was done I did the same thing with white. Added a little brown, but much less brown than I added to the red because a little goes a long way here. Then I painted the remaining three sticks in the same manner. Some parts needed a second coat but not much.

After they have dried (only about 10 minutes for me because the coats were so thin) lay them in alternating colors to make your flag. Sand the edges if you want them to be distressed. I did this step after I already stuck them all together so I could only distress the outside edges of the flag.

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You can line the ends up exactly but I made them a little mis-matched. Then, carefully flip them all over so they are paint side down. Adjust as needed if they slipped.

Get your adhesive. You can use Elmer’s glue, hot glue, or any kind of adhesive that would work on a lightweight project. I had some foam adhesive thingys leftover from hanging wood letters of my kids’ names in their rooms. (Note: they are so sticky they took wall paint off when I removed them!)

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I cut them into tiny squares because I knew they wouldn’t need much to hold it together.

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Remove one side of the adhesive and stick them all in a line.

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The next part is pretty funny, I can tell you my method is not the best. I got two more paint sticks from my painting supplies that already had been used to mix paint. The. I measured how long they needed to be to attach to all the painted sticks together without showing from behind. I then snapped the stick end off that I didn’t need on the edge of my kitchen counter. Sand the raw edge. (Another note: I scraped my hand pretty well doing this, so if you have a small saw or even strong clippers I would suggest you try that!) Now attach the ghetto stick to the line of sticky pads. Or glue.

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Repeat for the other side of the flag. Make sure your sticks are parallel with each other before you finish up.

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There is the base of your flag. Pretty cute so far. But I hated how you could tell that they were paint sticks from the “handle” ends and wanted to cover that while adding some form of stars or blue.

At the beginning of this project I had planned on either making some stars out of burlap or going to the craft store for small wood stars. But in the essence of free, I went into my fabric scrap pile and got some of my husband’s retired jeans. I drew a star by hand, then held it onto a window and traced the outline of that star on the other side then cut out the star. I used that star to trace with a pen on the back of the denim and cut out enough stars to cover the holes in the flag then glued them down with Elmer’s glue.

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There you have it! Now I just need to find my twine or some wire and then I can hang it outside for Memorial Day weekend.

I wouldn’t recommend making oodles of these because that would be taking advantage of paint store sticks. But if you already had them like I did, then go for it!

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