homemade christmas - vince's flag.

Have you ever had a project in your head turn out exactly the way you wanted it to in real life? That's what this project was for me.

Its not always easy to find gifts idea for my brother-in-law Vince, but when I saw these two projects, I thought I might have found the perfect idea.

(Sources: Left - Under The Table And Dreaming, Right - Ana White)

I decided to make a large flag, designed to be displayed outside, but instead of using one solid piece of wood, I wanted to use separate pieces for the Union (the "correct" name for the blue area) and each stripe. I considered a lot of different options for paint and distressing, but when I found out that I could buy sample pots of colored deck stain, I decided that would be the easiest way to get the look that I wanted.

It took a while to figure out all the right dimensions. Everything except the stars are to scale (there's my perfectionist streak), and truthfully, the stars would have been if I could have figured out a way to do it that wouldn't have taken forever to finish.

I planned to use 1x2s for each stripe, but since 1x2s are usually really rough and tough to find straight, my friend Victor suggested using 1x4s and ripping them down to size (and offered to rip them for me, which was a huge help!). He also cut scraps of wood from his own shop to the right size for the Union, and cut down the plywood I bought for the back to the right size.

(Excuse the mess - as usual, I had several different projects going at one time.)

I assembled the pieces to make the Union, stained everything the right color (the white stripes needed two coats), then added the stars. I raided a small star cookie cutter from my Christmas stash to use as a stencil (I got the idea from Stephanie Lynn's project), then ended up using it as a kind of stamp - I dipped it in the white stain, marked the Union, then painted the inside with a small brush. Its rough and not at all perfect, but that's kind of the idea. :-)

Everything is glued together using power adhesive. I bought some small nails thinking I might want to add them just for looks at the end, but I decided I like it just the way it is. I didn't add any hardware to the back for hanging, because I wasn't sure how Vince would want to use it.

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