The thin blue line law enforcement flag is special to my family. So, when I was brainstorming handmade gifts to give this past Christmas, I knew this would be one of them. I’m glad I decided to make it it because when this gift was opened on Christmas Day, the excitement and gratitude shown was priceless!
You can also use these plans to make an American or any other flag of your choice. Read on to see how easy it was.
-1 2x4x 1/2 piece of plywood
-2 2×2 boards
– Black, blue and cream paint (or your choice of colors)
-2 Small art paint brushes-
-50 Star shaped stickers
I started with a 2×4 that was 1/2 inch thick pre-cut, already sanded piece of plywood from Home Depot. My Home Depot has these in the same aisle as the “premium” wood pieces where the common board, poplar etc. are. It’s at the beginning of the aisle (if your Home Depot is setup like mine). This piece of plywood only cost about $16!
If you can’t find them or if your Home Depot doesn’t have them, no worries. You can get a regular 4x8x ½ piece of plywood and Home Depot will rip it to 2 ft for your for free. The full sheet of plywood is about $30, but you’ll have leftovers for more projects!
Then I fitted the 2×2 boards around the perimeter, measuring and cutting with my Ryobi miter saw as I went. This will be the frame.
When fitting the 2×2 around the perimeter, make sure you fit the shorter sides first. When you fit the longer sides (top and bottom) you’ll want to have the shorter sides placed against the plywood (don’t attach to the plywood yet) to include in the longer side measurements, like I did above.
I then sanded the boards and stained them. I always use wood conditioner before staining anything. Then I applied Miniwax’s special walnut. But, I didn’t attach them to the plywood just yet.
I arranged the stars as they are seen on the patriotic flag, in staggered columns of 4 and 5 until 50 of them were in place.
Then, I used painter’s tape to tape off the white white strips, so that I can paint the black stripes and background of the stars.
Once the white stripes are taped off, you can now paint the entire piece, including the stars. I wanted this to be a timeless, long lasting piece of art. And since the stars were stickers, I didn’t want them to start falling off months or years later, or get torn etc. So, painting them onto the plywood guarantees they will stay part of the flag. I will make them more noticeable later. Anywho, the black paint I used was Valspar’s chalk paint tinted in boot black.
Now, it was time to paint the thin blue line, which is the middle line of the flag, just below the stars. I taped off the black strips above and below it to preserve them. And pained the blue stripe with some old Valspar paint we had laying around called Mountain River.
While that was drying, I also hand painted each of the stars using 2 coats of my coconut milk paint. When you paint over the stars with the black paint, you will still be able to see the outline of the shape, which is perfect for the next step.
I used a small square art brush for this part. This way was easier than free hand drawing the stars. This method ensures each star is somewhat uniform. Paint the shapes carefully. This is where your grade school coloring skills come in handy! LOL! Don’t worry if you mistakenly paint outside of the lines, you can always go back with the black paint to touch it up.
Next step is to write your script/quote. You can also leave the flag as is at this point. But, my husband is a man of faith and loved bible quotes, so I took it a step further and used Matthew 5:9. I used chalk to sketch out my quote before painting it. Using chalk first, I can easily erase and get it exactly how I wanted.
For the quote, I wanted it to be a little more subtle than the white, and not stand out too much on the blue line. So, I mixed my coconut milk and boot black paints together until I got the perfect shade of gray I wanted.
Using the chalk as a guide, I painted the wording using a fine tip art brush. I went over the words a few times with the paint to get it to look like one continuous strike of a pen. And not like it was actually painted. Below is the first coat.
Now you can attached the 2×2 frame pieces.
And there you have it! Add some wall hanging pieces to the back and adorn your home with this wooden beauty!