Monday, September 9, 2013

Rustic Flag {a pallet & wire project}

I had a request from my best friend's mom awhile back to donate something to an upcoming raffle. I figured I would make a pallet sign, which are pretty easy to do but always sell well. The raffle is part of American Heros' Ride, so I decided to make a pallet flag. I've never actually made one before either and I thought it would be fun to try. I really love how it turned out so I'm sharing it with you today.

It was really a very easy project. Eric threw together a pallet sign for me and once I had it, I started by putting Traverse City Cherry on 2 boards. I didn't paint all the way to the left of the top board since I knew that would be the star area. 

I then I tried my hand at something new. (At least for me, although the trend is definitely NOT new! I'm just behind the eight ball...) I used milk paint for the very first time! I know, hard to believe I waited so long. I guess it sort of scared me, if paint can really scare a person!?!? But everyone says it's unpredictable and that you don't know how it will behave from one project to the next as far as its chippiness goes. I guess that's the scary part for me...

But, silly me, it wasn't scary at all. I mixed up some Cream from The Real Milk Paint Company. It's sold at Caledonia Vintage Marketplace, where we have our booth. I thought I'd use it on this project first, just to see how it brushed on and what kind of coverage it gave. I really like how it looks on the bare pallet wood! I also used it on a few smaller items I had laying around my living room (err... work area) and it definitely does react differently on each piece. But it isn't scary. It's fun! I'll show you a few other things I used it on another day. But, I will say, I can't wait to use it on a larger piece... :)
But, jeez, I digress... Back to the flag. 
I painted the Cream on 2 pallet boards and over the area where my blue and stars would be. 
For the blue, I used Aubusson (basically because I couldn't help myself. I just love it!)
The way I did the stars was this. I did not free-hand them. I am absolutely no good at free-handing a star. it always turns out completely crooked and whacky looking. So, I printed 3 different stars out on regular paper and then cut them out with scissors. I laid them out on the pallet sign, and traced around them on the cream paint with a pencil. Pretty easy. But it gave me enough of a guide so that when I was painting the blue, with a small, stiff brush, I could leave the traced star shapes unpainted, revealing the white underneath. Next, I waxed...

The top red stripe has clear and dark wax. The bottom has none yet. I love how aged it looks with the waxes on it! It definitely gave it a depth it didn't have with just the paint and the perfect vintage look that I was going for. I also waxed over the blue and just a few choice spots on the cream stripes and stars. 
I could have been done at that point. But I just didn't think it was quite wow enough, ya know? What to do... what to do...? Then I got it! Rustic wood and dark wire is a perfect match (at least in my book) so I grabbed my wire and added a few pieces over the white stripes. I simple folded them around the sign and stapled them to the back. Then I cut off a few small pieces and bent them around the straight wire just to give it a little more texture. Almost like a barbed-wire look. (At least  that's what I was going for anyway)
I also bent some wire to shape stars. I made three, one for each of the largest stars I had painted. After bending a few additional small pieces of wire onto those, as I had with the stripes, I hot glued the wire stars onto the edges of the painted stars. The nice thing about rustic is that it doesn't have to be perfect, so I wasn't worried about the wire stars exactly matching the shape of the painted stars. In fact, a little imperfect is even better. Don't ya think? 
I certainly hope you've enjoyed reading about the project. And I hope the raffle goes well and that someone really loves their new pallet flag. I may just have to make one for my very own self now :)

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