I know, I know…. it’s the week OF Independence Day! But you STILL have time to make a pallet flag! I pinkie swear that you can make one in just a few hours!
The biggest challenge is finding and preparing the pallets. I always see them at grocery stores and home improvement stores, but they can’t always give away their pallets away (unless you know the store owner…. then winner, winner, chicken dinner!). So the best place I’ve found to get pallets is at new construction job sites. Find a friend who is building a home…. they are sure to have them at their new house!
You have to pry all of the boards off of the pallet with a crowbar. Mr Magic took all of the planks off the front of the pallets and many off of the back so you can squeeze them all together on the front. It’s easier if the pallets are wet from rain, so keep that in mind. You could also try to cut them apart using a Sawzall. Unless you saw THIS VIDEO on Facebook where my hubby lovingly declares that “Sawzalls are for sissys”. Lol. Classic.
We ended up with these 2 pallets and a 3rd that a friend asked me to paint! The wonkier the wood, the better. The variance in color makes no difference. The gaps in the wood make no difference. The split pieces and cracks and crazy planks do not matter…. it will just add to the charm of your pallet flag!
So, to paint, tape off the square that will be the blue part first (so that you DON’T paint that red like I did on the first one. The red under the blue makes it a weird blue). Then start at the top and paint all of your red planks first. I used Faux Effects Basic Red which is very similar to the color Sherwin Williams “Heartthrob”. Next I used Sherwin Williams tinted primer that was tinted to Sherwin Williams “Navajo White” for the off white. After those dried, I used SW “Commodore” for the navy planks. The colors you use are NOT terribly important, just be sure you use a bold navy and a bold red and a dingy off white! And I prefer to use an eggshell or matte sheen. Nothing too flat and nothing too shiny.
I have a video showing how to DRY BRUSH the paint on the pallet flag HERE or watch by clicking above. Do this quickly and without much thought! Overthinking this step will drive you crazy. The more wood you leave showing, the more distressed and old the finished flag will look.
After that dried, I used Old Master gel stain to make the planks look old and weathered and not so perfect. I used the color “Dark Walnut” because I have it on hand. You need to thin it out with paint thinner or it’ll go on way too dark because it just soaks right in to all of the exposed wood. The color and brand of stain could be totally different, just be sure to use something that is a good true dark brown without a red tint to it. You don’t want a pink flag!
I shot a quick video demonstrating how to stain your paint that is HERE or watch by clicking above. THIS is the step that MAKES the project in my opinion so HAVE FUN WITH THIS!!!! Work that stain onto the edges of the planks for a really distressed look.
Then you are ready for your embellishments. You could stencil the stars which is very traditional, or you could add a twist by doing something like these paper mache stars.
I purchased these stars at Hobby Lobby in the paper mache section. Just pull the gold threads out of the top of them and I dry brushed the same SW6126 across the stars.
You can watch a video of me painting the stars by clicking HERE or watching above. It was 10:00 at night, so please give me grace on the hairdo. Lol.
I nailed the paper mache stars onto the pallet flag. I was afraid glue wouldn’t hold up in the Kansas City heat. If your pallet flag will be getting wet, I’d seal these with a polyacylic spray before nailing them on!
And that pallet flag is done!
My next pallet flag idea is just a cheap grapevine wreath that I spray painted with an off white spray paint and hung with a nail! So fast and easy!
And the last pallet flag is done with a huge metal star that my neighbor loaned me for this project. I LOVE the single star idea! This was a dark brown color and I spray painted it off white and stained it a bit so that it would blend with the distressed theme. It’s just nailed in also! Super easy! I found a similar star here, only $7!
Hopefully these will give you some ideas for non-traditional ways of decorating a pallet flag.
Also, please know that I mean no disrespect to the flag by not having the proper number of stripes on this project. And I am aware that a white stripe SHOULD fall under the blue which it did in 2 out of my 3 pallets. However, pallets aren’t perfect nor designed to be used as a flag. I did the best I could with what we had and I love my country! God Bless America!
And YOU STILL HAVE TIME to make a pallet flag! Just come up with a pallet quick! And email me your pics afterwards to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will show off my favorite non-traditional pallets on my FB page!
If you love making pallet projects, check out my gorgeous ombre fall pallet , my Always Give Thanks fall pallet, my Happy Fall Ya’ll pallet, and my Joy to the World Christmas pallet. I hope they give you inspiration! And you know what’s genius? I painted a fall design on one side and winter on the other side, and made a reversible!!! You could totally do this with the pallet flags too!
I hope you all have an amazing and safe Independence Day!
PS…. on your desktop, there will be a “pin it now” button if you hover over the pictures. Feel free to pin these pictures!