Tips & Tricks

How To Make A Wood Flag

how to make a wood flag

CLICK the Video below to LEARN HOW to create one of our FAMOUS FLAGS!

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Follow along as we give you every step you’ll need!

Cedar Sense wants every home in America to be hanging the stars-n-stripes on their wall. Join us in this step-by-step tutorial on how we build our 17″ x 9.5″ Original edition wooden flags so you can make your own. An American flag has 13 stripes on it: 6 are white, 7 are red (4 of the red & 3 of the white will have blue on it for the union). Now, let’s get to teachin’ you how to make your own wood flag!

1. Materials Needed

  • 1 – 1″ x 1″ x 8′ lumber
  • Red wood stain
  • White wood stain
  • Blue wood stain
  • Oil Polyurethane clear gloss finish coating
  • 4 Ferring strips
  • Wood glue

2. Tools Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Speed square
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Map gas torch
  • Map gas canister
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • Mouse sander
  • Wire brush
  • 1.5″ foam brush
  • 2 – 3/4″ Phillips screws
  • 16 gauge wire
  • 3/16″ shrink wrap/tape
  • Stencil: see here

3. Cutting

  • Using a miter saw, we need to cut our piece of wood down to the correct size: 17″ x 9.5″
  • Then, move to a table saw – where you’ll rip the 17″ piece of wood down to 3/4″ strips/slats
  • You’ll notice that you only have 12 strips, and since an American flag has 13 stripes, it’s a good thing we always have an extra slat laying around!
  • Next, we’ll tell you the steps including our favorite part … using FIRE!

4. Burning

  • You can use a large torch, or a handheld one
  • We recommend not using propane, but to use map gas to get a harsher, better burn on your wood
  • A tip when burning the wood is to use the side that has the most character on it (knots, grains, etc.)
  • ***When using any tools that involve fire, please ensure that you have a fire extinguisher nearby!
  • ***Because this is hot, burn your wood on top of a metal rack or a surface that won’t catch on fire.

5. Stenciling

  • Using the stencil that we have linked for you, use a speed square to make sure your strips of wood are sitting even
  • Then, put your stencil in the corner of the slats and mark both corners with your pencil
  • Put your speed square on and draw a straight line, taking off the stencil
  • 4 of the 7 red & 3 of the 6 white stripes will have blue on it for the union

6. Polishing

  • To create contrast on the white slats, we use a polishing sander to take off some of the burnt ash we made on the wood
  • You can use a wire brush, which is how we started off, or you can use a drum flap sander with a brush attachment for a faster technique
  • For the full white stripes, you’ll polish all of the strip, and for the white slats that have the union, you’ll only polish up to that line you made earlier with the stencil

7. Sanding

  • To create contrast on the red slats, we use a mouse sander or just regular sandpaper to sand off a bit of the burnt wood
  • For all of the stripes that will be red, you’ll sand all of it, and you’ll want to remark where the union stencil will go once you’re done.
  • Next, we’ll teach you how to stain your wood!

8. Staining

  • As we mentioned before, you should have your red and blue portions sanded (light background for a dark stain), and have your white portions polished (dark background for a light stain)
  • We’ve found that Varathane wood stain has worked the best for us, but there are many great stains out there.
  • Once stained, we like to let the wood sit for a minimum of 1 hour, but we usually let it sit for a day

9. Constructing

  • To hold the slats together, we like to attach 4 pieces of Ferring strips on the back of the flag, using 18 gauge brad nails and wood glue
  • For the hanger on the back, you’ll need 2 – 3/4″ screws and put them on the 2 wood slats in the middle
  • Then, use the 16 gauge wire, going about 2 inches past your screws to make sure you have enough
  • Put the shrink wrap/tape on either end of the wire, twist your wire around the screws twice, and put the shrink wrap over the extra, sliding it to the ends
  • Tighten your screws down, and (optional) use a little fire to really shrink down that tape onto the wire

10. Stars

  • When spray painting your stars on with the stencil, we recommend using a barrier to protect the rest of the flag from any overspray
  • Make sure that the stars are centered. We use little weights to hold down any small gaps in the stencil, to prevent any speckling around the stars
  • Hold your spray paint about 12 inches away, doing gentle spurts. You don’t want to hold down and make it thick, as that will make it puddle
  • Let it dry for at least 30 minutes, then take the weights and stencil off

11. Polyurethane Finish

  • Finally, let’s use the oil based polyurethane finish of 3-4 coats with a foam brush
  • This step makes the flag really come to life – it sure makes it shine!

Now it’s your turn!

We are thrilled to share all of our tips and tricks when making one of our beautiful, unique Original Edition American flags. If you end up making one at home, let us know. Post it on social media and tag us @CedarSense. Or, if you don’t want to make one yourself, you can find these (plus wayyy more) right here on our website!

More From Cedar Sense

If you liked learning how to make a wood flag, let’s talk about the history behind the American flag!

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What are the dimensions of a wooden American flag?
Flag Dimensions: 17” x 9.5” x 1.5”

What is the best material for a flag?
The best material for a wooden flag is Norway Pine, which is what we use at Cedar Sense

What are the 4 sizes of the American flag that Cedar Sense offers?
Small: 17” x 9.5” x 1.5”
Medium: 25” x 13” x 1.5”
Large: 37” x 20” x 1.5”
X-Large: 62” x 32” x 1.5”

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