There’s something poetic about embracing a little bit of American history and a few thrifted pieces together in one DIY project.
If you’ve followed this blog for longer than a minute though, you’ve probably already gathered that we get uber mushy and sentimental about a lot of things. About pieces of our past that often inspire us in the present day. And today, we’re wrapping up the last craft in my hubby’s vintage military inspired office… all manly in its manliness.
This craft idea came along at the perfect time since my friend Beth from Home Stories A to Z invited me to team up with her and 21 other talented bloggers for a Thrifty Under $50 blog hop this week.
If you’re visiting from Finding Home Farms after seeing Laura’s brilliant vintage door vanity desk, I’m so glad you’re here!
My ultimate goal is always figuring out ways to decorate our house on a major budget, so I was ALLLLL for this challenge!
And it all started with a pile of yardsticks…
I searched high and low and couldn’t believe this idea had never been done before (as far as I could find anyway). Yardsticks are pretty “Americany” since the metric system is used everywhere else. I always wanted to do something fun with them but could never find the perfect project until now.
So here’s what I used: (Affiliate links are provided below. For more information, see my full disclosure here.)
- About 20-25 wooden yardsticks (I got mine in a bundle for $1.50 per stick on eBay, but Etsy has them too.)
- 1 folding yardstick (These are on eBay and Etsy too.)
- 1/8″ thick plywood
- Circular saw (We have this one and it does a great job.)
- Heavy duty construction adhesive (Loctite or Liquid Nails)
- Clamps and/or weights
- Painter’s tape
- Craft brush
- Craft paints in red and blue
- Paper towels
- Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
- Hanging kit
First, Robert and I figured out the size we would need to fit all of our yardsticks. We had 21 of them, and obviously, our flag was going to be a yard wide. (Yay for projects that measure themselves!)
Then we marked and cut the plywood with our circular saw.
We just happened to have a tube of this construction adhesive in our stash, but you could use any brand you like. I usually like Liquid Nails the best since the drying time is faster.
We just applied the adhesive, placed one yardstick at a time, and clamped it.
Our weight system got uh… a little interesting. Hey, whatever works.
After an hour or two the adhesive was dry, so I positioned the folding yardstick into a star shape and taped the square part of the flag to fit the star and prepare it for paint.
I put a strip of tape on any of the yardsticks I wanted to leave blank to represent the white stripes.
Then, I dry brushed the red stripes. If you don’t know what dry brushing is, you just dip your craft brush into a little paint, wipe off the excess on a paper towel until it’s seemingly dry, and brush it onto the wood you’re working with.
After dry brushing the red stripes, I did the same with the blue.
Since some of the yardsticks were a yellowish wood, some of them took on a greenish blue color, but that was totally okay with us. Yay character!
When the paint was dry, I attached the star with a little hot glue at the corners, added a hanging kit on the back, and hung it up.
Robert had an old rifle from World War II that he decided to hang above it. It doesn’t fire or anything but it’s a really cool piece of history.
The yardstick flag seems to fit right in with our office gallery wall that has a few pieces from Robert’s past.
I found these vintage style wooden frames at 50% off at Michaels that work great for some of his accolades and diploma.
We made a spot for him to hang up his old pack too.
And I found this clip board on sale at Michaels that fit his old field books exactly.
So now this office is 99% finished! Except for a light fixture switcheroo that’s happening soon.
To continue on the Thrifty Under $50 adventure, you can head over to Traci at Beneath My Heart for I’m sure what is bound to be a stunning makeover. She is definitely one of the sweetest, most talented people I know, and her style is like a breath of fresh air.
You can catch up on any of the other makeovers you missed this week and check back until Friday to click around for even more inspiration: