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brown paper packages: {flag blocks}

Sunday, August 22, 2010

{flag blocks}

When I saw these blocks over at How Does She?, I knew they would be perfect for our Super Saturday (my church's annual craft day) this fall, and of course, for my family room. :) I put my own spin on them, opting for a painted, distressed look, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

They are so simple to make, totally inexpensive, easy to buy materials in bulk for them, and super cute! This project can easily be done in a large group, or on your own.

One of the best things about crafting, is that you can take an idea, and make it your own. With these blocks, that's what I did! I wanted to use paint, then really distress it, instead of using scrapbook paper, and I love how it turned out.

Flag Blocks

  • 2x4 lumber, cut into these pieces: 2-7 inch blocks, and 4-3.5 inch blocks
  • craft paint and foam brush (see paint colors below)
  • sandpaper
  • stain

1. A 2x4 will cost somewhere around $2 ($2.10 at my Home Depot). It will usually come in 8 foot lengths, so one piece of wood will make 3 block sets. That's 70 cents a piece! The store will cut it for you--just have your measurements ready.

2. Set out your blocks, so you know which of the two sides you want to paint.
This is how it will look:

I decided to use an extra 3.5 block to go right behind the star piece. This gave it more stability, helped the star piece sit a little more forward, and made it easier to tie on the ribbon.

3. Paint just the front skinny sides of the wood--one long cream, one long red, one short cream, and one short red. Out of the two remaining 3.5 blocks, you leave one bare, and paint the the bigger side of the second one navy blue. Once they've dried, sand it well--making sure to get the corners, and fading the paint so it looks really weathered. Wipe off the dust, then apply the stain-- I like Minwax Dark Walnut. (Paint cost: $1 each--I could have made at least 4 out of one bottle--so we're talking 25 cents each, x 3.)

I'm also very particular about the paint colors I use--especially red. For me, it can't be too burgundy, or too bright. My favorite it Tompte Red, by Delta (Ceramcoat). I used Navy Blue by FolkArt, and Vanilla, by JoAnn's.

4. For the star, I just traced one that I liked, enlarged it on my copier (it's about 3 inches from point to point), stenciled it onto cream cardstock, then cut it out. I distressed all the edges, and adhered it with double stick tape. You can leave it like this, or mod podge it on for extra security.

5. Stack up your blocks, then tie on your ribbon. I suggest using a wire ribbon--the bow will look great, and hold its shape. (Ribbon cost: This is your biggest variable. Using a 40% off coupon at Michael's or JoAnn's, my ribbon would be around $2.50, and I used about a third of it for one set, s0 around 80 cents each.)

You're done! From start to finish, you're talking 30 minutes! Total cost? A little over $2.25 per set. You really can't beat that!



Blogger Kristi said...

Oh these are so cute! Thanks for sharing!!
@ Creative Kristi

August 23, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

love how they turned out! can't wait to make them :)

August 23, 2010 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Kelly Tillotson said...

these are adorable! i saw something like this a friend had in her display case at home but it was of the texas state flag {which is pretty much the blue block and just the first two stripes instead of the four you used} is there anyone with brains that arent totally fried and better with measurements that could help me configure a texas state flag one like this? I know the ladies in my ward would love this for a super saturday project, but im really not good with dimensions.
just in case you want to email me:
--thanks in advance for any ideas--

August 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I love this!! I definitely plan on making these in the future. My house is full of your projects- I've made the chore chart and the footstool! :)

August 23, 2010 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Love the Decor! said...

I think these are so cute!!
What a fun project I think I need to make these too! : )

August 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger staci @ lizard n ladybug said...

so cute!

August 23, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Roeckers said...

This is perfect!! We had our RS planning meeting yesterday.We are looking for low budget ideas as we have a lot of low income families in our congregation. I am adding this to our list.

August 23, 2010 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Leanne said...

THose are so cute!

August 23, 2010 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger simplysandi said...

I'm not very craftsy - but I think I could do this.. this is too cute!!!

August 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Rebecka said...

These really are super cute. Now I want to figure out what to paint on the other side so they reversible.

August 23, 2010 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Freakin' cute! Love your stuff!

August 23, 2010 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger ificould said...

Lovin' these... what a cute idea! Thanks for sharing!

August 24, 2010 at 4:01 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

very cute!

August 24, 2010 at 4:21 AM  
Blogger billiemonster said...

Those are really great! I love the distressed look. I'll be following you. :o)

August 24, 2010 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Haleyuns said...

I do believe you are my very favorite craft blog! I love all your crafts and I feature a ton of them, including this one on my new craft blog, Thanks for all the inspiration!


August 24, 2010 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Riley said...

Love, love, love this idea. I need some more detailed direction on the staining step though....please advise. Messed one block up already....don't want to proceed until I find out more. Thanks for your help:)

September 9, 2010 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger brown paper packages said...

Okay, staining can be tricky, but here's what I do:

Just dab your rag in the stain (I use what's on the lid, because it's usually just enough), then blot it on a piece of paper, or something else to get the excess off. Then take your rag and wipe it on your block in smooth, straight lines. Take a clean piece of the rag and again, wipe off any excess. You really don't need much at all.

Good luck!

September 9, 2010 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I LOVE this - thanks for sharing!!

Sarah from The House That Ag Built

May 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Trisha said...

Great visiting teaching gift idea! Thanks.

June 9, 2011 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger *katie said...

LOVE this! Thank you for sharing and for the tutorial! I already made my set and will be helping other sisters at our Relief Society activity on Tuesday :)

June 11, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hi! I love these blocks and I featured them on my blog! You can check it out at

Have a great week!

June 21, 2011 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Kirsten @ Mushki Loves said...

This is so adorable! I am making one! I am following your blog and would love it if you would follow me back! Have a great 4th!

June 30, 2011 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thank you for all of the specifics! So cute, I'm so going to do this. It's so cute!

June 30, 2011 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Sam @ The Junk House said...

I featured your blocks as one of the 4th of July projects I wish I would have made. I absolutely love them!

July 4, 2011 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so cute and looks like something I can do! Thanks for sharing!

August 26, 2011 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Cap Creations said...

These are great! I hope you don't mind I have shared this over at Cap Creations today. Thank you!

November 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Andrea Hale said...

I really love this! Found it on Pinterest and doing it tomorrow for a girls night! Thanks for the tutorial!!

April 27, 2012 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger Mrs. S said...

Love this! Pinned it and your Flag Bunting.

June 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Us, the Gilson's said...

I just have a quick question... do you stain the whole block or just the areas where you painted? (Love it too, by the way!)

June 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Us, the Gilson's said...

I just have a quick question... do you stain the whole block or just the areas where you painted? (Love it too, by the way!)

June 18, 2012 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Bernadette Dunphy said...

love this project...Just have 1 question, "how do you distress the star on cardstock paper?

June 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM  

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