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The Junk Parlor

Three Patriotic DIY Projects for Summer

Summertime is the perfect time for patriotic decor! With the Fourth of July right around the corner, I am rounding up my favorite patriotic DIY projects and including a new one!

Let’s start with a new project! Learn how to paint an American Flag on a window screen with me!

American Flag on a Window Screen

I have seen tons of flags painted on barn doors and they are super cute! I figured I could get a similar look by painting a flag on a screen. The first batch I made of these American Flags on window screens I used screens I had in my stash. I had purchased them to resell, but when I got down to the last one, I saved it for this project! I loved how it turned out, so I started picking up screens here and there. I would paint the flag on them and then sell them. Then, I stopped making them and we moved! Fast forward many years and I saw a Facebook Marketplace listing for 5 free screens! I figured it was a sign that I needed to make some more to resell!

They have all been a little different, but I love how they have all turned out!

5 screens I picked up on FB marketplace
all of the supplies needed, paint, tape, paint brush and stencil

Supplies

Getting Started

Before you start, make sure that your screen is clean and completely dry (if you had to clean it).

First you need to study your screen and determine the best layout. Do you want your flag to be horizontal or vertical? Does your screen allow you to have a painted flag that is proportional to a real one or do you need to do something a little more unique?

Once I had envisioned what I wanted my flag to look like I started taping. You can take measurements. You can also use your tape to give you a visual. Typically I just eye ball what portion I want to be stripes and what portion I want to be stars.

Next, I took my painter’s tape and put it where I want my stripes to end. Then I began to place the tape in strips across one end of my screen. Instead of covering this entire end of the screen in painter’s tape I would lay out 3 rows. Then I would peel up the middle piece of tape and reuse it. This allowed me to save on how much tape I was using.

Depending on the screen, sometimes I would layout tape “stripes” over the entire screen and then come back and move a stripe where I wanted the stars to go. I would repeat this process until I had removed enough rows that the flag (stars to stripes) looked proportional.

placing my tape where I want the stripes to end
Placing the tape to make my stripes straight and crisp
removing the middle piece of tape on my stripes to reuse it
removing the middle piece of tape on my stripes to reuse it

Another Patriotic DIY


Also depending on the size of your screen AND the width of your tape, you may decide to use two widths of tape to make one stripe. Laying out your tape for this is the same general concept. Instead of removing every other piece of tape, remove two, then keep two. Repeat that process the rest of the length of the screen. If you need a visual of this process watch the video below.

After I had my painter’s tape in place and all the sections of the flag clearly marked out, it was time to paint!

After painting red stripes
Removing the painters tape after painting the red stripes

Painting the Stripes

I started by painting in the stripes without painter’s tape. I have used red latex paint and red acrylic paint. I basically use whatever I have on hand from other projects. It is important to remember that when you are using painter’s tape, you need to make sure that you hold your brush partly over the tape and the space that you are painting. This helps you get a crisp line. Don’t push your brush up at the tape, paint across. We don’t want paint bleeding under the painter’s tape!

You might also notice that my paint seems to be running. That is just because I am painting this vertically, with the screen standing up. I am doing it because it’s easier to photograph and video tape the process. If you work on the ground or on a covered table, you will not get those runs.

Tip: When you are using painter’s tape or a stencil, make sure that you paint across the top of the painter’s tape (parallel to it) OR away from it. Do not paint at a 90 degree angle towards the edge of the paint. This will help you get a clean line!

Every screen and every layout is going to have you doing things a little bit differently. You can paint the stripes white or you can leave them the color of the screen. If you are going to paint them, then I suggest putting painters tape over the red stripes. You can freehand it if you want though!

When completing the stars portion you have many options. Again, a lot of what you do depends on your screen and your stencils. I have painted the entire section white and then use black marker to outline my stars. I came back in with blue paint to freehand the blue background.

I have also painted the stars white using the stencil. Then after the stars dried, came back to fill in the blue. Anything works as long as you let the paint dry. If it is wet, the paint will bleed together.

It’s also important to note that if you don’t get the coverage you want you can use two coats of paint. I was also told that they sell a primer for painting on screens that crafters use, but I can’t find it! If you know, tell us down in the comments!

Painting the Stars

When the screen is dry, grab your stencil, white paint, and detail brush and work on your stars! I chose to do mine randomly, using a combination of smaller stars and larger stars from my stencil. I didn’t want the headache of trying to get them all perfectly lined up! If you want to line yours up, you sure can! Or buy a stencil that already has them lined up for you! If you don’t have a stencil, you can make your own stencil using a cereal box, or you can freehand them. I’ve even seen people wrap painters tape around star cookie cutters. Then they dip them into paint and press them onto a surface. After you are finished painting your stars, let them dry and you are done!

A couple of finished stars

A painted screen would look great hanging on your wall inside your home, on your porch, or even placed in your yard! Below are a few of the screens that I have made. A few are pictures sent to me by customers!

Do you need more projects for your old windows? I’ve got you covered! Have a look at my Quick and Easy DIY Window Projects blog post!

One of the American flag screens I made hanging up in it's new home on a front porch!
Another completed American Flag on a Screen
Another completed American Flag on a Screen

I also shared this DIY on Hello Iowa! Watch that broadcast HERE.

Patriotic Bunting

As you may know, I love using up items that I already have, and this DIY is no exception. I took some scrap fabric to create this festive patriotic bunting! Read the post, Creating a Simple Patriotic Bunting to see how I made mine. Or, watch my YouTube video below!

Iowa Flag

While I was out on a pick, I grabbed an Iowa cut-out and figured it’d be perfect to paint an American flag on! Read my post, Let’s Create a Wooden Iowa Flag, to learn how to make your own! Or click the button below to watch my video:

More Patriotic DIY Ideas

If you love Americana decor, the sky is the limit for DIY! Consider painting a flag on a canvas, the glass of an old window, a feed sack with faded advertising, an old door, a barn door, or even a mirror.

Stick Around the Blog for a While

I do tons of DIY projects, but that isn’t all!

For design tips, check out my post that shares three different Vintage Coffee Table Decor Ideas!

Ways to Connect with The Junk Parlor

There are so many ways you can keep up with me! I am always sharing DIY tutorials, my latest antique and vintage finds, going live and doing sales, and even showing you bits and pieces of my life. Keep up with me here on the blog or on my social media!

Check Out my Latest YouTube Video:

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I use and recommend. I am not paid to promote these products. If you purchase using my affiliate links, I could make a small commission at no charge to you.

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