Free People Month: An American Flag DIY

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Happy July everyone! Over at the blog we’ve decided to deem the month of July: Free People Month! AP is going FP and we’ve planned an entire month of great lifestyle posts that embrace the easy-going and free-spirited Americana vibe of this brand. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Free People, we want to capture it’s essence while staying true to our vintage style and budget.

We know this flag DIY might be a little late, but since we didn’t win it in Free People’s giveaway on their blog, we couldn’t help but give it a go. And this DIY – surprisingly! – took far less time than we anticipated. Crazy right?

This was our inspiration (i.e. imprecise, boho beautiful that is Free People):

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An American flag completely made from scratch.

I have a plethora of fabric, ribbon, lace, trim and miscellaneous odds and ends (see: fabric hoarder in the dictionary) I invited Erica over this weekend and this is what we came up with.

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Not bad right?

There were a few changes we wanted to make to the FP version: Firstly, we’re big fans of the traditional patriotic, American color scheme. This is the time of the year to do the dark blue and saturated red and white so we decided to stick with those. Since it was hanging on our mantle at home, I figured my husband would appreciate that too. We also wanted to incorporate the 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies from the Betsy Ross flag.

Here are a few progress shots, (see that hoard of trim in the first pic? I wasn’t kidding!) That trim visible is just a small sampling of what I have accumulated from garage sales and the AP.

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I have a table that is 24×36 exactly. So the first step was to get a base layer that we could sew and glue everything to. We used lace so it would show through on the white stripes. Once the lace was cut to the exact dimensions of the table and on the table, we:

  1. Used a ruler ( I used the T-square you see in picture 1 above) to mark out the width of your stripes. Because our flag was 24″ high we marked out 1.84 along the ruler.
  2. Since I’m prone to mistakes in this area, I also taped alternating red ribbon on the ruler so that we would start and end on red.
  3. Measured out the blue area, we knew it was the height of 7 stripes , or resting on the 8th one, and we eyeballed the width.
  4. Set out all the fabric trim, scraps and odds and ends we wanted on our flag.
  5. Hot glue gun!
  6. Sewed on remaining pieces. We did this for the buttons and keys (in the blue area) and also for some of the other trim that got loose or was too meshy. You can totally play it by ear. Hand stitching worked because the sewing machine just couldn’t navigate over the thickness of some of the layers.
  7. Hung it on the mantle and enjoy!

{Note: I had a loop sewn in my lace from the beginning so I could slip a dowel through to hang. You could do this step at the end and hand stitch in a dowel as well. I had a few issues with the glue sealing the loop shut.}

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Materials used:

  • lace trim
  • ribbon (of all shapes sizes and textures) & fabric scraps (cut to size)
  • military buttons
  • old keys
  • vintage patriotic brooch
  • large piece of lace fabric (for backing)
  • red leather gloves (cut into pieces)
  • yarn
  • pom pom upholstery trim
  • yarn fringe (cut off of a sweater)
  • We chose not to use any pieces from a real American flag, as we thought this would be disrespectful.

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I really love how the combination of textures interact. It’s abstract up close but really looks like an American flag from far away.

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It’s now front and center above the mantle with some star candle holders (still need to get candles, whoops). A simple setup but I think it lets the flag shine.

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Side note! Did you know that dogs are welcome at the Antique Plaza? Well they are! As long as they are friendly and leashed.

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And starting Wed and running through Sunday we are having a store-wide sale!

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We hope to see you this weekend!

kat-sig & erica-sig

 

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