How to Make a DIY Wooden American Flag Using Pickets

This DIY wooden American flag is the perfect project to celebrate the upcoming patriotic holidays like Memorial Day, Flag Day, and of course The Fourth of July.

If you love the rustic look as much as I do, then this DIY wooden flag is just for you! It’s easy to make this patriotic project and is also budget-friendly.

In this post, we will go over the supplies and tools you need to complete the project. We will also go over each step to build and customize this DIY wooden flag, I will also include options if you don’t have reclaimed fence pickets and a metal star like the one I used for my wood flag.

The following post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and then buy something, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting my blog. full disclosure here.

This post is sponsored by Dixie Belle. All opinions are my own!

Supplies to Make Wood American Flags

Let’s look at the supplies you need to make this scrap wood flag using pickets! You probably already have some of the supplies on hand! Keep in mind you can make these flags quickly so you might want to make more than one to give as a gift or to sell them!

A stack of paint jars in American flag colors to make a DIY wooden sign.

Unique DIY Wood Flags

You will notice that my fence pickets have been previously painted and are pretty dirty. We reclaimed these pickets from my niece’s home. She was replacing the fencing around her yard and asked if we wanted them. Of course, we said yes because we love reclaimed scrap wood! Especially when it is free!

If you don’t have access to reclaimed fence pickets, you can buy them at your local home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. They only cost about $2 each making this a fun project to make that won’t cost much. Using fence pickets adds a rustic touch to this wooden American flag wall art that is unique!

You might be making this scrap wood flag for your home but you also might be a vendor who is looking for projects to make and sell in a vendor booth or a market. These flags can be made inexpensively so your profit margin will be great. You can also make several of these flags in only one weekend! 

Take my word for it, you will have lots of interested buyers wanting one of these adorable American flags! Customers love patriotic Americana decor in the summer!

The back of a DIY wooden sign made with reclaimed wood fence boards and showing how dirty the boards are.

How to Make a DIY Wooden American Flag

Let’s go over the step-by-step process to build a simple rustic wood flag. I will go over the steps when using new fence boards but later in this post I will also tell you about the reclaimed fence pickets I used!

Step One Cut the pickets 

Cut the fence picket sections approximately 30″ long. Save the 12″ end sections to assemble the flag. The final wood flag dimensions will be 12″ wide by 30″ tall plus the width of the metal star and the hanging wire.

I used a chop saw (also known as a miter saw) to cut my boards. Measure and mark the boards and carefully cut them using the miter saw. Take caution when using this powerful tool! Wear safety goggles and be smart about the whole process!

You can use a circular saw, jig saw or hand saw to cut the boards as well. Mark and measure the fence boards using a carpenter’s square to create a straight edge for cutting. Draw the cutting line and cut the boards.

Chop saw cutting picket fence pieces for a farmhouse sign.

Step Two Assemble the Wood Flag

Sand any rough edges created by the saw. Use two of the leftover 12″ sections to attach the three long fence boards. I used a power drill to predrill the screw holes on the back of the flag. Then before attaching the boards with screws, I applied a layer of wood glue. This helps to join all of the boards together for a secure bond.

I also left a 1/2″ gap between the boards. You can have the long edges touching if you like but I like the look of the gap on this rustic flag.

Three reclaimed wood fence boards attached to build an outdoor wood flag.

thanks for being here!

I hope you are enjoying this project! Let me know if you have any questions. Or leave me a comment to tell me about your project and ideas!

thanks, Cindy 😀

Step Three Paint the Red, White, and Blue

I’ve designed this DIY wood flag so that each of the three colors of the flag can be represented. The red paint I am using for the red stripes is a traditional red for the American flag. Fiery Sky Red is the perfect red color for this flag in my opinion!

The blue color I chose is called Nautical and it couldn’t be any more perfect! There are certainly other blue colors to choose from but this one looks the closest to the blue in the American flag in my opinion!

The white stripes were easy for me because the fence pickets I used were already painted white. If you need the perfect white to go along with the blue and red colors I have chosen for the wood flag, I would choose Endless Shore. All three of these Americana colors will look perfect together!

Each picket got two coats of paint for complete coverage.

Step Four Create a Distressed Look

This step is optional. Paint the pickets and if you like the solid paint look, then don’t distress the boards! If you like the chippy paint look then go for it! 

Use a piece of sandpaper to scuff off some of the paint along the grain of the wood. Then vacuum off the paint dust created by sanding. 

You can also use an orbital sander to distress the paint. This will help to show the wood grain of the pickets creating a rustic look.

Step Five Seal the Paint for Outdoors

The next step is to seal the paint especially if this rustic wood flag will be out in direct weather. I used Gator Hide to seal the paint. It is rated for outdoors and will make this flag last a long time on my back patio!

I applied two coats allowing it to dry between coats. It’s a good idea to allow it to dry completely overnight before hanging this DIY wood flag.

You will notice in the image below that I applied the clear coat sealer to a different project. That project is coming soon so stay tuned!

lady painting a clear coat to seal reclaimed pickets to make a diy wooden American flag.

Step Six Add the Star and the Hanger

The final step is to add the star. I had an old metal star that I found at a thrift store (or maybe I found it at an auction??) Anyway, it was the perfect look for the star area on this wooden flag. 

If you can’t find a metal star like mine, you could always make one. Here are some ideas for you.

  • Draw a star shape and cut it out of scrap wood.
  • Make a simple farmhouse star using paint sticks or scrap wood.
  • Use a CNC machine to cut a star. Some CNC machines can cut metal or thin wood.
  • Design a star stencil on a Cricut machine and stencil the star design on scrap wood.
  • Purchase pre-made vinyl stars at your local craft store and stick several of them on the fence boards.
A rustic wood American flag made from reclaimed fence boards with a large yellwo metal star hanging on a back patio for patriotic decor.

Add a heavy wire hanger using a screw at the top edges of the flag. Predill the holes, turn the screw a couple times, wrap the heavy wire around the screw then tighten down the screw to hold the wire. I like to add a little curly cue to the tail ends of the wire by twisting it around the screwdriver a couple times.

a handmade wooden American flag made with reclaimed fence pickets and painted red, white and blue. The flag is hanging on a porch.
A rustic wood flag made with repurposed fence boards hanging near a back door on a patio.

Wasn’t that such an easy scrap wood flag to make? Pickets are inexpensive to purchase and easy to use in many projects. Here are more fence picket board projects we have made over the years. I’m sure you will want to do these projects too!


Reclaimed Fence Boards

I mentioned earlier in the post that we used reclaimed fence boards. That will make this project even more budget-friendly. Let your family and friends know that you are looking for old fence boards for projects. Many people are replacing wood fencing with vinyl fencing and they want to get rid of the old fencing. Look on Marketplace too. Most people just want you to come and pick up the fencing.

You can also check with local fencing companies. Let them know that if they come across customers who want to get rid of the boards, you are willing to come and get them. This saves the company and the customer the disposal fee so they are more than willing to give you the boards. Good luck finding old fence boards!

Our boards already had a nice chippy paint finish and that added to the rustic look of this DIY project. They are also in the Gothic style of fence boards. Our fence is made from pine boards but many are made from cedar.

A DIY wood flag made with reclaimed fence picket boards hanging on a back porch near the back door.

YouTube Video

Stay tuned for the video showing you how to make wooden flags! It’s coming soon!

DIY Woodend American Flag

I hope you enjoyed making the wooden American Flag with me! I would love to see the flag you make! Share it with me and my Facebook Group by joining us! Click below to join and share your upcycled DIY projects!

Pinterest graphic with text overlay DIY wooden American Flag with image of diy flag in red, white and blue made with picket fence boards

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Cindy Rust

Cindy has been decorating her home with thrift store finds for 40 years. She is an avid thrift store shopper who loves to makeover the items she finds into vintage-inspired home decor and furniture. When she isn’t thrift shopping or painting a piece of furniture, you can find her making homemade butter, working in her garden, or painting with watercolors.

American Flag FAQs

What are the American Flag dimensions?
3′ by 5′ is the typical size of the American Flag.

When was the American Flag created?
June 14, 1777

Should the American Flag touch the ground?
No. Allowing the flag to become soiled should be avoided.

What are the proper times to fly the American Flag?
Sunrise to sunset unless the flag is illuminated with a light at night. (Legion.Org)

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Reclaimed Wood Fence Sign

Custom sign for your home!

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  1. Hi Cindy – This is one of my favorite projects you created. First, it’s a great way to re-use some picket fence pieces. Second, this can stay up on a porch all summer long. Thanks for the great tutorial and step by step instructions. Pinned!

    1. Cindy Rust says:

      So glad you enjoyed the American Flag project Anna! It’s so easy and cheap to meake!