This 4th of July, show your pride by making a crazy cool patchwork flag!
2 sheets white paper or cardstock (8 1/2” x 11” or larger)
1.| Set aside one sheet of paper. Then on the other identically sized sheet, use a pencil to draw the rectangle and stripes of the American flag. Use a ruler or simply freehand the pattern. (If using an 8 1/2” x 11” sheet of paper, make the stripes about 5/8” wide as shown here.)
2.| Next, cut apart the flag on the drawn guidelines, leaving one rectangle and each individual stripe. Set all the pieces aside.
3.| Now, flip through old magazines and cut out all the sections of red, white and blue, (patterns and solids).
4.| Cut and tear the papers into smaller sizes and pile them in groups according to their color.
5.| Use a glue stick to cover the rectangle with blue scraps of paper. Then make red and white stripes by gluing colored scraps onto paper and cutting. (Allow the pieces of colored paper to extend beyond the edges of the white paper shapes.)
6.| Turn each shape over and use scissors to trim away the excess magazine clippings.
7.| Use the glue stick to adhere all of the covered pieces back into a flag on the sheet of solid paper. Cut away any extra edges of the white background paper.
8.| To finish, cut found or freehand stars from magazine pages, adhere them to the blue section and the flag is ready to proudly display!
• Instead of using magazine clippings, decorate the flags with cut-up food packaging, giftwrap, junk mail or craft papers.
• Make the flag more accurate by creating it with 50 stars and 13 thinner stripes (seven red and six white).
• For more of a “mosaic” look, use scissors to cut the colored clippings into evenly sized little squares before adhering them to the paper pieces.
• For a “Pop-Art” feel, make a series of American flags in colors beside red, white and blue.
• Use a star-shaped paper punch or small stencil to make the stars, or simply use star-shaped stickers.
• Make many flags and attach them to a length of ribbon for a festive banner.
• Remove the top flaps of a rectangular box, cover all four sides with handmade flags and then place potted flowers or a bouquet inside for a fun picnic table centerpiece.
• Make larger flags and cover them with clear contact paper to make placemats for a party table.
• For a more permanent decoration, use découpage paste to adhere the flag pieces onto a rectangle of thin wood.
• Use a permanent marker to draw “stitches” on the finished flag.
• For a snazzier flag, embellish it with glitter or sequins.
• Try this idea to make flags for states of other countries, or even family crests.
Pamela Maxwell is an artist, author and mother of two busy little boys. Her craft and scrapbooking projects have appeared in numerous books and magazines. Photo by Pamela Maxwell.