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Shabby Chic American Flag

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You’ve seen a lot of these around and I wanted to create one of these Shabby Chic American Flag for my front door.  Not only for the upcoming 4th of July holiday and Memorial Day, but I have these colors on my front porch.  And, you know me, I wanted to make this as easy and cheap as I could.

Shabby Chic American Flag

Shabby Chic American Flag

So with a little digging through my fabric and lace stash, purchasing just a few pieces of fabric, and deciding what was I going to use as a hanger, I was set.

With no specific pattern or size, it was a work in progress until it was finally finished.

I did have to purchase a few pieces of red fabric.  Knowing all strips would be cut between 1 3/4″ – 2 1/2″ wide, it only took 1/4 yard of each, which would make at least 4 strips.   The strips were approximately the 45″ width of the fabric, but trim the selvage edge off. These will all be trimmed at the end.

I gathered up all the fabric, plus the lace and tulle I had on hand.

fabric for diy flag

I cut all materials in varying sizes, also cutting off the selvage edges.

measuring and cutting the fabric

Because I was going for a little shabby chic look, I dampened all the fabric just a little and ran it through the dryer to give it a raveled look.  I usually tear my fabric for this effect, but most of the fabric isn’t cut straight on the grain, and I was losing too much fabric so this worked out better.

Always keep a stash of scraps since you never know how they could be used.  The white netting had been cut off the bottom of curtains which were too long.

How to Make a Shabby Chic American Flag

Now what to use as my rod.  The dowel rod I had was too thin for this project and since I didn’t want to make a trip to the craft store or Walmart, so I thought a branch from a tree would work.  So outside I went to find a fairly straight branch.  As my husband says, I “let” him help me. 

We found a branch that was sturdy, and fairly straight.  He got out his trusty hand saw for this little job and cut it to 19″.

hanging a rod

There were some dried mossy areas, so using an old sponge I scrubbed the spots to remove this.

hanging a flag with a stick

Now with all of my fabric and stick gathered up, I sat on the floor to work on my project.  Does anyone else do this?  Sit on the floor and spread out everything?

Shabby Chic American Flag

Creating the Shabby Chic American Flag

Start with a red strip and loop the fabric around the stick to make a knot. 

Shabby Chic American Flag

strips of fabric


Alternate red and white strips of fabric, tulle, and lace, starting and ending with red.  

Don’t worry about the ends being uneven as these can be trimmed when finished.  Plus, being a bit uneven is just the shabby chic look.

How many strips of fabric did I use for this Shabby Chic American Flag?

I used a total of 34 strips of varying widths.

Shabby Chic American Flag

With the red and white strips done, I made a pattern out of the newspaper to decide on the size of the blue star section.

Shabby Chic American Flag

I was going to purchase denim and stamp stars but as I was walking through Walmart, I happened to see this tank top.  At $3.94, this was the most expensive part of my project, but it saved some time.  Of course, an old pair of jeans, or something picked up at a thrift shop could work too.

After a few tries, I used an 8 x 10 piece.  One little problem.  Since it was knit fabric and after cutting, the edges wanted to curl.  Ok what to do now.  

How to stop the fabric from curling

I knew it would need to be stabilized and I didn’t have any iron-on interfacing and didn’t really want to make a trip out.  I thought about my spray-on adhesive and decided I could use it and place it onto some white fabric.  

Spray adhesive is really sticky and has an overspray, so this is best to do outside.  

I used clothespins and attached the fabric to a couple of pieces of white printer paper and sprayed on the adhesive.  You need to work quickly with this product. 

I removed the clothespins and immediately placed it onto a scrap of white fabric, smoothing it out.  To ensure a good adhesion, I placed another sheet of white paper on top of the fabric.

Tip to flatten the fabric 

To ensure the fabric would dry flat, I placed a few books on top to weigh it down.  I left it for about 30 minutes.

PLEASE NOTE -A few pictures aren’t available for some of the following details.  Apparently I need a new SD card for my camera.

Trim the white fabric away from your blue.  

My plan was to hang it with jute cording, but didn’t like the look so to plan B.

How to hang up the Shabby Chic American Flag

I made a rope by braiding 3 pieces of my red fabric.  After braiding, simply tie it off, the tie to each end of the branch.   

I then attached the star fabric to the flag with just a beading of hot glue along the top of the branch, making sure it covered the branch and the first strip of red.  Any fabric glue could also be used.

Hang at the desired height on your door or wall.  I used a 3M hook for this. 

Shabby Chic American Flag

Remember you can always pin for later inspiration.

Shabby Chic American FlagAs it is May now, let’s start the summer decorating with some good old Red – White – and – Blue.

Planning ahead for picnics, these are also great, not just for the 4th.

4th of July Food Ideas

More DIY projects

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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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  1. Could you please enlighten me as to how long (on average) the strips of fabric are on the American flag?

  2. how wide is your stick? I made one with a dowel that was 24″ and it seems too wide. I also made it with ribbon and lace and the ribbon doesn’t stay tight –
    so i’m going to make it again with fabric. I also used tulle and that was fun.

    1. I checked, and in my post I said 19″. I thought maybe I had left it out. This was a good size for my door but I’ve seen these really big for hanging on a porch. Did you see how I looped my pieces on? I haven’t had any trouble by looping these, pulling tight, then scrunching them together tight on the stick. It could be the ribbon, especially gross grain or satin has a slicker surface. You could always put a little glue on it it too. Send me a picture of your completed one and let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. What a fun idea. This would be great to make with kids and I love that you can use it for all the patriotic celebrations throughout the season. Heck, it would be pretty nice to have it out all summer.

    1. Thanks. I love how it turned out. I’m trying to plan a few more for different seasons and holidays. I always have extra fabric and lace laying around.

  4. This turned out so cute! And you can use it all summer. I just love good old red, white and blue for the summer. I’m saving this one!

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