America shaped wood flag
Holiday,  Patriotic/4th of July,  Plaques

America shaped wood flag plaque with fabric, lace, trims, and ribbons

This adorable America shaped wood plaque was super fun to make and turned out better than I imagined! I loved every moment of the creating process. The fabric, lace, trims, and ribbons were like putting a puzzle together. They all fit just perfectly, only I had to find the right spots. Read along to hear how I made this beauty!

To start this project, we cut an America shaped wood plaque out of 1/2″ MDF using our well-rigged CNC router–which needs to be re-rigged for the ump-teenth time, because it is broken AGAIN! Anyhow if you do don’t have one of these you can simply print the size and shape you want, trace it on your wood, and then cut it out using a jig saw. This route will still work, it just uses a little more elbow grease from you.

Choosing the fabric, lace, and ribbons for your USA shaped flag plaque

To begin, I went to the ribbon isle of the fabric store. I searcched hi and low to find the lace and ribbons that I liked. I even checked places several times. Sometimes when I find myself “not finding” what I really want in the display in front of me, I tend to stare harder or look multiple times. I feel if I do this, it will magically appear and pop out before my eyes….doesn’t really happen. But what does happen, is my brain makes a shift and begins to assess the options available and imagines how I can use them in my project instead. So if do stare long enough or look enough times, I will find what I need (or a good substitute).

This is how I found my first few pieces of lace. Once I found the color and type of lace I wanted, I began matching/coordinating it with other lace, ribbons, and ric rac. I knew I wanted a certain shad of red and so once I found that (It was actually the ric rac that was that shade) I used that to coordinate all my other pieces to it.

When I left the first fabric store I had about 2 different yards of lace and like 3-4 different yards of ric rac. (Most fabric stores charge by the yard) You don’t necessarily need a yard of each, unless you plan to reuse it more than once. But that was the shortest length I could purchase.

Next, I took my few supplies with me and went to JoAnn’s. I went straight to their ribbons and trim isle. I used the few pieces I got from the previous store to coordinate and match with. Here I found lots of different trims, ribbons, and lace. I definitely left this store with more than I needed but I felt confident that I would be able to create the eclectic look I was going for.

Fabric

After finding all the ribbons, trims, and lace, I went looking for fabric. I was looking for a dark navy blue color and had planned to cut out a cream or tan star to put on it, but…lucky me!…I found a star print fabric that I fell in love with and BONUS it coordinated perfectly! So I bought 1/8 yrd of this fabric which was plenty. I had a lot left over. But you want to make sure you get enough to cover the top left corner area.

Picking out your paint

Now before you leave the craft store, check out the craft paint supplies and match your red paint to the color of your red ribbons. I chose red paint because I wanted the delicate detail of the lace to be revealed against the deep red background. Keep in mind if your fabric is lighter where the stars are or overall lighter, you might want to get a white or tan color also to paint where the fabric will be. This way the dark red won’t show through and darken the lighter areas of your fabric.

Painting your America shaped wood

Once you have your America shaped wood cut, and your ribbons and paint picked out, paint it Red. Completely coat the front and sides with 1-2 good coats of paint. If your fabric is lighter, then leave a small amount on the top left corner and paint it tan or white. It doesn’t have to be perfect because you are going to cover most of it up with the fabric, lace, trim, and ribbons. Once you have painted it, set it aside to dry.

Prepping your fabric, lace, trim, and ribbons for your America shaped wood

While your America is drying, cut out the amount of star fabric (or whatever type of fabric you went with) and lay it on your work surface. Now, begin laying out your lace and ribbons in the pattern that you like. This is probably what took me the longest. They are randomly placed on there but I re-arranged them so many times. In fact, because I was working on this project and many others at the same time, it took me a few days to finally get the layout I wanted to use. Let me tell you, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just want them to alternate red and white (or cream in my case) so you get the affect of the red and white stripes.

I tried all kinds of layouts and patterns. I even tried adding some rosettes, but decided against them in the end.

Also, keep in mind, I took these pictures before I even imagined of having a blog. They were just for me to look back and see which layout I liked best. Because I now want to share this with you, you get to see my not so professional photos. 🙂

Gluing your fabric into place

Now that your America is dry and you have the layout you want of your fabric, lace, trim, and ribbons, it’s time to glue them on. I glued the star fabric in place first. Before I did this, I traced the exact shape of the top corner of my America (face down) on the back of my fabric. Then cut it out. I did this so that I wouldn’t have to trim it up once it was glued into place. After I cut the shape, I pulled the strings off the edges so that it would have the frayed look.

Next, I painted a small amount of Mod Podge on the wood, then pressed the fabric on top of it. I didn’t use a whole lot of Mod Podge because if you do, it will soak through the fabric and darken it. Then you will have a different look than you were anticipating. But if you don’t care if it darkens the color of your fabric then use as much as you want. You can even coat the front of it too.

In the above picture, you can see the slightly frayed edges. If you look closer, along the right side, you can see where the Mod Podge made my fabric a little darker. This is because the Mod Podge was a little too thick underneath that part.

Gluing your lace, trims, and ribbons into place

Once your fabric is glued into place, begin by laying the lace trims and ribbons in place. Switching and trading as needed. Once I had all of them in the layout I wanted (because yes, this layout changed from the one I settled on before), I trimmed up the edges. I cut them to the length I needed. I also used a flame starter/lighter to burn the edges of most of them to prevent them from fraying.

After this was done, I glued them into place. First I started with the lace pieces and glued them down with Mod Podge. I painted the board with Mod Podge and then placed the ribbon on top of it. Yes, I got Mod Podge all over my hands, and yes, I washed them lots during this project. Once I got the larger back pieces of lace in place, I glued the rest in place. I did this in whatever order I felt needed to be done first. I didn’t like how the Mod Podge darkened some of my items, so I switched over and used hot glue. When all your fabric, lace, trim, and ribbons are glued into place, set it aside for a while. When it is dry, trim up anything that needs trimming.

If you look close on the image above you can see where the Mod Podge made the trims darker. This is because the Mod Podge was a little too thick or it soaked through the trims more. I bring these parts to your attention, so that you can actually see what can happen. And not just read about it. Also so you can see that not every craft is perfect, but still looks good. Overall I think it turned out great! (even with the darker areas)

You did it! Great! You have made a beautiful eclectic America shaped flag decoration! You will fall in love all over again, with this decoration, every time you pull it out to display. People will be asking where you got it and you can proudly claim, I MADE IT!

Supplies:

  • 1/2 ” MDF board
  • CNC router or Jig saw
  • Blue Star fabric of your choice
  • A combination of Red and White or cream lace, trims, and ribbons {purchased at craft stores and fabric stores}–I like to touch and feel them so I don’t have a link for your on these.
  • Red paint
  • Sponge paint brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot Glue/glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Lighter

Now it’s time for you to get started! Happy Crafting!

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