Monday, January 20, 2014

Countdown Flag Tutorial

Hey there!!

Last week I mentioned having a craft tutorial for you and here she is!  To give you some background, my friend Kira and her now husband declared themselves 'officially' dating at my wedding back in October of 2010.  They are the cutest ginger couple you ever did see and they have two adorable ginger kiddos too!  Both Kira and her honey are in the military and he will be leaving soon on a deployment overseas.  To help Kira and the kids pass the time, I made a 'Countdown Flag' to literally count the days 'til their soldier returns home!

Countdown Flag Tutorial
Okay so here's what you need:

3 - 2x4's cut to approx. 9"
2 - 2x4's cut to approx. 5.5"
2 - 2x4's cut to approx. 3.5"
Acrylic Paint (I used cream, maroon and dark blue)
Paint Brushes
Painters Tape
Chalkboard Paint Spray
1.5" Yellow Ribbon
Ball Point Pen
The words 'Days 'til our soldier comes home!'*I created mine in Word and printed them out.

The first thing you'll need to do is cut your boards to size.  I had Matt cut the wood for me out of some scrap 2x4's we had from our shelving project in the basement. 

Make sure you go back and paint the whole board!  Didn't get a picture of that...

After I had painted three coats on each piece of wood, I was able to move onto 'etching' the wording on each board.  I learned this method via Pinterest, but now I can't find the specific pin.  I'll keep looking and once I find it, I'll link it up to this post.  Here's the gist: Cut each separate word out and tape it to the wood.  Using a ball point pen, push down and trace around each letter until you've finished each word.  When you remove the paper, the word is 'etched' into the wood!

Once you've completed all your tracing, you will go back and paint inside each letter.  There are several methods you could use if you didn't want to use a brush.... paint pen... Sharpie... Whatever.

After filling in each word, I taped off the blue square and sprayed two coats of aerosol chalkboard paint on to it.  Once the paint is tacky, you will remove the tape and let it drive completely.  I let mine dry for about 5 hours.  After the chalkboard paint is completely dry, you have to 'prime' it.  Priming is necessary so the first thing you write on your chalkboard isn't there permenantlyy.  I rubbed my chalk on a scrap piece of felt and then rubbed the felt over the chalkboard.  You may find it necessary after this step to touch up your blue paint if the aerosol paint bled or you can't remove the excess chalk dust entirely.

The final step is to stack the blocks in the flag shape and tie it up with a yellow ribbon.  The yellow ribbon signifies that they are supporting and praying for the safe return of a family member who is serving in a branch of the US military.

Remember to be thankful everyday for the men and women who fight to protect our freedom!


  1. I think that is the sweetest gift you could give. I am so thankful for our fellow Americans who sacrifice time away from family to help our country. This is a great idea. Thank you for sharing it and linking up to Project Challenge!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. That is totally awesome! Wonderful gift - prayers for all those giving of their time and sacrificing for our country!

  3. So grateful for all who serve to protect our beautiful land! Love this…what a great idea!