Have you ever seen a barn quilt? If you have not, it’s a large piece of wood that’s painted to look like a quilt or a quilt block and placed on the side of a barn. I first noticed them on a trip to Tennessee a few years ago. I thought they were so beautiful and recently I wanted to replicate it in someway. I have no barn but I have seen people create these for indoor wall art on a smaller scale. I kept thinking about ideas though. Then I thought how pretty it would be as a garden flag. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I am happy to say it turned out so good! They look so pretty sitting among the plants or even on a mailbox. Though they are heavier than a fabric garden flag, the metal flag holders are stable enough to hold them. Read on for the tutorial.
- Wood Cut in a Square Shape (I used a 1″ x 12″ x 4′ piece of whitewood and was able to cut four pieces out of it…. If you are not familiar with buying wood, note that they aren’t usually the width it says it is. For instance, it says this was 12″ wide but it’s really 11.25″, which means I had to cut them every 11.25″ instead of 12″)
- Optional: Wood Stain
- Paint (I used acrylic craft paint and chalk paint. I recommend the chalk paint as it goes on thicker. I only had to do two layers of paint with the chalk paint versus many more of acrylic to get the coverage I wanted.)
- Small Angled Paint Brushes
- 2 Screw Eyes (I used the #12 x 1-3/16 in size)
- 2 S Hooks (the ones that are closed and look more like an 8…. I used size 1-5/8 in)
- Optional: Black Spray Paint (I used Rust-Oleum Flat Protective Enamel in Black)
- Outdoor Sealant (I used Minwax Spar Urethane Indoor/Outdoor Clear Semi-Gloss)
- Print out of desired quilt square (Make sure it’s a square and in the size that you are making. I made mine so they were slightly under 11.25″)
- Pen or Pencil
- Other supplies: Cup with water for cleaning paint brushes/Paper Towels for clean up/Something to protect surface where you are painting
1. Find a Quilt Square that you would like to paint. I just went on Pinterest and searched “quilt square” to find images. The simpler patterns are the easiest to paint. That pineapple one took a lot longer than the others. Save the image you want and resize it to the size of your wood. The images I found had some space on the edges so when I cut it out the paper was the same size of the wood but the image was smaller.
2. Stain the wood if desired and let it dry before the next steps. I used Minwax Dark Walnut.
3. Flip the print over and use chalk to go over all of the lines of the image.
4. Flip back over and place on top of wood. Use a pen to go over all of the lines. Press down hard but not too hard that you go through the paper or make huge dents in the wood.
When you remove the paper you will be able to see the chalk lines.
5. Paint in areas with desired colors. I found that using angled brushes make for a much easier painting job. Trust me 🙂 If you can, grab a few sizes so you can find the size you like best.
6. Flip over and repeat steps 3-5 on the other side, making sure to have the pattern and colors all the same way as the first side. Then when it’s up, it looks like the same on both sides, unless of course you want to do two different things on each side.
Note: You might find you will need to do more than one coat of paint for good coverage. I discovered I liked using chalk paint better because it had better coverage and I didn’t have to do more than two coats.
Tip: I found that I could flip the wood and place on it on these painters’ tripods after the first coat so I could start painting on the second side while I waited for the first side to dry.
7. When the paint is all dry, wipe off any extra chalk with a wet paper towel. Then you will need to add two or more coats of an outdoor sealant. You can do more coats if you want, but I think two will be sufficient. If you keep these outside often, you will probably want to reapply every few months or so. This will help protect it from the outdoor elements.
8. Spray paint the metal screw eyes and s hooks if you like. I wanted them to be black so it blended it with the black flag hook we already had.
9. When those are dry, hand twist the screw eyes into the wood. I went in two inches from each side for placement.
10. Use pliers to slightly open one end of the S hooks. This makes it easy to place the flag on but it’s still closed enough that the flag won’t fall off.
11. Place the closed ends of two S hooks on the garden flag holder. Then put the S hooks through the screw eyes and slide flag into desired placement. Make sure to bring it inside if the weather is going to be bad (ex: hurricane, snow, windy, etc).
I took the above pictures so you can kind of see how it looks with each side looking the same. The colors really pop! This is such a fun project for a craft night or to make for gifts. You can pick seasonal or holiday colors to make it festive. Please make sure to share if you make one! Share on instagram and tag me and use #happytogetherbyjess so we can all see them or share on the facebook page 🙂 Happy crafting! -jess