A couple of years ago my family and I went antique shopping in a little town nearby.  My husband said we were only window shopping.  I came home with 4 deliciously banged up old windows!  Not exactly what he had in mind but…hey!  I knew immediately where to put 3 of the windows in my home, but the fourth, a large picture glass window, sat unloved in a corner of my bedroom for a long time…until I saw this beautiful Ethan Allen American flag.
Beautiful, isn’t it?  It’s also $999.00.  I realized I could create a similar flag with my window for much less…in fact, the total cost for this project?  $40.00! 
 
To make this flag you will need:

1. A large, old rectangular window (alternatively you could do this project on a large, rectangular picture frame)

2. Acrylic paint  (a red, an off white, and two shades of blue), paint brushes, and a circular sponge
3. Vintage-look scrapbook paper and enough blue cardstock to cover the back of the star field.
4. Mod Podge
5. Painter’s tape
6. Something to create a star template:  A paper punch/cardstock, a stencil, a die cutting machine—whatever you have on hand.

Give the window glass a good cleaning and gather your supplies.  Sit a teenager next to the window and try to focus while they ask you 20,000 questions about the project:

You will be working on the “wrong” or underside of the glass, so lay the window face down on your table.  Tape off the blue/stars section of the flag with painter’s tape.  Due to the length to width ratio of this window, it actually worked best to eyeball the size of the blue rectangle first and then measure out the stripes afterward.  Once you’ve taped off the blue rectangle, cut or punch out a bunch of stars and lay them in a pattern on the window as shown.  Do not adhere them to the window—they are simply a helpful reference point for the next step:

Make your own star templates by using the negative space leftover from the stars you previously cut/punched out.  Position the template over each star you placed on your window, remove the star and sponge off white paint through the template as shown:

Once the stars dry, load up a circular sponge with a dark blue paint color of your choice and sponge a circle over the top of each star until your star field looks something like this:

Finish the star field by painting over the circles with a lighter blue paint.
Tape off the stripes and paint a red of your choice. Once the red stripes are dry, pull up the tape and carefully paint an off white in between each stripe. I didn’t do this, but if you want your flag to be really antique looking, add a touch of brown paint to your brush as you paint each stripe. Get two lovely, enthusiastic teenage assistants to help with this.  (They really were enthusiastic.  They’re just really concentrating here):

Look closely at the stripes in this photo.  You’ll see that the paint does not cover the glass evenly.  There are multiple streaks, brush strokes, etc. in the paint and because we only put on one coat, it’s pretty translucent.  We want it to look that way: In fact, you can scratch a bit of paint off with your fingernail or a popsicle stick if you’d like. 

Gather your vintage look scrapbook paper.  If you’re like me, pull a bunch of it from your stash that’s been sitting unused for…ahem…a long time.  We went with papers that looked like old newspaper, letters, and music sheets.

Continuing to work on the underside of the window, cut up the paper and lay it out so that it covers the flag.

Once you’ve got the paper arranged the way you like it, coat the printed side of each piece with Mod Podge and adhere it to the back of the window on top of the painted stripes. Coat the blue cardstock with Mod Podge and adhere it on top of the star field. 

Coat the entire back of the window with Mod Podge to seal it.  Allow to dry.  Here’s a close-up so you can see how the paper shows through:

I have an Americana wall in my kitchen, so this flag is always on display, but it makes great 4th of July décor as well.  If you have teenagers around, include them in this project—we had a great time working on this together!

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