Your kids have probably been off school for a week or two, and you’re probably reaching the point where you’re getting bored. If you don’t have school age kids then you’re probably way past this point. Looking for something fun to do? Make them make you some patriotic artwork. ;) It should take a few hours, and you will get messy.
This idea has been in my head for a few weeks now and I’m glad we finally made it. Last year my kids helped to make abstract artwork with painters tape lines, and it’s still one of my favorite projects. I love having little bits of them throughout our home, I want them to know that and see their work. When I saw the stripes, it reminded me of a flag, and here we are. A simple project to beat summer boredom and slap some patriotic décor up on those walls.
-blank canvas (don’t buy one new, get it at Goodwill and apply Kilz primer)
-painters’ tape, 1" or 1.5" wide works best
-craft paint in reds, pinks, and oranges
-craft paint in blues and greens
-brushes, paper plates
-a kid (optional)
first, you’ll take a blank canvas and tape it:
Taping is the trickiest part of this project, but it wasn’t that bad. Keep in mind that the parts where you have tape are where the artwork will be WHITE. Here’s how to tape it:
- Keep a tiny flag or picture of a flag nearby. Study it. Get to know and love it.
- There are 13 stripes: 7 stripes next to the blue star area, 8 on the bottom.
- Measure how tall your canvas/flag is, then divide that by 13. That’s how big each stripe will need to be, mine were 1" and some change so I used 1" painters tape.
- Start from the bottom, leave one white strip on the bottom and add three green strips of tape.
- Now measure how wide your canvas/flag is across, divide by two, and place a vertical piece of tape to section off the rectangle area.
- Add three more strips of tape on the right side to finish your striped area.
- Cover the square blue star area. (We didn’t, but I can’t tell you how many times I had to say "don’t paint the square".
Once your tape is done, put your red, orange, and pink paints on a paper plate and paint away! Don’t tell them what to do or do it yourself.
Let me say it again, ’cause I don’t think you were listening.
Don’t tell them what to do!
Let your kids do their thing. White space is okay, painting one whole stripe orange is okay. I fought myself to keep quiet and did say "oh, don’t forget that spot!" a few times, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what your kid does. Lily’s is more ombre looking, Ben’s has a lot of white space and looks distressed. Let. Them. Do it.
We didn’t finish taping off the star area, but you should. An extra minute of work and few pieces of tape will save you from saying "don’t paint the square yet" a dozen times or so. ;)
When that’s done, immediately take the tape off, wash your brushes, and let it dry a bit.
See the flag? You want a white stripe BELOW the blue, so tape that off. Put another piece of tape at the border of the blue part, right along where your red stripe starts.
Take your star stickers and give them to your kid. Again,
don’t tell them what to do!
Phew, I really struggled this time. I wanted to tell them to put them all over, I really did. And I tried a few times. But my kids are stubborn like me and wanted to do their thing and I’m so glad they did. Lily’s has a 1776 flag sort of feel.
You do want to help when they’re done and press the stars down REALLY well.
Fill up a plate with a few different blue and green paints, and let them paint the rectangle. Keep your mouth shut. ;)
because HOLY COW, didn’t they do an amazing job?! You’ll be glad you let them do their thing, even if they did get some paint on the red part.
Wait 15-30 minutes, then start taking the stars off with tweezers. The stickers bled a bit, if you have vinyl and a cutter that might be a bit more crisp, but this worked well enough for us!
The coolest part was seeing how they turned out, and what it said about their personality.
Here is the one my 3 year old, Ben, made. More white space, more uniform color since he mixed his paint together. It looks distressed and rustic.
And this one is by my four year old, Lily. She applied each color separately, wanted her stars in a "circle square", and was a bit more precise with covering the white space. I like how it looks ombre at the bottom.
I hung one on the fridge and one in the foyer, below. If either grandma is reading this, feel free to take dibs on which one you want. We want to make more!
here’s that long pinnable graphic you might want, so you don’t lose this post:
whatcha think? want to make a flag now?