DIY Patriotic Garden Flag | Ink Transfer Technique

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

Hello!  It’s Cami from TIDBITS, back today to share another DIY project for your home.  Actually, this one is meant for the yard and will help you ring in all the patriotic holidays throughout the year, in true vintage fashion.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique. Or perhaps you love sporting your love of country all year long.  Either way, this patriotic vintage garden flag will be a lovely accent to your yard or anywhere you decide to place it in your home.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

Or, it could easily be hung on a wall in your home, or on a door in place of a wreath or anywhere else you can imagine.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

I do love how it looks in our front yard hung on an inexpensive hanging basket rod.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

We just finished working on sprucing up our porch and front yard, and now it is perfect for lazy summer days while reading books on the porch swing.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

I had felt I had enough plants and wanted to add some type of visual interest different from the rest, which is how the patriotic garden flag came to be.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

I will be sharing the tutorial for how you can recreate this exact garden flag for your own space.  This includes instructions for how to take a printed image and transfer it onto fabric with the use of my favorite household cleaner.  This method is great for leaving a sort of time worn faded out image.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

I am using a simple print out I created stating, “AMERICA.  one nation. under God.”  I also created a simple patriotic vintage pillow with the same saying, and I absolutely love it!

Patriotic Pillow with free printable

I added a faded out star behind the saying for the pillow.  You can get the FREE printables over on my site, HERE, as well as different variations of it.  If you would like to know how to make a simple envelope closure pillow, I have a tutorial for that as well, HERE.

Before we move into the tutorial for the garden flag, just know you can use this simple ink transfer technique in so many ways in your creative pursuits.  For example, I did the same technique for these French inspired hot pads HERE, not too long ago.

French Inspired Hot Pads

It is really a lot of fun to play with, and is only limited to anything you can print!

Let’s get started!

I’ll be explaining what you need and how to create the stripes and star as well as the transfer of the words.  Finally, I’ll explain how to put it all together into a hanging flag.

First, gather your supplies.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

(All links for products below are amazon.com affiliate links.  I add these so you can get full details on the products I use.  You can then purchase them from amazon, or find them at your local stores.  Read my full disclosure policy here.)

You can consider any type of fabric for your flag.  A light neutral color will show the images best.  I used some bleached drop cloth I had on hand for mine.  A light linen fabric would also look fantastic.  The amount of fabric you use really depends on the size you want it to be.  I simply placed the printed out saying on top and cut my fabric to the size I thought would be visually appealing.  I also preferred to rip rather than cut my edges to obtain a nice frayed border and add to the time worn feel.

For applying the stars and stripes you will need the following:

  • Red and Blue paint
    • Preferably fabric paint, or craft paint with a fabric medium like this one, added to it.
  • Foam Brush
  • Paper plate

The following is optional because there are other ways to paint your stars and stripes – but I find these tools very handy (time and time again).

  • Grain sack stripe stamp
    • Tutorial HERE for making one
  • Rubber stamp mat for making the star, like one seen HERE or purchased at craft stores.

For the image transfer of the saying you will need:

  • Citrasolv natural cleaner and degreaser (link HERE)
  • Spoon
  • Foam brush
  • Something to protect your surface, like a garbage bag.
  • Your free printable, HERE.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

To put your flag together, you will need:

  • 2 of any type of flat wood sticks long enough for your flag (found mine at Home Depot).
  • Wood Glue
  • String/rope/twine or any preferred choice to hang.
  • Wood clamps are very helpful, but not necessary.

To begin, I covered my work surface with garbage bags, then I made my red stripes.  I used my grain sack stripe rolling pin to paint on my stripes, but you could also tape off your lines and paint stripes, or if you have a steady hand simply paint them on.  I love how the stamp enabled me to create more faded lines, by dabbing the paint slightly with a paper towel on the roller before I stamped on my fabric.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

While the red paint dried, I moved onto the word transfer.  There are 2 things you must know before you can use this method of ink transfer.

1.  You have to print your image using a toner based printer.  An ink-jet printer will not work, which is what most people have available in their home.  Most public libraries still use a toner printer, or schools.  My husbands work had one so that is where I printed my image off.  I imagine print shops also have that option.

2.  It is essential that you have a reversed image for this transfer technique.  You can find that reversed image in my patriotic printables collection.

I trimmed the paper around the words and placed it where I wanted it on my fabric, printed side down.  To help secure it in place I used scotch tape around the edges of the paper.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

I poured a small amount of citrasolv onto a paper plate and dabbed my brush in the cleaner.  Then I brushed the cleaner over the words on the paper and the words darkened and revealed themselves.  Be careful not to shift the paper around at this point.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

Once all the words were saturated with the cleaner, I took a spoon and rubbed the back side over each of the letters firmly, but carefully.  You have to be very careful not to let the paper shift around or your letters will blend where you don’t want them to.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

Once you feel you have rubbed enough of the ink down, you may want to take a peek and make sure it is transferring in the amount you want.  Then lift the entire paper off your fabric to reveal the transfer.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

To create the star, I simply googled star shapes and found one in the size I wanted.  You could paint your star on a variety of ways, but I wanted to obtain a faded, less than perfect stamp look.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

So, I used the rest of my rubber stamp sheet and traced my star shape onto it and cut it out, creating my own star stamp.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

Then, I used a foam brush to paint on my blue paint directly to one side of the star stamp.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

Then I stamped the paint directly over the stripes.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

It left a very nice faded star in it’s place.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

To put the garden flag all together, I began by getting my wood pieces to the tone I desired.  I recently discovered this white wash pickling stain, which I have enjoyed on several projects.  I gave my wood slats 1 coat of the white stain and rubbed it off, leaving a softer wood color but still allowing for plenty of wood grain to show.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

You could just as easily nail the wood slats together to secure the flag inside, but I wanted this to be a little easier then that so I dug around for my husbands wood glue.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

I first cut some twine to the length I desired and taped the ends down on the wrong side of one of the wood slats where it would hang best.  Then I added some wood glue all along the wood, and centered the top of my flag and glued it in place.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

I placed some more wood glue over the fabric and across the wood piece as needed.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

Finally, I took the other wood slat and placed it over the other one, wrong sides being glued together and securing the flag and twine in place.  I clamped them closed until the glue was completely dry.

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.
That completed my patriotic vintage garden flag, and now it was ready to hang.

I hope you give it a try!

Patriotic Vintage Garden Flag tutorial, featuring a ink transfer technique.

If you would like a glance at the other side of my front porch, I have a post detailing what is over there including a tutorial for how to white wash a terracotta pot.

Summer Front Porch Decor

We’ve also recently completed our kitchen, which if anyone has done a kitchen remodel – you know how much time and effort can be included in that!  We are pretty excited that it is done.

Cottage Fresh Kitchen

Thanks for reading, and we will see you again soon!

 

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