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American Flag Upcycled Crib

June 17, 2020

What do you do if your babies have outgrown the crib? Restyle that crib into an American Flag Upcycled Crib. With so many patriotic holidays in the summer, you will be able to enjoy it for several months. Let freedom ring on your front porch or patio!

Things You Need:

Acrylic enamel craft paint-red, white and blue
Acrylic craft paint-brown
Floetrol
Paintbrushes, ruler, pencil, sandpaper, rags
Small star stencil, stencil brush
Ribbon or fabric for bows
4 silver jingle bells-1 1/2″ (optional)
Scrap wood
Patriotic phrase stencil
Craft wire, wire cutters and drill

Prepare the Crib

I did not add the tools needed for preparing the crib to the project’s “Things You Need” list, as every crib will be a bit different and the tools you will need are pretty self-explanatory. Also, please note, I didn’t use a lot of measurements in explaining this project. Styles and age of the cribs make precise measurements impossible. Don’t worry, I’ll talk you through how to figure your own.

Step 1: Remove the hardware from your crib. You can just do the one side panel you will be working with, but I removed all of it so I can bypass that step the next time I am making a crib project.

Step 2: Clean the side panel you are using until it shines. 😉 Remember all those boogies, slobbers and those diapers your child decided to change on their own…Uh huh, I thought so. You’re gonna want to make sure all that DNA has been completely removed.

Step 3: Cut off the ends of the top and bottom rails. Mine were cut about 1″ from the last vertical spindles.

Painting the Crib Flag

Step 1:
Ignore the brown paint in the supply list for now. This project uses the three colors of the American flag. Paint the entire crib side (front and back) using white acrylic enamel craft paint. Applying more than one coat is up to your preference. You will be antiquing the entire flag after is has been painted so two coats may seem like tedious overkill. Uhm…not that I would know anything about that… 😉

Measure the Stripes

Step 2:
You have arrived at the step for measurement decisions. I wanted 13 stripes like a real flag so I planned my measurements with that in mind. The top and bottom rails were designated as the first and last red stripes. This left me with 11 remaining stripes. After measuring the distance between the top and bottom rails, I divided that number by 11. This is how wide each of the stripes on my vertical rails would be. Do not mark at this time.

Measure the Blue Field

Step 3:
My crib side had 16 vertical spindles. I chose to use 6 for the width of my blue field. To determine the length of the field, ignore the top and bottom rails for the time being. This leaves you with 11 stripes. You will need 6 stripes beside the blue field and 5 stripes below it. Mark the right-hand and bottom sides of the blue field using a pencil. The top rail above the blue field will also be blue.

Step 4:
Paint the blue field using blue acrylic enamel craft paint. Paint all the way around. Front and back.

Step 5:
Paint the remainder of the top rail and all of the bottom rail red. Front and back, top and bottom.

Step 6:
Mark the red stripes on the first spindle beside the blue field. Mark from top rail to bottom rail. Paint the red stripes all the way around. Remember the white stripes are already painted from Step 1. The reason I started with this spindle is because it lines up perfectly with the blue field and it is very easy to become confused and paint red where it should be white. Ask me how I know that can happen.

Step 7:
Now, if you haven’t lost your mind by now…and haven’t gotten to the point where you are questioning your sanity for doing this project in the first place…keep going. Working out from this spindle, mark all of your stripes on the spindles. Paint the stripes outward from the first spindle painted.

Paint Stars on Field

Step 8:
If you have finally completed Step 7, it’s time for a glass of wine…or two. I honestly did not think I would ever finish. This is another one that will require decisions based on your crib’s spindle design and size. The amount of stars on mine were determined by how they would be spaced on the spindles. I chose areas on the first spindle where a star would fit pretty well and duplicated that on each of the remaining blue field spindles. That made 36 stars. I’m okay with that.

Sand Away Mistakes

Step 9:
Huh? Well, if you are reading through the instructions before you begin, that headline has probably got you scratching your head. Just wait. You’ll get here eventually and will be able to appreciate this headline. Trust me. Lightly sand over the front of your flag. Concentrate on hitting the high spots rather than the low, smoother spots.

Time To Age

Step 10:
Again, if you are reading this before starting you are probably thinking I am crazy for suggesting you apply something messy over your carefully painted, crisp stripes. Uh…yep. I don’t care how good of a painter you are, by the time you get here, you will realize there is no such thing as a crisply, painted stripe on a bumpy spindle. You will be begging for a way to camouflage your shaky edged stripes. Mix 1 part brown acrylic paint with 2 parts Floetrol. Working one spindle or rail at a time, paint the mixture on the flag and wipe off with a rag. Continue until the entire front and back has been antiqued.

Spiffing Up Your American Flag Upcycled Crib

Step 11:
Using ribbon or fabric strips, create large bows for each top corner. Add 1 1/2″ silver bells if desired.

Step 12:
Thread craft wire through the back knot of each bow. Using a drill, drill two holes through the top rail on one end. Thread the wire ends through the holes and twist on the back. Repeat on the other end of the rail with the remaining bow.

Step 13:
Find or cut a piece of scrap wood that will work for the patriotic phrase stencil you have. Paint the top blue and stencil the phrase using white. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Sand the edges and surface of the sign. FYI: I think my sign was approximately 6 1/2″ x 14″.

Step 14:
Place the sign on your crib flag where desired. Drill two holes for each connection through the sign and spindles underneath. Attach with craft wire in the same way as the bows. I used three connections to attach my sign.

Whew!

You! Are! Done!

Sit back with another glass of wine and enjoy summer on the porch!

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