You have probably noticed that repurposed pallet decor is all the rage. I have been hooked since the first project I saw, and have created some pallet pieces myself. I will never forget the look on my husband’s face when he came home to find me mounting a pallet to the wall of my studio (Pallet Organizer DIY). His concern was it’s weight, and I have to say, they are pretty hefty. Some people are opposed to bringing pallets into their homes because of possible toxins, or they don’t have the tools to work with pallet wood. That is why I was so thrilled when I learned about Smooth Finish™, a paintable coating for FloraCraft® Foam. Learn to create this faux wood pallet flag that you could lift with your pinky, and enter to win a product pack from FloraCraft to make your very own!
Make it Fun® Foam 2 – 1″ x 12″ x 36″ sheets
Styro Cutter Plus® (you don’t have to have a special cutter, but it makes the process much easier)
Serrated kitchen knife waxed with candle or soap if you don’t have a foam cutter
Red, white and blue acrylic paint
Mod Podge Mat Finish
White star stickers or stencil
Yardstick and chalk pencil
Craft stick for stirring
Putty knife or spatula
1 inch paint brush
Medium Grit sandpaper
CUT THE FAUX BOARDS
I divided the foam sheets into three 4 inch wide pieces (36 inches long). I measured each 4 inches and made my cut line with a sharpie.
Plug in the StyroCutter Plus and it is ready to cut in 30 seconds. Be careful, it is quite hot. The cutter works well, just be sure to let it do the job for you. If you force it to move, there’s a chance that the wand/tip will snap off. If you don’t have the StyroCutter, you can use a serrated kitchen knife. Waxing the blade with a candle or bar of soap first will help make the cutting smoother. Just for fun, I cut one of the lines using my jig saw. It worked fine, but there was a lot of flying foam dust. The StyroCutter prevents this my cauterizing at the cut edge.
APPLY PAINTABLE COATING
Open the smooth finish and stir with a craft stick. The consistency is like paste.
I spread it onto the foam in about 5 inch sections at a time since it becomes difficult to spread and stick as it is exposed to the air. Spreading in multiple directions helps fill more of the pockets in the foam for a smoother finish. I wasn’t too concerned about having a perfect surface since I knew I was going for a distressed look, so I worked fast. The coating was easy and quick to apply. Each sheet took one tub of Smooth Finish.
I let it dry overnight, but I am sure that wasn’t necessary. I would say 1 hour would be enough.
PAINT THE FLAG
For 13 stripes, each one is 2.75 inches. I marked and taped them off with painters tape, and taped off the blue square. I painted with a flat brush using acrylic paint.
I did the blue last. The stars were cut using my Sizzix machine, out of Duck tape white sheets. I drew a grid with my ruler and chalk pencil to guide placement.
DISTRESS THE PLANKS
I wanted my pieces to look rough like pallet wood, so I sanded some edges to make them uneven, and removed paint in random areas to reveal the white layer. The texture i left with my spatuala, combined with the distressing provide recessed areas for the antique glazing to highlight at the end.
GLUE PIECES TOGETHER
I used StyroGlue since I know not a lot of glues work with foam. The workbench was the perfect spot for gluing. I used clamps to keep pieces pressed firmly edge to edge while the glue dried.
It holds perfectly!
SEAL WITH MOD PODGE
I sealed the piece with Mod Podge matte finish.
I used Scupley antiquing glaze, which is no longer in production. Any glaze is fine. Just apply and wipe away quickly with paper towel. If there is too much glaze left behind, use a damp paper towel.
Hot glue a loop of twine or wire to the back to hang. You only need a small nail or tack.
I love my flag, and my husband loves it’s weight. This is a great option if you want the reclaimed wood look, but don’t have power tools or if you prefer light weight pieces on your walls.
A big thank you to Sharon at Crafts n Coffee Blog for introducing me to the world of Styrofoam/Make it Fun Foam. She shared a piece with me at a conference that inspired me to make this faux pallet flag. She also sent me the products used in this tutorial, and is standing by to send them to one of you!!
For even more great foam projects to inspire you, check out Make it Fun on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/makeitfuncrafts/