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Rustic Wood Shim Flag

Rustic Wood Shim Flag

Project Supplies

  • (40) 6" Wood Shims
  • 12" x 24" Plywood
  • Minwax Express Color Wiping Stain - Crimson
  • Minwax Express Color Wiping Stain - Indigo
  • Minwax White Wash Pickling Wood Stain
  • 4 oz Gorilla Wood Glue
  • (3) 1" Foam Brushes
  • White Upholstery Nails
  • Natural Cotton Twine
  • 220 Grit Sand Paper

Tools Required

  • Hammer
  • Star Template
  • Scissors
  • Latex Gloves

1. Sand the Shims

Sandpaper and shims

Sand the edges of the shims slightly to remove any splinters or rough edges. There is no need to sand the entire surface unless the shim is extremely rough. (This is a rustic flag which means its beauty lies in the flaws!) The intent of sanding is to make sure the edges can be butted against each other easily and without large gaps.

2. Arrange the Shims

Wood Shims

Setup eight rows of four, alternating thin side/thin side and thick side/thick side to give the illusion of a wave. You will want to lay it all out before you begin staining and gluing because not all shims are created equal! Some may be longer than others and you may end up with a row/rows much longer than the others. Rearrange until each row is similar length. This only needs to be close, not perfect.

3. Stain the Shims

Wood Stain

Pour the Express Color Crimson and Indigo onto a paper plate or disposable surface for staining. Be careful when pouring, the stain comes out fast. The White Wash Stain can be used directly from the can (make sure you shake well). Using a 1” foam brush stain the shims. Keep them laid out and allow them to dry in this general formation. Otherwise, your rows may get mixed up and you will need to lay the whole thing out again before you begin gluing.

(TIP: To avoid staining your hands, use latex gloves.)

4. Glue the Shims

Wood Glue

Once the shims have dried, you can begin gluing them to your plywood. Begin at the bottom and work your way up by row. Your bottom and top rows should overlap the plywood slightly. Allow 30 minutes for glue to set.

(TIP: Lay the plywood over top of your shims while they are laid out to give you an idea of how much overlap to use on bottom row in order for the top row to have a similar overlap when completed.)

5. Create the Star

Twine and Upholstery Nails

Once all of the shims have been glued, cut the star from the template attached. Lay this in the center of the blue section and push an upholstery pin into the wood at each tip and corner. You’ll want to push these in enough that they won’t fall out when stringing the star but with enough room to wrap the twine around each one several times. We will tap them in further once the star is complete.

Download the template!

6. Tie the Twine

Star Directions

Tie the twine around one of the upholstery pins. Begin winding the twine around the upholstery pins by winding from tip to corner and back to the same tip twice before going from a corner to the next tip and so on. This should be done using one long piece of twine. Once you get back to the original tip, tie the twine off and cut any remaining twine. You can gently tap the upholstery pins in further using a hammer.

(TIP: The finish may come off slightly from the use of the hammer. To avoid this, cover the pins with a rag before tapping in.)

7. Hang the Flag

Rustic Wood Shim Flag

Project complete! Add a picture hanger or Command strips to the back and hang this some place special, or prop it up on your mantel for a rustic accent!

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.