Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art

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I wanted to do a quick project for the Independence Day holiday – something that delved deeper into the meaning of the day. Red, white and blue cupcakes and the like are all well and good, but I fear the true heart of the holiday beats weaker with each passing year and with each successive generation. I had an idea for something to hang on the wall: the original draft of the Declaration of Independence flanked by the Betsy Ross flag and the 50-star flag. It would be a simple thing to make: print out the flags and the Declaration, Mod Podge them onto a piece of plywood (it would be my first time using Mod Podge), and stick that into a frame that I would make. This easy project would serve as a reminder of those whose words and ideas shaped our nation.

Well, let me tell you, there’s no such thing as “simple” when Mod Podge is involved. Instead of a three hour stroll down memory lane, I was thrust into a two-day Battle of Bunker Hill.

A quick search online uncovered the flags I was after and an awesome original draft of the Declaration of Independence. I printed these out and ran downstairs to quickly bang out this project. I started with a 1/4 inch plywood backing, cut to fit my three printouts.

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I had a blackish/charcoalish color homemade chalk paint that I had custom mixed for another project months before. It would serve. I grabbed a brush and slapped some on the plywood.

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Perfect.

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

I placed the printouts on the backing to see how they would look. Not bad. But I thought that they would look better…

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…if I crinkled them up a bit.

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

As I mentioned before, I had never decoupaged anything or used Mod Podge. All I knew was that it was a glue and a sealant. You may be wondering why I didn’t ask for Handan’s help with this project – after all, she is a decoupage master. Well, for starters, I didn’t think it would be hard. Also, I had to get the project done quickly, and she was at work. And last, after a few screw-ups, it became my mission to finish it.

I thought it might be a good idea to pour a bunch of it all over my project and see what happens.

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Looking back, this may not have been the best approach. I brushed the glop all over the flag on the right, assuming it would soak through the paper and glue itself to the board. It didn’t really work out like that, and I had to peel up the soaked flag, brush on some Mod Podge underneath, and replace the flag. for the remaining two printouts, I decided to brush the glue everywhere first.

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Then I applied the printouts, dumped on some more Mod Podge, and brushed it all around. For some reason, the flag on the left and the Declaration ended up all wrinkly. I tried to smooth them out using the roller. It wasn’t really working, and the roller started peeling off bits of the pictures. Gah!

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Okay, I could handle a little setback. Using a razor blade, I scraped off the Betsy Ross flag and the Declaration and started over (no pics, sorry). I got it again to the point pictured above and left it to dry overnight.

Meanwhile, I started work on the frame. I had some spare tongue and groove pine boards left over from some past project.

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By cutting off the bottom of the groove shown below…

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…and then cutting them into narrow strips, I had the makings of a good frame.

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I glued the corners, then added some brad nails for extra reinforcement.

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Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

I finished it off with some Minwax Red Mahogany stain, then called it a day.

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

The next day I had a peek. My flags looked like they had been infected with Bubonic plague.

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Crap. I hate the feeling when you stare a screw-up right in the face and realize you have to start over from square one. Shoulders slumped, I grabbed another sheet of plywood and started cutting. I decided that I would take more pictures of the process. For your education? No! Pfffft. For your entertainment, of course! You didn’t think this process would go smoothly, did you?? Let’s jump in!

Okay, I got the new printouts, hot off the laserjet.

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With a ruler and a utility blade, I removed the excess paper.

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Voila!

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Crumple time. Double-crumple, to be precise.

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Aaaaand uncrumple.

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Another crumple shot? Cripes, why? I think we get the point!

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All crumpled. How proud I was!

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Hmmmm….maybe a little too crumpled. Better smooth ’em out a bit.

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I know the roller burned me before, but I just kept running back to it.

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Look! I flattened paper!

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Somewhere online, someone suggested that I first spray the paper with clear acrylic fixative before Mod Podging them.

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Pro tip: if you enjoy asphyxiation and a slow horrid death, by all means use this product in a closed basement. If you enjoy air and breathing and your lungs, go outside and use it. Guess where I used it?

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Yep, you guessed right. The ninnyhammer decided it would be a fine idea to spray in the basement!

When the stink cleared, I got on with marking where each piece would go.

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I immediately covered those marks in glue, so I ended up guessing where to place them.

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I’m a gambling man with a penchant for self-torture, so I reached for the roller.

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Phew! No rips. On to the other flag.

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Again with the roller…

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No rips! I was on a roll! On to the Declaration…

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Placed it like I was born for the job. I had this down! I had it sewn up like Betsy Ross! I was the Mod Podge Champion of the Universe! I did a victory lap with my roller, just to show those flags who was boss.

And then it happened.

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I was crushed. I grabbed a razor, considered my wrists, then set in on the flag. I’m not thinking happy thoughts in that big, dumb head.

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I must have screwed up the other flag, too, because as soon as I scraped off the one, I got right to scraping off the other. Poor me.

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I printed more flags. I trimmed the flags. I crumpled the flags.

yay. woooo. *sigh*

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No longer friends with the roller, I discovered a new technique for smoothing out the paper: fingertips.

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Holy sh!t, it worked! I’m a genius!

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That hair, though…

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Yeesh, I may need to shower more often. But that was a problem for another time, because I was on fire! I placed the next flag.

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And smoothed it out.

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YES! YES! YES! No rips, no tears! I’m King of the World!

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After about 20 minutes, I added a top coat of Mod Podge, because that’s what someone on the internet said to do.

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Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

I left this to dry overnight. I was nervous. Even though I was now King of the World and the Mod Podge Champion of the Universe, I still feared another Bubonic plaque incident. I hardly slept at all that night.

But it worked! It freaking worked!

I loaded the plywood panel into the frame and used Handan’s frame stapler to fix it in place. This is an awesome little tool for anyone who works with frames.

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

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Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

And here it is: my project born of sweat, tears and patriotism.

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Happy Independence Day!

 

Update: It came to my attention from my old friend Lee (a stauncher patriot than I), that I was displaying the flags incorrectly in the project. According to our flag code, the blue Union should be on the left, not on the right. All my life, I’ve had it backwards in my head. Speaking of head – I started to bang mine against the wall, as the realization crept into my bones: I couldn’t just leave it like this. I’d never be able to look at it with pride.

I.

Had.

To.

Do.

It.

Over.

AGAIN!

I didn’t take pictures. I was a broken man with a jug of Mod Podge. I flipped the pics, reprinted them, crumpled them (if anyone tells me that crumpling a picture of the flag violates the flag code…), Mod Podged them and framed them. Did I screw up? Pffffffft! What the hell, people! Of course I did! Took me three tries to get it right.

But I got it right.

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

Old Glory & The Declaration of Independence: Patriotic Wall Art | Diy wall art | How to make a frame | Frame and wall art tutorial | Decopuaged wall art | July 4th crafts using mod podge | Old and new American flag | Independence day crafts | Easy & budget crafts | How to make wrinkled decoupage | TheNavagePatch.com

–Greg<

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37 Comments

  1. I love this! I will have to try and covert the idea to a Canadian theme though. Thanks for the laughs!

  2. Well, for all you went through to bring your idea to life, it looks fantastic! And I got a good chuckle out of reading how NOT to do it….lol! Happy 4th to you and Handan.

  3. OMG… so funny to read your D I Y on this! I feel your pain though in the beginning of this post. I did this but with a picture of my Granddaughter, what a hot mess!! I will try it again though at some point. Yours turned out so nice, glad it worked out for you looks great!!

  4. I woke up crabby this morning but this post and tutorial made me snort…and my bad mood go away! Happy 4th!

  5. Oh you are SUCH an adventurer! 🙂 Fun and I adore your spirit and creation.
    FYI,
    ~ you can make your own version of MP by mixing water with white school glue. 🙂 Just sayin’. Oh, this means you know your creation is water soluble…. Just sayin’….
    ~ a blow dryer helps with getting rid of bubbles (so does poking a tiny pin in the bubble and flattening the bubble
    I know Handan was thrilled with this patriotic creation. Rock on dude!
    Peace and safe/happy/healthy Independence Day!

    1. Good advice, Christina, thank you! Yeah, Handan about popped artery when she saw how much Mod Podge I wasted on this project, lol!

  6. all through out the post i was thinking oh poor greg ha ha oh poor greg muuuhahaha, but the project turned out freaking awesome because you are as stubborn as a mule, handan will get a real sense of us Americans and our obsession for celebrating the 4th, you two be safe xx

    1. Thank you, Chris! Oh man, this one really sucked. Now I understand all the furious rages Handan had when she first started decoupaging a few years ago! That stuff will drive anyone batty!

  7. I love your CAN-DO! spirit. You kept coming back to it until it was perfect……congratulations! All of your results so far are fabulous…….dick g.

  8. Your posts always make me laugh. I too always thought mod lodge was “easy” till I actually used it for a project. Yours turned out far better than mine. Enjoy the 4th

  9. Greg, you crack me up! You crack me up, even more, reading this post with a belly full of sangria! I feel your pain and I too would have had to redo them to get it right. A+ for persistence, paper crumbling, Mod Podge mastership, a great idea and fabulous results! Happy 4th of July to you and Handon!

    1. Hi Marie, I’m sorry for the late reply. I hope you had an awesome Canadian 4th of July…which I imagine is much like any other 4th 😀 Look, I’m about as close to being a Mod Podge master as a mole is to the moon, but thanks for the encouraging words! Mod Podge and I need a break. It’s time for me to start seeing other glues.

  10. Ag no man, that’s just wrong. I hate it when that happens but all that scrunching and crumbling really paid off. It looks stunning. Well done Mod Podge Champion of the Universe

  11. Greg awhile back I commented on my mom living in Turkey.. You asked where. I finally remembered to ask her. This is her reply:
    I believe it was Deftadar (spelling) off the Golden Horn.  I remember Dad saying he crossed from Asia to Europe when he went across the Galata Bridge.

    I wish they were here so I could ask.
    (sweet)…regards cc

    1. Hi Cathleen, thanks for writing back! Yes Handan is familiar with Defterdar – she spent some time living in Istanbul as well when she was younger.

  12. Greg, you killed me with this one. I’ve got tears running down my cheeks. I admire your persistence and it sure did pay off – your patriotic wall art is gorgeous and inspiring. May I share two tips? 1. Buy Mod Podge in small jars so you’ll never be tempted to pour it over your project again. 2. Always! consult with Handan about Mod Podge projects and, well, everything. 🙂 Pinning your charming (and hard fought) project.

    1. Susan, I think it is safe to say I will never be touching Mod Podge again! I’ll leave the decoupage to the one with the décolletage! 🙂

  13. очень хорошо делали !Вы настойчивый человек ,браво! Вообще нужно чуть обрызгать водой ,чуть подождать ,а потом клеить ,так оно не будет вздуваться !
    Удачи вам!

  14. I am beyond glad to read your saga of the Botch-Podge Battle! I’ve also been trying to mount some prints, and despite all the internet praise (sadistic propaganda) of mod pod, I’ve had several fails and have yet to complete my “quick & easy” project…having retreated in frustration and shame that I alone could not master mp… Thanks to you, and other readers I can now face it again!
    Best to you

  15. Greg,
    The next time you or Handan need to decoupage something I highly recommend that you try “Collage Pauge” by Aleene’s. It won’t break your heart like Mod Podge. So much more user friendly, and the end results are fantastic! I was a long time Mod Podge user and when I tried this product, the clouds broke open and the creative gods were singing! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful craft room reveal! I hope you two have a lot of fun creating cool new stuff for us to love!

  16. I KNOW I’m a couple years late in commenting, but it IS right before the 4th, my SIL’s B-day is a week away, and he’s a (former) marine who tends to like patriotic decor. I’m just not sure if he (my daughter) have as much as they want, but I really like this. But first! I too was lmao as I read this. I’m thinking if I’m in a bad mood from now on, to just read one of your posts and everything will be alright, LOL! I AM a bit confused by what your friend said about the blue Union should be on the left. If that’s true, EVERYONE is displaying their flags wrong. HECK, they’re MADE wrong! PRINTED wrong, etc.!! Very confused by this

  17. I just have to say that I LOVE reading your posts! Not only do you have great ideas, but you always make me laugh (out loud). I’m a perpetual DIY’er and I feel your pain when things don’t go as planned. “It will be simple,” I say, “Should take about a day,” I say!
    Thank you for your blog!
    Michelle in Ohio

  18. I didn’t know that the flags had to be flipped either. Or the other problems you encountered.
    Now I don’t have to make the same mistakes! What a relief!! A…job…well…done..please go rest and have big ice cold beer or a beverage of your choice. You deserve it!!