Blindster's Blog


4th of July DIY Flag from Recycled Bamboo Blind

Use a bamboo shade to make a flag decoration

The summers have a way of making me feel crafty. As a kid, it was the time of year I went to camp and spent weeks amongst Popsicle sticks, colorful pipe cleaners and glitter glue. Now as an adult, I can feel myself get the creative itch whenever it starts to heat up outside. It was because of that itch, and the rising amounts of leftover fabrics and bamboo in the storage room, that I began thinking up ways to make them useful (or at least decorative).

Spending money on holiday decorations is frustrating because they are always exorbitantly overpriced, and I never seem to find exactly what I want. So, if I have the chance to make something instead, I will jump on it. The upcoming 4th of July celebration inspired me to create an American flag wall decoration from an old bamboo blind we had sitting in the office storage room. This renewed flag turned out perfect for an Independence Day party or an everyday patio decoration! Check out our tutorial below:

What you will need:

Gather your supplies
  • Old bamboo blinds
  • Red, white and blue paint
  • Paint brushes (1 small, 1 medium)
  • Paper plates or bowls (for the paint)
  • Star stencil (or you can free-hand)
  • Pencil
  • Twine
  • Scissors

Remove headrail

Remove the headrail from the shade

Start by removing the headrail of the shade by cutting the strings holding it together.

Secure the shade material

Tie a knot at the top of the shade

Tie off each string to prevent the shade from unraveling.

Lay out your design

Mark out the pattern

After making sure the shade was free of dust and dirt, I laid it on a flat clean surface over some cardboard that I had already put down. For the particular shade I used, no sanding or other prep was necessary. Since my particular shade already had strings running down it, I used those as a guide for my red and white stripes. I had to cut one section off the side to have 13 stripes, but bamboo blinds are easy to trim with a good pair of scissors.

Start with blue

Brush on the blue paint

Mark off the section for the blue square of the flag with a pen. Because I planned to hang this flag downward, I made sure to put the blue square to the top left of the shade (proper American flag hanging technique).

Using the medium brush, paint the blue part of the flag first, so that it can dry before painting on the 50 stars.

Red stripes next

Brush on the red stripes

Paint on red stripes, make sure the two outside stripes were painted red.

You could also use tape along the edges of each stripe for a guaranteed clean line, but you would have let each color dry completely before attempting to tape them. I let that dry for about two hours just to be safe. Don’t want to end up with a pink flag!

Add the stars

Use a stencil for the stars

Cut out 5 star stencils and place them evenly spaced out on the blue square. The top of the star should be pointing towards where you are going to hang it. Using the smaller brush to paint, create 11 rows, alternating between 5 and 4 stars per row, to end up with 50.

Tip: Wipe off the bottom of your stencil before moving on to your next star so you don’t end up with rogue white paint!

Fill in the white stripes

White stripes after red is dry

After making sure the red stripes are dry, switch back to the medium paint brush to add the white stripes.  Use the small brush to touch up any details. I ended up only doing one layer of paint because I liked the rustic look of brown bamboo peeking through.

Attach a rope hanger

Tie off rope in the back

To create the handle for the flag, string a two-foot-long piece of rope through the third from the top bamboo stick on the right and left sides, then tie the rope in a knot at the back at each side. Make sure your knots are tight by tugging them. You don’t want your flag on your floor!

Check length and trim

Trim off excess rope

You can adjust the length of the rope according to how and where you plan to display your flag. Once you tie both knots, cut off any excess rope at the back to make sure it hangs flat.

Display your new flag decoration!

Finished flag decoration

You're ready hang your DIY flag on your front door, wall, or behind your appetizer table and enjoy your family’s admiring looks!

For more DIY ideas, follow on Pinterest!