Create a US Flag from a Bamboo Blind!

I love this country!

(Why did I hear that in the voice of Yakov in my head?)

But it's true. I love America. I am so thankful for our freedom, and so thankful to those who have fought to gain and protect those freedoms. It sounds cliche', but I mean it!

Heck, my birthday is even on the 3rd of July. Yes, the 3rd. Close enough! The whole country sets off fireworks on and around my birthday. So me and Old Glory, we've been tight since Day 1!

So when I was scratching my head trying to figure out what to do with this 70's-era bamboo roll-up blind that I acquired in an auction, a light bulb went off! I realized it would make a great American flag for my porch!

(Just an aside...In this picture you can kind of see the treadle sewing machine legs that my dad recycled to make my tables. So yeah, I come by my trash-to-treasure genes from way back!)

I decided I wanted my flag to be "correct" as far as dimensions were concerned. I knew that it was proper for the blue field of stars to be at the top left when the flag is hanging vertically. And we learn in grade school that there are 7 red stripes and 6 white ones. After a little research, I discovered this really cool site that let me put in any one dimension of my flag, and it gave me the correct dimensions for every other aspect.

I didn't want to make the blind any shorter, so I put in its 70 inches for the length, and boom! I had all the other dimensions I needed: overall width, length and width of the union (which I learned is what the blue field behind the stars is officially called), the proper size of each star and how far they should be from the union edge and from each other, and the width of the stripes.

So the first thing I had to do (after I cleaned both sides of the can see my tub of soapy water in the picture above also) was to cut the blind to the correct width. For my 70-inch-long flag, the width should be 36 and 31/32 inches.

Um, ok. I wanted it to be correct, but I didn't want to make myself crazy. Do you know how small a thirty-second of an inch is? Pretty small! And that "correct" width was a 32nd of an inch away from 37. Close enough! (Hmm...Am I starting to sense a theme here? ;)

I found the center of the width of the blind and marked it. Ok, time for a little math here. Ready?

  • 37 divided by 2 is 18 1/2.

Ok, that's all the math!

So I made a mark 18 1/2 inches from the middle on each side. This was where the blind needed to be cut to be the correct (close enough!) width and still keep everything centered.