American Flag Mosaic Art

Summer is finally here and there are so many patriotic days to celebrate; we just had Memorial Day, there’s Flag Day on June 14, and of course the 4th of July. I love American flag art, so I hopped onto Pinterest to see what I could find. As usual, Pinterest was a gold mine of ideas. One of my favorites was a mosaic flag made out of paper clippings. This is so easy and cute! First, I cut a piece of craft paper to 12″ by 24″ and roughly measured out the 13 stripes and the blue rectangle. Then I opened a couple of magazines and started ripping out red, white, and blue pages. I found a ton of really cool textures and patterns in a Crate & Barrel magazine, plus some fun black and white cartoons in an old copy of The New Yorker. I also had a Costco catalog on hand, which provided great ocean blues and tomato reds. I cut the pieces into irregular squares and rectangles and let my 8-year-old son loose. He loved setting contrasting patterns and shades next to one another, and he also had fun with fitting together some pieces from the same photograph. He said was like putting together a puzzle!

I love the way the different shades and textures add movement to our flag. There are some photos of curtains among the white stripes that really make it look like our flag is waving proudly!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A sheet of craft paper, posterboard or cardboard. Anywhere from 12″ x 24″ or larger.
  • Old magazines
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Cut your flag background to the correct proportions. (The American flag is 1 unit high by 1.9 units long – so technically my version should be 12″ by 22.8″ – I rounded up to 24″.)
  2. Measure out your stripes – each stripe will be 1/13 of the height of the flag.
  3. Measure the blue rectangle (known as “the union” in flag vernacular) on the flag. It takes up the top 7 stripes and is a little over a third of the width of the flag.
  4. Cut red and white rectangles and squares to about the height of your stripes. Cut blue paper in any shapes you desire.
  5. Smear a glue stick on the background and start pasting!
  6. Cut or punch out stars for the union. I decided 50 was a bit much, so I did 8 big stars instead.

I love that this is a project that the kids can do totally on their own, or a parent can jump in to help (or just take over if you’re having fun!).