American Flag Decor with a Buffalo Plaid Stencil

American Flag Decor with a Buffalo Plaid Stencil

I’ve made several projects with a buffalo check stencil, but they were always meant for end-of-year decor for the Fall and Winter. So, I’ve been yearning to use that same stencil for a warm-weather July 4th project, perhaps inspired by a picnic tablecloth. But then I started thinking about using the buffalo plaid stencil to create some American flag decor.

I figured I could manipulate the checkered design to create the stars and stripes, so-to-speak, by using a little blue paint AND a little red paint. I just needed the right piece to upcycle!

Of course, a rectangular cutting board would be perfect for some flag decor. But then I stumbled across this wooden USA-shaped clock.

Wooden USA and broken clock at a thrift store

Now, truthfully, I’ve already upcycled something into an American flag before. Do you recall the furniture I found on the side of the highway when I created this?

american flag cross stitch on a cane side table

But my plan for this broken clock was different, I promise. And besides, it was in DIRE need to be saved. Dirty, broken, and begging for a fresh, clean start.

Upcycling a wooden USA shaped clock into flag decor

And with July 4th on the horizon, I decided it was high time I put my buffalo plaid theory for flag decor to the test!

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Transforming a Clock into American Flag Decor

Before I could do anything else, I needed to remove the clock components. In other words, the clock mechanism, the disintegrating letter stickers, and a handful of upholstery tacks.

First, I used a thrifted stainless-steel butter knife to pry out the tacks (they make for terrific tools, by the way).

Removing the clock face from a wooden USA

Eventually, I gutted the clock of its parts which was messy and aggravating. But, in the end, I won the battle.

Cleaning up the clock parts from a broken USA clock

Then, I grabbed some wood filler to patch up the holes that the clock parts had left behind.

Wood filler or wood putty to fill in the holes before sanding

I smudged some filler in the holes and let it dry overnight.

Filling in the holes of a broken clock to be spray painted as flag decor

“Stars and Stripes” with in Buffalo Plaid

Once the wood filler had dried, I sanded the front of the USA clock until it was smooth.

After I cleaned off the sanding dust, I grabbed a can of white spray paint to give it a fresh surface for my buffalo plaid idea.

Spray painting a wooden USA to become flag decor

Finally, I had the blank canvas I needed to create some American flag decor with a buffalo plaid stencil. I did, however, have to buy a slightly different stencil with much smaller squares.

Using a buffalo plaid stencil to create the flag decor

I carefully positioned the stencil and taped it down so that I had a clean square-shaped area for the “stars” in blue and white.

Buffalo plaid stencil to create the stars and stripes of an American flag

Then, I moved onto the “stripes” with red craft paint. I used a piece of paper to cover up the blue “stars” since I had to move that paint.

Designing the American flag decor with a Buffalo check stencil

Ok, y’all…my idea for American flag decor was working!

Next, I shifted the buffalo plaid stencil down to finish the red stripes. And holy smokes, my idea actually worked!

American flag decor in buffalo check! Like a gingham American flag in red, white, and blue.

buffalo plaid stencil as stars and stripes

American Flag Decor with a Buffalo Plaid Stencil

Finally, I buffed it with clear wax to protect all my hard work. And just like that, I had created some American flag decor with a buffalo plaid stencil.

american flag decor with a buffalo plaid stencil


And, guess what? It’s Thrift Store Decor Team day, so check out what my friends have been up to!

Upcycling bloggers do upcycling projects from the thrift store in June 2020

1. Farmhouse Craft OrganizerDomestically Speaking

2. Old Birdhouse MakeoverPetticoat Junktion

3. Bumble Bee Inspired MakeoverHouse of Hawthornes

4. Horse Statue MakeoverOur Southern Home

5. American Flag Decor in Buffalo PlaidSadie Seasongoods

6. Thrift Store Doll Rocking Chair MakeoverMy Repurposed Life


I honestly love how it turned out. There are a few places where I wish my stenciling lines were cleaner, but eh…that happens.

AND I proved to myself that a buffalo check stencil doesn’t have to be limited to Fall and Winter. It worked perfectly for my American flag decor and has a real “patriotic picnic” feel to it for summer!

american flag decor

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for this broken clock, then you may also be interested in a patriotic sign that I made, as well!

patriotic sign on a repurposed cabinet door

Craft on!


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buffalo plaid stencil for stars and stripes

upcycled craft for american flag decor

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Lois Stimax says

    Woo Hoo-you are coming closer to me! When you get settled in, please come to Rock Hill, SC and I will show you my favorite haunts and honey holes. We could have a great day!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Lois!! I’m so excited to explore Rock Hill and Fort Mill, as well! I’ve already noticed an animal shelter thrift on the map in those areas- have you been to that one?

  2. JM Taylor says

    Woohoo! Welcome to NC! Good luck with the move and we hope to see you soon on a thrifting adventure/junkin’ journey!

  3. Love how the buffalo plaid project turned out! It looks fantastic. Best of luck with your move – being married to a guy who was in the military, I am all to familiar with moving! We moved on the average of every 2 years or so….ugh. Safe travels to you and your Mr!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Ugh is right- that would be an awful lot of moving! I guess you learned not to accumulate too much stuff in those days, eh?

  4. I love it, it’s great for the 4th! And congrats on the move!


  5. Fonda Rush says

    I hope your move is a smooth one!

  6. Susan Bartenfeld says

    Love the plaid flag!!! Best to you in your move! I grew up in Charlotte, still have family there. Be safe in your move! See ya when you get back…I’ll be waiting for ya and keeping a light on!!

  7. Love this! So creative and fun – a great use of an otherwise outdated item!

  8. Margaret Fretwell says

    Love, love, love this! So smart!

  9. wow! I have a huge smile on my face! That project is amazing. When seeing the before picture, I was really judging your judgement on picking up this piece. hahahah

    I’m not sure I have the patience for all of that, but you finished look was very surprising. Personally, I would have roughed it up a little to make it look old and loved. But the crisp look is great also.



    ps wishing you all the best as you and the hubs start this new chapter! Hope the kitto handles everything okay too.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Believe it or not, but I did start to rough it up with some 220 paper but in real life, it started to look TOO faded. So I stopped as quickly as I started. And thank you so much- moving the kitties is one of the scariest and most anxiety-causing parts of this move!

  10. LAUREN BROWN says

    I love that you are moving to Charlotte. I am in Roxboro NC, which is still 4 hours away, but oh so much closer. I love the Buffalo check clock and would love to see some of the fall and winter ideas you’ve done with this check in the past. Have a safe move and I am looking forward to your book coming out. Could you be any busier? Take care and stay safe.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so very much, Lauren! Which direction is Roxboro from Charlotte (I have lots of new geography to learn!). And you can see all my buffalo check stenciled projects here:

      Thankfully, my manuscript is done and in my editor’s hands- but the publisher delayed the release until February due to the pandemic. Many of their titles were delayed, which is a HUGE bummer, but I can’t really argue their reasoning for it.

  11. Charleen Adams says

    Miss Sadie that so awesome,summer-y and plain cute! Best wishes for your move,I know you will have many adventures. Great work ,

  12. WHOA!!!! What a find! What an idea! I LOVE it. It is absolutly outstanding.

  13. Judy Kearns says

    Your buffalo plaid flag was no doubt my all time favorite. Where did you find that wonderful stencil ?

  14. Mary Loveland says

    Hi Sadie….congrats on the move; probably be a lot of hard work to get there but most certainly a blast once you do!
    Your project looks really good, it was a serious save on the “clock”. That was probably the most unusual clock with the “directional” clock points instead of numbers!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Right?? I was so perplexed by the compass directionals as the hour marks for 12, 3, 6, and 9. Very peculiar indeed!

  15. Your flag is absolutely adorable; couldn’t get more American than that combo. You styled it so nicely, too. Best of luck with your move; it is always so hard–physically and mentally. Hope you have some friends and/or family who can lend a hand–and a back–to help. When I moved in ;88, I had 11,920 pounds of STUFF including the kids’ swingset. Most of it went into the virgin cellar which was absolutely empty! I still say, “bury me over the septic tank.” I don’t ever wanna move–unless I win the Publishers’ Clearinghouse Sweeps–but then I could pay someone to move me! Good luck with the new thrifts, too!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Kathy!! This is the first time I’ve moved since I started blogging in 2013, so it’s a LOT MORE STUFF than I used to have, LOL.

  16. That is the cutest American flag craft I’ve seen! I think I’m going to try it with a State Of Ohio shape I have had sitting here for at least 3 years. If I can find my buffalo check stencil.

  17. Cynthia Nessel says

    I love your buffalo check map. It is so cute!!!

  18. Susan Addison says

    Great makeover! Love it!

  19. Angie Jerrell says

    That is so awesome!!! LOVE your creativity! Thank you for always being so creative and sharing!

  20. Love this makeover!

  21. What a cool find and I need one of those stencils!

  22. Welcome to NC! Now, put together a trip where we all go thrifting in the Charlotte area! In youir free time, of course!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Edith! I am very excited to dive deeper into the thrifting spots around CLT, Fort Mill, Concord, etc!! (When it feels safer to do so, of course).

  23. If you get a chance go to the Goodwill near the Concord Mall. I think its off Poplar Tent Road, Every time I go there I find some great stuff. I think Charlotte also has a Goodwill Outlet. I have never been to one but would like to go at least once.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks for the recos, Gina! I can’t find to dive deeper into the CLT thrifting scene once it feels safer to do so!

  24. What a great project, I love your patriotic buffalo check. Congratulations on your upcoming relocation, I hope everything safely and very well.

  25. Super cute and festive! You always have awesome transformation ideas for your thrift finds. Good luck with your move!

  26. This is absolutely adorable! Now I need a stencil like yours to add this to everything! Good luck on your move to Charlotte. I’m sure moving your thrifty stash and crafting supplies will be no small job!

  27. This looks amazing! You made the stenciling look so easy. I always have the hardest time working with stencils. Wishing you the best with your move!

  28. I love your Americana buffalo check – I think you’re starting a new trend!

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