American Flag DIY Project

QTY. 1 - Wire Grid
     Approximate Size 15 ¼” x 23 ¾” – Hole size is 3 ¾” x 2”
     We got this at a local hardware store – Replacement wire shelf for utility racking
QTY: 3 -  Packs 4” natural/white zip ties (100/pk)
QTY: 2 Color-Rite C5 Red LEDs on White Wire – 50 LEDs per set (#815029)
QTY: 2  Color-Rite C5 Pure White LEDs on White Wire – 50 LEDs per set (#815026)
QTY: 1 Color-Rite C5 Blue LEDs on White Wire – 50 LEDs per set (#8150241)
Additional Supplies – Needle Nose Pliers (tightening/cutting zip ties) & Extension Cord (powering lights while working – Always install/work with the lights on)
Wire GridC5 Color Rite LED Light Strings Red, Pure White, & BlueAdditional Supplies - Zip Ties & Needle Nose Pliers
Before starting each color, you will want to open the set of LEDs - Stretch the set out, which will make it easier to work with.

FIG. 1You will want to have your rack positioned the “long way”, starting your first bulb, at either the right or left bottom corner of the rack. You will want to start with the first bulb on the set, following the male plug. Start your first bulb, 1 cross bar up from the bottom. You will need to zip tie each bulb to the rack, as this will keep them “laying flat”, and all spaced evenly. (FIG. 1)

FIG. 2This was easier to do with the rack elevated, or hanging over the edge of the table, as this allowed you to easily access both sides of the rack. Place the set of lights you are working with on the underside of the rack, and working bulb-by-bulb, pull each up thru the rack. The bulb will now be on the front side of the rack. (FIG. 2)

FIG. 3 Lay it flat across the cross bar on the rack and zip tie it to the cross bar (FIG. 3),

FIG. 4 making sure the wires coming from the previous bulb are also inside the zip tie. (FIG. 4)

FIG. 5 This secures the wires which helps keep the bulbs in place, but also makes the back cleaner/easier to work with, and keeps the back flatter which will make it easier to hang. You will alternate the way each bulb is pointing to fill up the space better, and alternate each zip tie so the bulbs stay orientated in the right direction. (FIG. 5) 

FIG. 6 You will go across the rack, filling in the first stripe with Red. Once you get to the end, you will “jump up” to the next cross bar, starting a new stripe with White. You will need to remove the remaining Red Bulbs, and replace them with White Bulbs, so you can use up the remainder of the set but with a different color (FIG. 6)

The Color-Rite LEDs make this super easy, which is why we chose to use them for this project.
FIG. 7 Repeat this process for the stripe of white, and one more stripe of red, swapping out the bulbs as needed. Your next stripe will be the start of the blue field on the flag, so this stripe will be ½ Blue and ½ White. The following stripe will be ½ Blue and ½ Red, with the final stripe being ½ Blue and ½ White. This will complete the Red and White Stripes, as well as the Blue Field of the Flag. (FIG. 7)

FIG. 8 Because we started in the bottom right corner, we ended in the top right corner – Which means we now need to get out lights over to the left side so we can fill in the “stars”. (If I was doing this over, I would have started in the bottom left corner, so I ended in the top left corner, which is where I now need the lights to be) To do this, I ran the string from the last bulb in the White stripe, to where I needed the first “star” to be. (FIG. 8)

 I zip tied this in place to keep it secure, and also removed one of the LEDs, so the light did not shine thru where I did not want to see it. One other nice feature about the Color-Rite Line of LEDs is that they allow you to remove a LED, while still keeping the rest of the strand lit – There are limitations to this thou, and you cannot remove 2 bulbs that are next to each other, as this will interrupt the electrical circuit. So, I am only able to remove one of these bulbs, and the other one I will have to cover with electrical tape so you don’t see it.

FIG. 9 To fill-in the “stars” I tucked White bulbs into the open spaces between the Blue bulbs, trying to keep them set behind the blue bulbs. I then zip tied them to whichever wires were closest to where I wanted to bulb to sit. (FIG. 9)

FIG. 10 While filling in the “stars” I figured out how many extra bulbs I was going to have, and removed them as I worked, making sure not to remove two that were next to each other. (FIG. 10  – We left the bulb covers off of the empty sockets so you could see them, but you would want to put the bulb covers back on these sockets, especially if you are using this display outside)

FIG. 11 Once you have all your bulbs where you want them, you can now make sure your zip ties are tight (a needle nose pliers is real handy for this, and saves your fingers!), and can cut the “tails” off. You will also want to zip tie your plug connections in place, so they don’t hang or come unplugged. (FIG. 11) 

Now all you need to do is hang it, plug it in, and enjoy!

Completed FIY Flag Display
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