Welcome guests with pride when you hang your Americana wreath.
1. Download the free patterns for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)
2. Enlarge the Banner and Stars pattern 130 percent.
3. Duplicate the patriotic wreath patterns with tracing paper. Copy the outlines onto 1/4-inch Baltic birch plywood. Cut out the pieces with a scrollsaw, using a #5 blade. Drill the 1/8-inch hole where shown on the pattern. Sand all surfaces with the grain, using 100- then 150-grit sandpaper. Remove the dust with a tack cloth. Seal all surfaces with wood sealer, and allow the sealer to dry. Then sand again with 150-grit sandpaper. Remove the sanding dust with a tack cloth.
4. Copy the main outlines onto the cutouts with transfer paper. There's no need to copy the details yet -- you'll base-coat over them. Base-coat and apply shading or highlighting with #10 flat and #4 flat brushes (choose the size that best fits the design area). Use a #0 round brush for filling in small areas and applying the details.
5. Paint the boy's face and hands FT, and shade with SF. Dip a scruffy brush into RR, and dry-brush the cheek blush, using a circular motion. With LB, fill in the eyes. Dip a stylus into SW, and apply the eye-highlight dots. Dip a stylus into LB, and do the mouth corners. Let the paint dry.
6. Base-coat the pants DS, and shade with BU. With RR, apply the pant stripes. Paint the jacket cuffs and the hat UB, and paint the underside of the hat brim NV. Apply NV shading, and highlight with SW. Base-coat the jacket NV, and apply LB shading. Highlight with UB.
7. Paint the hatband RR, the buttons TR, the buttonholes LB and his beard SW. Dip the handle end of a brush into DS, and apply the dots to the hatband. Using MY, base-coat the star. Apply TR shading where shown. With LB, paint the shoes. Base-coat the soles and the laces with SW. Apply BU shading to the soles.
8. Fill in the center of the banner with DS and the border with RR. Apply BU shading to the center edges. Paint the lettering UB. Dilute DS with water to ink consistency, and add double stripes to the border. Using LB, apply shading where shown on the pattern. Base-coat the stars MY, and shade with TR. Paint the border of the lower star UB. Dilute DS with water to ink consistency, and paint the border details. With NV, apply shading to the border.
9. Paint the dog MT, the nose and eye LB, and his ear and paw pads BU. Apply BU shading where shown. Dip a stylus into SW, and apply an eye-highlight dot.
10. Base-coat the star centers MY, and apply TR shading. Paint the star borders with MY, RR, and SW. Using DS, paint double lines on the RR border, and shade with LB. Dip a stylus into RR, and dot the SW border. With BU, add shading to the SW border where shown. Apply all remaining details with a medium-tip permanent black marking pen. To prevent the ink from smearing, lightly mist the inked lines with Krylon 1311 clear acrylic spray.
11. Wipe oak stain over all surfaces. Let the stain dry. Spray all surfaces with two coats of matte-finish varnish. Allow ample drying time between the coats. Sand off paint and stain from small spots on the banner and star cutout where the pieces attach. Thread jute through the banner, and tie it into a bow. Using epoxy, attach the cutout to the wreath. Tie 10 long strands of raffia and the fabric strip into bows. Attach the raffia bow to the wreath and the fabric bow to the raffia. Then attach the star cutout.