1. The writing surface of our slate measures 7 x 10 inches. If your slate varies in size, adjust the width and height of your stripes to allow for seven horizontal and five vertical equally spaced rows.
2. Sand the frame, wiping away dust with a soft cloth. Use a cloth to apply wood stain to frame. To prevent the calligraphy marker from bleeding into wood when inscribing phrases, seal frame with two coats of Mod Podge following manufacturer's instructions.
3. Practice writing patriotic phrases on scrap wood using the calligraphy marker. When satisfied, inscribe a phrase centered on each side of the wooden frame.
4. Use a pencil to lightly draw a 4 x 4-inch square in upper left-hand corner of slate. Use a sponge brush to basecoat the square BB, applying three coats to achieve a deep color. Basecoat the remainder of slate WW, applying at least three coats for complete coverage.
5. With pencil, divide white area into 1 x 2-inch rectangles. Divide white area into 1 x 1-inch squares for stars.
6. Use the flat brush to paint the red rectangles PR. Use the shader brush to shade the top of each red block with CR. To shade, dip brush in water; blot excess on a paper towel. Dip one corner of the brush into the paint. Blend paint by stroking brush on palette until color gradually fades to the opposite side of brush. Place paint side of the brush along the top of each block, stroke across the block to shade. Highlight the bottom of each red block with SP, using the same method as above for shading, placing the lightest color at bottom of block.
7. Highlight each 4-inch side of the blue square with WW. To define mini squares, use liner brush to paint white lines over pencil lines. With pencil, draw stars freehand. Thin WW with water; paint stars using No. 2 round brush. Let dry.
8. Using the permanent-ink marker, draw dash "stitch" lines between red and white rectangles. Draw stitch lines around stars and along the blue squares. Make an X at each corner of blue squares.
9. Seal painted flag and wooden frame with water-based varnish following the manufacturer's instructions. Use wire cutters to cut shanks off buttons. Glue buttons to each corner of frame. For hanger, knot end of jute; make a second knot 2-1/2 inches away; trim beyond second knot. Center jute on upper back of slate; glue knots to board.