How to Antique an American Flag

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Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Large pot

  • Tea bags

  • Plastic storage box

  • Cotton American flag

Modern flags are easily converted to look older than they are.

With its bright red, white and blue colors, a brand new American flag does not fit in perfectly with every setting. Especially in an old-styled home, an antique American flag is much more appropriate. However, purchasing an antique flag from the Civil War or Antebellum period is very expensive. Luckily, it is very easy and time efficient to create an antique-looking version of the American flag by using an inexpensive cotton flag.


Step 1

Fill large pot with water and turn the heat to medium. Make sure the water is hot, but not boiling.

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Step 2

Add 8 tablespoons of tea when the water begins to steam. Allow the tea to steep in the water for 8-10 minutes.


Step 3

Pour the water into a plastic storage box after the tea has steeped. Make sure to use a plastic storage box that is large enough for the flag.

Step 4

Place the cotton American flag into the plastic storage box, allowing it to soak for an hour. Check it every 10 minutes to determine if more time is desired. When the flag is the desired color, remove it, ring it out and hang it to dry.


Spray with a squirt bottle filled with coffee in order to achieve a splattered look.


The flag must be cotton in order to achieve an antique appearance. Nylon flags are not suitable for the purpose.


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