It’s that time of year… It’s time to stock up on your red and blue food coloring friends!
You don’t want to be caught off guard when all of the star sprinkles are gone!
(Oh wait, I think I’m remembering a nightmare I had).

I made “stars and stripe pops“last year, and after I learned the hard lesson about dying blue chocolate
(read about it here) I was hooked.

So this year, I set out to improve my presentation.  The hard thing about upside-down pops on a platter is that they slide, tip and tumble around during transport.  So I referred to my pop-stand making experience last Halloween.  (See details on making pop stands in this post).

But instead of 2×6″ boards, I used 2×10″ boards so I could fit 4 rows of pops.

I made a paper template of how I wanted my flags to look first, and then I cut the wood into 12″ wide pieces.  Next, I measured and marked where my holes would go and drilled them out with a drill press. A drill press ensures they will be straight.  Then I did the rough job of sanding them down.  A palm sander might be fine if you were doing one or two, but I was doing several and my belt sander made the task bearable.

After they were cleaned up, I did a couple coats of spray primer.

And after 99 more steps, I had this!!!

Just kidding!  It only felt that long to my husband who was eager to reclaim his kitchen.  Here’s how the painting went down:  I wanted the stand to have the general look of a flag, but didn’t worry about the stars or the exact amount of stripes.  I just wanted the stands to be an awesome background for the treat, and for them to make the pops, well pop!  I painted the white first, then measured both sides, and placed painters tape across the board. I sealed the tape with another couple layers of white paint.  Then I painted red.  (I did 4 coats of the red and blue to make it really solid and bright).  After it dried, I removed the tape for the stripes and taped off the blue section.  I painted blue, let it dry, then painted the back and sides.  By the time was done, my arms and shirt looked like a grand old flag too.  Man, I’m messy!

I wrapped the whole thing up with cellophane and ribbon to make a yummy patriotic gift.

Yes, all of this for a good presentation is a little crazy.  But when crazy looks this cute, I don’t want to be sane!  So if you want to give it a try, grab all of the red chocolate and blue oil candy color you can!  You have to beat the other crazies to it!