4th of July Projects
Bountiful Stars and Stripes
Here's a great start for your very own 4th of July projects collection. Don't you just love craft projects you can use year after year as holiday decorations? I know when I pull out my 4th of July crafts they bring back loads of memories: who I made them with, my friends, my family. I try to do something new each year to add to my collections. Trust me, my collections hit every holiday of the year!
And don't forget that tummy-filling project called "cooking." We've got recipes of all kinds, from 4th of July food in general, to 4th of July desserts, 4th of July cakes, and 4th of July cupcakes. Don't worry, if you stuff yourself a little too enthusiastically, you can work off quite a few calories with some energetic 4th of July activities.
For a great look, paint the edge of a star-shaped cookie cutter and then press it firmly down on your plate. Flat platters work best for this 4th of July project (for obvious reasons), but you can get a cool partial-star look on slightly rounded plates.
This 4th of July project calls for gathering up stickers in a star shape—all types of star stickers in varied sizes can be used to give you perfect white stars. Affix the stickers to your platter. Paint over the stickers in the color of your choice, and your choice would be either red or blue, right? Let the glaze dry and lift off the stars. Ask the folks at the place you're firing your masterpiece if they'll let you leave the stickers on to be burned off in the kiln (some will, some won't).
Using a star-shaped cookie cutter as a template, draw around the cookie cutter on the sponge with a sharpie. Cut out your sponge star with scissors. Different sized cookie cutters will give you a nice variety in your pattern...little ones around the edges, big one in the center kind of thing. Dip the sponge(s) in the glaze and press on the plate. This is a July 4th project that's so easy and foolproof it's great to do with kids.
You know I'm a fan of coffee can and popsicle sticks projects (see our Christmas Party Table Decorations page for more in this vein). The 4th of July is the perfect holiday to trot this idea out again. Even with a Starbucks on every corner, you can still find someone who has a constant supply of coffee cans.
For a 4th of July project, leave the cans silver; it looks good for the holiday. On one side, paint half of your popsicle sticks red and the other half white. It doesn't matter whether you do this with a paintbrush or by laying the popsicle sticks on newspaper and spray painting them. Either looks great in the end. Hot glue the sticks onto the cans. I like to do 2 white, then 2 red for a bolder stripe.
Fill each can 3/4 full with sand. Stick 3 sparklers or a big white candle in each. You're now ready to use them to line a walkway, as a 4th of July centerpiece, or just about anywhere that needs a spiffy touch.
You normally don't think of cloth napkins for a barbecue, but they add so much to the look of your table. I keep an eye out for fabric all year long for my plethora (now there's a dollar word, if ever I wrote one) of projects. I like oversized napkins: 18" is good, which means you can get 4 out of each yard of fabric. For your 4th of July project, buy 2 yards of each of the following fabrics:
- White with thin blue stripes
- Red check
- Solid color
- Red with a white polka dot
- White and red plaid
- Light blue (like faded denim) and white stripe
You want to get an organic cotton cloth, soft and absorbent, for a homespun kind of look. An added plus is it won't fray. Now cut the 2 yards into 2 equal squares, and then cut each square into fourths. Using 6 pieces of fabric will give you 48 lovely 18" napkins. Keep the edges rough. Use these practical charmers not only to accompany your 4th of July food, but alongside your Memorial Day menu and Labor Day menu as well.
This 4th of July centerpiece is simplicity itself and looks terrific. To create a flag with real star candles, fill a 9" x 13" baking dish (white or blue) with water. Add blue food coloring if you don't have a blue Pyrex baking dish. Add 12 floating 2" white star-shaped candles.
Using 1 pure white dishtowel, hot glue red ribbon stripes on it (just like a flag). You don't have to do all 13 stripes to get the idea of a flag. The key components are: 1) start with a red stripe and end with a red stripe; and 2) make the white and red stripes the same width (again, just like a flag).
A standard dishtowel is approximately 28" x 18", the perfect proportion for your baking dish of stars. Place the baking dish of stars in the top left corner of the now striped dishtowel. Sprinkle your creation with red, white, and blue confetti or streamers (or both), and light your candles. Lastly, take a picture—you won't believe how good this 4th of July project looks!
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