Summer is finally here! Bring on the BBQs, outdoor summer fun, and sunshine! Hooray! Yipee! Can you tell it’s been a long winter in New England? I’m sooooo ready for some warmth and sun!
The 4th of July is just around the corner, so I’ve been busy making crafts and decorations with a patriotic theme that I can’t wait to share with you. I’ve also put together a bunch of 4th of July party ideas including food, drinks, and fun activities for the kids, so let’s get started!
Obviously your decorating colors are going to be Red, White, and Blue, but you don’t have to stick to traditional patterns and shades. You can use very dark blues and deep reds with an off white for a more reserved approach or you can use the brightest, crispest colors to really stand out. The materials you use can also make a huge difference in the overall look. Burlap creates a great rustic look and matches perfectly with wood based decorations and natural materials or you can go for sharper look with crisp linens and bright colors.
Patriotic Burlap Bunting
- Freezer Paper
- Blue and Red Paint: I brushed on acrylic, but spray paint would be faster (use outdoor paint if this is going to hang outside)
- Jute Rope
- Hot Glue Gun
- Cut 7 pieces of burlap. I used a burlap garland that was 5″ wide, then I cut each piece to roughly 10″ long.
- Cut out stars and stripes from freezer paper. You can get creative with your patterns here. I decided to have my two end pieces be solid with stars (one blue and one red) with the five middle pieces blue with stars on top with red stripes below.
- Iron the cut freezer paper stars and stripes onto your burlap using the appropriate heat setting for burlap.
- Paint your burlap (making sure you have something beneath it, this will get messy!)
- Let dry, then peel off the freezer paper.
- Cut a long length of jute rope (whatever length you need for the bunting plus extra on the sides to tie on to something)
- Using your glue gun, glue each burlap piece to the rope but folding the top over the rope and gluing it to the back of the painted burlap. Watch out for hot glue seeping through the burlap! Use finger protectors or (like me) just be prepared for some burned fingertips.
- Once all the pieces are attached to the rope and the glue is dry, hang the bunting from anywhere you like!
Original bunting inspiration here.
- Red, White and Blue paint
- 3 pieces of wood, I used 6″, 8″, and 10″
- 1 wooden star
- Natural wired rope
- Jute rope
- Glue gun
- Sand pieces of wood until smooth.
- Paint each piece one color (red, white, blue).
- Paint the wood star white.
- Attach wood pieces with glue gun (I used scrap wood that was thin and wouldn’t stand on its own, so I also added a back piece for stability).
- Cut three pieces of the natural wired rope and give it a twist to add some character.
- Glue the rope pieces to the back of the wood pieces (works well if pieces are thin like mine…if using thicker blocks, you may want to drill into the top and glue the rope directly into the top).
- Glue the star to the front.
- Wrap with the jute rope and tie with a knot in the back.
If you make it one sided (like I did) then this is a great decoration for a shelf, buffet table, mantel, etc. However if you make it two sided (use thicker blocks and use a star on each side) this could make a great centerpiece, on a kitchen island, etc.
Original firecracker blocks inspiration here.
Stars and Stripes Mason Jars
Great to use as a candle holder, flower vase, silverware/napkin holder, holder for pinwheels/fans/sparklers, and so much more!
- Three mason jars (I used one large and two small)
- Red, White, and Blue paint
- Painter’s tape
- Use painter’s tape to create stripes on two of the three jars. Paint the uncovered areas red.
- Paint the remaining jar blue.
- When the red jars are dry, remove the painter’s tape and paint the clear areas white.
- When the blue jar is dry, paint white stars on the blue jar.
Wait for everything to dry and the uses are endless!
Original craft inspiration here.
Other decorating ideas:
- Red, White, and Blue handkerchiefs:
- Patriotic pillow (just sew a pillow cover of two handkerchiefs and use over your existing throw pillows)
- Great used as napkins or place mats
- Use as color accents on the buffet table
- Wrap a mason jar with burlap then tie a rolled handkerchief around it
- Make a handkerchief fabric wreath
- Make Pinwheels and Fans out of scrapbook paper.
- Use Painted Flower Pots as condiment, plasticware, and napkin holders.
- Tin Can Windsocks.
Crafts for the Kiddos:
These are a few fun crafts that you can make with the kids and then they can have fun with on the 4th! Warning…these are full of confetti and will cause quite a mess so I suggest one of three things…
- Use biodegradable confetti and use it outside with no worries
- Use over a tarp of some sort so you can easily gather the confetti after the fun
- Don’t stress over it, let the confetti fly! But be prepared for lots of vacuuming and probably little bits of confetti that will last forever, no matter how much you clean. I’m still finding glitter in my house from last Christmas!
- Toilet paper rolls
- Scrapbook paper (or any colored paper) in patriotic colors
- Tissue paper
- Hemp twine (or any twine or string)
- Glue gun (or regular quick drying glue)
- Decorations (stickers, ribbons, etc)
- Hole punch
- Something sharp and pokey (like craft needle or small knitting needle)
- Cover your toilet paper rolls in scrapbook paper, using glue (to secure the ends).
- Cut tissue paper into squares a bit larger than the opening of the roll. One square per roll.
- From cardstock cut one circle per roll, just smaller than the opening of the roll.
- Glue the cardstock circle to the center of the tissue paper square and punch a small hole through the center of the circle using the needle.
- Cut hemp twine into 2′ – 3′ lengths (one per roll) and thread through the hole in the cardstock and tissue paper.
- On the cardstock side, knot a bead into the end of the twine so when you gently tug from the tissue paper side the bead fits snug against the cardstock.
- Gather the tissue paper (gently) to the center and glue inside the bottom of the roll. I glued the inside rim then pulled the tissue/cardstock through and used a pencil to push the tissue paper to the sides inside the roll.
- At this point you will have the base of the rocket. When completed…don’t do this now…when the string is tugged, the tissue paper will rip and the confetti will fall out!
- Decorate! If you want to add ribbons, stars, stickers, or draw pictures on the roll, now is the time. I added red, white, and blue ribbons hanging from the base (covered with another ribbon).
- Fill the tube with confetti (as little or as much as you want to clean up!)
- Make the tops but cutting a 3.5″ circle out of scrapbook paper, make one cut to the center of the circle, then overlap the cut edges until you get a cone shape. Secure the edges with glue.
- Punch a hole on both sides of the top of the roll (across from each other).
- Thread the twine through the holes (across the top) and thread a bead over both ends so the twine makes a triangle.
- Using the needle, punch a hole through the top of the cone and thread the two twine ends through.
- Pull the cone down and glue to the top of the roll.
- Tie the twine ends together and hang!
- When ready, have the kids stand underneath, grab the twine and pull! The bottom should tear out easily and confetti will rain down. If you are using “sharp” confetti, watch out for eyes! Tissue paper is usually a safer material and it will have the flutter effect that the heavier confetti won’t.
Original Rocket inspiration here.
These are a (much) simpler version of the rockets and these are reusable!
- Toilet paper rolls
- Large balloons
- Scrapbook paper
- Confetti (make your own tissue paper confetti)
- Painter’s tape
- Glue gun
- I started by strengthening my toilet paper rolls by doing a few wraps of painter’s tape over the whole roll.
- Cover the roll with scrapbook paper (or any colored paper) and secure with glue.
- Cut off the top of a (unfilled) balloon, just about at the widest part.
- Knot the end of the balloon as you normally would if it were full.
- Pull the open end of the balloon around the end of the roll and secure all the way around with tape.
- Fill the roll with tissue paper confetti, pull the knotted end of the balloon, and let the confetti fly!
Original launcher inspiration here.
Other fun ideas for Kids:
- Pinata balloons (fill balloons with toys/candy and POP!)
- Glow in the dark games and necklaces, etc.
- Paint the lawn for twister, hopscotch, bean bag toss, stars, races, etc. (just make sure you use paint safe for lawns!)
- Scrapbook paper popcorn cones
- Star cookie cutter for anything: cake, brownies, sandwiches, watermelon, jello, etc.
- Red, white, and blue food: yogurt pretzels, blueberries, red vines, watermelon, M&Ms, strawberries
- Red, White and Blue Jello with cherry
- Red, White and Blue layered Jello shots (just make sure you make it clear which ones have the alcohol if you are doing both!)
- Red, White and Blue Sangria
- Create your own beer/wine labels (not for in ice or water)
Now it’s time to bring on the fun, I’m ready!
Happy 4th of July everyone!