Fourth of July Crafts

We have some great ideas for 4th of July crafts for kids - make sure the whole family is set for fun this Independence Day.

By Meg Gleason

The centerpiece of many Independence Day celebrations is the backyard barbecue — a glorious opportunity for family members of all ages to enjoy a day together.

Each of these crafts is designed to be a part of the day's décor, whether the celebration is a small gathering or a blowout for the whole neighborhood.


For Toddlers and Preschoolers:

FAN-TASTIC FANS
These manual ventilators will help everyone beat the heat on a hot summer day.

Materials:

  • Two pieces of white card stock, at least 8 1/2 inches x 11 inches
  • Scissors
  • White craft glue
  • 6-inch red craft Popsicle stick
  • Blue art tape, 1/2-inch width
  • 1 large potato
  • Unserrated knife for cutting the potato stamps
  • Sharpened pencil
  • 2 shallow dishes
  • Red and blue acrylic paint
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Glitter

 

Instructions:

  1. Take two pieces of white card stock and cut them into 7 inch x 7 inch squares.
  2. Glue the red craft Popsicle stick to the center of one of the card stock squares with 11/2 inches of it on the paper and the rest extending below.
  3. Run a bead of glue around the perimeter of the square of card stock about 1 1/2 inches from the edge.
  4. Take the other piece of card stock and lay it over the back of the first piece with the handle sandwiched in between.
  5. Weigh down the two pieces with a heavy book so that all the edges adhere evenly. Allow at least an hour for drying.
  6. Run a piece of blue tape around each of the four sides of the square and trim.
  7. Take one large potato, clean it, and cut it in half. It is not necessary to peel it.
  8. With the sharp pencil, draw a star shape on the surface of the potato half.
  9. With the knife, carefully cut around the star shape and remove any excess potato so that the star is 1/4-inch higher than the surrounding surface, just like a rubber stamp.
  10. Follow instructions 8 and 9 with the other half of the potato.
  11. Fill one shallow dish with red paint, and the other with blue paint.
  12. Dip one side of the potato stamp into the shallow dish of red paint, making sure to cover the full surface of the star.
  13. Stamp the red star onto the two sides of the fan.
  14. Dip the other side of the potato stamp into the shallow dish of blue paint, making sure to cover the full surface of the star.
  15. Stamp the blue star onto the two sides of the fan.
  16. Feel free to embellish the fan with markers, stickers, and glitter.

 

For Grade-schoolers:

LIBERTY BELLS
Decorate your backyard with this chime that looks and sounds patriotic.

Materials:

  • Red and white embroidery thread
  • Scissors
  • White craft glue
  • Cardboard oatmeal container
  • Hole punch
  • Blue construction paper, enough to cover the oatmeal container
  • Red and white art tape, 1/2-inch width
  • 1 sheet of red craft foam, enough for six 6-inch x 1-inch strips.
  • 6 small bells
  • Potato
  • Unserrated knife for cutting the potato stamp
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Shallow dish
  • White acrylic paint

 

Instructions:

  1. Take a piece of blue construction paper and trim it so that it covers the full exterior of the empty, cardboard oatmeal container. Set the paper aside for later use .
  2. Paint the bottom of the oatmeal container white. Let it dry.
  3. Take large potato, clean it, and cut it in half. It is not necessary to peel it.
  4. With a sharp pencil, draw a star shape on the surface of the potato half.
  5. With the knife, carefully cut around the star shape and remove any excess potato so that the star is a 1/4-inch higher than the surrounding surface, just like a stamp.
  6. Fill the shallow dish with the white paint.
  7. Dip the potato stamp into the shallow dish of paint, making sure to cover the full surface of the star.
  8. Stamp the blue paper with the white stars, leaving a 1/2 inch empty space on the edges for the tape border.
  9. When the paint is dry, glue the construction paper to the oatmeal container with the white craft glue. Keep that in mind that the open end of the container will be the bottom of the wind chime.
  10. Run a piece of white tape along the seam of the construction paper to cover the edges where the paper meets.
  11. Run a piece of white tape along the top edge of the container and a piece of red tape along the bottom edge (open side).
  12. Cut the red craft foam into six strips that are 6 inches long x 1 inch wide. Punch a hole in the top and bottom of each, about a 1/4-inch from the edge, as shown.
  13. Punch holes 2 inches apart around the bottom (open side) of the container.
  14. Using white embroidery thread, tie the pieces of the foam to the container through the holes in the bottom.
  15. Tie a bell to the bottom of each piece of foam with white embroidery thread.
  16. Punch two holes on opposite sides of the top edge of the container.
  17. Run a piece of red embroidery thread through each hole. Tie the four ends together with a strong knot.
  18. Hang the chime from a tree, porch ceiling, or other outdoor spot and enjoy!

 

For Older Grandchildren:

STARBURST TABLE ARRANGEMENTS
Here's a festive centerpiece for your picnic table.

Materials:

  • 3 tin cans, rinsed clean with tops and labels removed
  • Star template
  • Red, white, and blue acrylic paint
  • Red, white, and blue art tape, 1/2-inch width
  • Star stickers
  • Craft sand
  • Red, white, and blue cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Drinking straws (not the bendable type)

 

Instructions:

  1. Paint the exterior and the top 1 inch of the interior of each can. Use one color of paint for each can. Let them dry.
  2. Decorate each can with tape and stickers.
  3. With the pencil, draw star outlines on the cardstock, using the star template, as shown.
  4. Cut out the stars. Each star will be two identically-sized pieces, with slits cut in the center so that they slot together at a 90-degree angle, see template.
  5. Cut a 1/2-inch long slit in the top of a drinking straw and then slot that onto the bottom of the star.
  6. Fill the can with craft sand in a color that contrasts with the color of the paint on the can. Be sure to fill it up high enough so that it overlaps the painted interior of the can.
  7. Trim the straws to get a range of different heights. Place the straws inside the cans and display them on your picnic table.

 

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