Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fourth of July Crafts

With the Fourth just around the corner, everyone is already planning their cookouts, parties, parades, and firework watching. So to help you in freedom celebrating festivities, I'm here to show you a few simple, fun, and easy-to-do crafts to add to your red, white, and blue home decor! So let's start with a festive banner, perfect for hanging on a mantle or door. But before we begin, let me just note that I used specific colors for specific things, though you're welcome to choose whatever colors you want, and remember you can edit your supplies to suit whatever things you have at home!

Freedom Pennant
Ribbon or Twine
Markers or Letter Stickers
Hole Punch

1. Begin by using your cardstock to cut seven even isocoles triangles (Or however many needed, depending on what you want your banner to say!) A good way to ensure that all the triangles are the same size is to make one triangle then use it as a pattern and trace and cut out more.

2. Next, punch two holes in the top corners of each of the triangles. 

3. Now use your markers or letter stickers to write out your phrase on the banner, writing one letter on each pennant. If you have an electronic cutting machine or punches, those could definitely come in handy as well. I also added some dots around each pennant to add a little more embellishment.

4. Finally, feed your ribbon or twine through both holes of each pennant, placing your letters in the correct order. I added little bows at the ends of mine. 

Yay! Your very own pennant banner! Now let’s move on to another craft... this one is a little more complicated but really cool! We’re going to be making patriotic (or just everyday) pinwheels! I’ve been seeing these little cuties all over the place, but generally they’re more than you want to pay for a paper and stick decoration, and turns out they're pretty easy to make when you get the hang of it! So without further ado... here’s how to make pinwheels:

Patriotic Pinwheels
Mini wooden rods/sticks (found at craft stores) or Straws
Metal brads

1. Begin with cutting your cardstock (if it isn’t already) into squares. Keep in mind the size of the actual pinwheel will be about the size of the square you have to begin with.

2. If your paper isn’t already patterned/colored, now would be the time to break out the markers! Draw any design you want on both sides of the paper, or just one! Here, I did one side only. 

3. Next, flip to the blank side of your cardstock (or if it’s patterned on both sides it doesn’t matter which side). Using a ruler, draw two diagonal lines from one corner to the other corner. (You can hopefully see here!)  

4. Then, use your scissors to cut along the lines you just made. BUT DON’T CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Start from the tip of the paper and cut toward the middle, but when you get close the the center, stop around an inch away from it. When you’re finished it should look like this: (Notice the middle isn't cut through!)

5. Now comes some holes. You’re going to punch/poke them in five places. In the center of the paper where the two diagonal lines meet, and on each of the corners of the square. Here's what it should look like: (So make sure you don't cut two holes in one triangle shape!)

6. Now comes the awesome part! Watching the pinwheel form! Take the ends of the paper where a hole is punched and bring them toward the center. Use a brad (I happened to find some red star shaped ones, but any old office one will do), and put the it through each one of the holes, including the one in the center. Do you see it? It’s your pinwheel! Pull the brad completely through and fasten it securely on the back. 

7. Finally, fasten your rod-shaped item to the back (whether it be a straw or wooden rod! :) ) with tape. If you want your pinwheel to actually spin, you’ll have to go the process of finding a rotating wheel and applying it.... but really they are perfect for some festive decoration just like this! :)

And there you have it! Your pinwheels! Aren’t they cute? And so festive too! One more thing I wanted to mention was to check out this awesome tutorial about making paper plates into bowls! It’s super easy and perfect for keeping your firework-watching snacks in! You can find the link here: http://www.saifou.com/entry/12578.html

So have a happy Fourth of July! Enjoy the day celebrating freedom, and admiring your awesome new red, white, and blue decorations!

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