Pop goes the weasel
Treat your child and your Fourth of July party guests to a sweet surprise in the form of a firecracker treat. Because these are filled with an assortment of candies, your child will enjoy making them as much as eating what is inside.
• 12-inch-by-12-inch scrapbook paper (preferably Fourth of July-themed)
• White tissue paper
• Cord or ribbon
• Assortment of candy
1. Fold a piece of scrapbook paper horizontally. Unfold it, then cut down the crease. Set pieces aside.
2. Cut a piece of tissue paper as wide as a cut piece of scrapbook paper but about 1 1/2 inches longer on each end.
3. Glue the tissue paper to the back of one of the pieces of scrapbook paper. Roll both together to form a cylinder, and glue the overlapping edges.
4. Tie one end of the cylinder with cord or ribbon. Fill the cylinder with candy, then close the other end with more cord or ribbon.
When you’re ready to open the firecrackers, just tear the tissue paper on one end.
You know what’s more fun than playing with chalk? Making it, of course. Shaped like the stars on our country’s flag, these fun-colored pieces of chalk are sure to be a big hit with children of all ages.
• Plaster of Paris
• Several plastic spoons
• Three cups
• Red and blue food coloring
• Silicone star molds
1. Prepare plaster of Paris according to package instructions. I combined 1 pound of plaster with 11 ounces of water in a small bowl, then mixed until it reached a batterlike consistency.
2. Divide the mixture among three cups. Dye one cup of plaster red, another blue, and leave the third cup white. (You can also use craft paint or tempera paint powder instead of food coloring.)
3. Pour the plaster into the star molds, making sure to leave room so they don’t spill over. Set the molds on a flat, even surface to harden. Though the instructions for my plaster of Paris said I could remove the chalk from the molds after 30 minutes, I let them sit for 2 hours, just to be sure.
4. After the chalk is set, pop the chalk stars out of their molds and lay them on paper towels to finish drying. Plaster of Paris takes about 24 hours to dry completely.
When you’re chalk is ready, find the nearest sidewalk and get creative!
It’s a breeze
Show your love for the good ol’ USA by decking out your porch with a homemade, American flag-inspired windsock. Easy to assemble and fun to make, this red, white and blue windsock adds a nice touch of patriotism to your outdoor decor.
• Coffee can
• Blue spray paint
• Wide red ribbon
• White craft paint
• Foam paintbrush
• Hammer and nail
1. Find a clean, flat surface (preferably outside) and lay down enough newspaper to protect it. Place the coffee can, closed end up, on the newspaper, paint it blue and allow to dry. Paint another coat, and let dry again.
2. As you wait for the paint to dry, begin cutting long strips of ribbon. You will need about 6 or 7 pieces total. Set the pieces aside.
3. Using white craft paint and the foam brush, paint stars all over the coffee can, then allow to dry. Depending on your skill level or just to make things easier, you can substitute white star stickers.
4. After the stars have dried, glue strips of ribbon around the inside base of the coffee can. The ribbons should dangle out from the can’s opening so that when the wind blows, it catches the ribbon.
5. To finish the windsock, puncture holes on either side of the top of the coffee can using the nail and hammer (ask Mom or Dad for help). Thread the cord through each hole to form a loop from which to hang the windsock, then tie the ends of the cord so it doesn’t slip out.
Hang your windsock out on your porch and watch it fly!
Deck the halls with red, white and blue
Contribute to the patriotic festivities of a Fourth of July cookout in the form of an eye-catching tassel garland. Using nothing more than tissue paper, adhesive and cord, this fun crafts looks like a million bucks for mere pennies.
• Tissue paper in red, blue and white (or silver)
• Cord or twine
1. Fold a piece of tissue paper horizontally, then vertically. Cut thin strips (about 1/4 inch wide) starting from the bottom and leaving about an inch of space from the top of the tissue paper. Continue cutting until you create a fringe effect. Carefully unfold along the vertical fold and cut the tissue paper in half. Carefully unfold both pieces, then set one aside.
2. Taking one piece of tissue paper, roll the uncut (or non-fringe) part of it like a cylinder, being careful to not get the fringe tangled. Twist the entire tubular part of the paper, then fold it so it creates a small loop. Secure the loop with adhesive (I used a glue gun) — this is your first tassel.
3. Repeat the process in Steps 1 and 2 until you have as many tassels as you need for your garland. String the tassels at random on the cord (keeping a red, white and blue pattern) by running the cord through the loop of a tassel and tying a knot to secure. Continue until you have strung all of your tassels.
Hang the garland across the front of a party table or the pillars of a patio.
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Help your children get into the patriotic spirit with some fun and easy Independence Day crafts. From child-friendly firecrackers to star-shaped chalk, there’s no better way to celebrate our country’s freedom than with a little bit of red, white and blue DIY fun.
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