Holiday Crafts

Published on June 30th, 2009 | by Julie Finn

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Happy 4th of July! Five Festive and Eco-Friendly Independence Day Crafts

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Child with SparklerEven more than a celebration of our nation’s birth (which I could take or leave, frankly), in our town, at least Independence Day is a celebration of our community culture. Between the fish fry, the farmer’s market, the Fourth of July parade, and the fireworks, I’ve got plenty of opportunities to show off my craftiness as well as my festive spirit.

The best crafts, in my opinion, are thematically appropriate (red, white, and blue, you know) without being too slavish (the flag isn’t for wearing, my friends) or too country (denim is best if it’s ironic).

And, of course, the best project has to be eco-friendly–what’s up with craft foam, anyway? It’s like wool felt for anti-environmentalists(not that I’m automatically a fan of wool felt, mind you–it comes from sheep).

Anyway, here are five 4th of July projects that satisfy my own discerning tastes AND are quite able to be completed by the big day. Fireworks away!

  1. These patriotic fans from Martha Stewart are available as a printable pdf, so you might think that you have to print them on new white paper, but depending on your printer, you can print reliably on anything from old book pages to old white T-shirts (treated with Bubble Jet Set and ironed to freezer paper) to newspaper (turn on your printer’s self-clean function afterwards).
  2. Buntings are always a win-win, especially if you haul out the freezer paper and the fabric paint and stencil them with something awesome. Check out my denim bunting tutorial or gaze in awe at Maya*Made’s burlap bunting for inspiration.
  3. The nice thing about sewing for babies is that since they’re so small, their stuff doesn’t take long to finish. Purl Bee used a fancy cotton/linen blend fabric for her Fourth of July Baby Hat, but this teeny-tiny little hatsie is also a perfect excuse to use up some smaller bits and pieces of quilting cotton from your fabric stash.
  4. Skip to My Lou is not helping me stave off my RIDICULOUS longing for a Cricut with her instructions for which Cricut catridges to use in making this awesomely festive Star Garland, but, thank goodness, she also takes pity on me and provides templates, as well, for each of the pieces of the garland. Perfect for holiday entertaining.
  5. There’s really not much else to do with a paper towel tube (my husband, who despises my stained T-shirt/holey sock/outgrown cloth diaper dishtowel drawer, actually SNEAKS paper towels into the house and hides them from me) other than a craft project. Celebrations claims these paper towel tube lawn rockets would make excellent yard decorations, but I think that with a more sophisticated paper choice for the outsides, they’ll also look pretty fancy at our Fourth of July parade.

Do you have a favorite Fourth of July project?

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



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