Here's one of the easiest 4th of July crafts to come along in
about 200 years. You start with a wire coat hanger bent into a
rectangle. Twist on little strips of red, white and blue
paper. Embellish with a patriotic vintage image,
stars and a small flag, and...
you have a soul-stirring decoration for your front
door or window! Even little kids can help make this one. Or, you
make it on July 3rd and still be on time for the parade.
Vintage image, (Free Adobe PDF
download) printed on matte photo paper.
Three rolls of crepe paper streamers in red,
white and blue (see Tips).
Construction paper in red, white and blue.
Metallic silver paper or Mylar
Eight silver tinsel chenille rods.
Star-shape (1.5") paper punch, or a star
template (See Tips).
Tacky craft glue (like Aleen's)
Scissors or craft knife.
Ruler or tape measure.
Instructions for 4th of July Crafts
around the outside (perimeter) of the coat hanger to determine the
rectangle you will form (Our coat hanger measured 34", so we
our rectangle 7.5" wide by 9.5" high). Using needle-nose pliers, bend
the hanger into a vertical rectangle (These instructions are
vertical rectangle using the vertical vintage image. If you
choose a horizontal rectangle for the horizontal vintage
adapt the instructions to your dimensions - See Tips).
Bend the hook of the hanger
closed, into a hanging loop.
With scissors, cut about 120 3"-long strips of
each color of the crepe paper streamers.
a strip of red crepe paper once, into a bow tie shape. Place it on the
bottom wire of the rectangle and twist it once completely around the
the twisted paper to the left corner of the
rectangle. Repeat this
about 50 times, pushing each piece tight up against the others.
Now and then, arrange the strips around the wire -
it should look full and fluffy. Continue
the bottom side of the rectangle is completely filled.
this procedure with white crepe paper on each side, pushing the white
twisted strips tight into the corners against the red paper, until you
have covered about 2.5"
of each side with white.
starting the next red section, place a tinsel chenille rod across the
rectangle, and twist it on to the wire at both ends. Push it
tight against the white crepe paper, aligning it parallel with
the bottom of the rectangle. This will be one cross-brace for
attaching the vintage image.
Start twisting red crepe
paper strips again, pushing them tight against the white paper until
you have covered another 2.5" of wire on both sides of the
Continue with another 2.5" of white on both
Place another tinsel chenille rod across the
rectangle, and twist it on to the wires at both ends, pushing it tight
against the white section.
Continue with strips of blue crepe paper for
about 1" on both sides.
Twist on two tinsel chenille rods, one on each
side of the rectangle, pointing outward. (These will be bent
into spirals for the shooting stars)
Continue adding blue crepe paper strips until
both sides are tight and full to the corners.
Attach two more tinsel chenille rods
at each top corner, pointing outward.
On the top and final side, continue with blue
crepe paper strips. When you have covered about 2.5" from each corner,
attach two more tinsel chenille rods.
Continue adding blue strips until you reach the center hook.
With the star-shape paper punch (or using a
1.5" star template) cut out six stars from the silver metallic paper.
a 4" X 8" piece of white construction paper
and fold it in half to 4" X 4". Self-stick (or glue) one
silver star in the center of the square. With scissors, cut around the
star shape, leaving a 1/8" border of paper (Keep the two pieces of
paper together, because you'll be gluing them back to back and you want
them aligned). Repeat this until you have two sets of
stars in each color; red, white and blue.
Place the end of one of the attached tinsel
chenille rods between the two matched stars and glue them together with
tacky craft glue. Clip it together with a clothes pin or
paper clip while it dries. Repeat this with each color star
(We arranged our stars in the order of blue, white
and red, radiating from the
Shape the tinsel chenille rods into
spirals by wrapping them around a marker, pen or dowel.
Using the glue
stick, attach the vintage image to a piece of silver metallic paper.
Cut around the image with decorative scissors, leaving a 1/4"
border of silver.
With tape or tacky craft glue, attach the
image to the parallel tinsel chenille rods in the center of the
With tape, attach the small flag to the stem of
the wire loop at the top. You may have to cut the flag pole
Alternatively, you can attach a big red, white and blue bow to decorate
the loop. Basically - cover the loop. There you have it - a
dazzling and decorative 4th of July craft!
If you have a choice, use a sturdy wire
coat hanger rather than the
flimsy variety. You'll need to use needle-nose pliers to bend
Be careful and bend the wire slowly. Bend too fast or too
it may break.
If you decide to make the horizontal rectangle,
you will have to adjust your crepe paper colors a little (more red and
blue than white), and place your chenille rod cross-braces
vertically instead of horizontally.
A typical roll of crepe paper streamer is about
80 feet long. For this craft, you will probably use about
of each color. You can probably use the rest for decorating
or other 4th of July crafts.
We used a star-shape paper punch that made a
silver metallic star about 1.5" wide. If you don't have a punch, you
can use the star
template we provide, or you can
just draw and cut a freehand
4th of July crafts can be a great way to occupy the kids before a
barbecue. If you bend the coat hangers into circles, you can
simplify this craft to create red, white and blue striped wreaths.
No glue, no tools, just twisting and fluffing.
Another one of our 4th of July crafts is the vintage
- also very easy for children to make. Just use the
image (provided for this door decoration) with red, white and blue
crepe paper wrapping! Or try our more ambitious Independence Day Wreath
as a tribute to America's patriotic songs.