Independence Day crafts with
a vintage look for a traditional, razzle-dazzle 4th of July
Independence Day crafts are all about national pride; in
America's independent spirit, its patriotic symbols, and its
flag's colors - the
star-spangled red, white and blue.
4th of July, American Independence Day, commemorates the day
in 1776 when the United States claimed
independence from Great Britain by written declaration. It was
first observed by the Continental Congress in 1777, while
the Revolutionary War
escalated, with speeches, music, parades, fireworks -
and a 13-gun salute.
Through the 19th Century, Americans celebrated on the
of July much as we do today, with commemorative ceremonies, family and
community gatherings, and fireworks after dark.
Victorian homes were proudly festooned with red, white and blue bunting
and flags. Family photographs and keepsakes from the Revolutionary War
(just now becoming valuable antiques) were put on display in the
parlor. Children would decorate their bicycles with twists of red,
white and blue paper and streamers. Men and women decorated their hats
with streamers and flowers. And every household with a piano would
gather to sing patriotic songs like "Hail, Columbia" (written in 1798
and recognized as the National Anthem until 1931), "The Star-Spangled
Banner" (1814), "America the Beautiful" (1895), "My Country, 'Tis of
Thee" (1831), and "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" (1814).
Making patriotic Independence Day crafts reflects the
traditions of craftsmanship and Yankee ingenuity. Home decorations
include wreaths, yard and table displays, swags and garlands, and of
course, flags. National symbols are emblazoned on plaques, cushions,
tapestries, quilts, boxes, jewelry and clothing - and more. Even
recreational items so traditional to the holiday - like sports
equipment, picnic baskets and baseball caps - are decorated
specially for the day.
We've put together
several Independence Day crafts that will get you in the 4th
of July spirit - fun and easy
ones, we think. All are based on vintage images from America's
historic past that still speak to the
pride of the holiday.
As always, if you need
for your crafts, Joann.com
is online with
fast delivery, and only a click
Here's an Independence
with a real burst of creativity. Victorian fireworks were colorful
works of art, even before they were launched into the sky. With simple
materials, you can create this vintage skyrocket for the center of your
4th of July table!
Our jaunty Uncle
stands up for America! You've seen standee figures like these in the
store for a pretty penny, but with a few simple materials you
can make one for yourself. You'll love the vintage image of Uncle Sam
in his formal red, white and blues.
America's praises. The basic grapevine wreath is embellished
with vintage music scrolls of patriotic songs,
glossy stars and tinsel
treble clefs. The bow even has a gold "Liberty Bell" to ring out the
will spark up your 4th of July! All it takes
are scissors, glue and bump chenille rods, and you can turn
out these vintage-look charmers to
help you celebrate - or dress up your Independence Day crafts.
It looks like a million dollars, but this 4th
of July Door Decoration goes together from a wire
coat hanger and strips of red, white and blue crepe paper.
glittery embellishments and a patriotic vintage image, you have a craft
that even kids can proudly make.
Many Symbols of Independence Day
A nation's symbols, from its National Bird to its National Anthem,
represent the ideals and aspirations of its people. In the United
States, these symbols are all put on parade during patriotic
holidays, never more so than on the 4th of July, Independence
As the printing industry grew during the 19th century, greeting cards,
postcards and Independence Day crafts and decorations became very
popular. Red, white and blue ink flowed like Niagra Falls.
patriotic symbols were resurrected - and new ones invented.
First and foremost is the American Flag, with its red and white stripes
and field of blue covered with a growing number of white stars. Its
guardian and defender since 1782, the American Bald Eagle spreads its
wings proudly, often clutching 13 arrows and an olive branch.
Washington D.C. landmarks like the White House
(1800), the Capital
Building (1800) and the Washington Monument (1885) were all proudly
rendered in drawings and photographs, as were Philadelphia's
Independence Hall (1753) and its "Liberty Bell," and the Old North
Church (1723) in Boston.
Many holiday images represent the nation's military and social history.
Medals, memorial wreaths, swords and guns often appear with scenes of
battle or tributes to the fallen. The Rose and the Lily
symbolize the northern and southern states following the Civil
War. Harvest bounty, machinery, factories and even bags of
money were used to show the prosperity of the country.
Several historic personages make regular appearances. The Founding
Fathers, wearing white wigs and bending over the Declaration
of Independence, are always on hand. So are the popular Presidents,
from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln. Betsy
Ross sews her little fingers to the bone, and Paul Revere rides himself
saddle-sore. Many Independence Day cards
depict soldiers from all branches of service, uniformed
for military events from the Revolutionary
War through the Civil War. Even George Washington's famous
white horse shows up now and then.
Symbolic characters are just as important on Independence Day crafts
and cards. Lady Liberty,
in robes and a laurel wreath, is an incarnation of the Roman
goddess Libertas, protector from slavery, oppression and tyranny. Her
305 ft. likeness, The Statue of Liberty,
was shiny new in 1886, and appears that way in vintage images
from the period. Columbia, looking much like Lady Liberty, was another
feminine personification of America, as well as a poetic name for
the land (sort of) discovered by Columbus. The 1875 Civil War painting
by Archibald MacNeal Willard of the stoic fife and drum trio known as
the Spirit of '76 was often reproduced and mimicked. Uncle
super-patriotic gentleman in the star-spangled swallow-tail suit and
top hat, made his first appearance around 1838.
Perhaps most representative of the holiday, though, are illustrations
of fireworks of
all kinds. Especially rampant were images of children celebrating
dangerously - with everything from firecrackers and sparklers to
canons. Fireworks depict the birth of the nation, recreating the
entire War for Independence in loud explosions, bursts of
colored lights, and "oohs" and "ahhhs."
Did you know... Who was the real Uncle Sam? For the official
story, the U.S Congress
credits the New York meat-packer Samuel Wilson. During the War of 1812,
between the United States and Great Britain, Sam Wilson shipped barrels
of meat to the U.S. Army, all stamped with the initials "U.S." The
troops started joking that the meat shipments were gifts from "Uncle
Sam" Wilson. Even before Samuel Wilson's death in 1854, "Uncle Sam" had
come to symbolize the spirit of the country. His most famous image
comes from the "I Want YOU" recruitment poster painted by James
Montgomery Flagg in 1917.
Independence Day crafts? We would enjoy hearing from you with ideas,
or questions. Please, contact
us with a note!