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Light up your holiday table with an Independence Day decoration that sparkles like a 1890's fireworks display!

Independence Day Decoration craft photo
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Independence Day Decoration craft image)
"OOOOH"... "AHHHH!" Victorian fireworks were brilliant items to behold, even before they were launched into the sky. Our Independence Day decoration was inspired by 19th-century British-made Skyrocket fireworks, with their brightly decorated paper labels - destined to burn in a burst of celestial glory.

You can reproduce this bold 4th of July table centerpiece with a few simple ingredients - a cardboard tube, galvanized wire, construction paper and paint, tinsel garland, and a patriotic vintage image.

The FREE vintage image we provide below is from a 4th of July postcard, published by Raphael Tuck and Sons, circa 1908.

Materials for the Independence Day Decoration

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage Images (FREE PDF download).
  • Photo paper, gloss or matte.
  • Construction paper, red and blue.
  • Cardboard tube, 1.5" to 1.75" diameter (see Tips).
  • Tinsel garland, gold or silver.
  • Acrylic craft paint, white.
  • Galvanized steel wire, 14 gauge, about 50".
  • 1-gallon paint can or other 6.5" diameter rigid cylinder.
  • 11-ounce spray paint can or other 2.75" diameter rigid cylinder.
  • Paint brush, 1/4" flat bristles.
  • Glue stick or other tacky craft glue.
  • Masking tape or duct tape.
  • Scissors or paper cutter.
  • Compass or circle-cutter.
  • Needle-nose or round-nose pliers.
  • Wire cutter (usually part of the pliers).

Instructions

  1. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 1Trim red construction paper to 8" X 7". Paint a series of white, 1/4" wide stripes parallel to the 8" side. If you wish, antique the paper by rubbing lightly with brown distressing ink or antiquing gel.

  2. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 2Trim the cardboard tube to 8" length. Adhere the painted red paper around the cardboard tube with glue stick, craft glue, or double-stick tape.

  3. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 3Cut a 4"-diameter circle from the blue construction paper. Cut a slit from the the edge to the center of the circle. Roll the paper into a cone shape with a 2.5" diameter opening, and adhere the overlap with glue stick or double-stick tape.
  4. Print the vintage image postcard onto the photo paper and trim it with scissors or paper cutter.

  5. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 3Attach the blue paper cone to the top end of the cardboard tube with glue. Glue the vintage image on the side of the cardboard tube, centered vertically. Apply pressure (wrap with rubber bands or string) until the glue dries.

  6. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 5Wrap one end of the 50" length of steel wire around the 1-gallon paint can until the wire overlaps by 1". With the pliers, twist the wire together with the 1" overlap to form a 20" loop of wire. Slightly untwist the wire until it is loose enough to slip off of the paint can. Lay the loop on a flat surface and bend the twisted wire upward so the 30" tail is standing vertically.

  7. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 6Stand the spray paint can in the center of the wire loop. Bend the vertical wire around the paint can in a tight spiral. Remove the can and gently adjust the size of the spiral twists until it is appealing. Bend the end of the wire into a small (1/2") loop, to create more surface to tape the wire inside the rocket.

  8. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 7 Cover the steel wire base with tinsel garland by securing the end of the garland with glue and wrapping it tightly around the entire length of the wire.

  9. Independence Day Decoration craft, step 8Trim any excess tinsel garland and secure the end of the garland to the wire with a drop of glue.
  10. Attach the small looped end of wire inside the end of the rocket tube with masking tape or duct tape.
  11. Gently adjust the wire base and spiral until the bottom of the rocket stands about 12" from the surface of your table.

Tips

  • The cardboard tube in a typical roll of kitchen paper towels here in America is 11" long and about 1.6" in diameter. You can use any cardboard tube (like for wrapping paper) that is at least 8" long.
  • This design sports vertical red and white stripes with a blue rocket cap. If you are making several, go for variety. Try a blue rocket with white stars and a red cap. Or, red, white and blue spirals and a white cap... Victorian fireworks were nothing if not colorful.
  • These Independence Day decorations look especially festive when there are four or five of them massed in the center of the table, all at different heights, surrounded by red, white and blue confetti and streamers.
The images in our Patriotic Children I image book are perfect if you want to make several of these Independence Day decorations. Just visit our Vintage Image Download Gallery!

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