"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.
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
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).
Trim 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.
the cardboard tube to 8" length. Adhere the painted red paper
cardboard tube with glue stick, craft glue, or double-stick tape.
Cut 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,
adhere the overlap with glue stick or double-stick tape.
Print the vintage image postcard onto the photo
paper and trim it with scissors or paper cutter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trim any excess tinsel garland and secure
the end of the garland to the wire with a drop of glue.
Attach the small looped end of wire inside the
end of the rocket tube with masking tape or duct tape.
Gently adjust the wire base and spiral until
the bottom of the rocket stands about 12" from the surface of
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.
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!