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Will the real Uncle Sam Figure please stand up?

Uncle Sam Figure craft
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Uncle Sam Figure craft image)
Imagine your 10" tall Uncle Sam figure, all spangled with mica powder, as the centerpiece for your Independence Day display! He'll be impressive in his vintage image star-studded swallow-tail coat and top hat.

This craft is a standout for a few reasons. Not the least is how easy it is. But we think the big bonus is the template we provide for the simple cardboard stand glued behind Sam. You can resize and use this template again and again, for all kinds of professional-looking standee figures.

The Uncle Sam figure vintage image comes from a patriotic postcard, circa 1906. His name (with his U.S. initials) first appeared in print just after the War of 1812, and his familiar likeness started taking shape around 1840. His most famous portrait was painted by James Montgomery Flagg in 1917 for the US Army's "I Want You" recruitment poster.

This classic vintage image and the folding stand template is yours FREE as a PDF download. Just click on the "vintage image and stand template" link in the list of materials below.

Materials for this Uncle Sam Figure

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage Image and stand template (FREE PDF download).
  • Foam sheet, 6" X 11", any color (we used white) (See Tips).
  • Matte photo paper.
  • Transfer (carbon) paper.
  • Tagboard or other stiff, foldable cardboard.
  • Ultra-fine glitter or powdered mica.
  • Spray adhesive.
  • White craft glue.
  • Tacky craft glue (like Aleen's) or contact cement.
  • Fine-tipped paint brush.
  • Straight-edge or ruler.
  • Bone folder.
  • Scissors.
  • Craft knife.
  • Self-healing mat.

Instructions

  1. Uncle Sam figure craft, step 1Print the Uncle Sam vintage image on matte photo paper. Trim the image to roughly 5" X 11". Apply spray adhesive to the back of the image and glue it to the foam sheet, smoothing out bubbles and pressing until dry.
  2. With a sharp craft knife on a self-healing mat, cut around the outside of the foam-backed image. At Sam's feet, cut straight down from the tips of his shoes to the bottom border of the image, and then across the bottom border. Do not cut out between his legs or in the crooks of his arms.
  3. Dilute a nickel-sized blob of white glue with a drop of water. Using the paint brush, apply the glue to the stars on Uncle Sam's hat and jacket, and the white stripes of his pants (or anywhere you really want glitter). Sprinkle with ultra-fine glitter or mica powder, tap off the excess and let it dry.
  4. Uncle Sam figure craft, step 2Print the folding stand template onto plain white paper. Using transfer paper, trace the template onto tagboard (stiff cardboard). With a craft knife and straight-edge, cut on the solid lines. Use a bone folder to score heavily on the dotted lines, and fold and burnish them. The little tab, when folded down, should keep the stand rigid. If it doesn't - add a piece of tape under the tab to hold it.

  5. Uncle Sam Figure craft, step 3Place the foam-backed figure face down and glue the cardboard stand to the back, centered and flush with the bottom of the figure. Press until dry.
  6. Your Uncle Sam figure is now ready to lead your 4th of July parade!

Tips

  • Foam sheets are semi-rigid, thin sheets of "extruded closed-cell Polystyrene foam material," used for crafts and model-making. We used 1/8" (3mm) thick sheets, but it is available from 1/8" up to 3/8" thick. For adhesives, the manufacturer (www.midwestproducts.com) recommends using spray adhesive, contact cement like epoxy, or tacky craft glue (like Aleen's). Plain white craft glue worked fine for us.
Uncle Sam looks great with our other Independence Day crafts like our Independence Day Wreath, our 4th of July Door Decoration or our Patriotic Chenille Figures!

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