Why not make your own 4th of July decorations?
DIY is as American as striving for a better life, capitalism, and enjoying 4th of July fireworks.
Plus, a few red, white, and blue decorations will distract from the fact that you only grilled hot dogs and opened a bag of potato chips for your party guests.
Here are 8 ideas for easy DIY July 4th Decorations you can make in a few minutes.
Uncle Sam Hats
You’ll need white poster board, red and blue construction paper, glue, and a pair of scissors for this project.
From your white poster board, cut a rectangle measuring 22 inches by six inches and glue the short sides together to form a large cylinder. Set aside to dry.
Also from your white poster board, cut a large circle with a radius of 7.34 inches and a circumference of 46 inches.
Cut a smaller circle with a radius of 3.34 inches and a circumference of 21 inches from the middle.
You should be left with a Jupiter-like ring that is 4 inches thick. This will form the brim of your hat. Color it red.
Make several small cuts measuring one inch from the inner ring towards the outer ring. Fold these taps up.
Grab your cylinder and fit it on top of the ring so the tabs reach up the inside the cylinder.
Glue the tabs in place. Set aside to dry.
In the meantime, cut strips of red paper measuring two inches by six inches. Glue these to the cylinder so they form vertical columns.
Grab your blue paper, and cut two long strips measuring 11 by two inches.
Carefully cut out one large star from one of the strips (you can do more, or get away with just one). Glue the blue strip so that the star sits right at the front of your hat, in between two red strips.
If you have extra supplies, show your party guests how they can make their very own Uncle Sam hat!
Grab string, thick paper in shades of red, white, and blue, and a pair of scissors.
Working with one piece of paper at a time, fold the top right corner down to meet the left side of your paper. There should be about two inches of paper in the shape of a rectangle at the bottom.
Cut off the bottom rectangle and set aside for making paper chains. Cut along your fold to create two large triangles that are the same size.
Repeat the folding and cutting until you have as many triangles as you wish. Attach your triangles to your string, alternating colors, with hot glue or paper clips.
Collect the rectangular strips of paper leftover from your Triangle Flags.
Cut each strip in half lengthwise (the long way). Then cut each thin, long strip in half the short way. Glue the ends of one strip together to form a single chain.
Pick up a new strip, loop it through chain you just made, and glue its ends together to form two linked chains. Continue until your chain is as long as you want it.
Be careful to let the chains dry on a flat surface. If you hang them before the glue is dry, the weight of the chain will pull the rings apart.
If you’ve never made paper flowers, they require little skill but a few handy craft tools, namely a hot glue gun and green florist wire, which you can pick up at a hardware or craft store.
If you don’t have fancy paper on hand, you can use sheets of music, pages from a dictionary, or old magazines.
My latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens is awash in blues and reds and plain white paper is easy to come by.
Check out this post on TipNut, which has 50 different ways to make paper flowers.
Patriotic Fruit Salad
Mix a fruit salad comprised of blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe (it’s the closest thing to white fruit, unless you can find jicama for sale).
Or, skip the cantaloupe and serve your berry salad with whipped cream.
Looking for More DIY Decorating Ideas?
I turn to Pinterst and Etsy for inspiration – and to dream about how amazing my life would be if only I could sew.
On either site, search for the item you want to create, such as July 4th themed flags, then adapt the ideas that appeal to you using the supplies you have on hand.
Or start more broadly by searching for the holiday itself and see what comes up.
If all else fails, hit up your nearby dollar store for cheap Fourth of July decorations.
You can get a lot of red, white, and blue for $10.
Julia Scott founded BargainBabe.com, which shares freebies, tips, and coupons to save money everyday.