We can’t quite believe that it’s summer already, but it’s true: the shoes are off, the desserts are chilled and the kids need entertaining. With Independence Day around the corner, we have just the thing to keep little hands occupied while creating some pretty decor for your star-spangled celebration. Presenting our roundup of the best 4th of July crafts to keep the whole family busy while we wait for the big day.
1. Tissue Paper Sparklers
We love these tissue paper pom poms that you can make with a preschooler (and even tinier tots can shake ’em to their heart’s content). No kids on the guest list this Fourth of July? No problem—this effortless craft is just as good for grown-ups that want to add a little holiday spirit without a huge hassle.
2. Ribbon, Lace and Fabric Flag
Fly this DIY flag at full mast on Independence Day because it’s downright beautiful. Delicate lace, colorful fabric and ribbon form a perfect union in this easy-to-replicate piece of shabby chic Americana. Grab your supplies and spend a breezy summer day sewing together a flag full of vintage charm.
3. Patriotic Wood Shim and Starfish Flag
Give the stars and stripes a subtle aquatic-themed makeover this summer. The starfish detail is darn cute and a perfect touch if you’re celebrating this holiday on a sandy beach (or if you wish you were). Best of all, this straightforward painting project has staying power since it’s made from wood, so you can bust it out at fourth of July celebrations for years to come.
4. Salt Painted Fireworks
Salt painting is such a simple way to incorporate sensory play and creativity into a single craft. This particular project allows kids to create colorful fireworks on a piece of paper, and the finished product is a festive work of art that’s fit for the fridge.
5. DIY Patriotic Table Decor
Let’s be honest, hosting a fourth of July celebration requires considerable effort. Fortunately, you can make chic table decor without breaking the bank (or your back). Chintzy disposable champagne flutes, tissue paper, and a few dollar store steals are the only materials needed to complete this quick and easy craft—and the resulting picnic table decor is surprisingly pretty.
6. Patriotic Duct Tape Parade Stick
For the love of country, craft your own party favors. These parade sticks are the ideal accessory when it’s time to wave something in the air at your fourth of July celebration—and you’ll be pleased as punch because you’re a magician who needed nothing more than a hole puncher, colored duct tape and a tinfoil tube to make it happen.
7. DIY Patriotic Centerpiece
Presenting a centerpiece that looks good and may even be a bigger hit with guests than that bucket of fried chicken you bought for the backyard feast (especially with younger groups). Stock up on M&M’s and pick a few fresh flowers for this fancy looking but foolproof patriotic craft.
8. Patriotic Burlap Bubble Wreath
Leave the door open to Independence Day cheer by adorning it with a red, white and blue wreath. You’ll have to pay a visit to the local craft store to pull this one off but once you have your wired burlap ribbon, all you need to do is pop open a bottle of wine (the cork will come in handy to make a star stamp) and watch how quickly your star-spangled craft comes together.
9. 4th of July Luminaries
The main event doesn’t start until it’s dark, so be sure to have a little mood lighting ready while you wait. The materials are easy to find for this painted mason jar craft and the final product will look lovely on your patio. Plus, if you scoop up some citronella tea lights then these beauties will even help keep the bugs at bay.
10. DIY Sparkler Tee
Wear your patriotism on your sleeve with a T-shirt decorating craft that’s fun for kids and adults alike. With a few artsy supplies and a blank cotton canvas, you can create a wearable work of art for the whole family and ring in the fourth of July with style.
11. Magazine Mosaic Flag
You thought parenthood meant you’d never spend another afternoon flipping through magazines in the sun, but you were wrong. Good news: you can do exactly that while helping your kid make this festive mosaic flag. Even if you don’t direct the craft from the comfort of a patio chair, the creative process will hone valuable skills (like spatial reasoning and scissor grip) as your budding artist honors her homeland with an exploration of color patterns and aesthetics.
12. Fourth of July Ice-Cream Cake
In our opinion, the best type of craft is the one you can eat. And this one isn’t just delicious but is also beautiful, to boot (with no complicated steps or baking required). Bonus: You can prepare it in advance of your celebration. We recommend adding a few candles for an extra-festive touch.
13. Patriotic Burlap Banner
When it comes to party decorations, a pennant banner is a must—and this homemade version promises to bring out both the patriot and artist within. All you have to do is paint some burlap and enlist the help of your hot glue gun for festive stars and stripes you can string up wherever you wish.
14. Fourth of July Coffee Filter Flowers
If you’ve ever made the mistake of trying an ambitious craft with a little kid then you’ll appreciate this toddler-friendly project. (We too have felt that pain.) Perk up with something caffeinated and then grab a stack of coffee filters and some pigment—you’re ready to paint a patriotic bouquet with your babe.
15. DIY Cardboard 4th of July Hats
If there was a party without any hats, did the fete even happen at all? We suggest you play it safe and make this absurdly cute American flag top hat with your mini. Preschoolers can handle the painting while you jerry-rig the headband. The end result? An Independence Day chapeau that looks so snazzy, it deserves a celebration of its own.
16. Pony Bead Flag Craft
Any craft that starts with a leftover pizza box is right up our alley, and this pony bead flag project is the bee’s knees when it comes to crafting with kids. Fine motor skills get a run for their money and that bottle of Elmer’s glue will get a work out too (which is half the fun for little ones).
17. Patriotic Cardboard Tube Bracelet
A DIY accessory with humble roots—this fashionable and festive cuff will jazz up your Fourth of July, and you don’t need to be a crafting pro to sport this sparkling summer bling. Actually, all you need is a toilet paper tube, construction paper, glue and glitter—so depending on the age of your child and how serious you are about the finished bracelet, this project is perfectly kid-friendly to boot.
18. Candy Flag Brownies
Get crafty in the kitchen and whip up an edible work of art. The recipe is a piece of cake (erm, brownie) and kids can get in on the patriotic decorating fun—as long as they’re old enough to resist the temptation to eat the red white and blue, that is.
19. Paper Tube Rockets
The lead-up to the fireworks display can be excruciating, but none suffer the wait worse than the younguns. Definitely start off by encouraging patience, but when that fails just keep your kid busy with this simple rocket craft. First collect your materials: construction paper, glitter glue and a toilet paper tube. (What luck, your toddler shredded a whole roll this morning!) Then, enjoy a crafting experience that promises to make the evening easier for all parties.
20. POPSICLE STICK AMERICAN FLAGS
Don’t toss out your kids popsicle sticks this summer. Instead, save them up for this patriotic craft. (But don’t worry if you already disposed of them—you can purchase craft sticks here.) You’ll also need some Mod Podge, paint and wooden stars to complete the red, white and blue look.
21. PATRIOTIC PAPER WINDSOCK
Kids will love working on this summer craft almost as much as they’ll love seeing the finished project decorate the porch, patio or garden. With just a couple of basic craft supplies (construction paper, crepe paper, ribbon and tape) plus some star stickers, you’ll keep little hands happily occupied with this patriotic activity.
22. Red, White and Blue Bandana Headband
An understated and decidedly chic take on patriotism, these Independence Day headbands are designed for kids, but they’re so stylish even a grown-up would want to wear ‘em. Home Ec drop-outs take note: You don’t have to be a seamstress to get an updated Rosie the Riveter look—there’s a hot glue gun hack so you can make this headband without a sewing machine.
23. Fourth of July Treat Bags
This one requires a fancy crafting tool—an electronic cutting thingamajig—but you might be able to wing it without one. Either way, the end result is a star-spangled pouch that will look oh-so pretty holding cutlery for your Fourth of July feast. Plus, when the festivities are winding down, this place setting can double as a goodie bag for the kids in attendance.
24. 4th of July Candy Dish
You can give a dollar store candy dish a patriotic makeover with little more than tissue paper and sparkly mod podge. Beginners can tackle this project with ease, and older kids can absolutely get in on the craft as well.
25. Patriotic Coffee Filter Craft
This craft relies on a color-bleeding technique that’s super cool and fun for little kids—and incredibly simple, too. All you need is a stack of paper coffee filters and a few (red, white and blue) washable markers and a spray bottle for an art project that will inspire oohs and aahs throughout the process. The end result is a heart-shaped patriotic masterpiece that your kid will be proud to show off on Independence Day.
26. Fourth of July Ponytail Holder
Another adorable, wearable craft that features red, white and blue bandanas—and for this no-sew, no-glue hair accessory, that’s just about all you need. Indeed, this festive ponytail holder couldn’t be easier to put together since the project involves nothing more than cutting strips of fabric and tying knots. (Hint: That means it’s also an excellent opportunity for kids to hone their fine motor skills.)
27. Pop-up Firework Craft
Like fireworks themselves, this firework pop-up toy is a favorite for all kinds of celebratory occasions, and the design is completely customizable. Even really little kids can get in on decorating the prop with patriotic accents, while slightly older ones can help with the (very straightforward) funnel-and-streamer construction. Plus, pretty much anyone will appreciate how this art project springs into action once the party gets started.
28. 4th of July Noise Maker
Chances are the young people in your life don’t need much help when it comes to generating noise, but the ‘making’ part of this craft is particularly rewarding. Kids of all ages will enjoy working with paint, glitter or any other supplies you have on hand to decorate these paper towel tube noise makers, and the sound effects—courtesy of dried pasta or anything else you can rattle and shake—contribute to a complete (and completely awesome) sensory experience.
29. Patriotic Kids Necklace Craft
No matter how you plan to dress your toddler or preschooler for the occasion, you’d be wise to complete the ensemble with some festive baubles. Here, an exceedingly easy craft that consists of stringing cut-up pieces of patriotic drinking straws on thread to make a necklace that’s, well, stinkin’ cute. Bonus: If your kid gets in on the jewelry-making process, her fine motor skills will get a major boost, too.
30. Fingerprint and Footprint Flags
Let’s be honest, when you’ve got little kids, you just can’t be too precious about your holiday crafts. Enter, the footprint flag—an art project that fulfills every toddler’s dream, (i.e., to have paint all over their body), whilst producing something festive and cute. By all means, protect your furniture or take the project outside—but once you’re all set up, you’ll be amazed by the patriotic masterpiece those little tootsies can create. (Aw.)
31. Patriotic Clothespin Wreath
All your Fourth of July guests will be admiring this attractive piece of decor…and no one will suspect it’s really just a dollar store craft. Yup, ordinary clothespins make quite a patriotic statement here—and if you spring for non-toxic paint, the young ones in your life can easily get in on the creative process.
32. Fourth of July Clothesline Art
For patriotic, but understated decor, try this one on for size: A blank canvas, a clothesline and some cut-out stars combine to achieve a minimalist (yet still festive) aesthetic. Kids are less likely to be entertained by this craft, but it’s definitely easy to execute and the finished product has a certain je ne sais quoi.
33. Paper Tube Firework Art
In case you needed more proof that empty toilet paper tubes have limitless crafting potential, this simple art project involves transforming one into a firework stamp that kids of all ages can use to create a colorful and oh-so festive masterpiece with acrylic paint.
34. Three-Ingredient Patriotic Sidewalk Chalk
Sidewalk chalk, a summertime staple for the little kid crowd, gets a star-spangled makeover with this easy DIY project. Only a few basic ingredients are required to pull off this patriotic homemade chalk (think: plaster of Paris and tempera paint) and the payoff is big—namely because the store-bought stuff is old hat compared to chalk that was made from scratch.
35. 4th of July Confetti Eggs
Younger kids will need a grown-up to prep the craft, since we suspect that hollowing out a raw egg is too delicate a task for preschoolers. That said, the rest of the project—dyeing eggs, turning tissue paper into confetti and smashing the finished product into pieces—is a preschooler’s dream.
36. Patriotic Star Suncatchers
Here, a budget-friendly and patriotic art project that leaves plenty of room for creativity and minimal mess. Best of all, the straightforward crafting process is an excellent way for little kids to practice their scissor skills whilst creating attractive window decor for the occasion.
37. Fourth of July DIY Star Streamers
Head to the dollar store to score some red, white and blue streamers for this exceedingly easy craft that requires nothing else but a star template and a pair of scissors. Bonus: Kids will get a fine motor skill boost from both the tracing and cutting steps of the process.
38. Patriotic Paper Plate Purses
Basic office supplies, acrylic paint and string are all you need to pull off a patriotic purse that your kid will be pleased to make and proud to sport. And really, what could be better than a budget-friendly paper plate craft that yields a festive fashion accessory?
39. Firework Ribbon Garland
Red, white and blue scraps of ribbon get tied to string to make a display-worthy garland. As for the crafting process, it’s so easy even a toddler can do it—and it just so happens to be an excellent way to keep little hands occupied, too.
40. Red, White, and Blue Wand
These patriotic star wands are pure magic—namely because kids of all ages will have just as much fun frolicking around with them during the celebration as they will making them from felt, ribbon and wooden dowels. (Psst: This one does require a hot glue gun, so adult supervision is required.)
41. Firecracker Candles
Another festive form of mood lighting that’s perfect for a backyard bash—these eye-catching firecracker candles are a kid-friendly craft and a cinch to make with nothing more than mod podge and paper napkins from the dollar store.
42. Paper Tube American Flag
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, paper tubes can make crafting dreams come true. This time, the household staple is upcycled to create a realistic-looking American flag that kids can help paint and embellish before toting around with pride.