This Independence Day, decorate with a little do-it-yourself effort and showcase the red, white and blue in style. These simple rockets, pendants, garlands and pinwheels are easy enough that the kids in your life can make them with just a little crafting assistance.

A trip to the craft store or a dollar store will yield the necessary components for well under $10, and you can bedeck the windows, doors, yard or table in spirit.

Paper pinwheels

Whether you put them on a pencil with an eraser or attach them to clothespins, these spinning delights make a colorful accent for the yard or table. Make them larger or smaller as desired.

What you’ll need (for each):

Scrapbook paper or cardstock

Pencil (with an eraser) or dowel with a separate pencil eraser on one end

Straight pin

Scissors for cutting paper


Make the pinwheel:

1. Draw a 5-inch square on the back of the paper and lightly draw a diagonal line from corner to corner in each direction.

2. Cut on the diagonal lines, stopping 1⁄2 inch from the center on each cut.

3. Bend the right corner of each resulting triangular section to the center and overlap the points slightly.

4. Poke the pin through the center to hold the points in place. Push the pin into the pencil eraser to secure, leaving 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch between the eraser and the pin head to allow for spinning. If necessary, trim the sharp pin end even with the eraser to avoid injury.


Perfect for a centerpiece, these rockets are ready to fire up a great holiday.

What you’ll need (for each):

Empty toilet paper or paper towel cardboard tube

Holographic scrapbooking paper, three colors

Assorted metallic star trim or ribbons

Paint and paintbrush (optional)





Make the rocket:

1. Cut the tubes to the desired length and cover with scrapbooking paper. Trim the excess paper and glue the seam overlap in place.

2. To make the top, cut a 6-inch diameter half circle from a second color of paper. Slightly overlap the straight edges and glue in place to form a cone.

3. Glue the cone to one end of the covered tube, matching the joining to the seam in the tube paper.

4. Cut 6- to 8-inch lengths of assorted star trim and/or ribbons and glue inside the rocket tube lower edge.

5. If desired, paint the dowel. Cut the dowel to the desired length and glue inside the rocket tube.

Star garland

Make this starry garland one of two ways — either with a sewing machine to join the stars together, or using glue to mount them on a thread.

What you’ll need:

Precut cardstock stars (2 inches) or red, white and blue cardstock and a star punch (see note)

Glue (for the no-sew version)

Heavy thread in desired length, plus 24 inches (for the no-sew version)

Sewing machine and thread (for the sewn version)

Note on star punch: The featured project used a Fiskars XL 2-inch Star Lever Punch.

Make the garland:

1. If punching your own stars, cut an equal number of each from the three colors of cardstock.

2. For the no-sew version, glue the stars to the heavy thread, alternating colors. Space the stars about 2 inches apart, or vary spacing for interest.

3. For the sewn version, begin sewing with thread only and stitch 12 inches. Insert a star and continue sewing across the star and off of it and allow approximately 2 inches of space before inserting the next star. Continue in this manner, alternating star colors until the desired length is reached, then continue stitching off the last star for 12 inches.


Begin with a plastic tablecloth or two from the dollar store and cut pendants for a festive banner. Make it as long as you need to add spirit to wherever it will hang.

What you’ll need (for a 48-inch long banner):

Patriotic plastic tablecloth or two

4 yards grosgrain ribbon, 1⁄4-inch wide



Glue stick

Make the banner:

1. From the plastic tablecloth(s), cut triangles with an 8-inch base and 10 inches tall. If the tablecloth has a variety of patterning, cut from several design areas. Cut 12 pendants. Cut off the base corners at an angle, 1⁄4 inch in from the edges.

2. Fold under the triangle base 1⁄2 inch and glue in place over the ribbon, spacing the pendants approximately 2 inches apart. Leave 12 inches of ribbon free at each end for attaching.

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