Photograph by David Roth
Fourth of July Confetti Popper
This reusable popper lets you launch paper "fireworks" during Fourth of July parades and barbecues -- or wherever confetti is needed.
1. Cut the top 2½ to 3 inches from a clean plastic bottle and discard the rest.
2. Cover the cut edge with tape.
3. Stretch the mouth of a party balloon over the bottle's opening. Work the neck of the balloon over the threads of the bottleneck, as shown at right.
4. Cut paper into confetti, then pour the pieces into the popper.
5. Hold onto the bottleneck with one hand, and pull down on the bottom of the balloon with the other. Let the balloon snap to launch a shower of confetti.
Photograph by David Roth, Idea by Marylea Harris
A Star-Spangled Yard
Give your lawn some flour power this Fourth of July with a simple stencil and a dusting of flour. Draw a star shape on cardboard and cut it out. Lay this stencil on the lawn and spray the grass with water from a spray bottle. Leaving the stencil in place, use a flour sifter to cover the damp star shape with flour. Remove the stencil and repeat to fill your yard with a galaxy of stars.
Stately Striped Wreath
Tufts of tulle are the secret behind this easy-to-make door decoration.
Cut 35 strips each of red and white tulle that measure about 6 by 15 inches (we started with a 2 1/4-yard piece of 54-inch-wide tulle in each color). Alternating colors every five lengths, knot the tulle strips around a 12-inch wire wreath form (A and B). Line up the knots so that they're even, then fluff the ends. Curl an 8-foot length of blue star garland by winding it around a marker. Tie the garland in two circles to the middle of the wreath with small pieces of tulle.
All-American Bandanna Garland and Place Mats
For each place mat, apply a thin, 2-inch-wide strip of tacky glue across the center of a cloth place mat (ours is 19" x 14"). Press a white bandanna into place on top, then attach the rest with more glue; trim excess. Measure and cut three 2-inch-wide strips of red bandanna and glue them to the mat. Add a 6-inch square of blue bandanna to the top left corner. Clean with a damp cloth, as needed.
To make a 12 1/2-foot garland, cut one red, one blue, and one white bandanna into four equal squares. Following the diagram, fold each square as shown, then iron the folds to crease them (A). Secure the two long folds with glue dots (B), then fold the remaining flap over a 12 1/2-foot-long ribbon and secure the flap with more glue dots (C).
Ideas by Kristin Harrison of Hatterandhaveevents.blogspot.com
Lady Liberty Crown
No glue is needed for our cleverly designed head-piece made from craft foam and a headband.
Trace our template on a 12- by 18-inch sheet of green craft foam and cut it out. Make a slit at the base of each spike where noted on the template, then thread the spikes through the openings as shown. Slide the spikes onto a thin plastic headband.
Idea by Lynn Zimmerman
Create simple quacking noisemakers, and the kids can be all abuzz at the parade.
First, snip two 1 1/4-inch lengths from a plastic drinking straw. Stretch a wide rubber band lengthwise around a jumbo craft stick. Slide one straw piece beneath the rubber band 1 1/4 inches from one end. Lay the other straw piece on top of the rubber band 1 1/4 inches from the opposite end, as shown, then sandwich it with another craft stick. Secure the sticks with more rubber bands. Embellish the noisemaker with stickers if you like.
Partygoers will have a blast playing this classic carnival game made from recycled metal cans and homemade "rockets."
For the cans, adhere strips of red, white, and blue duct tape to six clean, empty 15-ounce metal cans, covering any sharp edges. For thinner lines, simply overlap the tape. To make the rockets, use a funnel to fill three small socks with rice (we used about 1/2 cup in each) and tie them off with a hair tie or a rubber band. Thread a 3-foot length of sheer ribbon through each tie and knot it in the center to secure it. To play, set up the cans in a pyramid. Standing several feet away, each player gets three tries to knock down all the cans with the rockets.
Colorful layers of flavored gelatin and whipped cream give our light and tasty dessert its banner good looks.
For four servings, make one box each of red and blue gelatin according to the package directions. In tall, clear glasses, alternate layers of red gelatin and whipped topping (we used Cool Whip), as shown. Top with the blue gelatin. (For the fruity version on our cover, substitute raspberries and blueberries.) Finish with a slice of star fruit.
Add pizzazz to a classic treat with this sizzling (and simple!) idea. Bake a batch of your favorite sugar cookies, spread with white frosting, and sprinkle on red popping candy (we used strawberry Pop Rocks) and blue sugar.
Idea by Jessie Oleson of cakespy.com
Using cookie cutters makes it easy for kids to help prepare these star-shaped treats. For the best results, choose fruit that's firm and not too ripe.
For each pop, cut a 1-inch-thick slice of watermelon into a star shape with a large star cookie cutter (ours is a 3-inch size), then cut out its center with a smaller star cutter (ours is 1 3/4-inch size). Use the small cutter again to shape a 1-inch-thick slice of apple. Cut a small hole in the center of the apple slice and place a blueberry inside. Assemble the fruit pieces as shown, then slide them onto a bamboo skewer. For added flair, cover the skewer with a paper straw.
Idea by Bakersroyale.com
Originally published in the June/July 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.