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4th of July crafts

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

5 Patriotic projects for kids

Looking for fun 4th of July crafts your kids will love? With the kids home for the summer and Independence Day parties just around the corner, it's time to get ready for some fun parties to celebrate our country's independence. Gather up your children and make some fun crafts for an extra-special celebration!

4th of July Girl

White top hats with starred and striped embellishments are everywhere these days. Flags and banners hang in large, colorful displays. Red, white and blue supplies party supplies are abundant, too. This can mean only one thing: Independence Day is right around the corner!

While the pre-made decorations may be cute, getting your kids in the spirit by helping them create their own decor will get them excited about the celebrations -- and give you a chance to educate them a little on the significance of Independence Day.

Better yet, these budget-friendly crafts each can be made with less than $15 in supplies. Each set of directions makes one item, so be sure to get the appropriate amount of supplies to make multiples (particularly for the placemats and the napkin rings).

Ready to get crafting? Gather up the kids and let's go!

Firecracker Mobile

Supplies: 2 white pipe cleaners
2 red pipe cleaners
3 blue pipe cleaners
54 clear beads (choose multifaceted ones for the best glimmer)
White yarn
1 wire hanger

1. String six clear beads onto each of the white and red pipe cleaners, with three pushed to each end. String 10 beads onto each of the blue pipe cleaners, with five pushed to each end.
2. Cut three lengths of white yarn: one long one, one medium-length one and one shorter. Crisscross the white pipe cleaners and tie a knot at the center with the yarn. Bend and twist the white pipe cleaners around the knot and each other until secure in a cross shape. Repeat for the red pipe cleaners. Repeat the process for the blue pipe cleaners, bending and twisting them until each end resides at equal distance from each other.
3. Using the loose end of the yarn, tie the pipe cleaners to the wire hanger -- one in the center and one at either end.
4. Bend the pipe cleaners down in an arch and arrange the beads as desired.  Enjoy!

Red, White and Blue Placemats

Supplies: 1 sheet white construction paper
1 sheet blue construction paper
1 sheet red construction paper
Scissors
Metallic stars
Laminating sheet

1. Choose one color for the background sheet. Fold it in half the long way. Cut slits (they don't need to be straight, just be sure they have the same start and end points), leaving about 1 inch at the end of the paper.
2. Cut the other sheets of construction paper into strips, going vertically up the short end of the paper.
3. Weave the strips into the background sheet, pushing them together to create a checkerboard effect across the paper.
4. Decorate the paper with metallic stars.
5. If desired, laminate placemats so that they are waterproof.

Next page: 3 more fun Patriotic crafts!

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