Star-Spangled Pinwheels

Whatever way you plan to celebrate the fourth of July, it's a really nice idea to make your own decorations to help your event go with a swing. With just some paints, paper, and a bit of imagination you can create some stunning star-spangled pinwheels. For a truly personal touch, attach fun portrait sketches of family or friends to your pinwheels and let your guests take them home after the party as a precious keepsake of a special day.

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Approximate Time: 30 minutes plus drying time

Supplies:

  • heavyweight white paper
  • paints - red, white, and blue
  • paint brush
  • pair of scissors
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • non-toxic glue
  • silver stars
  • foam pads or sticky tape
  • twigs or barbeque skewers
  • tissue paper scraps - red, white, and blue
  • a portrait sketch of a friend or family member

Instructions:

  1. Cut several 6 inch (15.2 cm) squares from white paper. On one side of each square, paint some red stripes. Leave to dry thoroughly. Turn your squares over and paint a layer of blue to cover each square. Let dry.
  2. Cut in from each corner on an individual square stopping 1/2 inch (1.5cm) from the centre. Fold each pinwheel spoke into the centre and glue into place. Repeat for all the remaining squares.
  3. Decorate your pinwheel with a fringed flower. To make a flower cut rectangles from red, white and blue paper and in turn, create a series of parallel cuts to produce a fringed effect. Roll the fringes up around a paintbrush handle and glue to secure. Gently fan out the fringes to form a flower shape and glue to centre of pinwheel. Then add some silver stars, use peels off stickers, confetti or even punch star shapes out of silver paper.
  4. Attach each pinwheel to a painted twig or skewer using foam pads or sticky tape.
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  6. Make fun portrait sketches of everyone attending your party. Cut or tear strips of tissue paper and attach the strips to the back of each sketch. To finish, glue each sketch to the centre of the pinwheel.

Crafty Tips: If you are a non-US citizen, you can adapt this activity for your own country's national holiday. To make your pinwheels spin, stick a pin or brad through the centre and push into an eraser mounted on a stick or twig.

By Anne from United Kingdom

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