Celebrate America’s Birthday, July 4th, Independence Day, with fun with family and friends, getting creative, artsy, and crafty.
Whether you’re sitting outside on the lawn, at poolside under an umbrella, or keeping cool in an air-conditioned house sipping iced tea or lemonade, enjoy making your own gifts, decorations, and wearable accessories to visually reflect your patriotism.
And, let’s remember that the freedom, independence, liberty, justice, and patriotism we commemorate on this special holiday are not limited to just one day. Let’s never forget to thank our veterans who spent years of their lives to defend and protect our human rights and freedoms. We carry these noble concepts within us in all that we do. So, proudly share and wear your red, white, and blue any time of year and give surprise gifts that are heartfully and artfully handcrafted.
Enjoy these ideas for offering handwritten cards and handcrafted gifts as a special and memorable way to thank our veterans for their contributions.
Snazzy Storage – Use red, white, and blue acrylic paints to “patriotize” up-cycled baby food, Mason jars, and small bottles, and turn them into vases or storage containers for paintbrushes, makeup brushes, utensils, or chopsticks. Want some sparkles? Adhere glitter, confetti, and rhinestones!
Patriotic Ribbon Wands – Cut red, white, and blue satin ribbons to desired lengths and lightly burn the ends to keep from fraying. Hot-glue to a wooden dowel or chopstick and knot to secure. Wave festive ribbon wands and celebrate while waiting for the parade or fireworks to start.
Fond of Word Art? You can also share American ideals and virtues, to live by and be inspired by, on cards and wall art which can be framed and decorated, or montaged and découpaged onto jewelry boxes or hand-printed vases. Handwrite words or cut them out from magazines. Adhere with glue and embellish with painting. Allow your word art to evolve as you piece it together, like a puzzle, and reflect, as you go, on what each word, phrase, and quote means to you as a patriotic American.
Gratitude Cards – Fold a piece of paper or cardstock to use as the base of your card, or cut out a heart shape. Choose your medium (crayons, markers, paints, or magazine clippings) to create gratitude cards. If you’re tired of the same ol’ brushes, you can use leaves, pom-poms, and damp sponges for different effects.
Patriotic Fresh Fruit Kabobs are a fun, nutritious, and delicious snack or healthy dessert. Rinse blueberries, strawberries, and peel a banana. Cut the strawberries and banana into rounds, then string all three fruits on skewers, alternating as you go. Prefer a patriotic bowl of fruit for dessert? Top it off with some whipped cream and/or pair it with vanilla ice cream.
Seashell Patriots – Make the most of the seashells you collect from your summer beach trip! Splash on some red, white, and blue paint, then hot-glue shells onto barrettes, earring backs, rings, and headbands. Some shells come with natural holes and are ready to be attached with twine. Add beads and/or charms for embellishment and use needle-nose pliers to secure a jump ring, so the shells turn into dangly earrings. For the younger kids and kids-at-heart, get some googly eyes and glue them onto clam and oyster shells for cute seashell creatures!
Healthy, Nutty, No-Bake Red, White, and Blue Cookies
Ingredients: 1 cup ground nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pecans), ½ cup flax meal, ¼ cup hemp seeds, ¾ cup rolled outs, 3 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey, 1 Tablespoon vanilla or almond extract, 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, 4 ounces Greek yogurt, ¼ cup strawberries, and ¼ cup blueberries
Instructions: Mix all ingredients except the yogurt and berries in a bowl and roll into small balls. Flatten with the palm of your hand or a spoon, then top with yogurt and fresh berries. Refrigerate, serve, and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from: fruitsandveggies.org/recipes/patriotic-no-bake-sugar-cookie/
Don’t know any veterans? Do a search for local veterans’ organizations, gather your gifts like Santa Claus loading his sleigh, and get giving! You’ll make this a special and memorable Fourth of July by sharing artful reflections of patriotism, fashioned with the feelings of your heart.