Monday, May 25, 2009

Red, White, and Blue: Patriotic Decorations

Updated 7-2-09: Today on ABC & 123, we're all sharing ideas for celebrating the Fourth of July. I shared these back on Memorial Day, but they're actually of my Fourth of July decorations. Last year we had friend over for a barbeque and I made these patriotic decorations for our get together. This year, we're going over my Godparents' house. I'm looking forward to all the yummy food and conversation without the planning, cooking, and cleaning up☺ Can't wait to see what you're all doing for Independence Day!

PS: If you're coming over from Tip Junkie, who recently featured this post and it's ideas, thanks for visiting. Enjoy your visit and be sure to leave me a comment so I know you've been here and so I can come see you too☺
Happy Memorial Day! We're going to be busy today and all this week, starting with the huge parade our little town puts on. I think every kid in the community marches in it, and next year ER will be in it with her preschool co-op. That's her and Brad at last year's parade in the decoupaged frame I made above.

This afternoon, my parents' will be over for a barbecue and tonight my mother-in-law will arrive to spend the night. We're going to celebrate her birthday early by going on a day trip together tomorrow. I'll be busy all day and tomorrow, so if I don't pop over to wish you a happy holiday, know that I'm thinking of all of you and will be back as soon as I can☺

Like for so many of you, Memorial Day kicks off the summer season at my house and it's when the red, white, and blue comes out too. I like to show my patriotic spirit for more than just today and on the Fourth of July so my decorations come out now and stay out.

Last year was our first summer in our first house, because we'd always lived in apartments where storage was an issue I didn't really have room to indulge in too many seasonal decorations. So last year was the first time I was able to go all out, and I made most of the following things for a Fourth of July dinner we hosted for friends of ours.This was my centerpiece, I originally made two luminaries but I gave Margaret the other one because it had pictures of her girls in it and I forgot to take a picture of the whole table set up for dinner. Imagine the flowers in the center and a luminary on each side.
These was a very easy project and I thought was really, really, happy with how it turned out. The pictures don't do it justice! I got the idea from Martha Stewart but made a more inexpensive version. You start with three plain wooden frames. Mine were a dollar each from Michaels and come unfinished. I painted them white to go with my theme and because I thought white would make the more reusable.

Print out three pictures on vellum, which is semi transparent paper you can often find in the scrapbook section, and make sure they are slightly bigger than the opening as you'll need to tape them in place and you don't want any tape to show through. Print our your pictures, tape into place in the picture area. Then tape all three frames together, I used low tack painter's tape, on the inside so that they form a triangle when you look down on them.

Place a votive in a glass container and put the luminaries over it. The candle will light it up and you'll get a soft glow through the vellum. Just be sure you watch the candle and make sure it's not too close to the sides of your luminary.
The flowers were really simple to do, I got three metal mini buckets from the dollar spot at Target. I filled them with a bouquet I got at Costco and then tied a ribbon around them. I like low arrangements so that people can see each other across the dinner table.You know I couldn't leave the kid's table alone; I had to decorate that too!I bought a really inexpensive outdoor vinyl tablecloth at Kmart, the kind you can whip off and use again. Cut it to little bit bigger than my daughter's wooden table and hot glued ribbon all along the bottom. Added some felt stars I got precut in a package in Joann's dollar spot to each corner, and put a few clear floral pebbles in underneath the stars to act as built in table weights. This way the tablecloth wouldn't fly around, if we took everything outside and ate on the deck.I made their centerpiece out of an empty oatmeal container. Just decoupaged on thematic paper and coated it with Mod Podge. Then I embellished with a few patriotic buttons that I hot glued on here and there.

I found piece of thematic scrapbook paper full of patriotic sayings. Cut it up and used the USA one to decorate the container and then taped the rest to candy sticks, one on each side, and added some mini flags to my arrangement.
Because it was a party, I HAD to make party favors for the girls! These are the same ones I made last Easter, only this time I made them a little smaller. The felt flower decoration on the handle is actually a pin the girls can add to one of their dress up purses. The name plate on each basket is also die cut out of felt and attached with metal brads.Inside each basket I put a pair of red, white, and blue hair clippies that I made, some festive glitter star stickers, and a few sticks of sidewalk chalk. I thought if the girls got bored we could break those out while they were over.
The mantle was decorated with this paper star chain I made out of double sided scrapbooking paper. I also found this idea on Martha Stewart, but made my stars bigger.
Here are out little guests at last year's Fourth of July barbecue. My friend Margaret brought them each the cute headbands. Aren't they fun! I saved ER's and hope to put it on her again this year. You can also see how nicely the banner dressed up the fireplace.
I've shown off these decoupaged letters before, but wanted to add them in context. I also made these for the party and will have them up all month long in July.

I hope you've enjoyed my patriotic decorations and enjoying your Memorial Day. While the grilling, parties, and long weekend are wonderful, I hope we all take a few moments to remember the real reason for this day and honor our men and women in the armed forces in some way today. To see my more serious reflection on this holiday, please visit ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative. I wrote today's post.

Tomorrow if our first giveaway for our Summer Prize Picnic, come over and enter to win!

11 Friends Said:

Sharon said...

Okay, seriously. Do you have more than 24 hours in your day?!? How do you do it all?

Everything looks so festive! Great job!

*Noelle* said...

holy cow again! what awesome stuff!! what do you do to get those edges of letter/frames looking so smooth? chalk? i bought a frame to decoupage and could use some tips!!

Jennifer said...

Wowza! I'm with the other two ladies-- where do you find the time for all your creativeness! That party decor is fantastic! =)

Hapyp Memorial Day- I hope you emjoy the parade and BBQ!

Vickie said...

Holy Mongus, girl!!! That is a lot of fantastic stuff you made! You should think about doing something on Etsy!

I never thought about printing a picture on vellum. My mind is spinning on what kind of layout I can do with that idea:)

Annie said...

OMG, seriously you are very talented, I told you. You create the most beautiful things.

Thanks for sharing,

Have a nice week.

Kelli said...

Great decorating! I love the July that you did and I will have to try that one day.

Maridith said...

So cute and so festive!! How do you keep ER from destroying all of the decoration? That would be fair game in my house and we be destroyed!! So cute. I might have to try the picture frame votive. That is super cute!!

Mama King said...

I know I'm late to the commenting...but love everything. I am especially impressed how you could turn a cheap tablecloth into something so cool and pretty. Also genius to add the weights.

BranFlakes said...

wow you go over and above with your decorations! My kids would love it, but I just don't have the energy.

Jenny said...

How awesome! I love the paper star chain. I'm going to have to make one of those some day!

Susana said...

I honestly can't say enough good about everything in this post!! Please let me just have an ounce of the creative juices you have flowing and please fill me in as to how I can stop sleeping so I can do more crafting:-)!

This post is my fave for the week:-)!!

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