Fun 4th of July Crafts
For Seniors and Elderly

painted clay pot , 4th of July craft

Our 4th Of July Crafts page uses easy craft supplies and concepts, and many can be done outdoors too.

From centerpieces, to food activities, to party ideas, we have a nice variety. (And you can change out the color and themes on this page to suit other holidays as well!)

See further below on how to make the above pot. These 4th of July crafts can also be modified to use as crafts for the elderly for those who may need extra help.


Easy 4th of July Crafts

painted candle, 4th of July craft

Painted Candle

Do this candle painting project on a wide pillar candle, as shown, or a narrow taper candle.

Supplies:
Pillar candle (a battery, flameless style works too!)
Acrylic paint – red, white, blue
3-D craft paint – I used white
Paint brushes
Water container and rag
Star stencils of different sizes
Candle holder for base
Styro or grapevine style craft candle ring
Artificial flowers for around base
Strong glue (if gluing flowers)
Or florist wire
Ribbon for base
Optional: star decals

Instructions:

First clean the candle with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.

I first painted on the squiggly lines, free-form style, with white 3D paint. It's best if they're far enough down from the top of the candle for burning.

BUT, I've found that the candles burn an indentation into the center of the candle, so the outer squiggles do not actually “burn.” (Of course, not an issue when using flameless candles).

painted candle, 4th of July craft


Patriotic Wooden Spoons

A pair of wooden spoons are great 4th of July crafts that can actually be used (and make fun gifts or raffle items), or simply added as decor to plants and centerpieces.

Supplies:
Wooden spoons
Acrylic paints: red, white and blue
Water base polyurethane craft varnish
... (VOC of 50 g/L rating or less, if using them for food)
Brushes in a variety of sizes
Water container, rags

The designs on these are simple - stars and stripes. First I put two coats of white acrylic on the tops of the spoons, drying between (see paint directions). At least 20 minutes. You may be able to get good enough coverage with one coat.

After that, it's just painting stars and stripes design in whatever way you'd like. When everything is dry, apply a coat or two of varnish, drying well between.

If you are using them for food...
The varnish must be allowed to set for one or two weeks until any solvents are gone and the varnish is polymerized. (If you can smell the finish, it is not completely cured yet). Then gently wash the surface before using. Again, be sure to follow product directions!

Flag on Wood

Perfect for 4th of July crafts! This rustic flag has many uses, among them as a door hanger or wall hanging. We give detailed how-to ideas on our page about crafts for men, both for larger sizes and small. You can even use templates for the star if you're hesitant about hand painting them.

This is simple to paint using acrylics, and then standard water-base varnish (optional) to give it a protective coat). It could also be enhanced with a metallic garland, even some red, white and blue flowers.


Hand-Painted Wine Glasses

painted wine glass, 4th of July craft

These 4th of July crafts can be made with either glass or quality plastic wine glasses. They’re easy and fast, using glass paint that you can get in any craft store or online. Also find wine glasses inexpensively at a thrift store.

With some types of paint, the glass is baked in the oven when finished, to set the paint. But not always necessary, depending on the paint. So read directions carefully.

Supplies:
Wine glasses
Optional: star stencil
Glass paint from craft store - red, white and blue
Acrylic 3-D paint; I used red and white
Polyurethane varnish for glass paint
Paint brushes, wide and narrow
Small sponge for painting, if desired
Water container, rag

Instructions:

NOTE: If you are going to be drinking out of your wine glasses, always begin the design at least one inch down from the top so your mouth will not touch the paint.

Clear Glass

For the clear glass, first paint on a wide blue stripe either with a piece of sponge, or wide brush. Dry. I next carefully added the stars using stencils (which usually need 2 coats, depending on your paint brand).

But you can certainly paint some free-hand instead. Free-form stars can have a nice, whimsical look. The stars are placed in a sort of arch pattern, with one large star at the lower left.

Blue Glass

For the blue glass, I just made stars of different colors, using stencils. In both cases, I put a few small stars on the stems and base.

NOTE: Avoid putting paint where fingers will hold the glass, as the paint can wear off.

If you are using actual glass instead of plastic -  after applying the paint, the item may need to be baked according to instructions on the paint bottles, to set the paint. Then another layer of paint can be added, if desired. Instructions sometimes say to dry and bake between layers of paint, and then again in the end.

You should carefully follow the directions on your paint bottles. If you are using plastic, you would not be baking the item of course. You can use craft varnish to preserve the design (see below).

The squiggles were made last with regular acrylic 3D paint (I did not use glass paint for these) and it does not need to be baked again.

Finally, apply a couple coats of polyurethane varnish for glass paint, to strengthen it. Use these fun 4th of July crafts for drinking or centerpieces.
Hand wash only - not dishwasher safe.


Wine Glass Charms

If you’ve made yourself a nice set of hand-painted wine glasses, here’s another one of our 4th of July crafts to go with it – wine glass charms. Very easy to make. Get some fancy narrow elastic from a fabric or bead store.  I used gold.

Supplies:
Narrow gold or silver elastic cord
Optional: small, open metal rings from bead store instead
Beads: red, white, blue, and decorative
Blue or red acrylic paint (for ends)

Cut a length of elastic cord at least 1 1/2 inches longer than what you want for your glass.

String on several beads, and tie the strings together at the end, with a double knot. Tie the elastic cord so it can stretch around the bottom of the wine glass and slide on, yet is not too loose to fall off.

Put a dab of blue acrylic paint on each of the ends of the cord to keep them from raveling, and for added decoration.

Option:  A bead store may also have thin, flexible metal rings that come in a coil. And also special-occasion beads.

Just snip off a couple loops of the coil, and string on your beads. Then with a needle nose pliers, make hooks at both ends of the ring. The wire stretches out to put around the glass stem, then holds its shape, so no need to connect the ends together. 


Easy Centerpieces

Patriotic occasions are perfect times to make a centerpiece, and not just for 4th of July crafts. You'll see in our Senior Activities - By The Month area that almost every month has some kind of patriotic commemoration. Very popular with seniors.

Centerpieces are really easy (samples below). All you need are items in red, white, and blue. I get many at thrift stores and garage sales, like colored vases, bottles, and glassware. Also artificial flowers and small flags. The metallic garlands were from the craft store. I like to stack candle holders with plates or bowls (also with treats on them). The centerpiece with flowers has a blue flower pot in the center of the plate, and then a glass jar inside that, with more flowers and the flag.


Painted Clay Pot

Painted clay pots make great 4th of July crafts and are very easy. For this sample, I put a red, white and blue flower arrangement in the top, and although you don’t see the whole thing in the photo, there is also a little flag.

This sample is again made with acrylic paints and stencils. (Or you can draw the stars free-hand yourself). A loose stripes and stars theme was used. These pots also look great when painted with bright red or blue paint, instead of white. See image below with another centerpiece.

For full instructions: painting clay pots.

Patriotic Apple Wreath

Making 4th of July crafts from apple wreaths is a good old traditional project. The easiest way is to use dried apple slices from the store – unless you like to dehydrate them yourself, which is another fun activity in and of itself.

See the full instructions on our Apple Wreaths page, and then just use a red, white and blue bow. Plus add a few artificial flowers by wiring them in with florist wire, from a craft store. Adding in dehydrated or real cranberries ( as available) is another option.

Patriotic Picture Frame

It’s really easy to make this patriotic picture frame, one of our easy 4th of July crafts. And use any size. Put in your favorite photo, especially someone you may like to memorialize. They've also been used to display special pictures in memorial services. Photos of veterans look especially nice in these frames. Family picnics or get-togethers work well too.

This project is perfect to use any time, besides the 4th of July and Memorial Day. Patriotism is a year-round sentiment.

We again used acrylics and 3D paints. Stencils could be used for the stars. But I like the fresh, whimsical hand-painted stars. See the full instructions at crafts for the elderly.

Patriotic Ornament

These 4th of July crafts can hang in windows, from light pulls and chandeliers, on the door, or from the ceiling. Ornaments are not just for a holiday trees! Make several, perhaps of different sizes. They can hang at different levels. These would look great in clusters from the ceiling at a party. Find the plastic ornament shapes at craft or thrift stores. For full instructions, you can again find at crafts for the elderly.


Treats


Apple Bowl

4th of July crafts also can be food projects. Like a red-white-blue berry apple bowl with pink chocolate swirl on top (see how to make it at food activities). This project can be layered with whatever you like. Some ideas...

Supplies:

Large red apple, halved and core scooped out
6 to 10 strawberries; plus several raspberries and blueberries
Whipped cream or yoghurt
Strawberry jam or sauce
Strawberry ice cream
Chocolate sauce (optional, not shown)
Mini flag
Chocolate swirl topper (see above link)
....OR other candy

Choose a bright red apple that will stand up. Remove core and scoop out a little of the center of the apple. Fill the center with berries. Then drizzle on jam or strawberry sauce (we have an all-natural easy recipe on our fresh strawberry desserts page). You might also drizzle on some chocolate sauce.

Add a few more pieces of chopped fruit, topped by a small scoop of ice cream. Next comes whipped cream (or yoghurt). Lastly, the pink chocolate topper, another blueberry, and the mini flag. Larger pieces of fruit were also arranged at the bottom of the apple.


Red-White-Blue Haystacks

Haystacks are easy projects to include in your 4th of July crafts and treats. They can also be put on kabob skewers, with festive ribbons tied around them, and displayed for grabs in a red, blue, or hand-painted vase.

Supplies:

Package of white chocolate chip morsels
Blue food coloring
1 to 2 cups coconut
Red candy of your choice
Mini flag
Kabob skewers, if using them
Spoons
Platter with wax paper

Set aside about 1/2 cup or so of white chocolate chips that you will color for the topping later.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Melt another 15 seconds and stir. Do this until they're almost all melted, with a few lumps that will melt on their own (so you don't over-cook). Stir until all melted.

Depending on how many haystacks you're making and how many chips you melted, start adding coconut into the bowl until the mixture is nice and thick.

With a spoon, drop lumps of the mixture onto the wax paper.  As it stiffens, you can use spoons (or CLEAN fingers) to form the haystacks into the shapes you want.

Next, the blue topping. Melt the other white chips that you set aside, in the same manner. Add 1 drop of blue food coloring and stir. Drizzle it onto the tops of the haystacks with a spoon. Add the candy and flag while it's still warm and soft. Put in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.

Use these along with some of the other 4th of July crafts -- if you put them on kabobs, they could be displayed in the painted clay pot. Or paint a glass vase in a similar style as the wine glasses.

dipped straberry, 4th of July craft

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

And don’t forget add a little patriotic treat to your 4th of July crafts and activities. These white chocolate covered strawberries are so simple. (Use giant pretzel sticks too, with red and blue sprinkles). After dipping a strawberry in the chocolate, just sprinkle them with candies and add a blueberry (or blue candy).

Any combination of red and blue sprinkles, plus either color of candy as a topper (or a blueberry), works well. If you don't want to fuss with melting chocolate, try a dollop of whipped cream, or frosting on top.

See full instructions at: make chocolate covered strawberries.
(You can also do something similar with cherries, as shown below)

Patriotic Marshmallows

These 4th of July crafts also double as treats! Here's what you do:

Supplies:

Long kabob skewer sticks
Jumbo marshmallows
Blue frosting (in a can, or dquirt)
Red candies
Sytrofoam block, or a short vase
Blue ribbon
Red curly ribbon, or tinsel
Blue ornaments - optional
wax paper or plate
Small spatula, or butter knife, or spoon

Place several marshmallows on a plate or wax paper. With your spatula, knife, etc., spread on a glob of blue frosting. Press in a small red candy. Stick each marshmallow on a skewer.

Stick the skewered marshmallows into their styrofoam block base, or into a short vase. Arrange the red tinsel or curly ribbon around the bottom. Add a curl of wide blue ribbon. Also add blue ornaments, if you're using them. Or any other red, white, and blue decor you may have. Even little flags.

These look great as a centerpiece, or in one. Or you can also lay a skewered marshmallow at each place setting. Perhaps patriotic ribbon tied around it.

template and pattern book


Our Books:

200 Template Drawings -- Get loads of other ideas for crafts and activities, with a big variety of images from nature; i.e., plants, birds, animals, flowers, even scenes. Lots of holiday and seasonal images too.

This e-book is full of 200+ pre-drawn pictures of all kinds to use in your projects.

Especially suitable for those who feel they can't draw well or who want instant ideas.


Easy Crafts and Gifts -- Big variety in our craft book, and many can be changed out to suit any holiday or theme. Over 120 projects. PLUS a FREE booklet of patterns and templates to use.


Also see:

July Senior Activities -- A page full of unique ideas, Lots of special commemorations for the month, plus specific calendar dates.
Outdoor Elderly Activities -- Some of the outdoor activities can be done throughout the year during many seasons. And consider how they can also be moved indoors as well - they will give more options for fun things to do. (Likewise, many of our indoor activities can be moved outside!)
Creative Planter Ideas -- Creative planter ideas are easy activities for all ages and abilities. Make unique gifts and give-aways using fun things you have around, or to show off heirloom and vintage items. You may get another idea here for 4th of July crafts.



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"200 Template Drawings"


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