Sunday, July 3, 2011

IDMommy Project: Paper Fireworks!

Happy 4th of July Weekend everyone! 

We had a great garage sale last Thursday and Friday, and I plan on doing a post with tips for holding a successful garage sale in the near future.  BUT, this weekend is the 4th, so I had to post something patriotic!!

Last night I decided we needed some kind of festive 4th's the one holiday I'm really lacking in decorations around here.  So, I came up with this idea sortof last-second, but took some photos as I went along so I could post something in time for the 4th...paper fireworks!
Supplies Needed:
- Red, White & Blue Paper (try wrapping paper too! Or shiny paper, or even the shiny inside of a potato chip bag!
- Scissors
- Glue
- String
- Optional: star stickers, glitter


1) Find 3 pieces of paper...I used one red, one white, and one blue, all 8.5" x 11".
 Fold each piece of paper in half lengthwise and cut along the line.  Then take one of those halves and cut it crosswise, but not quite in half, so you have three different lengths as shown above.

Do this with all three colors/sheets.  I used some sparkly red wrapping paper for my red above.  Wrapping paper works great for's sturdy, yet lightweight enough to arch nicely like a firework.

2) Cut each piece lengthwise into many strips, stopping about 1/2"-3/4" from the opposite side, so it looks like fringe.  I tried regular scissors, and some special paper shredding scissors with multiple blades.  You could probably even try using a paper shredder, if it allows you to back the paper out when you get close to the other edge.

 Once you have all of your "fringe" cut, divide up the pieces so you have one long, medium, and short piece per pile, and you have a mix of red, white and blue for each pile.  This will make 3 paper fireworks.

3) Cut a little scrap of any color of paper, roll and glue it to make a little tube about 1-2" long:

This "tube" will sit in the center of your firework to provide structure to keep it hanging somewhat straight, and give you a place to pass your string through to hang it.

4) The tube was an improvement I came up with after the photos so you don't see it below, but lay it down flush with the un-cut edge of the shortest "fringe" piece and glue as you roll up the fringe around the tube. it looks like this (with your "tube" inside):

5) Now line the rolled edge of your small fringe up flush with the un-cut edge of your medium sized fringe piece, and repeat the previous step...rolling it up and glueing it as you go: so!

6) Repeat again by rolling up the largest fringe piece. it looks something like this:

Now when you hold the glue'd side and hold it up, the fringe pieces will naturally fall like a firework:
If you wanted to, instead of starting with the tube of paper and hanging these from the ceiling, you could start wrapping your "fringe" pieces around a wooden dowel or skewer and make fireworks on a stick.  Then you could stick them in potted plants, or wherever!  But, here's how I made mine hang from the ceiling...

7) If you choose to hang them from the ceiling like I did, make a paper "bead" for the firework to sit on.  I used some thicker paper and cut a star, then used a needle to thread a piece of string with a knot on the end through it:

 8) This is optional but I stuck a star sticker on it to cover up the knot and hold it in place:

9) Pass your needle and string up through the bottom of your firework, through that paper tube you made and rolled everything around.  Tie a little loop on the end of your string and use that to attach it to wherever you wish!

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