The 4th of July is a big deal where I live. We’re in a teeny, tiny town, but, man, we seriously know how to throw one heck of a birthday party for the good ole U-S-of-A. In fact, our Independence Day celebration is our claim to fame—we have the oldest consecutive 4th of July celebration in the States. Which means, that even though we only have about 1400 residents, the town throws a huge party for days. There is a giant parade, a big festival with rides and games, a huge fireworks show, and tons of other events. On parade day, our little town swells with visitors and media. On a slow news day, they’ve even been known to cover our celebration on the national news! We’re kinda a big deal.
Growing up, it was a really big honor to get to march in the parade in front of the whole town. I was lucky enough to do it a few different times as a Girl Scout and as a member of the color guard in the marching band in high school (guard girls, rock, by the way). It was always so fun to get out there and show off how awesome our tiny little Midwestern town is.
I think my marching in the parade days are over, but we still try to get down and watch the parade every year. I’m not sure if we’ll make it this year or not with a teeny tiny baby tagging along (it depends a lot of the weather, if it isn’t too hot, we might try). But even if we don’t make it to the parade and festival, and don’t get a funnel cake and a lemon shake-up, we still have to do our part to celebrate this country we love! And that includes some festive decor.
This little flag wreath is such a fun and easy project to celebrate the biggest of summer holidays. I love how patriotic it is, and I love that it’s sturdy enough to last for years and years. I also love that it is really lightweight. I know that sounds strange, but we get a lot of crazy blustery summer storms around here, and I’ve learned over the years that heavy wreaths and door decor makes quite the racket during nasty weather. I had a metal Halloween sign up our first year here, and I’m surprised it didn’t end up shattering the glass! No problems like that with this little foam wreath—it’s light as a feather (well, a few feathers, but still).
Let me show you how to make it. First up, you’ll need to run to the craft store to grab a few supplies.
- 12″ foam wreath form
- Red, white and navy blue yarn (you can just get the cheap stuff)
- White star buttons (you could also use circle buttons if you can’t find stars)
- 1″ burlap ribbon or a piece of burlap, cut into long strips
- Glue gun and glue
First up, you want to mark some guidelines for yourself on the wreath. Start by marking the wreath into fourths. In other words, put a mark at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock. No need to get out the ruler and measure it, just eyeball it.
The top left quadrant (from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock) will be your blue star field. You’ll fill that all up with blue yarn. The remaining three quadrants, you want to go ahead and divide them up into thirds. That way, you’ll end up with nine red and white stripes. Again, just eyeball it.
Then, start tying on the yarn. I started with the blue star field. I took my navy yarn, and just tied it on tightly with a square knot.
And then tightly wrap the yarn around, making sure that the tied on tail of the knot goes under the yarn as you wrap. Looping the big skein of yarn in and out of the inside of the wreath form gets a touch tedious, so I recommend winding some of the yarn (you don’t need all of it) into a ball—which makes it a bit easier to handle.
Make sure you’re pushing the yarn tightly against the previous row each time you wrap so no wreath form is showing. Also, no worries about overlapping in some places—it has to happen because the inside circumference of the wreath is shorter than the outside, so you’ll need to do some layers.
Once you hit the line you marked earlier, it’s time to switch colors. Just lop off the current color you’re working with, and then tie on the next color right next to it. Start wrapping with the new color, making sure that the tail of the previous color and the tail from the new color’s knot are under the wrap as you go.
You’ll, obviously, want to alternate between red and white stripes for the remainder of the form. I started with red and ended with red, but you can start with white, if that makes you happy. Keep on wrapping until the whole wreath form is covered.
The next step is to add some stars. You could use foam stars, circle buttons, wooden stars—whatever! I happened to find this fun little mixture of star buttons on sale at the fabric store and thought they’d be perfect. I love that the buttons feel very….Americana.
Then, I took a glue gun and glued on the stars in a somewhat random pattern to fill in the space on the star field.
I didn’t really follow any rhyme or reason for attaching the stars, but you could put them in a pattern if you’d like—this would especially work if you’re using stars or circles that are all the same size.
The final step is to attach a hanger. I decided to go with burlap because I feel like it goes really well with the handmade, country feeling of the wreath (plus, I like the color contrast between the bright wreath and the natural burlap). You can buy burlap ribbon at most craft or fabric stores, or you can just lop off an inch wide piece of burlap from a big chunk of the stuff. A pretty satin ribbon would look really nice, too!
Wrap the end of the burlap around the top, making sure it’s nice and centered over the left edge of the navy star field and the right edge of first stripe.
And then put a big dollop of hot glue on top, and wrap the burlap around to overlap. Go ahead and promise me you won’t use your fingers to push the burlap down. Burlap has holes in it. And the hot glue goes through those holes. And hot glue burns. Not that I know from experience or anything…
Let the glue dry completely, and then hang it up on your door! We have wooden doors, so I just use a flat-headed thumbtack on the top of the door (like, the tippy-top—the part that goes under the door frame) to attach the wreath. It works for us, but you could also use a wreath hanger or Command hook.
I’m kinda obsessed with how adorable this little wreath is. I feel like I’m doing my part to add to the festive decor of our little town! Happy birthday, America!