Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is just around the corner, and it’s time to get your garden and patio ready for picnics, BBQs, and fireworks! This is the first in a series of posts about easy, fun, and inexpensive Fourth of July outdoor decorations, so keep your eyes open for more red, white, and blue decor ideas for your holiday celebrations! (Incidentally, I had every intention of showing you how cute these decorations look outdoors in the actual garden, but today’s rains just made that impossible.)
Summertime breezes are perfect for showing off pinwheels in the garden. You can buy them everywhere, of course, but they’re easy to make, and I like the idea of personalizing them with patterns or even photos of your own. For the pinwheels I created here, I used photos of red and blue flowers to make them even more appropriate in a garden setting.
- To use your own photos, use a photo editing program to crop them to a square shape, then print them out. (Using photo paper will give you crisper colors, but regular paper works fine as well.) Cut out the squares.
- On the backside of the paper, use a ruler to draw a line diagonally from corner to corner, and mark the center. Make a mark about two thirds of the way from the corner to the center on each line. Cut from the corner to the mark on each line.
- Bend every other corner in to the center, and pierce through with a pin. Push the pin through a drinking straw, and secure at the back with a pencil eraser. You can also use a map pin and attach it to a clothespin for clip-on pinwheels (as seen on the bottom pinwheel). If you need detailed instructions with photos, click here.
- To create a two-color pinwheel like the one shown on the right, glue two patterned pieces back to back (use a very thin layer of glue).
This idea for creating flowers from empty water bottles isn’t mine originally – I adapted it from a project found on Crissy’s Crafts. Crissy’s version uses fabric while I used scrapbooking paper, but the effect is very much the same. For pictures and complete details on creating these flowers, click over to Crissy’s Crafts. Here are a few tips about the alterations I made here:
- The flowers are not particularly big (each petal is only about an inch or so in size) so choose patterns that are small enough to show to their full advantage. If you use fabric scraps, thinner material will probably work best. If you use paper, do not use cardstock – you need paper thin enough to be able to shape into curves.
- This project uses the decoupage crafting glue Mod Podge. Because you’ll be displaying these outside where they might get wet, seek out and use Outdoor Mod Podge, which should be available wherever regular Mod Podge is sold.
- Rather than using a second bottle cap for the center of each flower (which I didn’t have), I just cut circles of paper and inserted them into the open bottle cap centers. Be sure to apply another layer of Mod Podge overtop to protect the paper.