Fourth of July – Independence Day

Fourth of July – Independence Day

July 4th (also known as Independence Day or July 4th) has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of celebrating Independence Day dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted Thomas Jefferson’s historic document, the Declaration of Independence. From 1776 to the present, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth day of American independence, with celebrations ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. July 4, 2021 is Sunday, July 4, 2021; a federal holiday will be celebrated on Monday, July 5, 2021.

 

A History of Independence Day

When the Continental Congress met on June 7 at the Pennsylvania State Capitol (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Virginia Representative Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.

Amid heated debate, Congress delayed a vote on Lee’s resolution but appointed a five-member committee — including Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson, Massachusetts’ John Adams, Connecticut’s Roger Sherman, Pennsylvania’s Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Franklin and Robert R. Livingston of New York – to draft a formal statement justifying a break with Britain.

do you know? John Adams, who believes July 2 is an appropriate date to celebrate the birth of American independence, will reportedly turn down invitations to the July 4 event in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 4, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, largely written by Jefferson. Although the actual vote for independence took place on July 2, the 4th became the day to celebrate the birth of American independence.

 

Early Fourth of July Celebrations

In the years leading up to the Revolution, the colonists held an annual celebration of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included ringing of bells, bonfires, parades and speeches. By contrast, in the summer of 1776, some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding a mock funeral for King George III to symbolize the end of the monarchy’s grip on America and the triumph of liberty.

Celebrations such as concerts, bonfires, parades, and cannon and musket shooting often accompany the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, which begins immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held its first annual Independence Memorial on July 4, 1777, and Congress remained preoccupied with the ongoing war.

George Washington issued double rum rations to all his soldiers on the anniversary of Independence in 1778, and in 1781, a few months before America’s decisive victory at the Battle of Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to bring seven States where the 4th of the month is a statutory holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to celebrate Independence Day each year, a celebration that allowed emerging political leaders of the new country to reach citizens and create a sense of unity. In the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties—the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party—began to hold separate Fourth of July celebrations in many major cities.

 

Fourth of July Fireworks

The first fireworks were already in 200 BC. used. The Fourth of July fireworks tradition began with the first organized Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777. The naval gun fired a 13-gun salute in tribute to the 13 colonies. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported: “That night there was a huge fireworks show (beginning and ending with 13 rockets) on the House of Commons, and the city was lit up with beautiful lights.” Fireworks go off over Boston Common.

 

Fourth of July Becomes a Federal Holiday

The tradition of patriotic celebrations spread further after the War of 1812, when America faced Britain again. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4 a federal holiday; in 1941, the rule was expanded to allow paid vacation for all federal employees.

The holiday’s political importance has declined over the years, but Independence Day remains an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

Since the end of the 19th century, the Fourth of July in midsummer has become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family reunions, often with fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the festival is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

July 4th Glitter American Flag Kids’ Art

July 4th Glitter American Flag Kids’ Art

What says Fourth of July sparkler better than gooey globs of glitter? The weather is finally warmer and my family has been going through popsicles like they are – well, candy (but, aren’t they kind of like candy anyway?). Instead of tossing the sticks, I’ve been saving them for this holiday craft.

Gather together a handful of popsicle sticks (or you can buy craft sticks if you don’t have any popsicles around) and get ready to help your child craft a sparkly patriotic flag. Although I personally am game for anything involving glitter and really don’t care much about the mess (well, I kind of mind picking sparkles off of the floor, table and my son’s clothes weeks later), prepping for this project means covering your work surface with something suitable to catch the teeny tiny shining specks. Use a garbage bag, newspaper or a sheet of scrap foam board.

 

Here’s What You’ll Need:

 

  • Cardboard – Reuse the side of an old box.

 

  • Popsicle or craft sticks

 

  • Clear drying school glue

 

  • Scissors

 

  • Red, silver and blue glitter

 

  • A paintbrush

 

  • Star stickers

 

Here’s What to Do:

 

  1. Line the craft sticks up horizontally on the cardboard to make the flag’s stripes.

 

  1. Glue the sticks to the cardboard. Let them dry.

Craft sticks

  1. Help your child to cut the cardboard around the sticks. Typically I prefer to have the child do all of the art-making for herself. But, in this circumstance the cardboard may be too tough for little hands to slice through. If your child is struggling, give her a hand with the cutting.

Children's art

  1. Paint a layer of glue over the craft sticks. Have your child squeeze a few quarter-sized dabs of glue on the top left side, spreading it out into a rectangle shape.

 

  1. Sprinkle blue glitter over the glue. I find this best to do over a piece of paper. When your child is done crafting you can fold the paper and the left over glitter into a plastic baggie to use later.

Glitter art

  1. Paint glue over the rest of the sticks.

 

  1. Alternating red and silver, have your child sprinkle glitter over the stripes. Shake off the excess.

July crafts

  1. Let the glue dry.

Kids' crafts

  1. Add star stickers to the blue area.

Holiday Art

  1. Paint another layer of glue over the entire project to seal in the sparkles.

Sparkle Art

You can use the artwork as a display piece for a July 4th get-together or even as coasters for cool drinks at a barbeque.

Are you looking for more art activities? Follow Savvynana on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more ideas!

Easy DIY Patriotic 4th of July Table Decor

Easy DIY Patriotic 4th of July Table Decor

Need an easy 4th of July decorating idea? This little idea is super simple and came up in no time! With just a few supplies (some of you might even have everything in your decorations/craft stash) and a few minutes, you can have some holiday patriotic decorations perfect for a quick table setting!

Isn’t it cute? Super easy and cheap! It all happened because of our upcoming family reunion. When we got to Nebraska, I learned that the decorating department needed my help. No one wants anything special, just festive on the table. So I came up with this little idea. They are actually cuter than I thought! Hope they add a little fun to the family reunion!

 

To make some, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tall Vase(s)
  • Red, white, and blue tissue paper
  • 2 small flags per container
  • 1 pinwheel per container
  • 3 small pieces of styrofoam (or floral foam) per container

Directions:

  1. Start by stuffing some red tissue paper into the bottom of your vase. For these vases with such a small width at the bottom, we actually only used 1 sheet of red tissue for all three decorations combined. We just used the pinwheel stick to push the red tissue paper down.
  2. On top of the red, put one small piece of white tissue paper (not enough for a full layer).
  3. Then, stick the pinwheel and flags into small pieces of styrofoam. Wrap those with pieces of white tissue paper and stick in to fill out the white layer. This keeps the flags & pinwheel in place, while also hiding the styrofoam!Making a patriotic centerpiece
  4. Then, fill in the top with a piece of blue tissue paper. And, that’s it!

You can get these done at about 5 minutes or less per centerpiece! Inexpensive, quick, simple, yet festive– that’s a winning combination in my book!

Wishing you a happy & safe 4th of July!!!

 

 

 

Tissue Paper Sparklers

Tissue Paper Sparklers

Hi! It’s Nana from Homemade Ginger again, and I’m here to share the easiest party decorations you’ve ever made! These tissue paper sparklers are perfect for a quick and easy 4th of July decorating. But the good news is that you can make these guys for any occasion, even if you don’t live in the US!

I don’t know about you, but now that I’m a mom, the fireworks are kind of driving me nuts. My parents used to live outside the city limits where fireworks are allowed. Every year we go to a giant fireworks tent and stock up on fireworks big and small. Then instead of watching the big fireworks show, we sat outside and filmed it ourselves.

It was fun until everyone started having a lot of their own kids. Kids run around, firecrackers go off, and I have a heart attack almost every 4th of July. My parents recently moved back to town so our fireworks celebration will be more modest this year. However, I love these tissue paper fireworks because there is absolutely no fire! They look lovely in a mason jar and make a quick and easy centerpiece. Or kids can wave them in the air. They are super easy and affordable to create!

These tissue paper fireworks can be made in any color combination, so they’re not limited to the 4th of July. Make a bunch for your next birthday party or even graduation! I was inspired by these tissues but wanted to try making a bigger version for a bigger impact!

 

Tissue Paper Sparklers

The full printable instructions are at the end of this post but here is what you will need:

  • Tissue Paper
  • White Glue
  • Straws or Skewers
  • Scissors

These festive sparklers are the perfect craft for 4th of July!

Experiment with all different color combinations!

These tissue paper sparklers are SO FUN and and make the perfect summer centerpiece!

 

Tissue Paper Sparklers

An easy way to celebrate the 4th of July this summer!

ACTIVE TIME: 15 mins      TOTAL TIME: 15 mins

Equipment

  • Pair of scissors

 

Materials:

  • 3 large sheets tissue paper (3 DIFFERENT COLOURS)
  • glue
  • 1 straw or skewer

 

Instructions:

1. Cut each of the 3 colours of large tissue paper sheets in half. Stack each of the half sheets together.

3. Using scissors, make small vertical cuts into the bottom edge of the stacked and folded papers, stopping a few inches from the folded edge.
4. Apply a thin line of glue to the folded edge.
5. Place your straw or skewer onto the start of the glue and begin rolling it up, twisting the tissue around until the end.
6. Dab a small amount of glue to the seam and press to seal it shut.
7. Leave to dry, then fluff out the tissue paper to form your sparkler!

 

 

 

Easy DIY Rustic USA Wood Sign

Easy DIY Rustic USA Wood Sign

What do you do when you need a break? I like to build things! Not necessarily big things, those take too much brain power and concentration. When I need a break, I build simple decor things.

Since I needed a break today after trying to get the kids to do their chores and I needed a little something more for my patriotic summer mantle, I decided to take the day to build this easy DIY Rustic USA Wood Sign and I love it!

I knew I needed a plaque or sign on my mantle for summer. I have started working on a patriotic mantle, but so far I have only put up this printable 3D stars & stripes banner and this printable from How to Nest for Less. But I still needed a big WOW piece.

I love the look of wood signs, someday I will even have a scroll saw so I can cut out all different letters myself. But for now I went for a super easy option and bought some 9″ wood letters from Michael’s.

And since I have a few of the reclaimed wood boards I snagged from my parents dilapidated fence I knew I could put together a rustic wood sign for my patriotic mantle pretty fast. It was seriously so easy! The hardest part was being patient enough to wait for the paint to dry.

If you want to make your own sign, it’s really easy! I only used two tools: miter saw and battery powered nail gun; 6′ of reclaimed 1×4 boards, 1 8′ 1×2 board, and the 3 9″ letters. I used a coupon to get my letters so the whole sign cost me less than $10!

I started by deciding how big I needed to cut my reclaimed wood boards. My boards were 1x4s so they were about 3 1/2″ long. I chose to do 3 boards stacked horizontally so they measured just under 10 1/2″ total. Then I chose to do 24″ long on each board.

After cutting the reclaimed wood boards, it was time to cut the frame. I had to use new wood to frame out my sign because I didn’t have any small reclaimed boards. But I made the frame out of a $1 1×2 board so I figured it was totally worth it! I cut the frame by cutting two pieces of the 1×2 at 45 degree angles on both ends with the center of the board being 24″ long and two pieces at 45 degree angles on both ends with the center being 10 3/8″ (the measurement of all three of my boards lined up next to each other).

I dry fit the frame to make sure I cut everything right, and admired it cause it looked so good already!

Then it was time to finish the frame. Since I was using reclaimed wood I didn’t want to finish the frame after it was all put together because the stain could get on my pretty reclaimed wood and that would make me mad. So I hurried and put a coat of stain on all the frame pieces. I used Minwax Jacobean stain for my frame.

After I let it dry for a little bit (cause I am impatient and wanted to finish my project now), I started assembling the frame. I added wood glue to the corners and then clamped them tight while I used my nail gun to put three 1 1/4″ nails into the corner to hold it tight.

After assembling 3 corners, I put the pieces of reclaimed wood into the center of the frame before I closed up the 4th corner because it was a tight fit (which is what I wanted).

Finally, I used a few more nails with my favorite nail gun to put some nails on either side of the frame into the pieces of reclaimed wood to secure them. I was careful to make sure the back of the wood was flush with the back of the frame. I put 2 nails into each side of each piece of reclaimed wood.

Now it was time to un-pretty up my letters. I wanted rustic, chippy paint letters not super clean, bright white letters. So I had to rough them up a bit. I started by hitting the edges a bit with my sander. The finish came off really fast with my electric sander. Then I used some Vaseline before painting like in this tutorial from Sincerely Sara D.

Now I had to wait for the paint to dry. I hate waiting! And I didn’t wait long enough before rubbing off the paint over the Vaseline. But after a few tries, I did manage to get the paint to look cute and chippy. Then I just needed to attach the letters to the sign and frame. I used my trusty nail gun again (cause I really do love this thing) and carefully nailed the letters on from the back. I used 1″ nails so they didn’t poke through the front of my pretty letters.

And then it was ready to put on my mantle for the 4th of July. The only problem… I am in the middle of a fireplace remodel trying to get ready for new carpet. Oh well, when the fireplace is done this week I will have my beautiful rustic sign ready, and it gave me the break I needed today!

If you don’t have access to some reclaimed boards, you can make this sign with regular 1×4 boards too. If you don’t sand the boards, and put your stain on it will still give it a rustic look, just not as rustic as the reclaimed boards.

So I had to take my cute new sign outside to get some pictures since my fireplace is under construction, but I think the tree in my front yard works well with the rustic look of the sign. And even though this picture doesn’t really show off my new rustic USA wood sign,  I thought it was so pretty so I’m sharing it! Sometimes I just like pretty things

So do you decorate for the 4th of July? If not, what kinds of decor do you like for the summer?

 

4th of July Clothespin Wreath

4th of July Clothespin Wreath

I can already hear fireworks at night going off through the neighborhood, the colors red, white and blue are showing up everywhere and the planning of BBQ’s is in the air; this going to show that the 4th of July is right around the corner! Take if from me, it’s not too late or very hard to get festive.
It seems like the last few days I have either been preparing for Sara and her family to come stay with us (cleaning, shopping, etc.) or working on up coming things for this blog. This has left the 4th of July as a major after thought! However, after seeing this clothespin wreath floating around Pinterest I knew I wanted to at least do that.
I scoured Pinterest for the original link to the clothespin wreath and never found it so I decided to go ahead and make my own and share the exact “what ya need” and “how to” with all of you.
The supplies for this project are pretty basic and cheap; all of which I was able to get a the one-stop-shop of Walmart.
– 12 in wreath frame
– 2 packs of clothespins (This wreath takes 60 clothespins to make but there are only packs of 50 at Walmart which are $1 each.)
– Glitter Stars foam stickers
– red, white and blue paint (acrylic or spray)
– paint brush
Start by dividing out your 60 clothespins. For mine I painted 15 blue, 22 white and 23 red. Next step is to paint them. I did it the hard way and painted each one by hand using acrylic paint. Surprisingly and a little bit to my embarrassment I didn’t even think about spray painting them until afterwards. It would have been MUCH easier.
But if you are going to paint them by hand I’ll let you know what I did. I used the foam brush and painted everything but the back and part of the sides. Then I took a smaller brush to get the inside of the clothespin where it would show. In the picture above you can see kind of how I went about the “lazy” way of painting them.
Once all the clothespins are dry stagger them on the wreath frame doing all the blue clothespins together then 4 reds followed by 4 whites. Lastly, at the foam stars to the blue clothespins and hang!
To add a little more to my 4th of July decor I spray painted some stars on our front lawn using some white field spray paint and hung up our flag.
See! Three very simple and easy ways to get in the patriotic spirit; all which can be done in an afternoon for under $20!
Sara and I hope you all enjoy your 4th of July! We know we will be and are SO excited that we get to be spending it together!