The fourth of July is a special holiday for me. It reminds me of how much our freedom really does cost us in the the United States. Its not just about celebrating our independence from Great Britain. Its about having choices. Its about history and traditions, and remembering back to 1776 when we were thirteen colonies. For me its about looking back and seeing the good and bad. To learn from the good and try not to repeat the bad. A lot of people enjoy the fireworks and parties. I enjoy holding my soldier and my kids and remembering that once we were not so free.
In my family its a tradition to go into the military and support our freedom. As far back as I know there has been someone in the military. I didn’t think twice when I joined. I will never forget when I left my home on a plane to my first station. It was 4th of July weekend and I was so alone and scared. I kept wondering what I had done with my life. I sat among my battle buddies that I barely knew and watched fireworks rain down over us. I knew it will all be okay. It was the begining of a new life for me and I am so happy it started on the 4th of July.
I am now a proud Army wife. We always celebrate it huge in the military. We enjoy festivals, decorations, parades, fireworks and much more. We decorate every surface in red, white and blue and hang our flags high. I throughly enjoy decorating our house and make fun treats for the kids.
This year I decorated a few candles and made some fireworks for the kids with Penny’s wonderful This Life: July. I decided to create three different candle wraps and then try to make some firecrackers out of toliet paper rolls.
The candle wrap and firecracker papers can be downloaded free here.
I used two 3″x6″ small pillars and one 3″x 9″ larger pillar to make my center piece for my kitchen table.
I started by printing the firecracker paper after measuring the rolls. I cut them out and set them a side. Next I took a square of tissue paper, enough to cover around the end of the roll and then some. I put adhesive around the bottom of the roll then carefully, slowly and gently pulled the tissue up around the end of the roll with it adhering around the outside edge.
Next is the fun part… filling it. I bought some “gift filler,” basically little shreds of crinkled paper, you could use anything you wish. I also put candy in each smashed somewhere inside the filler so the kids have to find it.
After it was completely full, I carefully added adhesive around the outside of the open end just like the first end. Then I layed my square of tissue on top and carefully folded it down to cover the top.
Next I added adhesive to my pattern paper and then lined it up and wrapped it around the roll. It is large enough to overlap a bit.
I also made a couple without the rolls, this was not very easy and I would not recommend this unless you are really really good at trying to tuck the tissue into the roll and have it stick. I put them all together tied with some twine for my kitchen table.
If you break out the paper and glue please share, I’d love to see!