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Patriotic Fireworks

Hi friends! It’s Landee from Landee See, Landee Do. I love the Fourth of July. It is a wonderful day to spend with family and friends to remember and celebrate, for just a moment, how truly blessed we are to live in such an amazing country.
That said…. I don’t want to spend a fortune decorating for it.
This year I came up with some of my most inexpensive, yet positively eye-pleasing, Fourth of July decorations to date! And I’m so excited to share them with you today. I will show you how to make some easy fireworks decor for your Fourth of July barbecue you are hosting. Or maybe just to gussy up your mantle for the occasion? Either way, I’ve got you covered.
Step 1: Go through your scrapbook paper stash and pull out your red, white & blue papers. This works with cardstock as well as regular paper.
Step 2: Cut your paper to size. I made various sizes so here is the formula… cut your paper to whatever width (the diameter) you want your firework to be. Then the paper needs to be 1.5 times as long.
8 inch diameter firework= 8″ x 12″ sheet of paper
7 inch diameter firework= 7″ x 10.5″ sheet of paper
6 inch diameter firework= 6″ x 9″ sheet of paper
5 inch diameter firework= 5″ x 7.5″ sheet of paper
4 inch diameter firework= 4″ x 6″ sheet of paper
I probably wouldn’t go much smaller than 4 inches.
Then score your paper every inch or so. Varying scoring widths here will give you different effects but just make sure it’s consistent.
Step 3: Fold paper back and forth like an accordion along scored lines.
Step 4: Find the center of your paper and staple it as perpendicular to the paper as possible (my stapler wasn’t QUITE long enough to get it perfectly straight, but it still worked!).

Step 5: Cut the ends of the paper in a decorative way. Again, different cuts here create different effects. Round it, cut it at an angle, cut it to a point, etc…. play around!

Step 6:ย  Fan out half of the firework and tape it together at the top.

Step 7:ย  Use either regular Elmer’s glue or a hot glue gun and glue in two sticks (I used inexpensive bamboo skewers from the grocery store) on either side of the bottom folds.

Once dry, secure the two sticks together and you’ve got yourself a cute decorative fireworks fan!

I can just imagine these down the center of a barbecue table in bud vases or mason jars! Or maybe smaller ones stuck in everyone’s drinks? One on each plate? Endless possibilities! I decided to forgo the sticks on some of them and simply taped them together on each end. I then hot glued them to a ribbon and created a fun garland for my mantle!

Combined with the amazing printable Sugartots Designs shared here on I Heart Naptime and some paper lanterns I made a while ago, I have one festive Fourth of July mantle going on here!

The best part? It cost me $0. Now THAT’S the American (crafters) dream! Happy Fourth of July!

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  1. What a darling idea! I love it… It reminds me that I need to decorate for the 4th! I just featured this idea on my blog today.
    Have a great day!

  2. Oh Thanks for posting this!! We made these for my wedding 10 years ago and I’ve been trying to remember how we did it and could not figure it out!
    I have never seen that thing for scoring the paper. Is that just a paper cutter with a different attachment than the regular blade? I will have to get one of those!

    Thanks again! I am excited!!

    1. That is exactly what it is Emily! You can buy a scoring blade separate for that Fiskars cutter…. I use it all the time and it is only a few dollars.

  3. I love it! So creative and even though it screams 4th of July, it’s not obnoxious. I wish I had a mantel to decorate…love your style!

  4. So cute! My kids and I made a patriotic garland yesterday, but I may have to make one of these for my husband’s homecoming.

  5. Oh. My. Gosh. LANDEE!!! You never cease to amaze me! I love how you take ordinary, everyday things and make spectacular things out of them! YOU ROCK, MISS LANDEE!!!!

  6. Oh my goodness! You’re brilliance renders me speechless, which is why my mouth is simply hanging open while my fingers fly across the keyboard. Even tho I texted you already, I saw your request on LandeeSee for lots of gushing in the comments. So here I am. After everything you’re doing to help me this week, it’s just a token of my gratefulness. I want that garland for my mantle asap. (and I NEVER decorate for the 4th). PS Wanna post my party? Just a thought. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Where are they tearing? At the score lines? Do you have enough length on it? I had one that was a little short in length and I tried to force it and it just wouldn’t reach all the way to the other side. Maybe try one with some EXTRA length and see if it goes a little smoother.

      1. Maybe I’m not folding it the right way…? I fold along the longer length right? Does that make sense? Or I don’t have enough accordions.

        1. I am having the same problems! I can not get mine to open all the way.
          This idea is SO cute and I am using it for a baby shower…
          any suggestions?


  7. I love it!!! I’m celebrating the 4th with my family in Myrtle Beach. My parents rented a beautiful house there for the weekend and I can’t wait to help decorate with this great (and inexpensive) project!

  8. How cool! I’m celebrating the 4th with my family in Myrtle Beach (fireworks on the beach are so much fun!). My parents rented a house there and I can’t wait to help decorate with this pretty and inexpensive project!

  9. I love these! I am always looking for inspiration for 4th of July and these are right up my alley. Going to pin it to my pinterest for sure! Seems like a pretty easy project, thanks for the tutorial!

  10. I just finished making these in green and pink for my dd 5th b-day! Love, love, lOvE!!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. This is FABULOUS!!! What a sweet looking banner!! I just shared this with ALL my friends and family! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I am loving these fireworks! I’m going to change up the colors and use this idea for birthday party decorations. Thank you for sharing Landee!


  13. I love this idea cant wait to try it with my kids but in doing a test one I can not get my ends to meet. I taped it at the top, glued my sticks but they wont meet. Please help!

  14. I consider myself a crafty person. Why did I have a hard time making these? Was it becasue i didn’t do the exact measurements you gave out? When i would fan the whole project together, it would be tight and tear in several places. I threw several away because I couldn’t get it to fan out completely without tearing. I tried using very thin paper and not cardstock to see if that would help and it didn’t. Any suggestions? Did you have a problem with this?

    1. Holly,

      I had the same problem with one of mine until I realized that I hadn’t cut the edges before trying to open it. As soon as I cut the edges (I did mine diagonally), it opened without a problem! Hope this helps!

  15. I love these and bought all kinds of cute paper for it…12×12 size. I cut one piece and followed the directions. I’m having the same problem as a couple other people. It only wants to fold 1/2 way. I cut the edges and stapled in the center.
    Can you help? Thanks!

      1. I am having the same problem. They are only making a half of a fan. I even tried taping two together and it was a disaster..the paper ripped. Bummer! There is no way that they would expand to make a whole fan.

        1. This happened to me at first, too. You’re folding in the wrong direction! Make sure the paper is “landscape” – not “portrait” – when you’re scoring lines for folding.

  16. If you’re having trouble getting it to fold…..

    make sure you’re folding it the right way! Short sides go together, not long sides. It took me once to figure this out too! The measurements she gives are correct.

    Thanks for the fun idea!!!

  17. Hi! I’m working on making the lovely garland that you made. It’s so cute and a friend of mine is having a birthday party for her daughter. She will be two and it’s in July, so this would be great to decorate her home and for the party!
    I wondered if you used different dimensions for the garland than you listed above. It may be just getting all crazy-eyed, lol, but some of them looked bigger. I would love to see how you assembled the garland on to the ribbon. It looks beautiful and I apologize in advance if this has already been answered! Thank you again for the inspiration!

  18. Just what I was wanting to finish decorating a “4th of July” themed table for garden club..thank you!

  19. This is impossible with cardstock and looks terrible with real paper.It’s a huge waste of your DIY time. I tried several different types of paper and none worked.

  20. this is the first time i visit your site but i will be one of your permanent visitors because you provide good topics and ideas

  21. Instant party! How cheerful and fun these are. I love paper! it’s amazing what you can create with it!

  22. These are so cute! I was having a difficult time with the paper tearing and not reaching as others have commented. I found 4-1/2 in by 9 in and also 5-1/2 by 11 in worked much better. Hope this helps someone else!