Our series “Celebration Inspiration” is all about bringing you top-notch advice and creative ideas to make the most of life’s special moments. In this article, floral-design expert Julie Mulligan offers fun activities to celebrate Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer season. It’s a time for families to be outside enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and freedom we have in this country. This freedom, however, comes at a price. On Memorial Day, we honor all the brave men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live free.
Depending on the ages of your little ones, you may be challenged to find things for them to do while also conveying the meaning of this holiday. Here are some simple crafts using recycled materials to keep kids busy and happy this Memorial Day.
Making patriotic-themed red, white, and blue decorations gives you a chance to have some fun while teaching your children about Memorial Day and why it’s important to acknowledge the sacrifices made for our country.
Last Memorial Day, I wrote a step-by-step article on how to make garland out of pieces of cardboard.
It was around this time last year that I think we were at an all-time high of daily home deliveries, so I had a lot of cardboard to get creative with. But a fresh summer brings fun projects and new experiences!
How to create a patriotic wreath for Memorial Day
One way to get crafty with cardboard shipping boxes is to create a red, white, and blue wreath out of them. It’s easy to make, and all ages can get in on the patriotic fun.
Of course, you’ll need more than just cardboard to get started. For this project, you’ll also need:
- Straight edge cutter
- A package of red, white, and blue tissue paper
- White yarn
- Various size plates
- A pencil
- Sting, ribbon, or yarn to create a hook for hanging
You’ll need two different-sized plates to create your wreath outline. I used a cardboard cake round and a plate to cut out the inside of the circle.
Since I save so many knick-knacks for future projects, I had a few plastic gold medals on red, white, and blue ribbons left over from a “family Olympics” day. The ribbons were just what I needed for this wreath. If you a have red, white, and blue ribbon, it will add an extra patriotic pop to your wreath.
To add the ribbon, I simply cut off the plastic gold metal and tied it around the base of the cardboard wreath before adding the tissue paper flowers.
When tying the ribbon, you don’t need to make a bow. Just loop the ribbon around the cardboard to create a loop for hanging.
To make the tissue paper flowers, take five large pieces of a single-color tissue paper and cut them into layered pieces that are 5 inches wide by 10 inches long. Watch the video below to see how to fold the tissue into an accordion, staple it in the middle, and separate and fan out each individual piece on either side of the staple.
For reference, I made:
- Three blue tissue paper flowers
- Five white tissue paper flowers
- Five red tissue paper flowers
To get the tissue paper flowers to stick, use any type of adhesive that will keep them in place. I used a hot glue gun, as I find it easy and fast to work with. If you are doing this with young children, stick with craft glue or glue dots.
Then, attach the three blue flowers on the top left of the wreath.
Next, add and alternate the red and white flowers to represent the stripes of the American flag.
To make the American flag’s stars, use white yarn to create little starbursts that can be nestled and glued into the “petals” of the blue tissue paper flowers.
Follow these steps and you’ll have a beautiful homemade Memorial Day wreath. You can hang your wreath on your front door — if it’s protected from the elements — to acknowledge and send a message of thanks to the fallen service members and their families.
Happy Memorial Day!