Festive Fourth of July Decorations on a Budget!

created at: 06/29/2011

I’ll be the first to admit that the moment I enter a party store, I kind of lose my mind.  SO MUCH STIMULI!  Nearly irresistible stimuli, too.  In a matter of minutes, my cart might be filled to the brim with seemingly “necessary” decorations, my original game plan (and budget) tossed right out the window.  But there’s a way around this and it starts with a “D”.  

Dollar store!  Sarah Faubus from the blog Boxwood Clippings shares her simple approach to Fourth of July decorating.   Continue Reading

July 4th Craft Roundup

The 4th of July is just days away, but we still have time to get our patriotic craft on. I scoured the internets for some Curbly-worthy projects and narrowed it down to these five.

The wreath pictured above, is the most ambitious of all the projects featured here, but it does have impact. See how to make it at All You. Via.

These festive straw decorations and matchbook labels are templates, which you can download for free at Twig & ThistleContinue Reading

Craft It: A Robot Centerpiece for the 4th of July!

created at: 06/28/2011

PatriBot 3000 is what I’m calling this quirky Fourth of July centerpiece.  With a belly full of cookies and a head full of forks, he’ll be the star of the festivities (after the fireworks, of course)!  Ready to make a DIY robot of your own?  Great.  Let’s get this freedom party started!  

Mr. PatriBot would be a great craft to work on with the kids because, c’mon, what kid doesn’t love a robot?  They (and you!) Continue Reading

Make: Patriotic Paper Lollies

Lollipops: A word that brings smiles to the faces of young and old everywhere. Which is why these patriotic paper lollies are the perfect centerpiece for a 4th of July table…and they’re super simple to make too. Here’s your list of materials:

  • 12″ x 12″ sheets of patriotic paper
  • a scissors & ruler, cutting mat & craft knife or a flat bed paper cutter, etc.
  • glue dots or double-stick tape & hot glue and gun
  • embellishments to make center medallions
  • BBQ skewers
  • glass cylanders (vases)
  • red, white, and blue candies

To see the entire tutorial, follow this jump to Make and Takes. Continue Reading

Red, White and Booze Part Deux

Red, White, and HPNOTIQ Blue Martini Martini Photo

The Fourth of July is right around the corner. I can almost smell the sulfur in the air! Although The Fourth wouldn’t be The Fourth without fireworks, it also wouldn’t be The Fourth without some festive libations. Awhile back I posted a few red, white and blue boozy recipes, including non-alcoholic options for each. I thought it was time to add to our patriotic, bar tending arsenal. A search of the internet came up with some doozies. Continue Reading

How to Photograph Fireworks Displays

Fourth on Lake Austin by Stuck in Customs.

Darren Rowse of DPS fame tells us the ins and outs of taking spectacular fireworks display pics. Here’s the rundown:

  1. Tripod–use it!
  2. Remote release–get one!
  3. Framing your shot–do it!
  4. Focal length–wider is generally better!
  5. Aperture–think small range!
  6. Shutter speed–bulb mode is best if you got it!
  7. ISO–low!
  8. Flash–forgettaboutit!
  9. Manual mode–take charge!
  10. Experiment–and keep track of the outcome!

To make Darren’s suggestions actually make sense, visit this page on DPS.

Any Happy 4th to all my fellow Yanks! Continue Reading

Red, White and Booze: DIY Cocktail Ideas for July 4th

Let’s face it, the Fourth of July is less about independence than fireworks, food and adult refreshments. For the sake of my digits, I’ll leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals, and as I’m a vegetarian, you’d be better served getting barbecue advice from a meat eater, but as a kid who played ‘Bar’ with her older brothers and sisters, I feel somewhat qualified to pass on a few drink recipes.

Yankee Doodle
Combine and serve in a rocks glass over ice:

  • 1 part UV Blue Raspberry-flavored vodka
  • 2 parts sour mix
  • 1 part tonic water

(For a non-alcoholic version, substitute raspberry-flavored fruit juice for vodka.) Continue Reading