How to Make a Star-Spangled Banner with Popsicle Sticks
I don’t know which is more fun, watching the kids ooh and ahh over the fireworks display or watching the parents jump every time a big boom fills the air while the sky lights up with sparkling color. Either way, there is nothing better than celebrating Independence Day with family and friends. This year, let the kids make a star-spangled banner with popsicle sticks for your Fourth of July celebration.
This is a kid’s project that the entire family can do together to get ready for the July 4th festivities. All you need to make this star-spangled banner are popsicle sticks, wood glue, paint, and some garden twine. You can even add sparkle to the creation with glitter. Don’t worry. There is a neat trick I will share to keep the glitter on the stars instead of all over the patio. In our family, the “kids” range from 24 to 2 years old. So this project lets everyone participate in the fun.
You need five popsicle sticks for each star the kids create. Remember that half the fun for the kids is spending time with you, so perfection is not required. I like to show them how to put the stars together and let their imagination soar with creativity during the process.
Our star-spangled banner that we made with popsicle sticks will hang across one side of our deck. This means we needed at least 15 stars to reach from pillar to pillar. You can make more if you want a longer banner. Or make two to decorate another part of the yard.
The other thing I had the kids do was paint individual popsicle sticks in red, white, or blue to hang in between the stars. I think they got more paint on the single popsicle sticks than on the stars. That is okay because they laughed and giggled the entire time they were crafting. This also lets the younger kids get in on the fun without getting frustrated because they cannot make star shapes.
Since stars come in a variety of shapes, I showed them how to make another type of star to hang lower on some parts of the star-spangled banner we made. This star was a lot easier for the kids to create. We actually wound up with more of these stars than the star-shaped ones. But when it comes to crafting, the first rule is having fun and let those creative juices flow!
Here is the list of supplies we used to make our star-spangled banner:
- Popsicle sticks
- Wood glue
- Paint (red, white, and blue)
- Awl or Crop-a-dile (to make a small hole in the popsicle sticks)
- Craft glue
- Spray sealant
- Garden twine
I will warn you that I have done this craft with my children, grandchildren, now my great-grandchildren and to this day I cannot make five popsicle sticks turn into the perfect five-pointed star. I am happy to say that this flaw must run in the family because neither can my offspring! So don’t get frustrated when you make a star-spangled banner with popsicle sticks and the stars are a bit lopsided. That is all part of the charm of handmade crafts.
Creating your banner
These are the steps we did to make our star-spangled banner with popsicle sticks for our 4th of July celebration.
- Lay five popsicle sticks together on a flat surface to form a star shape.
- Add a dot of wood glue to each spot where the popsicle sticks touch on the top side of the star.
- Let the glue dry and then flip over the star and glue any parts that are touching on the back side.
- Allow the glue to dry completely.
Glue three or four popsicle sticks on top of each other to create a six- or eight-pointed star shape.
- Allow the glue to dry completely with these stars too.
- Paint the stars red, white, or blue as you desire.
- Paint a few individual popsicle sticks with the same colors.
- Let the paint dry completely before moving on to the next step.
- Apply a thin coating of craft glue to any of the stars or single popsicle sticks that you want to cover with glitter.
Shake the glitter onto the stars and popsicle sticks.
- Let the glue dry completely.
- Spray the stars and popsicle sticks with a spray sealant recommended for outdoor use. (This keeps the glitter in place and protects the banner from the weather.)
- Allow the sealant to dry and flip the stars and popsicle sticks over to spray the back sides.
- Use an awl or a crop-a-dile to make a small hole at one end of the individual popsicle sticks and the six- or eight-pointed stars.
- Run a length of garden twine through the five-pointed stars, tying a knot each time to secure the star in place.
- Cut a six- to eight-inch section of twine for each of the other stars and the individual popsicle sticks.
- Tie one of the twine sections to the sticks or stars and the other end of the twine to the main banner to create a multi-level banner.
There are a couple of alternatives when you make a star-spangled banner with popsicle sticks. You may want to use tongue depressors, so the younger children have an easier time handling the sticks when gluing or painting them. If you do not want to add the additional stars or individual popsicle sticks, you can knot colored or patterned ribbon between the stars to give a country décor feel to the banner. You can use jute instead of garden twine to give the banner a heavier feel if you prefer.
No matter how you prefer to make your star-spangled banner with popsicle sticks, it will be a beautiful project that will accent any area during your 4th of July celebration!