4th of July DIY

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There is no better time to flex your craft/DIY muscle than summer! Especially since the kiddos are out of school. Getting them involved always leads to family fun and cherished memories. Like many years before, we plan on spending this year’s 4th of July weekend at the lake. Boating, grilling, watching the fireworks and participating in my fav summer activity of all…. chillin’. To add some patriotic flair to our outdoor celebration this year, I thought it would be fun to serve up a super easy, but oh so impressive spin on the classic American s’mores as well as a little added chic-ness with hand block printed napkins. Both of these ideas are so easy and fun, and could be used for a multitude of holidays and events! Just change the food coloring/napkin colors and bam… Paaaartaay Perfection!

Now Let’s get our Red, White and Blue on…

4th of July Block Printed Napkins

4thJuly_DIY Napkins

Supplies:

  • Linen or cotton napkins (I used bright Royal Blue beauties from a big discount store)
  •  Wooden block stamps (I actually have a collection of vintage blocks from India, but don’t despaire… they have these at craft stores, and they are super inexpensive. If you can’t find wooden stamps, use a foam or linoleum one. No bigs!
  • Fabric Paint (get matte, please. No puffy or shiny paint here, or I will be forced to recall the hand painted sweatshirts that I was rockin’ in the early 90’s)
  • Small paint brush
  • Cotton yarn if you want to add a little tassel detail

I always begin a project like this by washing my napkins to remove any sizing that may be on the fabric. This will ensure the fabric takes the paint perfectly. I also gave my napkins a quick once over with the iron, it just helped them lay better for stamping.

Next, I was ready to stamp my first napkin. Before I loaded my stamp with paint I decided on a layout/grid. You could literally do this a hundred different ways, but I wanted a simple pattern that resembles Indian block print that I adore. Once I decided on how many rows/columns I would have, I started from the middle and worked my way out. Simply load your paintbrush with paint and smear it on your block, stamp and repeat. So simple! I like the hand crafted quality of the stamps not being perfectly lined up, I think it adds character, but if you’re into perfection, simply use a ruler and mark out hash lines with a water soluble fabric marker. You will end up with perfect little rows of happiness.

After creating my first fully printed napkin, I used it as a template for the rest. Each varies slightly, and I love that! Last but not least, I hand wrapped little cotton tassels to adorn the corners of my napkins. I simply tied these on the corners, so they can be removed for washing, but if you want to sew them on you totally could.

I’m adorning my hand blocked beauties with a simple wildflower napkin ties and pairing them with my white Vietri plates. Glorious!

Red, White and Blue S’mores

4thJuly_DIYSmores

Seriously the cutest and easiest thing you may ever DIY. Grab the kids and the hubs for this one… it’s literally that easy.

Supplies:

  • A bag or two of Stay Puff Marshmallows
  • Red, and Blue liquid food coloring
  • Two small shallow bowls
  • Paper towels
  • Graham Crackers
  • Hersey Bars
  • Table Top Burner
  • Metal skewers

Put about 1/4 cup of water in each of the two small bowls and add 10-12 drops of food coloring to each, one red and one blue. Stir the food coloring into the water so it is evenly disbursed.

Lay out a few paper towels layering them two or three thick. Start by dipping one side of your marshmallows into the red bowl. Laying them out on the paper towel to dry, red side down. Once they are dry (this will literally take like 2 minutes, and don’t leave them there much longer or they will start sticking to the paper towel) dip the other side into the blue bowl, laying them on the blue side to briefly dry. After drying for 2 minutes, you can move them into a decorative bowl for serving or you can store them in a gallon ziplock bag for later.

I’ve decided to use tabletop burners for roasting our marshmallows at this years Independence Day cookout. After all….It’s July, in the south, a roaring lakeside fire is NOT an option. These tabletop darlings are perfect., and add a little bit of whimsy to the celebration. Pair the Red, White and Blue marshmallows with your Graham Crackers and Hersey bars chicly displayed in mason jars and you have the makings of a bona fide All American Celebration on your hands!

Happy 4th of July! I hope your celebration is filled with good food, plenty of laughter and a sky full of awesome!

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