The Fourth of July promises a bang-up time.
Your little patriot can show his stripes safely with this sparkler craft project created by DIY whiz and blogger Kathy Beymer of Merriment Design.
Grosgrain ribbon in various widths (photo shows combo of 5/8-inch blue, 3/8-inch red, 1/4-inch white, 1/8-inch tristripe)
Fourth of July-themed foil fringe party garland
One pair of unused wooden chopsticks (two unsharpened pencils or dowel rods also work)
White electrical tape
One small wooden letter
Colored markers or paint
Strong craft glue (i.e., Gorilla Glue)
1. Create “sparks” by cutting ten to fourteen pieces of ribbon at varying lengths, snipping 45-degree angles on one end for effect. (Photo shows four 8-inch blue, four 10-inch red, two 12-inch white, two 12-inch tristripe, and two 8-inch tristripe.)
2. Unroll the garland. Cut 1-1½ inches of silver, blue, and red strips, keeping the connected base intact. Stack them in a pile.
3. Bundle sparks by building two even stacks of ribbons, making sure the ends not cut on an angle are even.
4. Place the foil stack atop one of the ribbon stacks. (The foil base is long, so stagger the pile so that the ribbon starts ½ inch below where the fringe begins.) Place the other ribbon stack on top, so everything looks like a sandwich.
5. Gently slip the ribbon and foil stack between unbroken chopsticks, which will serve as the wand.
6. Starting at the ribbon end, wrap the electrical tape around the wand. Wrap the tape around until everything is secure, then go down the stick by overlapping the tape on a slight angle, like you would change a tennis grip.
7. Trim the foil sparks to the different ribbon lengths.
8. Personalize your sparkler by painting or coloring wooden letters and gluing them securely to the base.
9. Have a Yankee Doodle dandy day.
Merriment Design creates custom craft projects for kids ($125), and shops for and mails materials for an additional charge. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to merrimentdesign.com.
Great Lakes Naval Station Fourth of July Celebration
What: Pledge to have fun with live music, carnival rides, kids’ games, a laser show, food, and fireworks.
Why: It’s a quick Metra ride away.
When: Sat. & Sun., noon-10 p.m.
Where: 601 D St., at Sheridan Rd., Great Lakes (847-688-2110 ext. 484). Admission is free.
PJ Adventure: Pirate and Mermaid
What: Dress up like swashbucklers and mermaids, make treasure chests, eat pizza, and take an imaginary high-seas journey.
Why: A yoga cool-down tuckers everyone out.
When: Fri., 5:30-8 p.m.
Where: Bubbles Academy, 1504 N. Fremont St., at Blackhawk St. Register at 312-944-7677. Tickets, $45.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
What: Hans Christian Andersen’s classic about fashion-obsessed royalty gets a contemporary tune-up with music and comedy.
Why: Elaborate costumes catch wee courtiers’s eyes.
When: Wed.-Aug. 29.
Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Courtyard Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave., on Navy Pier.Tickets at 312-595-5600 or online at chicagoshakes.com. Adults, $23; children, $18.
Photo: Courtesy of Merriment Design