DIY July 4th Decor for My Back Porch
Hi there, Friends! Today, I'm sharing two DIY July 4th decor projects.
Mr. B and I are eagerly anticipating a visit from adult children and grandchildren who live several states away. They will arrive on July 4th! So, I thought I should do a bit of patriotic decorating to bring the spirit of Independence Day to our back porch where we will dine and hang out during their week-long visit.
Patriotic Mobile from an Embroidery Hoop
What should I call this hanging-ribbon-embroidery-hoop-thing-y? I realize it doesn't exactly fit the definition of a ‘mobile,' but that's the closest label I could think of.
My patriotic ‘mobile' is made from an embroidery hoop, ribbon, and wooden beads.
I used fishing line to suspend it from the ceiling on my back porch, and I love how it sways, allowing the ribbons to flutter gently in the summer breeze. Even when there isn't a breeze, the ceiling fan keeps the mobile in motion.
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- Embroidery hoop (already had), click here for similar product from Michaels
- Patriotic ribbon. 4 rolls of 3 yds. (9 ft.) each — 2 @ 3/8 in. width and 2 @ 5/8 in. width
- Unfinished wooden beads
- Red burlap ribbon (3″ width) from Dollar Tree
- Americana acrylic craft paint in red, white, and blue
- Paint brush
Step-by-Step Directions for the Patriotic Mobile
- Paint your wooden beads with craft paint in red, white, and blue. I used 18 beads and painted 6 beads in each color.
- I used little bamboo forks (a pack of 70 for $1.00 at the dollar store) to skewer the wood beads. Regular toothpicks were too thin to hold the beads (they slipped right through). With the bamboo forks, I could hold the beads up to paint them without getting paint on my fingers, and then the paint could dry. I inserted the little forks into an old piece of florist foam to create a drying area.
- The little white dishes in the photo above are containers from Little Caesar dog food. Our shih tzu Isabel eats it everyday. I wash out the containers, and they're perfect for craft paint or mod podge — free craft supply!
2. While you're waiting for your painted beads to dry, you can wrap your embroidery hoop in complementary ribbon. I used 3″ wide burlap ribbon in red.
I know that I'll want to re-use this embroidery hoop for other craft projects, or for . . . hey, maybe . . . embroidering something. So, I did not use any glue to secure the burlap ribbon. I used fishing line to tie off the end of the wrapped ribbon. It's almost invisible.
3. Using your 4 rolls of patriotic ribbon with 3 yds. (9 ft.) on each roll, cut 12 pieces of ribbon that are each 3 ft. long. I used 2 rolls that are 3/8″ wide and 2 rolls that are 5/8″ wide.
4. Once your painted beads are dry, string them onto your 3/8″ wide ribbon and slide them up until they hang at varied levels.
5. Fold each length of ribbon in half, and loop it over your hoop. This creates 18″ streamers which are long enough to create a pretty effect as they flutter in the breeze.
6. To create your hanging mobile, use 3 lengths of fishing line attached to the hoop equidistantly and then tied to a hook in the ceiling. We have 3 eye hooks in the ceiling of our back porch that were put there by the previous owners. Not sure why. Maybe they had hanging plants. This is where I installed my hanging mobile patriotic decor.
Patriotic Ornamental Spheres from Wiffle Balls
Do you remember wiffle balls from when you were a kid? I do. And, there were always a few around the house while my sons were growing up.
Here's the story of how you can turn wiffle balls into patriotic ornamental spheres!
- Patriotic ribbon. (I found a great selection at my local Michaels store for 50% off but did not find the same patterns online)
- Mod podge gloss
- Wiffle balls from Dollar Tree (2 for $1.00)
- Fishing line
- Hot glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Foam brush
Step-by-Step Directions for Hanging Patriotic Ornamental Spheres
- Start by inserting the end of your fishing line in one hole and out an adjacent hole of your wiffle ball. Tie it off, and this becomes the ‘top' of your ornamental sphere, so that you can suspend it from the ceiling or other anchor.
You may make ornamental spheres from wiffle balls that are meant for display in a bowl or basket. If this is the case, you can skip step 1.
2. Use a dot of hot glue to attach the end of a length of ribbon adjacent to your fishing line. This will be the ‘top' of your sphere.
3. Spread mod podge on the wiffle ball in the path that the ribbon will follow to wrap around the ball.
4. When you've made one complete wrap, pressing the ribbon down on the mod podge, use a dot of hot glue to attach the other end adjacent to the fishing line. Trim off the excess ribbon.
5. Repeat steps 2-3-4 until you have completely covered the wiffle ball.
- Be sure that your fishing line remains free and doesn't get glued down under the ribbon.
- Steps 2-3-4 are messy. Yes – you will get mod podge all over your fingers, but it washes off easily.
6. Paint a top coat of mod podge all over the sphere. Let dry for 20-30 minutes. Paint a second top coat of mod podge and let dry.
- I used mod podge gloss because I wanted a slight shine on my ornamental spheres.
- To create a drying ‘rack' for each sphere, I used 3 of the little bamboo forks inserted into the old florist foam in a triangular shape. This worked great to allow the top coats of mod podge to dry.
7. Use the fishing line to suspend your ornamental spheres from the ceiling or other anchor.
The Finished Project
I suspended my decorations from the 3 eye hooks that were already installed in our porch ceiling. The fishing line that I used to hang everything is almost invisible.
The stars are not a DIY project. They are table decorations purchased for $1.00 each at Dollar Tree. Each one comes as 2 flat pieces, notched to fit together and create a 3D table centerpiece. I simply added fishing line to suspend them from the ceiling.
Our porch ceiling slants upward from the screen, and there is a chair close by. So, the ornamental spheres hang a bit higher than the stars and the mobile. That way, someone sitting in the chair can avoid bumping into the decor when they stand up!
So, There it Is!
What do you think of my DIY July 4th decor for my back porch?
I hope you're having a fun summer. Do you plan to decorate or entertain for July 4th?
Let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
Enjoy Life Creatively!