I know this is going to come as a shock to most of you, but I’m not going to spend this Memorial Day weekend DIYing anything! Instead, I’m going to take it easy, spend time with my family and friends, and participate in activities that commemorate all of those brave military souls who lost their lives protecting us and our country.
Because this three-day holiday unofficially kicks off the summer season, most who live near a body water enjoy celebrating by swimming, kayaking, boating, paddle boarding, surfing, or even fishing. But no matter where you live or visit, commemorative events are sure to be abound. Take in a parade, host a veteran’s cookout, tour a memorial site, or place flags on the graves of fallen heroes in your local cemetery. And here’s something you probably didn’t think of: give yourself permission to do nothing as well. Take the weekend to reset your brain and take some time for yourself by reading a book, writing, painting, mediating, or slowly swinging in a hammock. Or DIYing…
Okay, I lied. I’m totally going to make this quick and easy red-white-and-blue clothespin door wreath! Here’s a little known fact you may not be aware of: Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. So it only seems fitting. Thanks for reading, enjoy your long weekend!
Breathtaking fireworks, hot dogs and burgers blazing on the grill, neighborhood parades, and family and friends amassed on lawns under shade trees sipping (insert your beverage of choice here), and hanging out. You know summer has officially emerged with the kick-off the Fourth of July festivities, where we not only thank those fabulous forefathers of ours for giving British rule the boot two hundred plus years ago, but we also rock some patriotic craft projects. Well, at least in my family of DIYers we do. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your family this Independence Day, try one these cool weekend projects.
Bottle Cap Opener / Catcher
Talk about the ultimate Independence Day project. This one will not only satisfy your DIY itch, it’ll help you quench your thirst all summer long. Root beer, bottled soda, ice-cold adult beverages, this decorative and functional PVC trim bottle cap catcher fulfills everybody’s needs. And, it opens bottles and catches the caps, so you don’t have to worry about crawling through the grass looking for wayward lids. Because it’s prefinished PVC from Inteplast Building Products, you don’t have to worry about leaving it outside in the elements because it won’t rot, split, crack, or absorb water. If you are so inspired, you can decorate the bottle opener with a Fourth of July theme. Check out the full instructions here.
Cornhole Game Project
Horseshoes, croquet, badminton, water balloon wars, you name it, we’ve played it during the Fourth. But my family’s all-time favorite lawn game is cornhole, also called bean bag toss or dummy boards. You have two raised platforms with a hole in the far end of each platform. Players from two teams take turns tossing the bean bags into the holes. If you put the bag in the hole it’s 3 points, it you land it on the platform, it’s 1 point. The team to reach 21 points wins. Or if you’re in my family, you make rules up as you go. We recently posted instructions on how to build this Inteplast PVC trim cornhole game. Take just a few hours to put this together and you’ll have years of entertainment.
You can’t get any more patriotic than crafting an American Flag. Here’s a unique, flag-inspired project made out of Inteplast Building Products prefinished batten and base moulding. This piece evokes a real Americana feel, and the best thing about it is that you can hang it up and leave it all year round. Sure it’s patriotic, but not in the kitschy red, white, and blue sense. This DIY gem uses colors of Russet, Espresso, and White Oak. So make like Betsy Ross and lay down some stars and stripes.
Have a safe and Happy Independence Day!
Don’t you just love this time of the year? I love all of the holidays, this one has always held a special place in my heart though.
The weather is finally warm and beautiful and there are fireworks! I like to do a little decorating with a patriotic theme starting around Memorial Day and let it stay up through the 4th of July. It makes things feel festive and I like the colors.
When it comes to decorating with a patriotic touch there are so many ways you can go. I tend toward the more rustic side on the inside of my house and using the bright red, white and blue on the outside.
I made this wreath on my front door (I found the idea on Simple Country Life), it is a good combination of rustic and the red, white and blue that is in the bunting I hang along the top of the front porch. It’s festive and adds to that summer feel.
Speaking of DIY decorations, this year I decided to make something of my own design. Ever since I saw a prefinished batten moulding at Lowe’s I have been trying to think of something to do with it. I decided to make a flag-inspired piece with an Americana feel. Step one of the project was heading to Lowe’s to pick up the supplies I needed, here’s how I made it:
One thin piece of plywood (they have a section where it’s cut into smaller more manageable sizes) – mine started out at 24” x 24” and I cut it down by about 2” to 22” x 24”
4 pieces of the Russet colored prefinished Batten moulding
4 pieces of the Espresso colored prefinished Batten moulding
1 piece of the White Oak prefinished base moulding
Decorative star (mine is painted metal, you could also use wood, just don’t choose a really heavy one)
Denim “ribbon” (I found some at Michael’s on sale for $1.50/roll – I needed just one roll)
Miter box with saw (or just a small saw if you already have one)
Circular saw (optional – you can get the store to cut the piece for you)
Hot glue gun (I used my craft one that takes a low or high temp glue stick and used it on high) or construction adhesive – I prefer hot glue for this project because it dries quickly
Measure out the moulding and determine how many stripes you want to have, you can see I doubled-up on the moulding to make the stripes a little bigger
Cut the backer board to the appropriate size
Start by cutting the white oak moulding and securing it in the upper left corner by using the hot glue gun (or construction adhesive)
Measure and cut the longer pieces needed for the section below the white field, secure each piece with the hot glue gun
Measure and cut the shorter pieces (for the section to the right of the white field) and secure each piece with the hot glue gun or construction adhesive.
Allow the piece to dry/cure for at least an hour.
Beginning on one edge run a bead of hot glue at the bottom of the bottom piece of moulding and begin gluing down the denim ribbon on the top of the piece (make sure that you place your ribbon so that it can wrap around to the bottom of the piece).
Continue around the piece with the ribbon, making sure to make a corner fold at each of the corners and glue the ribbon all the way around the piece.
Glue the ribbon to the bottom side of the piece to finish it off.
If you chose a metal star you can use a small finishing nail to hang the star in the white field, if you used a wood star you can use hot glue to secure it
There you go, you are done! Now you just have to find a good place to hang it in your house.
Americana Décor Resources:
If you don’t want to make your own pieces there are a lot of great places to find Americana décor for your house. Below you will find some links to places that help you with Americana décor and some that sell pieces you may want to bring into our home. Other sources include craft stores (Michael’s, JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby) and discount home décor stores like Christmas Tree Shops and Old Time Pottery. I know there are a bunch of places out there, where do you like to shop for discount décor. I also frequent the local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, you never know what you might find there.
Americana décor and décor ideas sources:
Sturbridge Yankee Workshop (http://www.sturbridgeyankee.com/decorating-with-americana-style)
HGTV: 20 Ways to Bring Americana Style Home (http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/20-ways-to-add-americana-style-to-your-home-pictures)
Factory Direct Craft (http://factorydirectcraft.com/catalog/categories/2026_2073-americana_decor.html)
Old Country Crows (http://www.oldcountrycrows.com/category_24/Americana-Decor.htm)
Gainers Creek Crafts (http://www.gainerscreekcrafts.com/Primitive-Americana-Decor_c_105.html)