The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and most of us will spend the day outdoors barbecuing, playing games and enjoying time with family. When July 4th rolls around this year, get the kids together and make this colorful picnic table utensil holder craft that’s full of patriotic spirit! A fun and useful recycling project.
I originally made this project for Michael’s Craft Stores via my designer gig with DecoArt. I used Craft Smart paint, which is made by DecoArt exclusively for Michael’s. It’s inexpensive and absolutely perfect for crafting with the kids!
There are full and detailed printable instructions at the bottom of this post. These pictures are just summarizations to help you visualize the steps in this craft.
Start with a large can, mine was from a big can of yams, and a cardboard tube from a roll of paper towel. Cut the card board tube into three equal pieces.
You’ll paint the tubes with white paint and the can with Gesso, an artist’s medium that’s similar to a primer and helps paint adhere better to certain surfaces. You can find Gesso in the art department of your local craft store. Then give the can a coat of white paint. Paint the top third of the cardboard tubes blue and the bottom third of the can. You will also paint red stripes on the tubes and add your stars (not pictured).
Cut strips from red felt and attach to the outside of the can, and then down into the inside. Line the inside with glue.
Roll up red red felt and insert into the can, then carefully unroll it inside the can and adhere to the glued sides.
Trace the can onto cardboard, then cut around that marking by about one inch. Cut it out and paint it blue, then glue it to the cake circle.
Glue everything to the cake circle and let it all dry!
- 10-inch cardboard cake circle
- 1 recycled paper towel cardboard tube
- 1 large recycled vegetable or soup can
- 10-inch square of recycled cardboard
- Red, white and blue paint
- Hot glue gun
- White craft glue
- Star shaped sequins
- 2 sheets red felt
- Paint the can with Gesso.
- Paint the cardboard tubes and the can with white paint.
- Paint the top third of each tube and the bottom third of the can with blue paint.
- Glue star shaped sequins to the blue areas of the can and the cardboard tubes.
- Paint red stripes down the length of the white areas of the cardboard tubes.
- Cut red felt into ½" wide strips. Use hot glue gun to attach strips to the can where the blue paint ends and the white begins, about ¾" apart. Glue each strip up the sides of the can and down inside the can.
- Roll up a piece of red felt and place it inside the can to gauge how much you need to line the can. Trim.
- Cover the inside of the can with white craft glue then place the tightly rolled up felt back inside the can. Loosen the felt and adjust until the felt is snug against the can and pressed into the glue.
- Place can onto a piece of recycled cardboard and trace the can. Cut 1-inch away from and around that circle so that you end up with a circle of cardboard with a circle draw inside of it. Paint the entire cardboard circle blue. This is the brim of Uncle Sam’s hat.
- Cover the back of the blue circle with glue stick and press it down onto the upper half of the cardboard cake circle. Glue the can to the center of the blue circle.
- Glue the cardboard tubes, blue end up, to the white cake circle in front of the can.
- Fill with utensils!