Spangled Stars

 

 If there is one craft item that makes my husband crazy, it's glitter.  I usually try to avoid using it, in any form, just to be courteous.  But it couldn't last forever.  Into all crafters' lives, a little glitter must come.   Glitter, all sparkly and shiny fits in perfectly with the fireworks of Independence Day.


Goal: a craft that was 4th of July related, easy for all ages, easy for me, and fun for the kids to play with.  What kid doesn't love a good wand?
   
Materials: a package of 6" fun foam stars in red, white, and blue (pre-cut all the way, baby! sorry I forgot to include them in the picture), 12" dowels,  spools of 1/4" red, blue, and silver ribbon, felt star stickers, glitter, glue dots.  


Cutting the ribbon to 16" lengths, then tying it about middle makes perfect streamers, which need a dab of glue (E6000 is my favorite) to stay put. 


Then I ran into a snag.  When I glued the stars directly to the dowels, the foam was thin enough that the dowel tip would push a hole right through.  So I scrounged up some batting bits and wrapped them around the dowel tips to soften the edges.  This was quite the serendipity because I inadvertently ended up with slightly puffy stars, which was cute.  Glued 2 different colors back to back and pressed under some books until the glue dried.  I kept thinking I should just use hot glue, but I've had a bit of bad luck with hot glue melting fun foam, so I've become gun-shy.  It sure would have been easier though.

Now so far, pretty standard stuff.  The wands are all constructed and ready for kids to decorate, and the felt star stickers were perfect, but it wasn't quite crafty enough to just slap on some stickers. I wanted more creativity.  
Enter the glitter.  


The original plan was the classic glue, sprinkled with glitter routine.  But I needed it to dry faster - I wanted instant play.  And since I was using this both for my 3 year old Sunbeam class and my kids and their cousins, I needed less mess.  I decided to experiment with glue dots.  I know that they stay tacky for, basically, eternity, so I didn't know if they'd work, but they did.  They reach a saturation point where there is so much glitter that there is no exposed stickiness.  And the bonus?  They make the most perfect, round polka dots!  I used a paper plate with blue, one with white, and one with red, two different diameters of glue dots, and just let the kids go crazy.  (A little too crazy for the littlest ones who ended up with more glitter on them than on their stars.)


I was totally pleased with the results.  Even the littlest toddler niece was able to push the glitter onto the dots, which made her just tickled.  Every star ended up adorable, but completely unique.  Some kids are planners and measurers, others are random.  Now that I know about glue-dot polka-dots, I'm excited about the possibilities!
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