Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vintage Firecrackers - Great Centerpiece or Place Cards!

Only a few short days till the U.S.A. celebrates it's 235th "Birthday"...
(It's actually the celebration of the Declaration of Independence which was signed on July 4th, 1776)

I thought since it's a holiday that most people here in the states celebrate with a get-together of some sort it would be fun to make a nice holiday decoration.  These "firecrackers" can be used as a table center piece for inside or out; a place card if you're having a sit down dinner or just something to sit around your party area for a bit of holiday cheer!

Vintage Firecrackers

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Cardboard Tubes (from paper towels; toilet paper; wrapping paper; etc.)
Masking Tape (optional)
Vintage Sheet Music or Pattern Paper
White or Colored Crepe Paper (sheet type not the rolls)
Distress Ink ReInker (optional)
Wired Tinsel Pipe Cleaners - Red, Silver & Blue
Twine, String, Yarn, Fiber, etc.
Sepia Archival Ink
Ink Blending Tool
Collage Images (Vintage Image Craft)
Embellishments - Anything you'd like to add...


1. Determine how long you'd like each of your "firecrackers" to be.  For this set I needed 3 firecrackers in different lengths.  I had one paper towel roll which I just snipped off the end so it was the correct length.  For the last two I used 3 TP rolls.  I snipped 1/3rd off of one of the rolls so I had a small section (1/3rd snipped) and a longer section (rest of the roll).  I then taped each of these cut rolls on a whole tp roll.

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2. Next you need to cut 3 strips of crepe paper approx. 4" x 16".  For a nice decorative edge I cut the top edge with a pair of pinking shears.

3. (optional) I like to use the white crepe paper because I can then color it as needed.  You could of course use the pre-colored variety if desired ~ if you are using colored crepe paper you can skip this step.

You will need to color two of the strips - red and blue.  To do so I mixed up a batch of water + Distress Re-Inker (Barn Door & Chipped Sapphire) then I misted each of the strips.  Heat to speed drying or let it dry naturally.

After my crepe paper was colored I used the Ink Blending Tool to add a bit of age with Sepia Archival Ink.

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4. Run a line of adhesive along the straight edge of one strip of the crepe paper.  Place it along the top of one of the cardboard tubes.  Roll the entire length of crepe paper around the tube.

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5. Apply adhesive to the back of your sheet music or pattern paper.  Wrap the entire tube with the vintage sheet music tucking any extra in the bottom of the roll as shown.

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6. Ink up the top and bottom of each tube with Sepia Ink & the IBT. 

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7. Now you are going to cut the crepe paper every 1/2" using the pinking shears. 

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8. Take 4 strands of the Wired Tinsel Pipe Cleaners - (2 silver, 1 red & 1 blue) - Twist in the center and bend in half.

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9. Tuck the twisted Pipe Cleaners in the center of the crepe paper and secure with a bit of twine.

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10. Curl each of the pipe cleaners to different lengths as shown...

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11. Fluff the crepe paper.  You can use the firecrackers as is or embellish as desired.  These decorations can be as simple or as elaborate as desired.  I made mine somewhere in the middle...

12. Repeat for each firecracker.


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  1. Roni--these are adorable...love love...today I saw some miniature paper fireworks--similar but on a smaller scale. Love the big ones you made though. Think I'll make some. Thanks for the great idea.

  2. What a GREAT idea...they look wonderful!!

  3. How clever are these! They will look fantastic on your table. We obviously don't celebrate this holiday 'down under'. But have a great day everyone. Julie

  4. Roni -

    Love how this turned out! Wonderful job. Happy 4th!

    Elaine Allen

  5. Really wonderful! The tags on the fronts really give these that something extra!

  6. Talk about Creative! Love these firecrackers! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I REALLY love these, Roni! The curled wires "exploding" out the top really make it...and of course all the vintage touches!

  8. Well, these are pretty darn cute! Some great American creative ingenuity!! TFS!!

  9. what a great idea... thanks for sharing!

  10. Ohhh how awesome and a great idea. I love these!

    I hope you don't mind me sharing, I just switched my blog over to Wordpress and am having a blog candy giveaway, if you have a minute do stop by.

    Have a blessed day!

  11. This is new and cool for me. Now I already have an idea on what to do with those old firecrackers that was not used during the last occasion.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!