My 3 Monsters: Patriotic Decor for Independence Day

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Patriotic Decor for Independence Day

I'm turning over a new leaf this year and doing a little bit of seasonal decorating.  You see, we have this dresser right next to our front door that tends to become the catch-all for the family's crap if I don't put some intentional, pretty crap there first.  But I'm still a big ol' cheap-o and I refuse to spend any real money on anything that's only going to be up for a month, even if I can use it for several years.  

I dug through some of my craft supplies and grabbed anything that was red, white, and blue.  Turquoise is blue, right?  I also had some black posterboard, striped washi tape, and a cover-less old book of famous quotations that I picked up at Goodwill {because I needed the cover for something else a while ago}.  I know what you're thinking -- those are the makings of a preeeeety classy patriotic display.  Whatever.

First I free-handed the design onto one piece of black posterboard with chalk.  I did lightly trace a dinner plate first so that my laurel wreath would actually turn out round.  I made sure to smudge the design a bit and then go back over it to get a more authentic chalkboard look.  Then I smudged chalk all around the blank areas until it looked just how I wanted it.

Once it was right, I sprayed it with a matte finish sealer so that the chalk would stay put.  Then, I knew I wanted to make a 3 dimensional star with it, just like I made for our Christmas trees in December.  This tutorial explains how to do that beautifully.  My problem was that I didn't have a big enough star to trace, so I had to make my own template.  Cut a perfect circle from another piece of posterboard -- there are lots of ways to do that.  Google it if you're not sure.  
You are going to want to mark 10 points on the circle, equally spaced.  To do that, borrow your kid's protractor and mark every 36 degrees around the center point.  {360 divided by 10 = 36}  I actually marked too many on my template because I tried to make it harder than it needed to be.  Ignore the extra lines.  Use a ruler to draw lines from the center of the circle to the edge, through each of your marks.  Then make a mark at the mid-point of EVERY OTHER line.  Those will be the indented points of your star.  Use your ruler again to connect the lines -- mid-point to tip to mid-point all the way around until you have a big star, like in the picture above.

Cut out your template and trace it onto the posterboard with the chalk design on it and another piece of posterboard {for the backside of the 3 dimensional star}.  Then cut those stars out.  You can follow the star tutorial I linked to above to fold the star and pop it up into 3D form.  

To attach the front and back I used a dab of hot glue at each star point, then I went back and put a dab of hot glue at each indented point, too.  I used striped washi tape to finish connecting the two pieces along each side and give it a nice finished look.  To finish it and improve its durability, I gave it a good coat of matte finish Mod Podge front and back.  

I really like how it turned out.  It really looks a lot classier than you might think a posterboard star would look in person, I promise.  Just in case the "established in 1776" on the star didn't make a strong enough patriotic statement, I whipped up this little firecracker art with a patriotic quote I cute out of the old quote book I had.

I'll share a little more about how that was made {and the cool NEW Mod Podge products I used to make it} next week!  Here's the whole display again:

Not too shabby for how cheap it was, right? I need to find something red and blue to put in that tray with the star -- maybe some candy.  Mmmmm.   Too bad my little cannister doesn't have a 4 on it this month.  Anyway.... we're super excited that it's finally the weekend.  Sis just turned 14, Ri is coming home from diabetes camp, and it's FATHER"S DAY!!  Hope you're all having fun, too!


  1. That star is awesome! I wouldn't have guessed it was cardboard. It looks like the tin one you see in stores.

  2. Love that star. I thought you chalkboard painted it. Great job!

  3. SUPER CUTE! Crossing my fingers you'll share at my party! Saturdays at Seven!

    XO, Aimee

  4. What a neat idea! I can't believe the star is made from posterboard! Very impressive creativity!! I'd love for you to share this on my Patriotic Link-up Party going on now till July 4th!

  5. This is ADORABLE!! Would love it if you would link this up at my trendy tuesday party!!

  6. This is absolutely FABULOUS!!!

    You are planning on sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality.. right? :)

  7. That is fabulous and I'm off to check out your star tutorial now! Saw you over at Sweet Little Gals and am happily following you via GFC!


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