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4th of July Crafts: How to Make Jeweled Firecracker Decorations

Jamie loves writing about DIY projects, decorating on a budget, craft ideas, and creative ways to reuse and upcycle products.

DIY 4th of July decorations—jeweled firecrackers!

DIY 4th of July decorations—jeweled firecrackers!

4th of July Decor: DIY Jeweled Firecrackers

These sparkly, jeweled firecrackers make perfect decorations for the 4th of July! They are super easy to make, and you won't have to spend a bunch of money on craft supplies. They are basically painted toilet-paper tubes that are covered with sparkly rhinestones.

Although these are very easy to make, it takes a little bit of time and dedication to cover the entire tube with rhinestones. The wonderful thing is If they are taken care of properly, they can be used over and over for years to come. Sparkly things are always in style when it comes to the 4th of July! You can use them for decoration inside your home or you could use them for party decorations. Either way, they are super cute and sure to catch people's eyes.

I am excited to share this tutorial with you. Also, if you would prefer a sparkly version of this, there's a link to that version at the end of this tutorial.

Materials Needed:

  • Resin rhinestones
  • E6000 or glue of choice
  • Empty toilet paper tubes
  • Chipboard or cardboard circles
  • Paint or colored paper (red, white, and blue)
  • Jute
  • Scissors
  • Small hole punch or skewer
  • Dry rice or beans
The supplies you'll need

The supplies you'll need

Step 1: Prep Your Toilet-Paper Rolls

Take a toilet paper tube and trace two circles out on a chipboard or cardboard. It helps if you trace just outside the edge (and cut the excess off after you glue them on) and then cut both circles out. These circles will be the ends of your firecracker.

Glue one of them on one end of the toilet paper roll. This will be the bottom of your firecracker. I usually put glue around the top edge of the toilet paper roll and sit the circle on top and then trim the excess when it dries.

Step 2: Fill Your Firecracker

Now, take the dry rice or beans and pour them into the firecracker. This is to help weigh it down so it will stay put! Put as much or as little as you want . . . whatever you feel comfortable with.

Step 3: Create Your Wick

Take the other circle and punch a hole right in the middle and then take a four-inch piece of jute and tie a knot in it and pull it up through the hole. Put a dab of glue on the knot and anchor it to the bottom of the circle until it dries. This is the wick of the firecracker!

Once dry, glue the circle (be sure the wick side is up) on the top of the toilet paper roll. Trim off any excess from the edge of the circle after it's dry, and trim the wick the length you would like it.

Trace circles

Trace circles

Put glue around the edge of the tube and glue a circle on

Put glue around the edge of the tube and glue a circle on

Add the wick

Add the wick

Cut excess from around edges

Cut excess from around edges

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Holidappy

Painted firecracker ready for rhinestones

Painted firecracker ready for rhinestones

Step 4: Paint Your Base Color

Now that you have assembled the firecracker and added the wick, it is time to paint the firecracker the base color. You can paint it a solid color or paint your own designs on it, such as stripes, stars, etc. You can also use spray paint if you want; it would cover them nicely and save time, too, especially if you make several of them. Painting the wick is up to you. You can paint it a certain color or leave it the natural brown color.

If you do not have paint or would rather cover the firecracker with colored paper, you could use 4th of July patterned scrapbook paper to cover them. So many possibilities!

Step 5: Bedazzle Your Firecracker

Once you have the firecracker painted or covered with paper, the fun part begins! You will now start to embellish your firecracker with rhinestones, gems, or crystals. You can go as glitzy as you want or just add some sparkly touches here and there. I chose to add lots to mine because I really wanted them to sparkle.

If you are covering the whole tube with rhinestones, it helps to keep them all one size unless you are doing a specific design. Keeping them all the same size will help keep a nice and even coverage. Of course, you can play around with them and do swirls, wavy lines, shapes, dots, etc., whatever you want to do. Have fun with it!!

Tips for Placing the Rhinestones:

  • I used the pointed tip of a wooden skewer to add dots of glue on the toilet paper roll and then stuck the rhinestones on the dot of glue—it worked great! I would squeeze a tiny dot out of the glue applicator and then scrape the tip of the skewer across the glue applicator tip, and it was the perfect amount in a dot. I would then roll the tip of the stick with glue on the toilet paper tube, and that would transfer the dot of glue onto the tube. (I hope this makes sense!)
  • I also found that using the same skewer with the residual tacky glue on the tip; I could pick up the rhinestones easily just by touching the top of the rhinestone. I could pick it right up with no problem and put it right on the dot of glue. It helped everything go so much quicker!
  • When covering the whole tube with rhinestones, don't think about doing the WHOLE tube, that can be discouraging, and you may feel like you will never get it done. Just think of it as one row at a time, and you will be done before you know it!
  • It's best to start at the very top edge and work down when covering the whole tube with rhinestones.
  • Larger-sized rhinestones cover the tube much more quickly. If kids are doing this project, larger-sized rhinestones are ideal.
  • For the best results, use smaller-sized rhinestones. The smaller the stone, the more stunning the finished product! It will take a bit more time, but the end result is so worth it, especially since you can reuse these for years to come.

Enjoy your beautiful jeweled firecrackers!

Dots of glue

Dots of glue

Picking up a rhinestone

Picking up a rhinestone

Placing rhinestones on the tube

Placing rhinestones on the tube

First row of rhinestones starting at the top

First row of rhinestones starting at the top

One row at a time

One row at a time

Jeweled Firecracker Decoration Ideas

These jeweled firecrackers can be used to decorate several different ways. Here are a few decoration ideas:

  • Make different sizes of them (short and tall) and gather them in a group and use them as a centerpiece for your dining room table.
  • Group them together on a nice tray with red, white, and blue stones and sit it on a shelf, bar, or other table tops for the 4th of July décor.
  • Having a dinner party? Attach a name tag and use one for each place setting, like name cards.
  • Do a tablescape, lining several different heights of them down a long dinner table, along with other red, white and blue décor.
  • Use them as a helium balloon anchor.
  • Attaching several of them to a wreath would make a beautiful sparkling patriotic wreath!
  • Attach them to a string and make a garland.
  • Display them in a pretty basket.
  • Group a few of them on the coffee table, side table, or sofa table.
  • Line a few along a window sill(s).

Happy Decorating!

Thank you for stopping by! I just want to reiterate one more time, don't be afraid to put a little time into getting your tube covered with rhinestones. It's a super easy project, but it isn't a fast one. Look at it like you are knitting a hat or crocheting a blanket. These are beautiful pieces of décor that you can use year after year, so the time and effort are worth it. I did mine one row at a time and before I knew it, I had several jewel-covered firecrackers! Once I got into my groove, it was hard to stop.

This is a great project for kids, too! I think the larger-sized stones may work better for kids since they cover the tubes much more quickly. It's something fun for them to do and be proud of, and you can display every 4th of July for years to come.

Where to Buy Supplies

You will need lots of rhinestones for this project. If you are unsure where to buy good-quality resin rhinestones, I purchase mine in bulk super cheap on eBay from an international seller in Shanghai, China. If you do a search for resin rhinestones, you should find them. They are the most beautiful resin rhinestones I have ever seen!! In fact, to me, they sparkle just like Swarovski Crystals do. They are truly amazing. They look so much better than the packaged resin gems you can buy at Walmart or even the craft stores.

P.S. If you liked this tutorial, you will love the sequin firecracker tutorial!

© 2012 Jamie Brock


Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 29, 2014:

sue- They were 4mm (16ss) I believe or maybe one size larger. I like them small but not too small. The smaller the better the sparkle, in my opinion :)

sue on June 20, 2014:

What size stones did you use?

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on August 19, 2013:

Kathie- I got them on Ebay at a place called bead_better. They are super cheap and I've never had any problems with them. Only thing is it can take a while because they ship from china.Thanks for dropping by!

Kathie on July 04, 2013:

Where do you get the rhimestones

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on July 12, 2012:

prettynutjob- Aww.. thanks! I appreciate it.. and thank you for the vote up :)

Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on July 12, 2012:

These are incredibly cute,great hub voted up.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on July 04, 2012:

tammyfrost- Thank you! I'm glad you like these.. Happy 4th to you!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on July 04, 2012:

ishwaryaa22- Wow, thank you so much! What a nice compliment. I am so happy to hear that you like the firecrackers! They are as fun to make as they are easy and they always turn out really nice!

A huge thank you for the positive feedback, vote up and for sharing. I really appreciate it! Happy 4th!

Tammy Winters from Oregon on July 04, 2012:

Wow this is an awesome article on making great decorations for the 4th.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on July 03, 2012:

A fun & creative way with 4th of July firecrackers made in a harmless manner! Your instructions and tips are very helpful & handy! Your jeweled firecrackers embellished with rhinstones look very attractive! Happy 4th of July! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & Socially Shared.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 17, 2012:

Dr Funom Makama- Aww.. thanks! You are welcome and thanks for stopping by :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 17, 2012:

CassyLu- Thank you :0) You and kiddos will have lots of fun with these and they will be so proud of them! I truly appreciate the vote up, positive feedback and sharing. Happy 4th!!

CassyLu1981 from Spring Lake, NC on June 16, 2012:

Love the ideas :) Can't wait to try these with the kids. They will be so excited :) Voted up, useful and SHARED!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 13, 2012:

teaches- Thank you! That is what I love about these.. I didn't mind putting a little bit of time into making them because they are so pretty and can be used for years to come. It's always nice to "see" you! Thanks for dropping by :0)

Dianna Mendez on June 12, 2012:

These are practical and yet very festive looking. Great idea and one that can be used kept and used each year.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 12, 2012:

Hi Rose, Thank you! I had done a similar one for sequin firecrackers but these turned out even better so I couldn't resist doing a hub especially for these. It's great to "see" you. Thanks for dropping by!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 12, 2012:

As always, I love your crafty hubs! These firecrackers are so colorful and fun. Thanks for the great 4th of July tutorial.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 12, 2012:

Hi Kashmir, Thank you, I'm glad you like them! They are fun to make, in fact it was hard to stop once I got started on them...I just wanted to keep going because they turn out so pretty and sparkly. Thank you for the vote up and everything. Hope all is well with you!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 12, 2012:

Paige Ronchetti- Hi and thank you! I definitely agree, I think they would make awesome outdoor party decorations for the 4th. Thanks for dropping by!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 12, 2012:

4youreyes- You are so welcome! Yes, I agree, you could decorate these so many different ways... I have a few more ideas I want to try out. Thank you so much for dropping by :0)

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on June 12, 2012:

Hi Jamie, great hub and craft ideas, just the thing you need to make a big bang on a fourth of July celebration .

Vote up and more !!!

Paige Ronchetti from Chicago on June 12, 2012:

The magpie in me is LOVING the sparkles! You don't see a lot of glitz for the 4th, but I think these would be really cute for an outdoor party.

4youreyes on June 12, 2012:


These are great for the 4th. You could use your imagination and decorate these in a variety of colors and designs. Thanks for sharing.

Have A Good Day !

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 11, 2012:

Hi Billy! It's great to see you.. I've been busy trying to get unpacked after our move but I managed to get another hub out! Thank you so much for the compliment. Crafting is my "thing". I LOVE doing crafts! Thanks so much for stopping by and for passing this on to Bev! Take care!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 11, 2012:

mwilliams66- Hi, it's great to see you again.. I'm so glad that you like the tutorial :0) Thank you bunches for the vote up, pin and for sharing!!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 11, 2012:

Jackie Lynnley- Thank you Jackie! The flag one is my favorite, too....Thanks so much for dropping by!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2012:

Jamie, these are incredible and I applaud your talents. However....hahaha...there is no way this guy could do that. I am Mr. Thumbs when it comes to crafts. I will, however, pass this hub on to Bev.

Great hub; loved the pictures and detail in the instructions.

mwilliams66 from Left Coast, USA on June 11, 2012:

Another fantastic idea Jamie. I love it. Voting up, pining, sharing and posting to stumble.


Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 11, 2012:

Wow, these are nice! I love the red white and blue flag look especially!

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