4th of July Crafts: How to Make Jeweled Firecracker Decorations
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.
- Resin thinestones
- E6000 or glue of choice
- Empty toilet paper tubes
- Chipboard or cardboard circles
- Paint or colored paper (red, white and blue)
- Small hole punch or skewer
- Dry rice or beans
Step 1: Prep Your Toilet-Paper Rolls
Take a toilet-paper tube and trace two circles out on 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 4 inch piece of jute and tie a knot in it and 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.
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 would save time too, especially if you are making several of them. Painting the wick is up to you. You can paint it a certain color or just 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 with. 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 choose 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 is making 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 to 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 quicker. If kids will be 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 :)
The Finished DecorationsClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 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 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.
- Attach several of them to a wreath, would make a beautiful sparkling patriotic wreath!
- Attach them on 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).
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 is 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 quicker. It's something fun for them to do and be proud of and you can display every 4th of July for years to come.
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