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Originally published Friday, July 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Create a festive wreath to welcome the Fourth of July

Kids' craft: A little history lesson about Independence Day followed by instructions for an easy-to-make holiday decoration.

Akron Beacon Journal

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Americans love holidays, and the Fourth of July is one of our favorites. It's the best time to show off our red, white and blue, whether it's on T-shirts, caps or in home décor.

It's a prime opportunity to collectively show the world we are proud to be Americans.

Also known as Independence Day, July 4 is the nation's birthday. Family and friends enjoy the holiday with outdoor activities such as parades, picnics and fireworks shows that span the night skies in brilliant hues.

Independence Day is a national holiday commemorating the day the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

On July 2, 1776, the Congress declared the American colonies free and independent states. On July 4, they adopted the Declaration of Independence by signing it — the day we still honor. Four days later, Philadelphia marked the first Independence Day with bells and bands as the declaration was read publicly for the first time.

Every year since then, Americans have commemorated their unique history by celebrating that famous day in our history when we declared ourselves a free and sovereign nation.

Show your "colors" this Fourth of July with a hanging paper wreath made with bright red, white and blue card stock and these instructions I found on the Family Fun Web site at http://familyfun.go.com/4th-of-july/4th-of-july-crafts/star-spangled-welcome-890210.

This craft, titled A Star-spangled Welcome, was created by Amy Kaldor-Bull from FamilyFun Magazine to use on your front door. I modified the directions for our use.

Supplies:

• Double-sided tape or glue dots

• 4-by-6-inch pieces of card stock, four each in red, white and blue

• Cardboard, cut into a 10-inch circle, plus more for a star

• Clear tape

• Tacky glue

• Aluminum foil or silver paper

• Patriotic ribbon for hanging

To make a paper cone, place a strip of double-sided tape or glue dots along the shorter edge of a piece of card stock. Roll the paper into a cone shape, then press to adhere. Repeat with the remaining sheets of card stock.

Place a strip of double-sided tape on the back of each cone. Lay the cones in alternating colors on the cardboard circle and press to adhere. If using glue dots, you may need to secure the backs of the cones to the circle with tacky glue.

Apply glue to a scrap of cardboard, about 3 1/2 inches wide, cover it with aluminum foil, and smooth out any wrinkles. Cut the covered cardboard into a star shape. Apply glue to the back and press it onto the center of the wreath, then let it dry.

To hang the wreath, make a loop from the ribbon and tape it to the back of the cardboard.

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