Tag Archives: 4th of July

Quick Kid Craft: Patriotic T-shirts.

patriotic shirts

This year we wanted to wear something a little different for the 4th of July, so we undertook this easy t-shirt craft after seeing a friend post a picture of her son wearing one. It takes only a few minutes apart from drying, & you can even “girlify” it with a little ribbon! I took sharp scissors & snipped small cuts in the shirt, either on the front pocket, or around the neck. Just make sure you have an even number. Thread the ribbon through & tie into a pretty knot or bow, then squeeze a little hot glue inside the knot to keep it from untying in the wash. Now, if your little girl has an abnormally large head like mine does, you may want to snip the ribbon where it doesn’t show & safety-pin it after she pulls it over her head. Didn’t think about the fact that it needed to stretch… Whoops!

Now on to painting!

What you need:

  • kid-sized white t-shirt (I got mine at Target for $5 each)
  • red & blue paint (you can use fabric paint, but acrylic is so much cheaper–usually less than 50 cents a bottle–& I’ll show you how to heat-set it at the end for the wash)
  • 1″ foam brush
  • 2 paper plates

What to do:

  1. Squeeze a generous amount of your blue paint onto one paper plate & spread it around.
  2. Place your child’s left hand in the paint, coating well. Then carefully help her stamp her hand, fingers outstretched, on the left side of the shirt. Clean off her hand &, if she’s young, let her go play while you do the rest. (By the way, 14 months may be a tad young for this craft; my little one kept squelching her fingers together & I had to spread them myself.)
  3. Squeeze some red paint onto the other paper plate & use your foam brush to paint stripes next to the handprint. The foam helps keep the stripes a nice uniform width. Paint as many stripes as you think look good!
  4. To heat-set: When the paint is completely dry, place a doubled-up paper towel inside the shirt & on top of the painted part, then iron on the cotton setting (high heat) for about a minute. Now you can wash it after they wear it!

If you’re looking for a place to wear your new shirts, how about organizing an indoor “parade” through a nursing home? That’s what we did yesterday, & it was a wonderful experience. We rounded up some friends from our MOMS Club, decorated up our wagons, waved some little flags, & played “Stars & Stripes Forever” on repeat on my iPhone with some little speakers as we marched through the halls. The residents were very appreciative of visitors, & it was a great experience for the kids! They loved marching & getting so much attention, & it was a great teaching moment about how good service can make us feel. My 4-year-old kept saying, “Mommy, they’re so happy to see me!”

decorated wagon

nursing home parade

Where will you wear your patriotic shirts?


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Filed under Activities, Crafts, Holidays


Happy Independence Day! Hopefully you’re enjoying your long weekend celebrating the birth of our amazing nation! We could see two fireworks shows from our balcony Friday night; it made me feel so patriotic! I love the upswelling of pride & emotion I feel when singing “The Star Spangled Banner” (especially the third verse!). America’s awesome!

This year the term “Independence Day” has taken on new meaning for us Cougar fans as well; as of July 1st, BYU Football has gone Independent! That means that we East-Coasters will actually get to watch a few games for once. That’s definitely something to celebrate too!

So in honor of the grilling holiday that is the 4th of July, & in honor of BYU’s declaration of independence, here is one hot dog that will change your life. Well, two. (We’re in start-cleaning-out-the-pantry-not-buying-more-jars-of-things mode now, so you need to use your imagination when it comes to the delicious condiments.)

Back in Provo there is a legendary little establishment known as J-Dawgs. They make the best hot dogs. Best. & this is coming from someone who appreciates a good New York cart dog, so you know it must be true. Because we live so far away, the last time we were there was when The Munchkin was only 6 months old & barely eating rice cereal & sweet potatoes, so until now she had not experienced the rite of passage for every BYU fan that is…

The Special Sauce.

My friend Barbara somehow got the recipe — lives may or may not have been lost in the procurement of this secret — & gave it to me. It changed my life. It’ll change yours too.

(Half of this recipe is plenty for 4-6 dogs)

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan & heat just to boiling on medium heat.
  2. Drizzle over your favorite grilled (George Foreman works just fine) Polish or beef hot dog (we went with the NYC cart-style Kosher dogs, to add a little East Coast twist to this Mountain West institution) in the best hot dog roll you can find. If your grocery store under-prioritizes hot dog rolls as much as ours does, you may end up with the lame white Wonder buns. That’s okay too. Just this once.
  3. Top with your favorite hot dog condiments (I like banana peppers alone; My Husband The More Adventurous & Less Prone To Caring What His Breath Smells Like Because I’ll Still Kiss Him Afterwards Anyway likes banana peppers, diced onions, & a dill pickle spear). Just please, go without the ketchup this one time.
  4. Savor.

Now, this will not replace the experience of biting into a foil-wrapped, crisscross-scored, nestled-in-a-fresh-baked-bakery-bun J-Dawg right there, but for those of us a couple thousand miles away, it definitely helps hold us over until next time.

Are hot dogs on the grill at your 4th of July party? How do you like to top them?

Get Your Craft On Tuesdays


Filed under Holidays, Recipes