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STAR-Spangled Hats & Other Patriotic Splendors

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 at 6:38 am in Crafts, Cuisine.

Fourth of July crafts (courtesy Family Fun Magazine) We always go whole hog for Fourth of July. We make flag cakes topped with rows of raspberries, blueberries and piped vanilla icing – Martha would be so proud! We decorate plain white T-shirts with red and blue stars, stamped with ye olde potato half, for the big parade. And we load up the thermos of hot chocolate and a box of stars-and-striped cookies (instructions after the jump) for firework-watching.

But this year, we may need some of these star-spangled hats too. The Family Fun Magazine editors just sent over this fetching photo and directions for making a patriotic chapeau … and we are helpless to resist. So now we’re rounding up the duct tape and bendy straws. And you can too…

Flexible measuring tape
Blue and red duct tape
Flexible straws (the hat in the photo used 35)
Pipe cleaners, star garland, pom-poms and whatever other embellishments suit your fancy
Tacky glue

1. Measure the circumference of your child’s head. Cut a piece of blue duct tape to this length plus 2 inches, and lay it down, sticky side up.

2. Leaving 4 inches clear at each end, stick the straws to the tape so they line up along the bottom side and protrude, gloriously, on top.

3. Cut a second piece of blue tape, the same length as the first, and place it sticky side down to sandwich the straws.

4. Now cut a piece of red duct tape to the same length as the blue ones. Fold it over the bottom edge of the blue tape “sandwich,” so it forms a colorful border. Fit the headband to your child, then tape the ends together to form a circle.

5. Slide curlicued pipe cleaners and garland into the straws. Glue pom-poms to the pipe cleaner tops. Bend the straws as desired. Embellish.

For more Family Fun patriotic crafts, just click here.
One batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough
Red and blue paste food coloring
White star-shaped sprinkles
White icing

1. Make a batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough. Take a small blob of dough (1/4 cup or less) and place it in a small ziplock bag with a dab of blue paste food coloring. Zip the bag shut, hand it to your child, and tell him to knead it until it’s uniformly blue. If you forget to zip it, your child will knead it until he’s uniformly blue.

2. Divide the rest of the dough in half and tint one half red. Place the red dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll it into a long, neatly trimmed rectangle, about 3-inches wide and a 1/4-inch thick. Repeat the process with the untinted dough.

3. Remove the plastic wrap and stack the dough into alternating layers of red and white, cutting, trimming and stacking the dough until you have a 3-inch wide block made up of 8 or 9 layers. When the block gets sliced later on, each slice will have 8 or 9 red and white stripes. (And yes, we know there are 13 stripes on a flag, but that’s too many colonies for this cookie.)

4. The blue dough is going to be the star-studded portion of the flag, so shape it into a rectangular block, about 1-inch wide by 1-inch high by however long it needs to be. Cut a rectangular notch out of a corner of the striped dough so the blue section fits neatly in the upper left corner. Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and chill until firm.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and trim the edges of the dough so it’s a neat rectangle. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices, so each one has a blue field in the upper left corner, and red and white stripes. Place on greased cookie sheet, a few inches apart, and bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just starting to turn golden.

6. When the cookies have cooled, pipe a few tiny dots of icing onto the blue field and top each with a starry sprinkle. (Best to do these a day ahead so the icing has plenty of time to set.) Serve with hot cocoa and fireworks.

How do you celebrate the Fourth?

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