Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Make an elegant holiday wreath using simple supplies found at your local crafts store, florist shop, or grocery store.
Capture the spirit of holidays past with this unique photo wreath. Insert favorite family photos in lightweight purchased or handmade picture frames. Then hot-glue the frames to an evergreen-base wreath. Add colorful ribbons and ball ornaments between the frames using hot glue or wire. See the next slide for more wreath tips.
Cover cardboard strips with scraps of wrapping paper to create a colorful, low-cost frame for your photos. Dabs of hot glue or strips of double-sided tape can hold the sides of the frame in place. See the next slide for another wreath tip.
Get the look of two wreaths in one: A 4-wire wreath form (available at crafts stores) provides the structure for this layered look of artificial grapes and fresh evergreen boughs. See the next slide for more directions.
Wire artificial grapes to the innermost circle of a 4-wire wreath form, packing them tightly. Continue to add grapes until the band is 2-3 inches wide. Clip pine or spruce branches into small stems and insert between the wires of the wreath form, as shown. Clip small branches of cedar and insert them over the branches and under the grapes.
Greet holiday guests with a cheery red wreath of carnations. The inexpensive blooms are easy to come by at your local florist. See the next slide for directions.
Editor's Tip: To prolong the freshness of the carnations, store the arrangements in a cool area when not in use.
Soak a florist's foam wreath shape in water following the manufacturer's instructions. Trim the carnation stems to about 3 inches. (You'll need approximately 80 carnations for a 16-inch-diameter wreath.) Insert the carnations into the form until the surface is covered. Tie a bow with wide red ribbon, twist wire around the middle of the bow, and poke the wire into the wreath form.
For a cute-as-a-button project, try this simple idea. Using a cardboard base, hot-glue various-size buttons in layers until the wreath looks full. Hang with holiday ribbon on the back of a chair or simply hang from a door to greet holiday guests. See the next slide for more tips.
Combine elements from nature for a wreath designed for the great outdoors. Gather berries, greenery, and pinecones, and place in a fancy Bundt or round baking pan (there are more tips for using a plain round pan on the next slide). Add water, place the pan outside or in the freezer, and let the cold air do the rest. Simply tie twine or ribbon around the wreath to hang from a nearby branch. See the next slide for more directions.
If you use a regular round baking pan, start by placing a small dish in the center to make the wreath. Arrange berries, holly, birdseed, greenery, and pinecones inside the pan as desired. Fill with water and freeze (in your freezer or outdoors). Once frozen, dip the bottom of the pan in warm water to loosen the ice wreath. Loop raffia around the wreath and hang from a tree branch.
Making this holiday wreath is as simple as tying a bow. To add depth and variety, choose ribbon in three coordinating colors. The next slide shows you how to get started.
Cover a foam base with wide ribbon in one of your chosen colors. Use hot glue to secure the ends. Tie simple bows and hot-glue them to the wreath, alternating ribbon colors until the entire form is covered. Use hot glue to embellish the wreath with small artificial berries.
Looking for a wreath that will stay decoratively relevant beyond Christmas? Opt for wintery blue ribbon and crystal white embellishments, which will give the wreath a holiday spin with a look that will last all winter. Hot-glue crystal picks to an evergreen wreath and wrap crystal garland around the wreath's branches. Thread a clear snowflake ornament onto a length of wide blue ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the top of the wreath and secure with a knot in the back. Go to the next slide for a how-to on the Winter Wonderland Wreath's bow.
For the bow, start with 4 yards of 3- to 5-inch-wide ribbon. Make a 6-inch loop 36 inches from one end of the ribbon (this will become one of the tails). Make another 6-inch loop to form a figure eight, pinching both loops together in the center of the figure eight. Repeat to make two 7-inch loops on each side, stacking and pinching them in the center. Cut the ribbon to form a second tail the same length as the first. Wrap florist's wire around the bow's center and then wrap a short length of ribbon over it to conceal the wire. Fluff the loops, fold the tails lengthwise and cut a V in the ends, and wire onto the wreath.
Show off winter's brightest fruit -- the kumquat. Kumquat's bright orange color makes for a cheery wreath, and the fruit's leaves are a nice change of pace from evergreens. See the next slide for more directions.
Wire branches of kumquat leaves (or another variety) to a 12-inch-diameter brass ring. Cut a length of wire to fit around the ring, adding about 6 inches to the 12-inch-diamter. Thread a large-eye embroidery needle onto the wire, then string with fresh kumquats. (You'll need about 19 kumquats for a 12-inch wreath.) Wire the strand of kumquats to the ring and tie a bow at the top.
Start with a foam base to create this deliciously scented cinnamon-stick wreath for the holidays. See the next slide for steps on how to make the wreath.
Begin by wrapping the foam base with a 2-inch-wide ribbon, covering the base completely and using hot glue to secure the ends. Next, hot-glue cinnamon sticks around the base in layers, filling in holes with smaller cut pieces. For added color, embellish with small sprigs of red holly berries or small ball ornaments. Hang with a bright ribbon.
Wrap a wreath form with wide ribbon, securing with hot-glue if desired. Hot-glue flat glass stones onto the wreath. Wrap a ribbon around the top and tie in a loop for a hanger. Finish the wreath by pinning a broach onto the wreath as shown, or hot-gluing a small ornament in place.
Give a ubiquitous evergreen wreath a stand-out presence by hot-gluing small twigs and berry bunches among its needles. Wrap ribbon around a spray of tulips (or other red flowers), wire the bundle to the wreath, and top with a bow. See the next slide for more directions.
To make the bow, start with 4 yards of 3- to 5-inch-wide wire-edge ribbon. Make a 5-inch loop 20 inches from one end (this will become one of the tails). Make another 5-inch loop to form a figure eight, pinching both loops together in the center of the figure eight. Repeat to make three loops on each side, stacking and pinching them in the center as shown. Cut the ribbon to form a second tail the same length as the first. Wrap the bow center with florist's wire, catching a small ribbon loop in with the wire to form a knot to cover the wire. Fluff the loops, fold the tails lengthwise and cut a V in the ends, and wire onto the wreath.
Hot-glue fuzzy white pom-poms over three small foam wreaths, overlapping the pom-poms to fill in any gaps. Cut a length of ribbon and hot-glue the wreaths to the ribbon. Tie extra ribbon into a simple bow and hot-glue it in place at the top.
Look at the wreaths from all angles to make sure you have completely covered the foam bases.