Fun July 4th Dessert: Berry Flag Tart

The star of your patriotic menu will be this flag-shape dessert featuring bright red raspberries, tart blueberries, and dough cut in stripes and star shapes. Despite the masterpiece finish, it's actually quite simple to make.

View Video

Easy 4th of July Decorations

Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.

View Slideshow

Our Favorite July 4th Recipes

Take the guesswork out of creating a delicious spread of 4th of July food. Our July 4th entrees (hot dogs! ribs!), drinks (punch! sangria!), side dishes (fruit and pasta salads!), and desserts (mmm, pie) make organizing a patriotic potluck a breeze.

View Slideshow

Festive July 4th Desserts

Celebrate Independence Day with these festive 4th of July desserts! With star-shape scones and piecrusts, tempting tarts, colorful shakes, and fresh berries, these recipes for 4th of July desserts are sure to stand out at your patriotic celebration.

View Slideshow

Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

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

4th of July Cake Recipes

Headed to a 4th of July potluck? Cakes are a dreamy way to end the day (well, that and fireworks), and our collection of berry-topped cakes, lush chocolate cakes, swirled sprinkle cakes, and layered red velvet cakes are worth their own oohs and aahs.

View Slideshow

Coconut Cream Island Punch

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

View Video
Popular in Holidays

Halloween Papier-Mache Cat

With his toothy grin and a pumpkin bucket, this cool cat is ready for a night of trick-or-treating! Reminiscent of vintage figures, ours is fashioned from plastic foam, dowels, and painted papier-mache

What You Need

  • Green floral foam block
  • 3/16-inch dowel
  • Drill and drill bits
  • 3-x-5-inch oval wood base
  • Wood glue
  • Celluclay instant papier-mache
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Plastic modeling tools
  • Toothpick
  • Water-bottle lid
  • Acrylic paints: gray, black, white, orange, neon green, lavender, and yellow
  • Unused pencil eraser
  • Matte-finish spray
  • 26-gauge black wire

How to Make It

Create the Cat "Skeleton"

  1. For the body, use a knife to whittle a teardrop shape from the floral foam that's 4 inches tall, 1 1/2 inches thick, and 3 inches wide at the bottom, and that tapers to a point at the center top.
  2. Also shape an oval head from foam that's 2 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and 1 1/4 inches thick. From the dowel, cut two 5-inch lengths for the legs and one 2-inch length for the neck.
  3. Drill two holes into but not through the base about 2 inches apart. Glue the leg dowels into the holes.
  4. Push the wide end of the body onto the legs, leaving 3 1/2 inches between the base and the foam. Make sure that the body is straight.
  5. Glue the body to the legs; allow the glue to dry.
  6. Push the neck dowel into the top of the body; push the head onto the dowel.

Sculpt the Papier-Mache

  1. Mix the instant papier-mache with warm water, following the manufacturer's instructions. It's best to mix small batches of up to 1/2 cup of dry papier-mache and keep the mixture in a resealable plastic bag while you work.
  2. Knead the mixture until it is a smooth, workable consistency. Keep a small bowl of water handy to moisten your fingers as you apply and smooth the mixture.
  3. Use your hands to smooth a thin coat of mixture over the legs and body, applying it slightly heavier where the legs enter the body. Allow to dry overnight.
  4. Apply a second very thin layer over the dried mixture, working to achieve a smooth transition from the body to the legs.
  5. Roll two 1/2-inch balls of mixture for the feet. Set the balls on the base in front of the legs. Gently smooth the balls into the legs, forming the feet. Use a modeling tool to carve three toe lines in each foot.
  6. Smooth a coat of mixture over the head, applying it a bit thicker on the neck and working to make smooth transitions between the body parts. Allow to dry overnight.
  7. Form two small triangles for the ears and attach them to the head. Apply a fresh layer of mixture to the face. Use the rounded end of a modeling tool to create a big smile. Form a triangular nose with the blade end of the tool.
  8. For the arms, roll two tubes long enough to reach from the shoulders to the upper legs. Attach them to the sides of the body, smoothing the edges.
  9. Use a toothpick to make a hole between one of the arms and the body to accommodate a wire handle for the pumpkin bucket. Roll a thin snake for the tail and attach it to the back of the cat.
  10. Smooth the edges into the body, but curl the end away from the body and form it into a point.
  11. For the pumpkin, smooth a thin layer of the mixture over the exterior of the bottle lid. Use a toothpick to make holes through opposite sides of the pumpkin for the wire handle.
  12. When the mixture is dry, gently twist the pumpkin to remove it from the lid and allow the interior to dry.
  13. Allow the cat figure and the pumpkin to air-dry for several days to ensure that the inner layers are completely dry. Drying time will depend on the size of the project and the humidity.

Paint the Design

  1. Using the photograph as a guide, paint the cat gray. Shade along the arms, tail, and between the toes with black. Let the paint dry.
  2. Use white paint for the inside of the cat's mouth, orange for the cat's nose and lips and the pumpkin, yellow for the cat's eyes and star buttons, and lavender for the interior of the ears.
  3. When the paint is dry, use neon green to paint the cat's irises; let dry.
  4. Use black paint to dot the center of each eye, to add the teeth lines inside the mouth, and to outline the lips and star buttons.
  5. Paint the base and the pumpkin's facial features black.

Add the Final Touches

  1. When the paint is dry, spray all surfaces with a coat of matte-finish spray; let dry.
  2. Use black wire to form the pumpkin handle, threading it through the hole behind the arm.

Loading... Please wait...