Make Something Monday: Sparkless Sparklers

We at barley&birch encourage DIY-ing everything you can. It’s a relatively small way to reduce fossil fuel consumption, packaging waste.

One thing we say every day to our friends, retailers, and suppliers, is that to be effective, a change doesn’t need to singlehandedly reduce your environmental impact, but rather it should just make a positive impact, no matter how small it is. Everything adds up.

Throughout the course of this segment on our blog, we (okay, Jodie) will teach you how to repurpose some things you have in your garage (or can find for a few bucks at a garage sale) to be a fun find for you and your kids.  We will also be posting fun craft ideas that can last for play for at least the summer.

If you have any eco-craft ideas please feel free to e-mail them to hey@barleyandbirch.com!

So in the spirit of the upcoming holiday weekend for the 4th of July, we wanted to pass along the genius idea of Merriment Design– Sparkless Sparklers! Because who wants all those hot, sharp pieces of metal all around your holiday celebration? And these can last for fun indefinitely! In fact, we might need to make a couple for just general conversations at b&b. Because everything is more fabulous when you are waving 20 ribbons around.

Put a b&b spin on it: Our Sparklers would be a little longer and in a flurry of beautiful organic ribbon in different colors. And we’d be lying if we pretended like we wouldn’t try putting some long California fountain grass in them as well. Also, if you are like Kyle and need a photo for the step by step instructions, head here.

Sparkless Sparklers!

Materials
Scissors
Grosgrain ribbon in various widths (photo shows combo of 5/8-inch blue, 3/8-inch red, 1/4-inch white, 1/8-inch tristripe)
Fourth of July-themed foil fringe party garland
One pair of unused wooden chopsticks (two unsharpened pencils or dowel rods also work)
White electrical tape
One small wooden letter
Colored markers or paint
Strong craft glue (i.e., Gorilla Glue)

1. Create “sparks” by cutting ten to fourteen pieces of ribbon at varying lengths, snipping 45-degree angles on one end for effect. (Photo shows four 8-inch blue, four 10-inch red, two 12-inch white, two 12-inch tristripe, and two 8-inch tristripe.)

2. Unroll the garland. Cut 1-1½ inches of silver, blue, and red strips, keeping the connected base intact. Stack them in a pile.

3. Bundle sparks by building two even stacks of ribbons, making sure the ends not cut on an angle are even.

4. Place the foil stack atop one of the ribbon stacks. (The foil base is long, so stagger the pile so that the ribbon starts ½ inch below where the fringe begins.) Place the other ribbon stack on top, so everything looks like a sandwich.

5. Gently slip the ribbon and foil stack between unbroken chopsticks, which will serve as the wand.

6. Starting at the ribbon end, wrap the electrical tape around the wand. Wrap the tape around until everything is secure, then go down the stick by overlapping the tape on a slight angle, like you would change a tennis grip.

7. Trim the foil sparks to the different ribbon lengths.

8. Personalize your sparkler by painting or coloring wooden letters and gluing them securely to the base.

9. Have a Yankee Doodle dandy day.


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