Project – Fourth of July Windsock for Kids

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The Fourth of July is a week away. Today is the perfect opportunity to create a patriotic windsock.

Start with a coffee can, or substitute any other round and sturdy structure that can be spray-painted and decorated. Tear away any paper or outside covering. You need to add two holes on either side of the bottom about 3/4 of an inch down. This is not easy, and is definitely a job for the adult supervising the project. I tried punching a hole with a screwdriver first, and found it hard to break through the sides. The hole it created was also too big. A sharp, large-sized nail worked much better for me. A few taps and it punctured the side of the can and left a nice-sized hole. I placed the coffee can on a rug while I hammered to keep it from sliding around.




To give a tin can more substance when punching holes with a nail or other sharp object, fill can with water and freeze. The frozen water gives the can solidity and keep the sides from collapsing. One note, the freezing water will also cause the bottom of the can to rise up a bit. This can easily be flattened out with a hammer.

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The can needs to be painted before you begin the decorating. We used spray paint…quick, easy, and when done outdoors there is very little to clean up. The sides and top needed two coats of paint. We did not paint the inside of the can. Acrylics, brushed on with a foam brush, will work also, but since they take longer to dry the can should be painted the day before the decorative touches are added. Another idea to try if you have plenty of time is to decoupage paper onto the sides with ModPodge.


We used red, white and blue foam stickers. All the boys needed to do was peel the backing off and place them against the can. It was fun watching them work at creating a masterpiece.

Dollar store satin ribbon was the perfect choice for the long strips that hang from the bottom of the can. You could also use strips of fabric, yarn or string, anything that is light enough to blow in the breeze without tangling. A quick grab glue would work well, or a thick tacky glue. We didn’t have a lot of time, so we used a glue gun for speed. Since my glue gun is the “hot” type I glued the strips inside the can.

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We found gluing the ribbons into the can opposite each other helped us correctly space out the pattern. When the glue was set we wound two red pipe cleaners together, threaded them through the holes and hung the windsock on an outdoor hook. FUN!

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