Adorable Fourth of July Rockets

Today our Independence Day celebrations look a lot different than when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Fireworks, picnics, and red, white, and blue everything is the norm. Here are some ways you can recall simpler times with less bang and more upcycling fun. Grab your kiddos and have a blast with these upcycled Fourth of July crafts.

Upcycled Fourth of July crafts

Adorable Fourth of July Rockets

These cute rockets can be a fun way to entertain your littlest guests during your family BBQ — or you and your kiddos can make them ahead of time for Fourth of July decorations.

Adorable Fourth of July Rockets
Image: Wendy Gabriel

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cardboard tubes (from your recycling bin) – toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, gift wrap tubes, and so on
  • White glue
  • Paper – recycle colorful pages from catalogs or magazines and construction or scrapbook paper
  • Paper straws
  • Decorations and embellishments – if your family is like mine, you have a myriad of ribbons, glitter, sequins, and other bits and pieces around the house
  • Tissue paper for “flames”
Items needed for Adorable Fourth of July Rockets craft
Items needed for Adorable Fourth of July Rockets craft. Image: Wendy Gabriel


Begin by decorating your tubes. This is the fun part. Use up all those leftover craft supplies to sparkle, decoupage and create a beautiful base for your rocket. Stand your rocket bases on end to let them dry completely.

Next add your straw “fuse” by gluing a paper straw to the inside of your rocket base. Let them dry. If you’re going to add tissue paper “flames,” be sure to glue it on before you glue your “fuse” in place.

Then you’ll make the top of your rocket. Cut a circle from cardstock or paper. My circles were roughly 5 inches in diameter (I used a lid from the kitchen to trace the shape). Your size will depend the circumference of your rocket bases. Cut one slit through to the center of the circle. Make your paper into a cone shape and glue it. We also put a piece of tape on the inside to ensure our rocket top would stay in shape until the glue dried.

Cutting the rocket top
Cutting the rocket top. Image: Wendy Gabriel

Glue your top to your rocket base and let dry. We stood the rockets upright in a glass (“fuse” side down) to dry. Only thing left to do is enjoy your adorable rockets!

Fun Fourth Candle Holders

These sweet candle holders are super fun and easy to make. And you can reuse them again and again.

Fun Fourth Candle Holders
Image: Wendy Gabriel

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Jars (from your recycling bin or, if you’re like me, you have a bunch of cute jars you’re saving because you couldn’t part with them) — make sure the opening is large enough to place your candle inside
  • White rice
  • Blue and red food coloring
  • Small votive candles
Items needed for Fun Fourth Candle Holder craft
Items needed for Fun Fourth Candle Holder craft. Image: Wendy Gabriel


Begin by measuring out the amount of rice that you’ll need to fill your jars. We just poured rice into the jars that we were using to figure out the right amount. Next, separate all your rice into three equal parts and put it in three separate bowls. Add a few drops of blue food coloring to one bowl and mix. (Keep adding until you reach the desired shade of blue — we stopped counting at around 20 drops.) Do the same with your red food coloring.

Mixing rice with blue food coloring
Mixing rice with blue food coloring. Photo: Wendy Gabriel

Then you’re ready to layer your rice. Begin with the red rice (or whichever color you’d like on the bottom of your jars). We used a funnel to make it easier. Once all your red rice is in all your jars, pour in your white rice and then your blue rice.

To complete your candle holders, add your candle. Since we have a very curious kitty, we opted to use some LED votive candles and solar powered jar toppers. Now you have some charming Fourth of July lighting to spread around.

Have a safe and craft-filled Fourth of July holiday!

By Wendy Gabriel

Wendy Gabriel is a freelance eco-writer based in California. Wendy's work has been featured in numerous publications and websites, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox Business News and For nearly six years, she was a weekly contributor on a popular radio talk show in the Upper Midwest with a segment titled “Simple Tips for Green Living.”