Make July 4th sparkle with this blast of a craft.

You'll Need

  • Black construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Small paper plate for tracing


30 minutes

Learning Stages

By Molly O'Shea

After 14 years of designing on the computer, it was volunteering as art docent in her son’s kindergarten classroom that made Molly realize how much she loved working with her hands. Her blog, Love the Everyday, is dedicated to turning everyday objects into something beautiful. She has a degree in Studio Art from UCSD and lives with her husband and two sons in Encinitas, California.

Here's a fun and easy craft you can do with your kids for Independence Day.


  1. Cut the cotton swabs into two pieces. They don’t need to be cut perfectly in half; it’s good to have some short pieces and some long pieces. You’ll need 20-30 pieces for a good burst.
  2. Faintly trace a circle onto black construction paper using a paper plate or small bowl. This will be a guide for one of the outer rings of the burst.
  3. Now draw a dot in the center of that circle. A good way to find the center is to fold the paper plate in half, then half again. Line the edge of the folded paper plate up to the edge of the drawn circle; the tip of the folded paper plate is the center of the circle.
  4. Use another paper plate to hold 2-5 dabs of paint. Kids will be dipping cotton swabs in the paint.

Painting & gluing

  1. Draw a small circle of glue around the center dot.
  2. Have kids dip a cotton swab tip in paint. Carefully lay the stick end on the glue circle and the painted end facing out from the center.
  3. Continue to place 5-8 cotton swabs around the center, painted ends facing out like hands on a clock.
  4. When the inside circle is complete, make a ring of glue dots on the circle you traced. Dip the swab tip in paint, and lay the end onto a glue dot, with the painted tip facing out. Continue around the circle.
  5. To fill out the burst, glue another ring of swabs in the open spaces between the first and second rings. Have kids create small fireworks to fill the page.