Patriotic Busy Bag

by Noreen Doll.

A patriotic busy bag is nice to have on hand for holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day.

Patriotic Busy Bag - Crafty Journal
It’s easy and inexpensive to make and small to store.

The contents can be used for more than making a U.S.A. flag.  You can cut a large circle or bell shape, which can also be decorated with the red, white and blue decorations.

For artistic purposes I am only using 7 stripes and 12 buttons, because the small size of the flag would look odd with too many thin stripes. And it would be too difficult for very small children to manage.

For older kids, you could have them cut 7 red stripes and use 50 white buttons or stars to make a proper flag.

What You Need

For very young children, small pieces may look like a snack, so be sure to keep a close eye on them when they are using this.

Felt in Red, White, and Blue

Stars or Buttons in Red, White, and Blue

White Poster Board or Card Stock

Cardboard from a Cereal or Cracker Box

Tacky Glue

Ruler, Pencil, and Scissors

What You Do

1. Cut to size 5 1/2 inches x 8 inches:

1 piece of white felt

1 piece of white poster board or card stock

1 piece of cereal box cardboard

2. Glue the white poster board to the colored side of the cereal box cardboard, using tacky glue. Spread the glue thinly over the entire surface.

3. Glue the white felt to the white poster board using the tacky glue. Spread the glue thinly over the poster board.

Place the board between sheets of waxed paper under a heavy book until it is completely dry.

4. Cut stripes from the red felt. You need 2 that are 3/4 inch wide x 8 inches long.

You need 2 that are 3/4 inch wide x 4 1/4 inch long.

A piece of white chalk is helpful for marking your cut lines on dark colors.

5. Cut a rectangle from the blue felt that is 3 inches x 3 3/4 inches.

6. To make a flag, place the blue rectangle on the upper left corner of the white board.

Place the two short red stripes beside it, with a white stripe between the two red and a white stripe below the bottom red one.

Put the two longer stripes below the blue rectangle.

Add the white buttons to the blue rectangle.

Variations for the Patriotic Busy Bag

Form the white buttons in a circle on the blue field, similar to the Betsy Ross flag.

Cut a white circle, bell, or other shape and decorate with the red and blue stripes and buttons.

Make a Tic Tac Toe game with the red stripes and use red and blue buttons for the playing pieces. Or you can make the game on the circle instead.

Another fun variation would be to use miniature marshmallows and red licorice for the stars and stripes!


Craft foam also works well for this project, and may be easier for younger children to handle than felt.

Put the leftover scraps of felt or foam in the patriotic busy bag to be used for other patriotic decorating.

Cut other shapes from the red and blue felt for more play fun.

Noreen Doll

Crafty Journal

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  1. Thank you for participating in Show Your Stuff Blog Hop, You are invited to come back:

  2. This is a great idea and so cute. I might just use it for a craft idea for the kids to make their own flags with felt but I’m always looking for new busy bag ideas for me to make too. Thanks!

  3. What a fabulous idea. I love it.

  4. This is such a great idea!! So glad you linked up at the Summer Fun Party!!


  5. Love the tictactoe :)

  6. Great ideas!! I will have to do this with my little ones! :) Thanks!

  7. Eva Scott says:

    Awww, this is a really cute busy bag!

  8. Tara@Tales of a Trophy WIfe says:

    What a fun(and patriotic ) idea.

  9. So clever and timely with the 4th just around the corner. Thanks for sharing this week on BeColorful.

  10. This is such a fun craft for kids! I’m going to dig out my felt and let my daughter make this. Thanks so much for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  11. Love it!

    I would love for you to link this to my Flaunt It Friday link party! Also, follow my new blog Blissful Bucket List! :)

  12. Darling. i’d like to make one with my granddaughter… take care, Linda

  13. What neat festive ideas! So glad you linked this to Things I’ve Done Thursday!

  14. What a fun flexible idea! I love felt!

  15. Lots of creative kid fun here! I love the different variations. Thanks for linking to Bloggy Olympics!

  16. What a great idea! Busy bags are always a great idea and this one is so cute! Thanks for linking to.the bloggy Olympics!

  17. SUPER CUTE! Crossing my fingers you share this at my party!!! Saturdays at Seven!

    XO, Aimee

  18. Perfect idea for the kids! Just right for the season, too: red white and blue :)
    Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create!
    <3 Christina

  19. easy peasy, my daughter would love to do this together.

  20. This is great! I’d love for you to share this on Tuesday’s Tidbits @ Naptime Delights: so much!

  21. What a great idea for little hands to keep busy!
    thanks for sharing at tip toe thru tuesday!

  22. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing on our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. Hope you come back next week. -The Sisters

  23. This is so great! Looks like you had lots of fun creating all this!

    Thanks so much for sharing at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality! I can’t wait to see what you link up this evening! :)

  24. Such a cute idea for summer crafts. Thanks so much for stopping by Creative Thursday last week. I couldn’t do these parties without you. Can’t wait to see what you link up this week. Have a great week.

  25. Oh how fun! My daughter would have so much fun with this. Thanks for sharing at our Pinteresting Party.

  26. wonderful idea! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

  27. Thank you for participating in Show Your Stuff Blog Hop, You are invited to come back:

  28. Thanks for linking up at DIY Thrifty Thursday! I’m featuring you project on July 3rd in a special Independence Day spotlight! Stop by and check it out!

  29. That is very patriotic indeed. I’m going to Google+ this post right now.

    Thanks for linking up to Say G’day Saturday. This week’s post is now live so I hope that you can join in again this weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  30. What a great idea. I love that it gives a great opportunity to learn about the flag as well as keep them busy! My daughter would love this!
    Just so you know, I featured you on today’s Show Off Saturday

  31. Thanks so much for sharing at Naptime Delights! I hope to see you again tomorrow!


  32. austine says:

    What a great project.

  33. You’re a STAR today over at I Gotta Create! Your lovely July 4th project is in the Star-Spangled feature lineup. Thanks so much for linking up!

    <3 Christina

  34. Loving this! My boys would get a kick out of it, I might have to try to put one together today for them :)
    Thanks for linking up at the Summer Fun Party, I wanted to let you know that as a Co-Hostess I featured you today on my blog. Head over and check it out, and be sure to grab your “I’ve Been Featured” button :)

    Have a great 4th of July!

  35. Love your ideas! Thank you for sharing :) Adding your projects to my 4th of July Pinterest board:

  36. what a great idea!

  37. What a fun idea!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!

  38. Love this idea! Just pinned :)

  39. Fun idea!

    Sharon and Denise

  40. What a fun idea! Love the simplicity and the fun factor! : ) Catherine

  41. Very cute! My children like to do this with construction paper, but it’s really nice with the felt for my youngest- I can’t wait to try! Thanks for the idea:)

  42. How cute! My son is almost three. I think this would be good to have on hand for the end of summer. thanks for sharing

  43. What a beautiful project! And great tutorial! Hugs, Maria

  44. What a great idea! I’m going to have to have my little bear make a flag or two.


  45. So cute! I love these ideas.

  46. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this busy bag! Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t wait to use it during the week of the 4th of July for learning time! Just fabulous! I’m super excited I was able to find you!

  47. This is such a great idea!! It’s great to bring to the parades, since there a lot of waiting time.

  48. What a cute and fun idea! I’m sure my little boy would love making this. Thank you for sharing!

    Hope you’re having a great day!


  49. This is a great project for kids! Thanks for sharing at TTF.


  50. Hi Noreen! This is a great idea for kids! I hopped over from 36th Avenue – hope you have a great weekend!

  51. Terrific! I love things that cause kids to be creative, and especially those things that are, as we teachers call it, open ended meaning there are no limits. Our society and it’s business of games and toys just doesn’t provide enough opportunities for kids to be creative. Many think they have to “entertain” kids instead. So enJOYed this post. Keep up the good work.

  52. HOW CUTE! Thanks for sharing!


  53. Thanks so much for sharing this at Fidlin’ Fridays! What a cute fun idea!

  54. How cute is this? It’s such a great idea – we’d love for you to show it off at Super Sunday at Who Needs a Cape?

    Saw you at Saturday Spotlight

  55. What a fun idea! I still enjoying playing tic-tac-toe so I’m all in with this project. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday at Organized 31.

  56. I love how there are three activities in one in this patriotic busy bag! Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library.

  57. Thanks again for sharing your post. Now if I could only spell things correctly! 😀

  58. Still SO CUTE!

    Hope you come back next week with more!

  59. This is such fun projects to do with the kids! Thanks for sharing. Hope to see you again soon!

  60. GREAT idea!!!
    I’ll be featuring you this week @ Inspire Me Fridays.

  61. Congratulations! This post was picked by co-host Kim and is featured over at Diana Rambles today and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, Shared on FB, and Recommended on G+.

  62. I love this! A great thing to keep in my purse for restaurants.

  63. I love your idea of a Patriotic Busy Bag! It looks like so much fun and is educational too. Thank you for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday. This post will be featured in our 4th of July round-up.

  64. Clever idea!

  65. Very cute idea!!
    I would love if you come link up tomorrow at the Monday party!

  66. Hey, just in time for 4th of July! Thanks! I’m off to pin your link.

  67. What a great busy bag! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  68. Great idea! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura

  69. This is such a neat project. It would be fun to do with the grands.

  70. This looks really nice. :)

  71. Jann Olson says:

    Fun ideas for the 4th! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  72. Such a fun idea! The possibilities are endless for every holiday by using different colors! Thanks for sharing at the Creative Inspiration party, hope to see you again next week.

  73. How fun!! What a great thing to take along on a road trip, or just for some fun when camping, etc. I love it!

  74. Hello beautiful! This looks so amazing. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7pm because we love to party with you! Happy Memorial Day! Lou Lou Girls

  75. Super cute! I wish my kids would get into busy bags/boxes. They just want to throw the contents around all over the place. :)

  76. Such a cute idea!

  77. Heather Hennessee says:

    Cute idea!

  78. Such a cute idea! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

  79. What a cool idea, This will sure keep the kids busy. Thanks for linking up this week on the #HomeMattersParty. Looking forward to seeing what you link up next week.

  80. What a cute idea!! Thanks for sharing this at Bewitchin’ Projects block party! I hope you will join us agin this Sunday!!

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