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.
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
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.