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The 2016 Rio Olympics are a mere 8 days away and boy can you tell at the office. At the beginning of July we began a competition between departments judged on USA decorations and employees wearing red, white, and blue clothing. The competition so far has been fierce. We’re currently in fifth place with only one more judging day left.
Since I can’t go out and purchase a bunch of 4th of July decorations, I got creative with items from home. My inspiration for two of these projects came from a stack of cardboard strips that are meant for the bottom of box bottom filing folders. A friend had them lying around, not knowing what to do with them so I decided to try to turn them into an American flag.
For the American flag you will need:
- Cardboard Inserts
- Red, White, & Blue Paint
- Paint brush
- Hole Punch
- Super Glue or Hot Glue Gun
You’ll start by figuring out how big you want your flag to be and then how many cardboard inserts you will need. The flag should be similar to a 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 rectangle. Basically when you divide the height by the length you should get something between .6 and .7. My flag is 9 inserts high and 2 long or about 18″ high and 26″ long.
Once you have the size figured out you will need to measure and draw the lines for the stripes. There are 13 stripes and the bottom six cover the entire length. The blue portion is 7 stripes high and about ⅓ of the length. This part is a little tedious since there is some math involved and I know that isn’t everyone’s favorite subject. If you want to make it real simple you can make your flag 13 inserts tall, but it will probably need to be 3 inserts long.
Once everything is marked up, glue the inserts together on the short side. I used super glue for this part since it was dry so quickly. Next punch holes in the top and bottom of each strip, with the exception of the bottom of the bottom strip.
Now start painting! Remember the stripes start and end with red. As you probably know there are 50 stars total and they are in five rows of 6 stars and four rows of 5 stars. Once everything is covered and the paint is dry start tying the strips together. I left about ½” of hanging space between each strip. Cut a longer piece of string for the very top to hang it from. I’ve found that the flag hangs best when supported by two hanging points instead of one.
I’m quite proud of how this turned out. It’s nothing fancy, but I think it looks pretty darn cool.
The Olympic Rings are much simpler to make than the flag. You will need:
- Cardboard Inserts (at least 5)
- Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, & Black Paint
- Hot Glue Gun or Super Glue
For the rings you’ll start by painting one insert in each color. I made four sets of Olympic Rings so I painted all of them at the same time. Since most of the colors required two coats of paint, by the time I finished painting the fourth insert the first one was dry.
Once they are all dry you’ll glue the ends of each insert to itself, forming a circle. I used hot glue on these, mostly because I ran out of super glue, but it worked just as well. After the glue has dried you will need to cut slits in each ring so you can connect them all. I cut just over halfway through the ring. To mark where to make the cuts I set the green ring on top of the red where they should overlap and marked it with a pen. Connect all of the rings and you’re done!
In an attempt to get a few extra points last week I made mini cupcakes in the shape and colors of the Olympic Rings. Super easy, you just need frosting in Blue, Black, Red, Green, and Yellow. To have the rings overlap like the official design you will need to have one extra in blue and red. I had 12 Blue and 12 Red and 11 of the other colors. I think they would have looked a bit better if I had used more cupcakes, but I was having cupcake liner issues so my supply of cupcakes was a little low.
How are you celebrating the Olympics? What kind of USA decorations have you made at home? Let me know in the comments below!