Uncle Sam wants you...to have a Happy Fourth of July

I love Independence Day, not only for all that it represents, but also because it has always been my first official taste of summer. As a kid, there was no better feeling than running happily through the back yard, smelling the burgers sizzling on the grill, playing with my friends, and begging for the box of sparklers to finally be opened. In preparing for my own Fourth of July festivities, I was inspired to make this Uncle Sam decoration out of one of my favorite craft supplies---a simple toilet paper roll.

You can access the template for everything you need to make your own Uncle Sam here.




-Toilet paper tube or paper towel tube

-Paper (Red, Blue, White & Pink)

-Scissors or a paper cutter

-Hot glue gun or tape


-3 small pom poms or cotton balls

-Small star punch or stencil




I started with Uncle Sam's hat. There are four components -- the hat top, hat brim, hat body, and star trim. The hat top and brim can easily be traced onto your paper of choice. For the hat body, you can trace the template shape onto red or white paper. Cut out and attach small strips of the opposite color making a striped pattern. I used an adhesive paper for my strips, and it made assembly really easy. For the star trim, I used a star punch on white adhesive paper to make my own star stickers, and applied them to the royal blue paper.

I first secured the hat body, using my glue gun, about 1/4 inch from the top of the tube to help with proportions. Then I pulled the hat brim over the paper tube. It should stay on the tube by itself without any glue or tape. Next, I attached the star trim just above the hat brim with my glue gun. Finally, I attached the top. All you need is patience and a lot of tape. Another set of hands helps, too.

Next, I sketched the eyes and smile on my pink adhesive paper. My punch for the stars included a crescent moon shape. I trimmed down two of the moon punches to make Uncle Sam's eyebrows. I secured the face with my hot glue gun, and then attached the pom poms directly to the paper tube.

After the face was complete, I cut out two squares of white paper, and added small slices to give texture. You can fold alternating pieces of the strips, or curl them with scissors like grosgrain ribbon to give him more personality. Secure the hair just below the hat brim.


Next I assembled his shirt. I started with a square of blue paper, and secured it with my glue gun just below the face. I traced the bow-tie in red paper, and attached it just below the beard. To make the lapels, I made two rectangles of red and white striped pieces, trimmed them into triangles, and added a curve at the top. There is lots of liberty with paper color and lapel shape in this step. I also attached the lapels with my glue gun.

Finally, I used a large piece of red paper, and smaller strips of white adhesive paper to make the pants. I secured them just below the blue shirt, and they extended about an inch below the edge of the tube.

Uncle Sam and I wish you the happiest Fourth of July!!!