Holiday celebrations are among the most impactful memories of childhood, but not all receive the attention they deserve. Such is often the case for Memorial Day, which is an important occasion but doesn’t necessarily receive as much pomp and circumstance as the 4th of July. That needs to change, as Memorial Day should encourage us to honor those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe.

Show your kids that this holiday matters with craft projects that capture the spirit of this special occasion. Keep in mind that many Memorial Day crafts can be reused in a little over a month, when July 4th once again encourages you to show off your patriotic side. The supplies are affordable, with many available on Amazon, at local craft stores, or even in your own home. Add these essentials to your DIY itinerary: 

Front Door Decor

Keep your first Memorial Day simple: a decked-out door that captures the spirit of the holiday. This means lots of red, white, and blue, plus a sign wishing guests all the best on Memorial Day. Depending on your front door, you might even be able to use wall decals, which are extraordinarily easy to apply and remove — and apply again in time for the Fourth of July. Otherwise, you can always hang a wreath, which we’ll explain in more detail below.

Patriotic Wreaths

Wreaths shouldn’t just be for Christmas. If you have a rotating collection, you can amplify your display with a patriotic version that brings your porch alive with red, white, and blue. DIY wreaths are especially appealing; these may feature pom poms, ribbons, or small flags.

No matter how you prefer to decorate it, a simple wreath form will provide the structure for this craft. Depending on the embellishments, they may be attached with hot glue or simply by tying them artfully to the wreath form and securing with its branches.

DIY Flag T-Shirt

Decor matters, of course, but it’s also time to start planning an outfit for your Memorial Day BBQ. When in doubt, go DIY with a brightly-colored T-shirt that’s bound to attract attention. This flag craft is as fun as it is practical: simply use fabric paint, craft sponges, and star stickers to make your own flag. Tie-dye is also an excellent T-shirt option. Accumulate enough of these shirts over time, and you could even create a T-shirt quilt to display at future Memorial Day celebrations. 

Red, White & Blue Pinwheels

Few kids’ crafts are as simple or as patriotic as classic pinwheels. These seriously cute accessories make for excellent party decor but are also fun to play with. Head to your local craft or scrapbooking store to pick up a few pieces of construction paper or brightly-colored cardstock. Printable solutions will help you cut these to size. Brightly colored pencils can form the basis for these pinwheels; simply pin the artfully cut (and folded) paper squares to the pencils’ erasers.

American flag pinwheel for Memorial Day.

american flag pinwheel” by sashafatcat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

American Flag Wood Pallet

If you have any pallets sitting around, you might as well put them to good use with this American flag craft, which makes for an excellent upcycling project. Invest in spray paint, along with wooden stars and high-quality glue.

Use templates or a photo of the American flag as a guide while you spray paint the pallet boards in alternating red and white stripes. Don’t forget the blue section in the upper lefthand corner, where you can attach a few spray-painted stars.

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Fallen Soldier Terrarium

Potentially the most personally meaningful of the patriotic crafts on this list, a terrarium can be as classy and solemn as you desire. When in doubt, opt for a glass container with a wide mouth. Large Mason jars work wonders, although fish bowls and some vases are also acceptable. A blend of vines, moss, and ferns will have your terrarium looking lush.

Real plant life is the most visually appealing, but plenty of people successfully display faux terrariums. Next, find a tasteful way to memorialize those you’ve lost: add a small figurine of a soldier, for example, or dog tags and other meaningful mementos.

Wooden Uncle Sam

This lighthearted art project is a great option for little kids who can make the most of popsicle sticks while creating a whimsical take on Uncle Sam. Paint the popsicle sticks red, white, and blue. Then, using a glue gun, attach the extra unpainted popsicle sticks to the colorful ones to form the striped hat.

Cut a paper plate into the shape of a C, along with an exaggerated paper mustache and a small foam nose. Glue these — along with googly eyes — to an unpainted expanse of popsicle sticks to create Uncle Sam’s face.

Outdoor Memorial Day Signs

Use simple signs to remind friends, family members, and neighbors that Memorial Day is around the corner. These can be made with cardstock or posterboard if you want to get kids involved, although these types of signs will be strictly temporary. Grab some paint and get those little hands working.

If you’re feeling ambitious and want to display something you can keep outside for a while, up the ante with a rustic chic sign cut from scrap lumber. Sand the board, prime it, and stain or paint before adding decals featuring bald eagles or other evocative images.

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Memorial Day Centerpiece

Do you have a special meal or picnic planned for Memorial Day? Give this occasion a boost with a colorful centerpiece that will get guests talking. This could be as simple as filling Mason jars with colorful carnations, plus tiny American flags. For a tastier take on your Memorial Day centerpiece, place red, white, and blue candies in a simple jar. Better yet, use these candies to anchor a few of the aforementioned Memorial Day pinwheels.

American Flag Candleholder

Another essential decoration for any Memorial Day meal, this candleholder is simple yet impactful. It’s a great option for an evening or nighttime event. All you need is a simple glass container, plus Mod Podge and tissue paper in patriotic colors.

Cut the tissue into small stars or other shapes before attaching it to the outside of the glass jar with Mod Podge. Add a second layer of glue and allow it to dry. Place a small, battery-operated candle inside and turn it on in time for the evening festivities. 

Celebrate Memorial Day with Cardboard Cutouts

As you expand your holiday crafting itinerary, don’t hesitate to turn to helpful resources for support so you can level up your Memorial Day celebration. Custom cardboard cutouts, in particular, are worth exploring, as these help you pay homage to loved ones who have served.

The team at Cardboard Cutout Standees can help you create tasteful, highly meaningful displays that you will be proud to show off. Contact us today to get started.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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