How to make Bubble Wrap Painted Flag Art & “The Night Before the Fourth of July”

"The Night Before the Fourth of July" book with patriotic bubble wrap art

A Wonderful Book (Series) & Bubble Wrap Painted Flag Art

After reading Natasha Wing’s “The Night Before the Fourth of July” we decided to make some American Flags using Bubble Wrap! Have you tried painting with bubble wrap yet? There’s something about it that is just so satisfying. I have a feeling you’re gonna love it so, lets get started…

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Summary of “The Night Before the Fourth of July”

The Night Before the Fourth of July” is one of the books in a lovely series of “The Night Before…” books written by Natasha Wing. This one is illustrated by Amy Wummer. There is one for just about every holiday, and we love them all. They are all written in the melodic nature of the original “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore; which, fun fact (I just learned from google) 😉 was called “A Visit from St. Nicolas”.

A cheerful depiction of holidays and the traditions that usually go with them, they are a great read for kids of all ages. Definitely recommended.

How We Made Bubble Wrap Painted Flag Art…

"The Night Before the Fourth of July" open to a page showing parents putting a picnic blanket out and kids playing with sparklers. Our bubble wrap painted flag art.

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence.

For this very easy activity, we gathered the materials (paint + paper + bubble wrap) and quickly began our creative fun. We used white cardstock paper (which is thicker than regular printer paper and more rigid than construction paper); you can use whatever paper you prefer but I would recommend staying on the thick side when painting.

hand adding glitter to bubble wrap painted flag art.

Next, we cut the bubble wrap to be about the size of our paper – doesn’t have to be exact. Then after cutting another smaller piece and happily popping all of those bubbles (I mean, how could we not? lol). We placed the unpopped bubble wrap we bubble side up on the table and began painting. Our goal was to create American flag. However, my daughter had another idea, she made more fireworks (we had just made flower painted fireworks the day before, you can check them out here).

Side Note:

Remember, art is a creative process, if you’re kid has another agenda its okay. Its the process not the product, instead of looking at the art they are making, look at the expression on their face as they’re making it. Seeing your child’s eyes light up as they create their own idea of a masterpiece is what will help you surrender the thoughts you might have of what it “should” look like or be. Its taken me a long time to get to this point, I’m a control freak and have to keep myself in check especially when doing art, but this technique has helped and I hope if you’re like me that it helps you too! 🙂

Back to How We Made Bubble Wrap Painted Flag Art…

hand painting red stripes making bubble wrap painted flag art.

So the bubble wrap is bubble side up on the table and you begin painting right on the bubbles! That’s all there is to it. I mentioned that we like uncomplicated and that this was gonna be fun, didn’t I? 😉

We painted red lines on the bubbles for the stripes (we didn’t need any white because the paper is white and if blended with red you would have pink on your flag) just be sure to space them apart. And we painted a blue rectangle for the part where the stars go. Speaking of stars, we tried out an idea, gluing star sequins we had onto the paper beforehand. Honestly, it didn’t work out that well. The blue paint pretty much hid them and we all ended up using glitter instead.

finger adding silver star to white paper making bubble wrap painted flag art.

Note: keep in mind that because we’re making American flags and there is a particular layout that the blue rectangle you’re painting on the bubble wrap needs to be on the opposite side (right side) because when you press it onto the paper it will print in reverse. I would suggest making (or helping them make) the outline of the rectangle and having your child paint inside of it if you think that concept will be a challenge for them.

close up of bubble wrap painted flag art.

Lastly, place the white paper on top of your painted bubbles, hold it steady with one hand and press and smooth your hand over the entire paper so that all of the paint on the bubbles transfers onto the paper. Add glitter (especially to the blue part) to represent the stars. That’s it, you did it!

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making One Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

close up of bubble wrap painted flag art.

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. Maybe its what they imagined. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each flag has its own identity. I would suggest Bubble Wrap Painted Flag Art if you’re looking for a fun, easy, patriotic art activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “The Night Before the Fourth of July” by Natasha Wing (from the library or buy it here)
  2. White paper
  3. Red & blue paint
  4. Bowls to hold the paint
  5. Bubble wrap
  6. Paintbrushes
  7. Scissor
  8. Glitter
  9. Tray or newspaper to protect the work surface (*optional)
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Bubble Wrap Painted Flag Art?

  1. Cut the bubble wrap about the size of your paper (doesn’t have to be exact).
  2. Lay the bubble wrap (bubble side up) on the table.
  3. Squeeze each paint color into a bowl.
  4. Dip a paintbrush into the blue paint.
  5. Paint a blue horizontal rectangle on the top right side of your bubble wrap.
  6. Dip a paintbrush into the red paint.
  7. Paint thick lines onto the flag, leaving a thick space between one.
  8. When you are satisfied with your work, pick up the white paper and place it on top of your painted bubble wrap.
  9. Hold it steady with one hand and press and smooth your other hand over the entire paper.
  10. Carefully lift the white paper off of the bubble wrap to reveal the flag design.
  11. While the paint is still wet, shake some glitter on (especially on the blue rectangle to represent the stars).
  12. You did it! 🙂
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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