Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Little Miss Independence

Who doesn't just love the Fourth of July?  The cookouts, the fireworks, the prominent display of red, white and blue... It's a day that celebrates the strength and determination of the American people.  And this year, I am lucky enough to be spending this Independence Day in Washington, D.C., our nation's capital.  A Capitol Fourth is a concert on National Mall between the Capitol building and the Washington Monument, followed by an amazing fireworks show.  It's all free to the public, and kind of like the hot and humid version of New Year's Eve in Times Square.  I'm so excited.

So of course, I needed a fun, festive outfit, right?  I've seen some great flag tanks out there, but we are trying to cut some spending, so I decided to do what I always do: make it myself!  I found a great how-to from this blog and it turned out great!  Here's how I did it:
-I bought a plain white t-shirt from Walmart for about $3.50.  I traced out where I would cut the tank  before I started any painting.
-I used masking tape to lay out the stripes for the flag.  Painters tape would probably be better, but I didn't have any, and this worked fine.
-I taped two strips together for extra width, and drew stars along it.  
-I cut out the stars and placed them on the shirt in a flag arrangement.
-I used a sponge brush to carefully paint over the tape stencil.  I filled it in a little rough to give a bit of a worn, vintage look.
-Paint over the entire shirt and let dry.  I found that Tulip soft fabric paint works best, but even acrylic will work if that's all you've got.
-Let it dry, then peel off the tape.  It will most likely look pretty awesome.
-I cut the sleeves and neck out along where I had marked it with a pencil.
-Instructions to make the rest of the super easy, no-sew tank top can be found in my earlier blog post.
-I also cut the hem off the bottom, because I like the raw edge.  I cut it a little shorter in the front so that it had a slight high-low look.

I LOVE how it turned out and can't wait to wear it on Thursday!  I just wore a nude bandeau underneath, but a red or blue one or even a bikini top would be fine with it. 

I also thought a patriotic manicure was in order.  I played with a lot of ideas and searched for inspiration from fireworks to flags and stars to stripes, but I eventually decided on some sparkle.  

Here's what you do:

-Clean, file and buff nails so they are ready to paint. (Mine have gotten quite long lately since I am
not working in the cafe where I have to wash my hands 100000 times a day)
-Paint them whatever colors in whatever pattern you choose.  I picked the classic red, white and blue pattern.
-Then comes the fun part!  Three coats of glitter, each coat concentrated more on the tips of the nails.

Here's a close up look:

-1st coat: even layer of glitter polish.
-2nd coat: paint only about half of your nail.
-3rd coat: apply the glitter heavily to the tip.

This should achieve the glitter ombre effect.  I love it, and it sort of reminds me of Fourth of July sparklers! So fun!

Now I am all set to spend Independence Day on the steps of the Capitol building rocking the red, white and blue.  Whether you're barbecuing in the back yard, camping out at a lake, splashing around in the pool or playing with fireworks, there are lots of great ways to show your American pride this holiday.

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!


The tank was a hit! We had a great time at the barbecue we went to, enjoying the sunshine in National Mall, and watching the spectacular fireworks from the Jefferson Memorial. Hope your holiday was as great as ours! 


  1. You should become a props mistress. You're so good at this stuff and you should use your skills for theater!

  2. Such a great idea Sarah! I am so proud of you!!!

  3. Oh my gosh, that shirt is awesome! : ) I am going to have to try it.

    ~Sarah stopping by from...

  4. Flag is field should alway be on upper left no matter which way it is hanging

  5. Oh thanks Debbi, I never knew that! I placed the blue field so that if I laid on my right side, the flag would be oriented as if it were flown on a flag pole. Thanks for the info!