Powder Horn

Paper powder horn craft
Click the image above to view or print the pattern and instructions for this craft.


The soldiers of the Revolutionary War carried a gun called a musket.  The musket had to be loaded with gunpowder and a lead ball each time it was fired.  A musket was not very accurate.  It couldn’t hit a target that was further than 100 yards away.  When the soldiers came upon enemy soldiers, they would form several rows of long lines.  The first row would fire at the enemy.  The enemy soldiers, standing in the same formation, would fire back.  The survivors would go to the back to reload their muskets while the next row of soldiers took a shot at the enemy.  Each soldier carried a powder horn to hold their gunpowder.  The powder horn was usually made from the horn of a cow, buffalo, or ox.  When soldiers rested at camp, they carved their name, designs, and patriotic sayings into their powder horn.

Your students can create their own paper powder horn.  Since the Revolutionary War was a brutal battle that eventually led to America’s independence from British rule, this project will remind students of all of the brave citizens who risked their lives for freedom.  We never want to lose our freedoms, because it’s hard to get them back.

Waste Not Quilt

Make a Colonial American quilt using old paper scraps.
Click the image to view or print the template and instructions for this craft.


Colonial American women didn’t invent quilts, but they certainly made a lot of them.   Quilts were used on beds to keep family members warm.  They were also used to cover windows and doors during the cold winter months.  Because there were no stores, quilters had to be innovative with their materials.  Old clothes and other textiles (like curtains and bedspreads) were used to make patchwork quilts.  A patchwork quilt was made by stitching small scraps of fabric together to make a large piece of fabric.  The large patched together piece was used as the front of the quilt.  Then padding (possibly an old bedspread) and a backing were added.  Nothing went to waste.  There were no garbage cans in Colonial times.  People used their resources wisely.

When you make this craft with a group of students, you can request that each student bring in a paper product they had planned to throw away or recycle.  Students can sit on the floor in a circle with the paper scraps in the center of the circle.  Each student should have a copy of the quilt grid, a scissors, a ruler, a pencil, and a glue stick. 

After everyone completes their piece of the quilt, you can attach them to a bulletin board to make a large classroom quilt.

There will be students who complain about the amount of wasted paper scraps that weren’t used in the quilt.  To make sure you waste nothing, make handmade paper with the remaining scraps.