Make a parchment and write out your own declaration of independence.
You can write out your own declaration for your classroom or family or you can write some of the text of the real declaration -- I suggest this line:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
- cold coffee or tea (about 1/2 cup),
- piece of white paper,
- string or ribbon.
- a blowdryer, and
- markers, paints or pens.
Text of the Declaration of Independence - USA (first two paragraphs)
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
- Take a piece of nice white paper and rip off all the edges (don't cut them with scissors, rip them!) If you rip the paper a bit more than you meant to, it's not the end of the world... It just makes the parchment look older.
- Crumple the paper up as tightly as you can into a ball.
- Flatten the paper out again and put onto a plate or cookie sheet. (if you haven't told the kids what you're doing, they'll start thinking you're really weird right about now).
- Pour coffee or tea over the paper. Swoosh around with your hands to make sure it covers everything.
- Let it sit for about 5 minutes (if you're doing it with a group of impatient crafters, you don't have to let it sit so long... 2 minutes is enough to give it some colour).
- Pour the coffee off into the sink.
- Blowdry with a hand held blowdryer on high for about 5 minutes (leave it sitting on the plate while blowdrying or it will tear to pieces). When it's pretty dry (and starts to lift a bit) switch the blowdrier to low to finish off (about another 2 minutes).
- Print your declaration.
- To finish off your document, roll it up and tie with a piece of wool or ribbon