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Make a Liberty Bell in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

What does freedom mean to you? Make your own version of the Liberty Bell, and let freedom ring!

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Liberty Bell Craft

The Liberty Bell in the city of Philadelphia has been a symbol of freedom and independence since the Revolutionary War — but as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his most famous speech, for a nation to be truly free, all its people must be treated equally. In 1959, Martin Luther King Jr. laid a wreath at the Liberty Bell on National Freedom Day in remembrance of the abolition of slavery in the United States. 

Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, rang the Liberty Bell in 1986 as part of a ceremony to commemorate the ongoing struggle for freedom and social justice, echoing the phrase in Dr. King’s famous speech, “Let freedom ring!” Every year since then, the Liberty Bell has been part of an annual MLK Day tradition to honor African American freedom fighters and historical figures, including Rosa Parks (in 1988) and General Colin Powell (in 1996). 

What does freedom mean to you? Make your own version of the Liberty Bell, and let freedom ring!

What You’ll Need

  • Paper cup

  • Pencil

  • Wooden craft stick

  • 20-inch strip of ribbon

  • Paints and paintbrush 

  • Beads

How to Make It

  1. 1.

    Use a pencil to punch a small hole through the center of the bottom of the cup.

  2. 2.

    Paint the paper cup and popsicle stick using your favorite colors. Set them aside to dry.

  3. 3.

    Take your 20-inch strip of ribbon and fold it in half. Insert the ribbon through the hole in the paper cup and pull it through until the ribbon meets the rim of the cup.

  4. 4.

    Tie a knot in the ribbon on both sides of the hole so the cup hangs securely when you hold the end of the ribbon.

  5. 5.

    String some beads onto the ribbon at both ends, tying knots in between to keep them in place.

  6. 6.

    Slide the craft stick in between the ribbon over the hole at the bottom of the cup, and string one more bead on top to hold your craft stick in place.

  7. 7.

    Paint the words “Let Freedom Ring” on the side of your bell to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.