Not only did the project need to be a lamp, but it also had to follow a "patriotic theme". Phew, this was going to be more difficult than I anticipated. Here is what I came up with for the lamp.
So, in place of sand dollars I had each child paint their own star red or blue. The stars are made out of Sculpey. I used a star cookie cutter and punched a hole in the middle as well before I put them in the oven to harden. Once that was done the kids could paint them. Then I added a few finishing touches and sealed them with epoxy to give it that shiny glass look. Next, I needed to thread the stars on the base, but I didn't want them to stack right on top of each other so I used PVC pipe sections as spacers. All it took was a couple coats of silver spray paint to make it blend in with the base of the lamp. Once the stars were stacked I finished the lampshade off with a blue grosgrain ribbon.