Welcome to part four of my Party Planning Challenge! We’re all planning our 4th of July parties together, a little bit every day, just in time for the 4th. Here are the first parts of our series:
- Party Planning Challenge – part one
- Party Planning Challenge – part two
- Party Planning Challenge – part three
We’re following the steps outlined in my 4-Week Party Planner, but I’m consolidating the steps in our series. But if I were you, I’d sign up to get a copy of the party planner for myself to use for planning any party.
Today, we’re talking about your 4th of July party place settings.
4th of July Place Settings
Whether you’re serving a meal indoors or outdoors, or just giving guests a place to sit and nosh, I think a pretty place setting is always worth the effort. So let’s assume you’re setting up some extra tables and chairs for the adults. Kids will happily eat on blankets picnic style. (Actually, one of our favorite things to do growing up was the living room picnic. Our dog was so well behaved, he’d sit on the edge of the blanket and patiently wait for his treats — which were served from a silver finger bowl. I wish I had video of it.)
I love vibrant colors, so creating a 4th of July place setting always makes me happy. This is a great time to layer your colors, and any order of colors works — you can’t make a mistake. I usually layer with tablecloth, maybe a placemat, charger, dinner plate, maybe a dessert plate, and mapper a topper. This post goes into more detail about building a place setting. Here are a few tips that apply to indoor or outdoor parties:
- Melamine plates are an inexpensive investment. You don’t have to worry about breakage, but you still get more stability than with paper plates. With the classic 4th of July colors, you’ll get years of use out of them, even if you change your other design elements from year to year. Hint: I’ve even found these at the dollar store and stocked up: check there first.
- One of my favorite ways to add some design to a table is by choosing a dessert plate from Create Ur Plate. You just choose a plate cling that matches your party theme, apply it either to their clear or plastic plates, and remove the cling after your party.
- Use real flatware. You can stock up on extra forks and make it much easier for your guests who won’t have to deal with flimsy plastic forks. Cost Plus World Market sells open stock forks, so you don’t have to buy a whole place setting just to get extra forks.
- Skip the red Solo cups. Here’s the thing with anything disposable: guests will go through them like wildfire. They’ll be half-full plastic cups all over your party. You can find plastic mason jars with handles and lids at the dollar store. Or, invest in some Le Cadeaux heavy duty plastic stemware. You’ll use them every year and they’ll be stunning on your table.
- Use real (not plastic) tablecloths. They just look better, plain and simple. They don’t turn see-through, they don’t have creases that you can’t iron out, you can re-use them and they wash up easily. No, you don’t just ball the up and toss them away at the end of the party, but washing them is so easy, why not elevate the look of your table with a fabric tablecloth? Find tablecloths and napkins inexpensively at Tablecloth Factory or Linen Tablecloth. If you’re using folding tables, chose a tablecloth size that will drape down the ground and hid the folding legs.
- Cloth napkins let you add fun patterns to your table setting. I love Etsy for hand-sewn napkins. Bandannas also might be cute for a casual 4th of July party.
- But, if you want the attention on a cute napkin ring, then choose a solid cloth napkin.
- For fun, add a little something on top of your place setting. Maybe it’s a river rock, personalized with a guest’s name, or simply with stars and stripes that your kids paint on. It could be a fan if your party will be outdoors. It could simply be a box of sparklers tied with a party favor tag and ribbon. Maybe it’s a star-shaped paper mache box that you fill with party favors. The “extra” doesn’t have to be a big DIY thing, but it can add impact.
So here are a few ideas about how to build a fun 4th of July place setting. These are elements you could mix and match year after year and never get tired of using. Add one or two new things each year — or replace one element — and you’ll have variety without the expense of replacing everything annually.
- Navy scalloped paper placemats
- Paper mache star boxes
- Cost Plus World Market forks
- Le Cadeaux blue stemware
- Red tablecloth
- Create Ur Plate
- Melamine Plate
- Sew Isaacson fabric napkins
Want more 4th of July tablescape inspiration? Here are some of my favorites.
Styling by Scheme Events; featured on Green Wedding Shoes
Featured on Talk of the House; original source unknown
There’s more to come this week! In the meantime, be sure to grab your 4-week party planning guide.