Last year, we learned an important lesson on the 4th of July: our puppy is completely terrified of fireworks. The girls and I had been away the year before, and Don told us she was scared, but we didn’t appreciate just how scared she was until we saw it for ourselves. The poor dog tried to hide in the refrigerator. So, we all know that our plan for this year will be a quiet night at home, comforting the dog. But that doesn’t mean we won’t do the 4th of July in style!
Since my focus will be on the dog, I need my dessert table to be easy. That means easy to decorate and easy to prep.
- I draped the center of my dessert table with fabric positioned vertically. I chose a 60-inch wide blue gingham, and folded it in half to form a 30-inch wide runner. Just fold under any raw edge on the side of the fabric. Hot glue large red pom fringe to the front edge.
- On the window above the dessert table, I positioned two sets of Command Strip hooks. Then, I just criss-crossed set sets of tissue garland. (I got my tissue garland at the dollar store — never again. The tassels were so crushed, that we had to try to press out the wrinkles. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. Try Etsy instead. If you want to make your own, just follow the steps in this tutorial.)
- I always recommend that if you’re building a serving pieces collection, you start with white. It works for every occasion. But, I do have a few colored serving pieces in my collection, and I pulled out my red cake stand and cupcake stand for this party. (They are from an Etsy shop that has since closed.)
Holidays are a great time to visit the Target bakery. If you are cutting it too close with your party planning to order from an Etsy baker or if you just want your party to be a little less expensive, shopping locally is the way to go. Here’s what I picked up:
- Vanilla cake with vanilla bean frosting
- Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes
- Star sugar cookies with blue sugar sprinkles
- Mini soft sugar cookies with red frosting
- Peanut and regular M&Ms in red, white and blue
When you’re using store-bought treats, it’s nice to dress them up a bit.
- To the cake, I added two types of bows from Target’s gift wrap aisle; to my eye, they looked like fireworks.
- I wrapped the Izze soda bottles with leftover scrapbooking paper, then attached navy chevron straws with red, white and blue striped washi tape. To each straw, I added a felt star. The straws were leftover from my Royal Wedding Viewing Party, and everything else came from my scrapbooking stash.
- I had intended to top the cupcakes with the blue star cookies, but the cookies were bigger than my imagination allowed for. Instead, I topped each cupcake with mini paper flags from my 4th of July decor tote.
To make sure my dessert table and dining table look like they belong together, I repeated decor elements between the two tables.
- Instead of a tablecloth, I used more blue gingham as table runners. Just criss-cross two-yard cuts of fabric to create four place settings. If you need more place settings, fold your fabric into thinner sections, and add one more runner to create two additional places.
- On the chairs, I used the same tissue tassels that create the dessert table backdrop. You can keep the tassels in place with a drop of glue.
- I created a low centerpiece with white and red flowers, then popped in two Americans flags.
- The plates and red bowls are melamine, so they’re also great for outdoor parties. I pull them out every 4th of July. To vary the look each year, I change up the napkins, silverware and accessories. This year, I found American flag cookies, and put one at each place.
- To each place setting, I added a mini flag, bubble wand, scavenger hunt list, and mini lantern. (While I put candles in the lanterns, I never light candles on a table that’s just for kids.)
So that’s it: quick to set up, inexpensive to decorate. Just the way I like to celebrate my holidays — because who needs to work hard on your holiday?! The big plus this year was that Baby A wanted to learn how to iron (whaaat?), so she ironed the gingham fabric and then set the places following a photo I’d snapped of my sample place setting. She’s caught the party bug!!!!!
- Party styling and photography: The Party Teacher
- Silverware, napkins and plates: WalMart
- Gingham fabric: Fabric.com
- All desserts: Target bakery
- Mini lanterns, bubble wands, scavenger hunt list, flags: Target dollar spot