Today I’m sharing some 4th of July family party inspiration with you. This is how we set our table for Memorial Day this year, but everything we did would work just as well on the 4th of July. Since this was just for our small family, I kept things pretty simple and you could easily re-create everything I crafted to create your own stars & stripes 4th of July party.
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I always love the idea of a 4th of July picnic, but it’s so darn hot already that we tend to eat inside instead. It’s just easier. But my girls still associate eating in the dining room with holidays so that’s what we did — we decorated our dining room and that made it feel a little special.
Since my theme was stars and stripes, I started with some striped fabric and star fabric. These are both from Jo-Ann’s. They always have a good selection of inexpensive holiday fabrics, as does WalMart. Both fabrics are 44 inches wide and all I did was fold them to the appropriate size, iron in the creases, and then layer one fabric over the other.
For centerpieces, I pulled out my collection of white milk glass bud vases and added some simple grocery store flowers. (The vases are left over from my Nancy Drew Mystery Party back when the girls were 8 years old. I love being able to reuse party elements!) If you want to collect similar vases, try thrift stores, antique stores, Etsy and eBay.
The girls went with me to the grocery store, and together we picked white spider mums, baby’s breath, carnations, and a few white roses. They help me trim the flowers to size and we just put a few of each into the vases.
You know I’m all about a layering a table setting, so for each place, I started with a water hyacinth placemat (originally used in our Donut Hut Birthday Party). The navy blue melamine plates were a lucky Target find; these were on clearance for $0.50 each. Much party planner excitement! I always recommend melamine because It’s affordable, reusable and unbreakable.
On top of the navy plates I added these adorable stars and stripes dessert plates. You can find them on Amazon. The red striped fabric napkins are a casual French style that I know I’ll use again. They are from At Home. And the red handled silverware is super inexpensive and from Walmart.
I lucked into blue Jones soda at World Market; it’s a raspberry flavor. But my absolute favorites are the glass, star-shaped water cups. I absolutely adore them! The manufacturer has a variety of similar cups in different shapes like flamingos. They’re just too fun. I found mine at Tuesday Morning you can find some clearance on Amazon.
I wanted to include a little something on my table in case you have younger kids who might need a busy hands activity.
So I had the idea to create star wands and I’ll add the tutorial this week. Basically you buy wooden star wands, sticky gems and ribbon. Then all you need is your glue gun to attach the ribbons to your star wands. Let the kids decorate the wands with the gems however they want to. Don’t tell, but my teenagers had fun making their own star wands. Couldn’t get my husband to make one; go figure!
Wouldn’t these star wands be fun for the kids to wave at your town’s 4th of July parade?
Dessert Table BACKDROP
I kept our desserts pretty simple since it was just the four of us, but we did have fun creating the dessert table. I started with a new backdrop idea.
You may know I have a large mirror over my dining room sideboard that I would love to change out for anything else, but for right now, I’m stuck with this mirror that’s very heavy and hard to take off the wall when I want to redecorate.
To work around the mirror, I got a tension rod that I used previously in our Twins Top 10 Party and extended the rod the length of the mirror. Then I tied satin ribbon to the rod, using 4-inch red, 3-inch white, 1.5-inch white and 4-inch blue ribbon in a variety of lengths. I added those colors in a random pattern. The tension rod just rests on the top lip of the mirror. After I hung the rod, I added gold star ribbon just by tucking it in place.
I love how the ribbon backdrop turned out. You could create a similar idea inexpensively for any party just by using different colored ribbons.
DESSERT TABLE SPARKLER “RUNNER”
Keeping it simple, quick and easy doesn’t mean you can’t have fun so I bought 76(!) boxes of sparklers. They must’ve thought I was insane at the grocery store to buy so many sparklers. I arranged the sparklers in red, white and blue order on our sideboard to serve as a table runner of sorts. After dinner, everyone can grab a box of sparklers and light up the night.
And … I LOVE the wooden platters I found at the Target dollar aisle. The star shape and America shape were perfect for a patriotic celebration.
Our desserts were another group effort. I recently bought Cake by Courtney‘s new cookbook with all her amazing homemade cake recipes and I’m determined to follow her tips to become a better baker and cake decorator. It turns out my girls are also highly motivated by cake and they were all about helping make Courtney‘s strawberry cake. I can take absolutely no credit for the amazing frosting job Baby B did. I think she knocked it out of the park.
I added a few store-bought treats. I always think it makes sense to combine homemade and purchased treats on your dessert tables because doing it all yourself is an awful lot of work. I found absolutely darling stars and stripes petit fours at the grocery store that were meant to be arranged like a flag. So cute. And then we added mini red and blue frosted sugar cookies.
I also had the idea to re-create the Christmas Crack recipe we love so much in a 4th of July style. Now I’ve added sprinkles to Christmas Crack before for my daughters Middle School Graduation Party, but this time I used white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips so the sprinkles would pop. While I’m not normally a white chocolate person, this turned out fabulous. I’ll have the recipe up for you this week.
So that was our simple at home Memorial Day and I hope it gives you lots of great inspiration for your own stars and stripes 4th of July party. If you have any questions about how I styled this party, let me know and I’ll happy to answer in comments.
P.S. if you want to throw more parties at home for any occasion, check out The Party Course. The course teaches you how to quickly and easily plan all your own parties and sharers all my pro tips with you. The Party Course is newly updated and I can’t wait for you to check it out!
Party styling and photography: The Party Teacher
Stars and striped fabrics: Jo-Ann
Navy melamine plates: Target
Stars and stripes plates: Amazon
Red star glasses: Amazon
Wood star wands: Amazon
4-inch blue ribbon: Amazon
4-inch red ribbon: Amazon
3-inch white ribbon: Amazon
1.5-inch white ribbon: Amazon
Gold star ribbon: Amazon