If the 4th of July is hot as Hades where you live, like it is here in Georgia, you’re thinking about indoor Independence Day celebration ideas. I love outdoor 4th of July party styling as much as the next girl, but I can’t with the heat. So, my girls and I came up with the idea of an indoor 4th of July ice cream social for a few of their besties.
Party inspiration can come from ANYWHERE and for me, it all started with red buffalo check placemats from Tuesday Morning. (RIP.) I also found blue and red plaid appetizer plates and wanted to use them with the placemats, but knew it could be too much plaid. That meant keeping the rest of the décor on the quiet side. I just didn’t know how we’d do that.
Baby A and I headed to WalMart for supplies and inspo. We got so lucky and found practically the same red check in Waverly fabric yardage. Plus, wood cutlery and napkins in the same pattern from the Celebrate line. Tone-on-tone became our plan!
See my past 4th of July tables for more styling ideas:
- Blue gingham 4th of July kids’ table
- Stars and stripes 4th of July party
- All 4th of July recipes and decor content
We also picked up ice cream toppings, cones, cookies for making ice cream sandwiches, and the cutest metal buckets. (More on those later.)
Toppings for your ice cream social
Our ice cream toppings included:
- Mini Reese’s Cups
- Mini Oreos
- Mini M&Ms
- Gummy bears
- Planter’s Peanuts
- Caramel sauce
- Maraschino cherries
- Whipped cream
- Blackberry and Shirley Temple sodas for making floats
We also had bananas on standby if anyone wanted to make a banana split.
How to keep ice cream cold at your ice cream social
We bought Tillamook ice cream in 1.5 quart containers because the cylinder was the perfect fit for our metal buckets, but it was really tasty and now I can’t stop eating the leftovers.
Fill the containers with a thin ice pack and ice. (We used these ice packs originally at our Sweet 16 Boho Picnic Party and they work great.) The wood risers kept the cold buckets from damaging the wood sideboard.
How cute is Baby A’s lettering on the ice cream buckets?! I wish I had her lettering skills!
We also used a metal tray filled with ice and topped with a ceramic platter to keep our ice cream sandwiches cold and it worked like a charm. (The star sandwiches are WalMart finds.)
Decorating for your ice cream social
The way I make mini parties work for my time available and budget is to mainly re-use what I already have in new ways. Yes, I added a few things (buckets, placemats, appetizer plates, fabric, napkins and cutlery) but the rest came from my party stash.
- Sparklers from last year’s party (I used them as a table runner.)
- Felt ball garland
- Letter banner
- Paper fans
- Small and large parfait glasses
- Coke float glasses for our flowers
- Gold frame (originally used at our Country Karaoke Party)
- Risers for ice cream buckets (from our High School Graduation Party)
- White bowls holding toppings
- Gold spoons (from our Bowling Party)
- Red ice cream bowls (from our blue gingham 4th of July table)
- Cookie jars to hold our cake cones and sugar cones
Baby A and B did a great job setting the table. One of the joys of starting The Party Teacher is how many fun projects the girls and I have created together. I love that they’ve caught the hosting bug and it’s something we can share.
4th of July ice cream social backdrop
Creating the backdrop is really easy. Take a piece of foam core board that fits a large frame. (My frame came from Hobby Lobby on a 40% off day.) Lay the foam core board on your fabric. Wrap the fabric tightly around the board and secure with packing tape. Fit the board in the frame and tape it to the back of the frame.
Once the frame was in place, I used red push pins to spell out Happy Fourth. Around the frame, we hung paper fans using 3M Command Strip Mini Decorating Clips. Then I draped a felt ball garland across everything. Layers, folks. I love some layers.
The best part of a little get-together like this is just being able to see your kids with their friends. I’ll miss being that fly on the wall once the girls are off to college.
- Party styling and photography: The Party Teacher
- Thin ice packs: Amazon
- 3M Command Strip Mini Clear Decorating Clips: Amazon
- Waverly red buffalo check fabric: WalMart
- Celebrate red buffalo check napkins: WalMart
- Celebrate red buffalo check wood cutlery: WalMart
- Red letter banner letters: Paper Love
- Red paper fans: Paper Love
- Metal ice cream buckets with chalkboard: WalMart
- Metal tray: Amazon