4th of July Decorating
Every year I try to do something a little different for the 4th of July holiday. Of course there are certain decorations that my family is used to and have they have become tradition. They are silly things like star confetti on all the tables and weighted bursts of wired stars that look very festive. I have a couple of baskets painted in red and blue with white stars and of course the summer DVD’s are in them, the boxes of sparklers or the hot dog buns, depending on what’s going on! But you know what? It doesn’t matter what the items are, it’s that they make us feel like something special is going to happen, and something usually does.
So, this year, if you don’t have those holiday traditions in place, or if you are considering adding to them, here are some ideas to try.
This patriotic wreath was easy to pull together and I’ve used it as a wall hung wreath with the flags, without the flags and even as a centerpiece on a table!
To make this simple wreath you need just a few materials:
Flags, size of your choice
A garland or sprig of greens
A wire wreath frame
A garland of sparkling stars
1. I started with a sprig of greens so I cut it down to individual stems using a wire cutter and began to weave the stems into the wore wreath frame. To make sure they stayed in place, I used a little bit of florists wire.
2. You want to make sure you add enough greens to really fill in the wire frame. Notice that it isn’t a perfect circle…that’s OK; it just makes it look more interesting I think.
3. Unwind the star garland and either wrap it around the entire frame or use the florist’s wire to attach it to the top of the wreath all the way around. Keep it loose and less structured. Then simply add the flags by weaving them through the back of the wire wreath frame or wiring them in place.
For a centerpiece I set the wreath down in the center of the table and added a glass bowl filled with sand and off white and white candles. I suppose red, white and blue candles would be nice in here as well! Notice the star confetti on the table…I told you, anything new will be accepted if the old still remains!!
Or, if you want to be more patriotic with the wreath in the centerpiece, add a tall white vase stuffed with red or blue tissue paper and add those flags back into the equation!
Setting the 4th of July Table
A great centerpiece is a good start to a pretty holiday table. For 4th of July, one of our more casual holidays, I like to keep things inexpensive and simple. Here are a couple of ideas that might work for your next celebration!
Using the centerpiece above, mix in red placemats, white dinnerware (or paper plates) and don’t be afraid to used paper towels and paper napkins.
A short piece of stars and stripes wired ribbon can dress up even the most mundane white paper towel. Since 4th of July feasts can be gooey and messy, I double up. On the outside I use a colorful holiday dinner napkin but on the inside I add another layer or two of white paper towels. This gives my guests ample space to wipe up the bar-b-que sauce!!
This festive table setting is put together with three easy pieces. The center piece, number 1, is nothing more than a white vase filled with red silk hydrangeas. If you prefer, red geraniums would be wonderful. I have a brown thumb so I stay away from live plants if I can!
The second piece is the table setting. Here I layered two placemats, white and red. I purchased beautifully printed paper plates, a blue and white toile and a red and white polka dot. Mixing them together was fun and just a little different from stars and stripes all the time. The blue paper napkin is dressed up with a distressed white metal star ornament I purchased at Christmastime!
Step three of this festive table setting is the stars hanging from the chandelier! I’ve done this with other designs for other holidays as well. I think it helps give the table setting some extra pizzazz if the decorations move up towards the ceiling. They are so much more dynamic than if it just includes the flat table top. Consider this or an idea like it for other holidays!
The hanging stars are easily put together by grabbing some red, white and blue craft foam, making a couple different sized star templates and cutting them out.
I used a needle and thread to create a hole in the top and bottom of the stars and simply threaded several of them together on one strand. I left enough at the top to tie the thread onto the chandelier and made a good thick knot at the bottom to hold the last star in place!
Interesting centerpieces can be inspiring, and this table setting gets most of its interest from the items sitting in the middle. Tall helps, colorful brings attention and regular household items can really shine in a gather arrangement like this one.
This centerpiece is a combination of items that can span the center area of the table. It consists of a red tray with a white seaside lantern with a starfish motif. The red candle is nice inside and it picks up the red in the vase of miniature American flags. Who says a vase has to hold flowers? There is a white vase of red geraniums just behind the tray and together this grouping helps make this table setting look special.
I did add some additional interest to the table setting with the wine glasses. Add water or lemonade, it doesn’t matter, but fan fold the pretty red napkins and stuff in a glittery star with your guest’s name if you like to make the whole experience more personal!
This adorable little ribbon bouquet centerpiece can be on a dining table or even just set on your outdoor coffee table to spread the holiday cheer. The ribbon flowers take just a few minutes to make and the rest of the materials are inexpensive and easy to find.
To make a centerpiece like this one you’ll need:
A container of your choice
Enough décor sand to fill it nicely
Various patriotic wired ribbons
Paper wrapped wire stems
Needle nose pliers
1. Cut a 30” strip of the wired ribbon and zigzag fold it in 1” folds starting by folding wrong sides together.
2. Using a needle and matching double thread sew through the lower edge of the ribbon, right in the middle, catching all the folds. Make sure not to pull so tight that you can’t create a circle. Test your tightness and then make a knot to hold the folds in place.
3. Use craft glue to glue the ends together.
4. Hold the ribbon flower in place with a paper clip so you can move on and make some more.
5. Cut an angled piece of ribbon for the leaf and glue it down a few inches on the stem. Once the leaf and the flower are dry, push the stem through the center hole in the flower and using a pair of needle nose pliers, create a circle large enough to keep the flower from pushing off. A bit of craft glue on the back where the stem pushes through will hold everything in place.
6. Fill up your container with enough sand to hold the ribbon flowers upright, and if you have any leftover ribbon, wrap it once around your container to tie everything together!
These ribbon flowers make cute napkin rings as well. You’ll need to add buttons and elastic hair bands to your list of materials to make the napkin rings.
Simply stitch the elastic hair band to a button large enough not to slide through the hole of the ribbon flower. Slide the hair band through the hold and slip the band over a napkin. Easy as apple pie! (Yes, this photo is blurry, it’s not you.)
In the end, they are really sharp looking and will add a lot to your holiday table.
Well, I hope some of the ideas here inspire you to try something a little different this year for the 4th.
I should mention that for more patriotic holiday ideas you might want to take a look at some of our seasonal Memorial Day articles. There are quite a few more ideas there that could work just as nicely in July!