It’s fun, it’s yummy, it’s all-American: yes, that’s right…it’s the traditional family-and-friends Fourth of July party! If you’re the host this year, we have all the best ideas to insure that your celebration skyrockets rather than fizzles. Here’s how to make sure you have a fabulous fourth this year.
Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue
- Your basic idea for décor is a no-brainer: red, white and blue! Use this classic combination for your party plates and cups and for the tablecloth.
- Balloons in red, white and blue are a classic Americana look that never gets old, so fill plenty and hang them around the party area.
- Hint: Buy a disposable helium tank and fill your balloons just before the party. That way you won’t need to drive home from the party store with balloons bobbing around the car and obstructing your vision.
- Streamers are another great addition to the all-American motif. Be sure to also sprinkle some confetti on the party table – silver works great for a really festive effect.
- Now add a centerpiece with a silver spray of decoration (for the “stars bursting in air”) in the middle of the table to top off the look. You can create your own centerpiece by covering a small jar or bottle in red or blue tissue paper, tying the mouth of the jar in red, white and blue ribbon and covering a star-shaped cookie cutter with aluminum foil to place on the top.
American Flag Party Invitation
You can easily find Fourth of July invitations at any party shop but why not have fun and make your own? Here’s how:
1. Find a simple clipart image of an American flag on the internet (look for “free clipart” sites or just browse).
2. Save the image and copy it into a Word or other similar program.
3. Turn the image upside-down so that the bottom edge of the flag is at the top edge of the page, with the page orientation vertical. (Be sure you’re working with a standard 8.5” X 11” document.)
4. Enlarge the image until it completely fills one-half of the page. Make sure the bottom edge of the flag is at the very top edge of the flag.
5. Print out your invitations using a color printer. You now have a flag that “stands up” when the card is open (with the open edges on a table surface). The card is oriented horizontally.
6. Write the party information on the inside or copy your document, remove the flag image and on the lower half of the page, type in your text. Place the already-printed flag invitations in your printer, make sure the orientation is such that the text will print out to be viewed when the invitation is opened (with the American flag open), and print.
Of course, if you have a cardmaking program, so much the better – you won’t have to worry about page orientation or size; the program will dictate all this for you. Either way, “hand”-making your own party invitations is very special, and something your guests will love!
Good Eats, Great Fun
- It’s summertime – and you know what that means. Barbecue! Make hot dogs and hamburgers, a few yummy salads (potato salad and macaroni salad are traditional and super-easy to make), corn on the cob and — of course — an old-fashioned apple pie and have iced tea and lemonade ready for guests to self-serve as they party. (For more on barbecue themes, click here.)
- Bake some delicious cupcakes, frost in white and add blue and red sprinkles or a fun cake topper to each.
- A potluck is a super idea – have guests each bring an eat from one category (appetizer, dessert, etc.) so you don’t double-up on food.
- Have plenty of trays of chips around, of course. Arrange them in Fourth of July themed or red, white or blue colored bowls.
- For activities, try a patriotic pinata in red, white and blue for kids; a sprinkler is another cool idea (let guests know on the invitation that they should bring swimwear and towels). for grown-ups, set up your speaker system outside, set out chairs and relax to some great tunes. (Be sure to have protective cover ready in case of rain.)
Happy Fourth … and happy birthday, USA!