It’s Almost July 4th–Red, White, & Blue Party Ideas

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Red, white, & blue paper lanterns
The Fourth of July is my very favorite summer holiday.  Growing up, I loved the parades, fireworks, and candy, but age has brought a certain perspective and mostly I am just thankful for our Founding Fathers and in awe of the boldness of their vision for this country.

Red, white, & blue apothecary jars
During two years of our homeschooling adventure, we concentrated on American history, so that my kids would understand what makes this country exceptional and why their father has chosen to dedicate his life to its defense.  We also learned about some of my ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, which was pretty neat, because that made it real for them.

Red, white, & blue candy
So, given all of that background, it’s not going to surprise you to know that we like to do it up right on Independence Day with lots of red, white, and blue!  Here are some photos from our Memorial Day cookout, because all of these ideas would work just as well for the Fourth of July.

Paper lanterns and color-coordinated candy (and Goldfish–who knew they made them in patriotic colors?!) decorated our dining room.  I used a roll of navy and white wrapping paper as a table runner, and red burlap, left over from Christmas, to drape the serving buffet. (FYI, you can read more on my dining room here)

Gift wrap/ wrapping paper as table runner
You’d be amazed at how much of this patriotic candy the kids managed to eat–or maybe you wouldn’t be! 🙂

We used a couple of old wooden soda crates to hold plates.  Normally, they’re in my son’s room and he stashes his CDs in them (I found mine at flea markets and HERE).

Wooden soda crate party decor
A galvanized utensil caddy (from Home Goods, of course) looks rustic on the counter, too.

Galvanized utensil caddy

We always break out the mason jars for parties at our house.  They’re inexpensive and so you can always buy another dozen if your guest list grows.  Color-coordinated paper straws are a must, too.  It’s an addiction of mine!

Mason jar glasses fourth of July

I found these cute retro napkins at Home Goods, too (I swear this isn’t a sponsored post!):

Retro beer napkins

Of course there was beer for the grownups, and some of Justin’s Bourbon Peach Lemonade, but there was also sweet tea.  This is Georgia, after all!

The tutorial on how I made the wooden drink tags is {here}.

DIY wooden drink labels for entertaining

The kids had their own tub of drinks–Jones Soda (yum!) in red and blue, and Coke in bottles.  You probably already know this, but the Coke made in Mexico is made from cane sugar and not high-fructose corn syrup. It just tastes better to me!  We buy our Coke by the case at Sam’s Club, and sometimes it seems like the kids drink it by the case.

Coke in glass bottles--yum!

Jones Soda is also made with cane sugar.  This was the Berry Lemonade (hands-down my favorite flavor of theirs!) and their Strawberry Lime Soda.

Red and blue Jones soda for July 4th

I have quite a collection of old enamelware, and it was pressed into service to chill drinks and hold ice.

Enamelware used to serve drinks and ice

I love my two chip racks and use them all the time (I bought them on Ebay).

Potato chip rack for entertaining/parties

We grilled hamburgers, of course, and everyone brought a side or dessert to share.  Towards the end of the day, the adults played corn hole and the kids had red, white, and blue ice pops, because obviously they hadn’t had enough sugar earlier!

Red, white, and blue ice pops in galvanized bucket--4th of July
The older girls set up a tattoo station for the younger kids–I had bought a bunch of patriotic temporary tattoos.  The sign they made cracked me up (look at the last line!):


We also had sparklers and pop-its, and a little silly string:


And, of course, red, white, and blue toenail polish for the littles!

Red, white, and blue toes

We usually read the Declaration of Independence, too, because we’re nerds like that, but it’s a great tradition.  Here’s a link to it if you’re interested.  The last line chokes me up every. single. time.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

I hope that gives you some great ideas for the Fourth of July, and thanks for stopping by!



  1. You always have the greatest ideas for the holidays…love the idea of the “tattoo station” how fun!!!…and never knew that Jones soda contained cane sugar….Thanks for all of the inspiration!!!

  2. I missed this but so glad Amy referenced it in today’s post! You have the most creative ideas for parties and I love them all! I agree re: the sugar too. Aspartame is like poison and the high fructose is just about as bad. I learned so much about these in the process of my allergy testing. I think the “real” thing tastes better too!

    I have a “straw” addiction to go along with my napkin addiction. 🙂 So fun! Love the mason jars too. I so hope that you and your family are having a wonderful holiday this weekend!


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