The 4th of July has to be one of my favorite holidays…There’s little to no stress (unlike the expense and month-long planning sometimes involved with holidays), no expectations besides having fun and is TRULY a day for celebration.
This year, John and I wanted to share our tips on how to throw the perfect, low-key, do-it-yourself (and CHEAP) party on the fly with your friends and family. It really couldn’t be more simple!
As we have found, sometimes the very best place for a party, as opposed to carting yourself, your family and supplies/food to a park or beach, is home. We set up our own 4th of July bash right on our back deck – Conveniently located about three steps from our kitchen, which allowed us to set up in no time.
Actual time to put everything together = approximately 20 minutes from start to finish. Here are our results:
To me, holidays are (in addition to the requisite eating until you burst) a time to really relax and enjoy the company of your family and friends. Thus we did our best not to take on too much in both the food and decor departments – Who wants tons and tons of left-over food and frivolous decorations taking up storage anyway?
As the female hostess in this dynamic duo, I knew that I wanted to avoid the all-too-familiar situation of running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Sometimes being a party host can get a bit overwhelming…So we kept it simple, choosing a few of our favorite Summer foods, adding a splash of fun red-white-and-blue pops of color and were then able to enjoy the evening. Our party motto? NO STRESS!
Here’s the break down…
For the foundation of the party spread, I picked up a $3 4th of July tablecloth on clearance at our local grocery store. It’s plastic, wipe-able and NOT a disaster if it gets ruined and has to be chucked (but really, how can you ruin a vinyl tablecloth…). Then we made a trip to our local craft supply store for the fun stuff – The decorations!
I had a pretty small budget – about $20 for all of it – so I did my best to find things that would make an impact but not break the bank. We came home with the following haul:
- Two red-white-and-blue tins = $1.99 each
- A packet of cupcake toppers = $1.99
- Several pieces of coordinating 4th of July theme scrapbook paper = 59 cents each
- Some ribbon = $3.99 each
- An airtight glass container = $4.99
GRAND TOTAL: Around $21.00
Not too shabby! I spent about the same amount of money on the food for the party, which included:
- Pigs in a Blanket materials (i.e. sausages and dough)
- Box of cupcake mix
- Eggs (for the cupcake mix)
- Big pretzel sticks
- A carton of fresh strawberries
So for around $40, we were able to pull off a colorful and simple DIY party spread, complete with food for several hungry folks!
But enough of my chatter…Let’s look at the details:
The tins I mentioned picking up at the arts and crafts store were PERFECT for holding finger foods like the pretzel rods and sliced strawberries – Grabbing a little glass dip bowl and filling it with toothpicks to sit beside the finger foods keeps guests cycling through the food line with ease (and prevents a lot of mess).
We all know it’s not a party without SOME kind of sugary treat! We whipped up a batch of vanilla cupcakes, completing them with frilly toothpick toppers snagged for a couple bucks at the store – I love how the glossy texture of the toppers shimmered in the evening light…Plus they look like fireworks!
We used the air tight glass jar for buttery popcorn (John’s absolute favorite summer-time snack) and jazzed it up by gluing on a couple of lengths from the 4th-of-July-themed ribbon we bought. And to keep those buttery fingers at bay we filled a glass jar with napkins and set it to the side, labeling the contents on the chalkboard surface painted on the outside of the glass.
The finishing touches that framed the table were two hand-made pinwheels I made (using this tutorial as a guide). For anyone who hasn’t made a pinwheel before, I just have to say that it’s not NEARLY as intimidating as it may seem – The two I made were so easy to do and the whole process was addicting once I got the hang of it…I have a feeling that there will be handfuls of colorful pinwheels sprinkled throughout our wedding next year
Thank you again to Kami for having us and we hope you enjoy a lovely, relaxing and joyous 4th of July holiday!!!