Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Sweeten your Christmas decorating by incorporating holiday candies into centerpieces and arrangements.
Tie red-and-white peppermint sticks around a vase with a red-and-white grosgrain ribbon. (Use a sturdy rubber band to hold the canes in place, or hot-glue them to an inexpensive vase.) It's a jolly presentation for usually formal red roses.
Turn your home into a candy land with yummy sweets. Fill glass containers with red and green peppermints. Cut out letters spelling a Christmas greeting, and secure them to the containers with tape. Place the display on a mantel or side table for a decoration everyone will want to sink their teeth into.
Stack two large marshmallows with a toothpick. Use tiny dots of frosting as glue to decorate the snowmen with sprinkles, chocolate chips, chocolate wafers, and other small treats. Group the snowmen on a silver platter with mini marshmallows and sugar for snow.
Dangle crystal candy sticks from tree branches as shimmering ornaments. Loop wire hangers through ribbon tied to the handles. For an extra touch, string a circle gummy candy onto the stick.
Purchased icing is the "glue" that keeps this decoration edible. Place florist's foam in a container, then insert a wooden skewer in the center. Push a foam cone onto the skewer, then cover the cone with purchased icing. Attach purchased meringues using wooden picks. Finally, tuck bay leaves between the bottom meringues and the container. Top with a bow for a splash of bright color.
Decorate a foam wreath shape with fun gummy candies. Use toothpicks to secure the treats until the foam is completely covered. Tie a licorice bow for an edible accent. For a pretty centerpiece, sit the wreath on a silver platter and place a candle inside.
If you are disappointed by the short life of baked gingerbread houses, build the appealing abodes from foam-core board. A light coat of royal icing supplies a base for architectural details composed of cake-decorating sugar shapes, frosting ribbons, and edible pearls. Overlap candy wafers to add shinglelike dimension to the roof.
This trio of red-and-white wreaths makes a sweet holiday decoration. Hot-glue an arrangement of candy canes, mints, sour cherries, and cinnamon drops to rings of cardboard wrapped in grosgrain ribbon. Hang these sugary sensations, designed by Laura Holtorf Collins, on the wall, use them for candle surrounds, or use several to cradle serving bowls.
Poked into a cardboard base sprinkled with fake snow, green plexiglass rods hold aloft peppermint balls in a contemporary sculpture. If you leave the mints in their wrappers, use a dab of hot glue to secure the candies.
Place a simple red votive on a crystal dish. Surround the candle with rich red and green ribbon candies for this easy and colorful centerpiece.
A heaping of sour cherry candies and miniature trees from a hobby store turn a glass canister into a mouthwatering display case. If you can't find sour cherry candies, try jelly beans, sugarcoated lemon candies, or peppermint sticks.
For a sweet little centerpiece, fill a silver sugar bowl with a candy-covered tree. Wedge a cone-shape piece of plastic foam tightly into the sugar bowl. Use hot glue or floral picks to secure small artificial candied fruits, peppermint candies, and evergreen sprigs to the foam until it is completely covered. Use the tops of candy canes to form the tree topper.
Hot-glue several layers of large dark chocolate nonpareils to a foam cone that's been spray-painted brown for a snowy-look decoration. Place in a festive pot and tie with a rich brown bow for an elegant look.
Not enough ribbon? Just wrap a box in red paper and use hot glue to attach wrapped peppermint candies to the box top. (Tip: On shiny paper, glue the candies with crafts glue rather than hot glue.)
Old-fashioned ribbon candies are glued together to make a picture frame that accents a greeting card or photo beautifully.
Quick to make, these colorful topiary trees feature candies hot-glued to foam cones. Set each tree on a silver candlestick for added elegance.