Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

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.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Party Decorations: Watermelon Carve-Outs

    Juicy watermelon makes a sweet statement for any 4th of July get-together. Using stencils and a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, carve festive notes as a celebratory memo. Display your assortment of various-shape watermelons on your porch, deck, or even as a fun centerpiece for your snack table.

  • Party Decorations: Simple Star Banner

    A pretty swag adds instant party style. It's a cinch to make: Cut out an equal number of stars from red and blue tagboard (use the first one as a guide for cutting the rest). Coat the stars with crafts glue and sprinkle with glitter; let dry. Add a grommet for hanging on one point of each star and string onto ribbon. Hang the garland to announce that the party starts here.

  • Party Decorations: 4th of July Flags

    Independence Day decorating is easier (and cheaper) than you think! To make these flag-inspired pennants, cut paint-chip cards from your local hardware store into triangles. Using a hole punch, cut two holes at the top edges of each triangle. String together using white ribbon, separating triangles about 1 inch apart.

  • Party Decorations: 4th of July Flowers and Candles

    Adorn your 4th of July table with cheery candles and darling vases wrapped in patriotic paper. All you need are scissors, colorful paper, clear candle holders, a vase, and adhesive. Add to the festivities with a customized matchbox wrapped in coordinated paper.

  • Party Activity: Tic-Tac-Toe

    It's game time with this tossable version of tic-tac-toe. Cut a 20-inch square from a painter's drop cloth; turn back the edges and press with an iron. Use duct tape to finish the edges and mark squares. Sand-filled muslin sachet bags -- color coded with duct-tape strips -- mark each player's spot.

  • Party Activity: Soak Up the Sun

    Have a low-key, go-barefoot, splash-in-the-lake kind of day this 4th of July. Set out festive lounge chairs, beach towels, and other summer essentials to help make your party relaxing and enjoyable. Oh, and don't forget the sunscreen!

  • Party Activity: Build Sand Castles

    A beautiful beach and some summer sun are all you need for the perfect 4th of July celebration. Build sand castles, then top peaks with American flags for a festive finish.

  • Party Favor: 4th of July Sparklers

    Make your 4th of July soiree one to remember with these dazzling sparkler party favors. To create, you'll need a color printer, white cardstock, scissors, a crafts knife, a cutting mat -- and, of course, sparklers.


    Print pages on cardstock. Cut out the designs and use a crafts knife to cut slits along the white dotted lines. Slide sparklers through the slits so that the words show on top of the sparklers. (Note: Be sure to remove the sparklers from the paper holders before lighting.)

    Get the free sparkler holder patterns.

  • Party Favor: Apple-Berry Pie in a Jar

    Bake these adorable apple-berry pies, then send them with your guests for a sweet way to end your 4th of July bash. All you need are fresh berries, sugar-brushed pastries, and cute canning jars. Use a simple star cutout to add extra flair.

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    Party Favor: 4th of July Coasters

    Awe 4th of July guests with these celebratory coasters. To make them you'll need a color printer, white cardstock, scissors, 4-inch-diameter round chipboard coasters, spray adhesive, and a matte-finish clear spray.


    Print page on cardstock. Cut out the designs. Spray chipboard coasters with spray adhesive and press cutout designs to adhere. Spray with clear finish and let dry.

    Get the free coaster patterns.

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    Table Setting: Numbered Napkins

    These personalized napkins are a clever and inexpensive way for guests to keep track of their drinks. How to make them? Well, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply use iron-on numbers at the corner of each cocktail napkin and say goodbye to annoying mix-ups.

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    Table Setting: Watermelon-Mint Cooler

    Greet guests with ice-cold glasses of fizzy watermelon sippers. Using red and blue tumblers, a large ice-filled cooler, and a large jug, you can create a festive 4th of July display. Place in a common area of the party for guests to enjoy.

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    Table Setting: Colorful Napkin Holders

    Summer's big hurrah is as casual as they come. Skip the fancy decorations and get creative with some basics from the hardware store. Here, we use paint-chip strips as napkin rings. Simply wrap and tape.

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    Table Setting: Watermelon Fruit Kabobs

    A fresh assortment of sweet melon kabobs creates an all-star look for any 4th of July table. Skip the expensive bowl and use half of a carved-out watermelon instead. For kabobs, cut melons with mini cookie cutters and thread onto skewers for a starry display.

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    Table Setting: Cherry Bombs

    Dress up drinks with cherry-laced ice cubes and faux fireworks. Simply roll red scrapbooking paper around a wooden skewer, then adhere with double-stick tape. Use scissors to cut festive fringe.

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    Table Setting: Flag Centerpiece

    Any open basket works to make this easy centerpiece. Just fill with decorative grass, baseballs, and red and blue croquet balls. A few tiny flags add festive flair.

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    Table Setting: Lantern Centerpiece

    Use striped lanterns from a crafts store as a festive centerpiece for your 4th of July bash. Fit the lantern over a white glass and fill with white blooms. Line up a few down a tablescape for a memorable finish.

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    Festive Food: Hawaiian Burger

    Fire up summer's biggest shindig with a thick, juicy burger hot off the grill. Ours features pineapple, sweet onion, bacon, fresh tomatoes, and melty cheese.

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    Festive Food: Hibiscus Tea

    Refresh your 4th of July crowd with a chilly glass of bright ruby-red tea. Match the tartness of hibiscus flowers with sweet cinnamon sticks and a spoonful of honey. This rejuvenating tea will go fast in the summer sun, so be sure to make two pitchers.

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    Festive Food: Skillet White Beans

    Delicious baked beans are bound to be a party-time favorite. Chop yellow and red tomatoes and place them on top for a yummy touch.

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    Festive Food: Red, White, and Blue Shooters

    It's official -- These are the most patriotic shots ever! Layer grenadine, peach schnapps, and blue curacao for an easy, colorblocked drink guests will love.

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    Festive Food: Berry Patchwork Tart

    Brighten up your 4th of July bash with a berry-embellished tart. Use a variety of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries to create playful, patriotic squares, then drizzle with fresh honey-mint syrup to finish.

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    Festive Food: Summer Dogs

    Grilled hot dogs are a must for any 4th of July bash. We top ours mile-high with fresh garden veggies such as vinegar-tossed tomatoes, crunchy corn kernels, lettuce, and onion for a refreshingly tangy topper.

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    More 4th of July Fun

    Get your house guest-ready with a few simple holiday touches.

  • Next Slideshow Fun 4th of July Crafts

    Fun 4th of July Crafts

    Start your Independence Day with a bang! Our family-friendly 4th of July crafts will get everyone excited to celebrate. Including colorful July 4th decorations, crafts especially for kids, and easy everyday embellishments, there's a 4th of July craft for everyone.
    Begin Slideshow »

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