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
Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.
Swirling red, white, and blue papers mimic the fireworks you'll see later on. These pinwheels are perfect lining a walkway or filling a tall vessel. They also make great party favors.
Paper rockets blast off from a shiny sand-filled bucket in this fun 4th of July decoration. To make each rocket, roll scrapbooking paper into a tube and secure with glue. For the nose cone, cut a slit to the center of a paper circle; overlap ends and adhere together using glue. Glue a ribbon strip inside the rocket to resemble a fuse, and glue a long dowel inside the tube to support the rocket.
This so-easy garland craft costs a few bucks and makes a big impact.
Give the grass star-spangled treatment for your 4th of July party. Focus the stars near the entrance to your yard for a dramatic welcome. To make, cut a star shape from a piece of cardboard. Lay the stencil on the lawn and spray the grass lightly with water. Leave the stencil in place, and use a flour sifter to fill the shape with flour. Remove the stencil and repeat.
Wrap small flags around water bottles for an incredibly simple way to add 4th of July spirit. Plastic or fabric flags work best -- paper flags will wither as the water condenses.
Add July 4th flair to your chairs with cloth napkin slipcovers. To make, fold a napkin in half and iron to crease. Cut four pieces of ribbon; glue one inside each napkin corner. Tie to close. Hot-glue or stitch red cording to spell "4th" and you're done!
Editor's Tip: Use any cording scraps to add firework bursts to your chairs.
About 300 miniature flags make up this eye-catching centerpiece. It's easier to make than you might think.
Make a festive container for carting treats to the fireworks display. To make, buy unused paint cans (available at hardware stores). Cover each can with red, white, and/or blue scrapbooking paper, and supply the kids with stickers and markers to personalize their cans. Line the inside of the can with a large baggie before filling with snacks.
For a unique July 4th centerpiece, spray-paint matching antiques or thrift store finds with metallic red, white, or blue paint. Pair them with American flags and color-coordinated flowers for a whole table setting ready in no time!
This rustic welcome wreath adds instant patriotic charm to your front door. Wrap rope around a lifesaving ring or wreath base using hot glue to secure. Then add a few American flags for a 4th of July touch.
Show your American pride with these colorful letters. Buy plain wooden letters (available at crafts stores) and get creative with red, white, and blue acrylic paint. Mix and match solid colors with stars and stripes.
Editor's Tip: Looking to save these for years to come? Coat the letters with polyurethane for durability.
Illuminate the outdoors with a festive porch decoration. Search for fireworks-pattern lanterns, or create your own with stencil designs atop 12-inch white paper lanterns.
Editor's Tip: Unfold the lantern a day in advance to stretch it out for easy decoration.
Spice up recycled containers (oatmeal containers work well) with scrapbooking paper to make easy utensil holders. Cut paper to size, and use a glue stick to adhere to the outside of each container. Purchase a small amount of chalkboard paint to make easy labels.
Editor's Tip: Short on time? Scrapbooking and crafts stores often carry premade chalkboard labels.
Get your red, white, and blue on at the dinner table this year -- even plain buckets can get dressed up for the 4th of July! Use sticker labels or make your own labels with fun sayings like "Yum!" or "Enjoy!" Attach a label to the front of each bucket.
Create a fun and easy 4th of July table setting with purchased miniature American flags. Just wrap each flag around a table napkin, pin in place, and you're all set.
Share your patriotic sentiments with guests by labeling oversize buckets with vinyl letters (find them at office supply or crafts stores). Fill the buckets with ice to keep beverages cool during a hot 4th of July celebration, or use them to hold boxes of sparklers.
Make your own 4th of July flags! Purchase wooden skewers and a spool of festive flag ribbon at your local crafts store. Wrap a 3-inch length ribbon around the top of each skewer; secure with tape.
Add bunting to your porch to welcome guests this 4th of July. Buy several yards of patriotic-pattern fabric (determine length based on where the bunting will hang). Starting at one end, gather the fabric about every 24 inches and secure the gathers using red, white, or blue yarn. Use the same color of yarn to attach the bunting to a porch rail.
Make the flag the star of your 4th of July decorations with this easy centerpiece. Wrap clear glasses in patriotic grosgrain ribbon and adhere with double-sided tape. Fill the glasses with small flags.
Turn a plain table into something special for your 4th of July celebration. To make, apply double-stick tape to the table edge to hold a crepe paper streamer in place.
Editor's Tip: Pleat the streamer by pinching the top of it all around the table. Secure the pleats with tape, if necessary.
Transform red-white-and-blue striped paper lanterns into 4th of July centerpieces for your table. Just slip each lantern over a clear glass, and tuck a handful of white blooms inside.
Editor's Tip: A solid background -- such as a blue table runner -- will make these decorations pop.
Paper fans help guests keep cool on hot summer days. These darling ones add patriotic flair to any event. Insert sturdy straws or dowels between the ends of opened mini decorative paper fans. Glue a circle of firework-pattern paper to the center.
Editor's Tip: Find fans at a local party supply store; look for ones that are intended to hang by a string.
This fun 4th of July centerpiece takes just minutes to pull together. Fill a clear Mason jar with fresh red, white, or blue flowers, and add a miniature American flag to finish.