26 Easy Fourth of July Party Ideas for a Seriously Patriotic Gathering

happy birthday america banner decor

Your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest celebration. Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. Your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig when you include our festive star banners, refreshing watermelon coolers, and more.

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Beautiful Bar Decor

4th of July party kit
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS JULY ISSUE-FRESH GATHERINGS

Glam up your party's drink area with a red, white, and blue garland over a Bloody Mary bar. This cute Fourth of July decoration is made from dip-dyed fans hung on a length of string. A canister full of more colorful fans lets guests grab-and-go whenever they need to beat the heat.

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3-D Banner

happy birthday america banner decor

Make a patriotic banner that really stands out! Fold and glue strips of cardstock into letters that form a word or phrase. For rounded letters like the "C" shape, drag the paper strip under the edge of a ruler from the center to the edges, similar to the way you would curl a ribbon. Hole punch the top of each letter and string it into a festive banner that's perfect for a Fourth of July party.

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Watermelon Carve-Outs

july 4

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

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Party Crackers

decorated july fourth paper candy poppers

Make your own festive party crackers with just a few materials. Fill a toilet paper tube with a store-bought cracker snap (a stick that pops when you pull on the ends), then cover the tubes with crepe paper and fringed tissue paper for a kid-friendly Fourth of July activity.

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Watermelon Fruit Kabobs

watermelon

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; fill the watermelon with a delicious fruit salad and add the fruit skewers to the salad. For kabobs, cut melons with mini cookie cutters and thread onto skewers for a starry display.

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Simple Star Banner

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A pretty Fourth of July decoration 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.

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Red, White and Blue Slushies

fourth-of-july icees and tasseled napkins
Adam Albright

Mix up a batch of red, white and blue desserts for your party guests. These slushies start with a base of frozen lemonade, and get their color and flavor from a few tasty mix ins.Try cherry juice and vodka for red slushies, cream of coconut and rum for white, and curacao and blue raspberry lemonade for the blue frozen treats. Yum! Top each one off with a dipped strawberry, and add DIY oilcloth coasters for an extra patriotic touch. Get the recipe and napkin instructions in our free party kit!

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Watermelon-Mint Cooler

Watermelon-Mint Cooler

Greet guests with ice-cold glasses of summer watermelon cocktails. 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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Red, White, and Blue Table Setting

three decorative plates

Go all out with pretty, patriotic patterns for your Fourth of July feast. Look for blue and white dishes at a local thrift store. Then dress the table with red-and-white gingham napkins, a blue tablecloth, and a festive party centerpiece.

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Soak Up the Sun

red deck chairs

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 right sunscreen!

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4th of July Flags

4th of July Flag Pennant

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.

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4th of July Flowers and Candles

4th of July Flowers and Candles

Adorn your 4th of July picnic 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.

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Apple-Berry Pie in a Jar

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 patriotic bash. All you need are fresh berries, sugar-brushed pastries, and cute canning jars. Use a simple star cutout to add an extra flair to this fun 4th of July dessert.

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Festive Welcome Sign

life saver welcome sign on tree

Patriotic party ideas? Check! A red, white, and blue decoration helps guests find their way to the party of the summer. Get the look by adorning a faux lifesaver with blue stick-on letters.

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Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe

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This tossable version of tic-tac-toe is one of our favorite Fourth of July outdoor games for kids. 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.

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Build Sand Castles

sand castles

A beautiful beach and some summer sun are all you need for the perfect 4th of July celebration. Keep kids occupied with fun 4th of July activities by having them build sand castles. Top the peaks with American flags for a festive finish.

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Flag Centerpiece

4th of July centerpiece

Tiny flag party picks become a wow-worthy centerpiece with the help of a few simple DIY tools. Cover a foam wreath form with crepe paper, then add flag picks until the wreath is completely covered. Complete the 4th of July centerpiece with a glass hurricane and your favorite candle.

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4th of July Sparkler 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, then 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. Be sure to remove the sparklers from the paper holders before lighting.

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Festive Food: Summer Dogs

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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4th of July Coasters

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, then cut out the designs. Spray chipboard coasters with spray adhesive and press cutout designs to adhere. Spray with clear finish and let dry.

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Hawaiian Burger

Hawaiian Burger

Fire up summer's biggest outdoor barbecue with a thick, juicy burger hot off the grill. Ours features pineapple, sweet onion, bacon, fresh tomatoes, and melty cheese—perfect for any 4th of July party.

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Numbered Napkins

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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Colorful Napkin Holders

napkin rings

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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Cherry Bombs

drink with cherries

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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Sporty Centerpiece

All-American Basket Centerpiece

Any open basket works to make this easy 4th of July centerpiece. Just fill with decorative grass, baseballs, and red and blue croquet balls. A few tiny flags add festive flair.

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Lantern Centerpiece

Striped lantern centerpieces

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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