4th of July's all fun and games until... Actually, until nothing-- 4th of July's just all fun and games. To turn your backyard BBQ into a patriotic party, all you really need is a coat of paint (or an account on PayPal!). Etsy's full of Americana decor you can buy, but if you're feeling crafty, use the eco-cheapo tricks below and DIY your way to red, white, and blue garland and games, candles and centerpieces.
4th of july Garland
To set the mood for your fiesta this 4th, deck out your deck with bounds of garland. Click on the captions to see the DIFY (Do-It-For-You) options, and if you'd rather DIY, grab some old magazines, spray adhesive, and glitter and click here for step-by-step instructions. (But cut out triangles, stars or circles instead of leaves!)
- Empty tomato sauce jars (or any other glass jar you find in your fridge, just make sure to wash them out, of course)
- Spray adhesive (I like Krylon's All-Purpose Spray Adhesive)*
- Glitter (I use Martha Stewart's Fine Glitter)*
- Plate(s) (one plate per glitter color)*
*Or glitter and glue all at once with glittery spray adhesive. I haven't tried this yet, so if you do leave a comment below and let me know how it works!)
WHAT TO DO:
- Pour glitter on to the plate (one color per plate)
- Spray the jar's exterior with a thin coat of spray adhesive-- try to spray it on evenly without missing spots! If you want to color block, just tape off the top before you spray.
- Roll the jar in the glitter
Once they're dry, pop in some candles or flowers to use them as centerpieces, or toss in some forks and knives to use them for serving.
paint-me-patriotic striped centerpieces
Wear your patriotism on your table with red, white, and blue centerpieces. You can spray paint the jar one solid color, or follow these steps to stripe out your centerpiece.
WHAT YOU NEED:
WHAT TO DO:
- Tape stripes around the jar's parameter
For even spacing between stripes, cover the whole jar with tape "stripes" and then remove every other one. The easier method is to make all of the stripes unequally spaced, but make sure they look purposefully misplaced! To do this, space some stripes close together and space others further apart. Remember that the paint will show up on the areas which are not covered with tape!
- Slide your fingernail or a credit card along the edges of the tape to ensure it's sealed tightly to the jar
- Place the jar on the wax paper (you could also use newspaper, but if you do make sure the bottom "stripe" is taped or else the paper will stick to the dried paint)
- Spray paint the jar (multiple coats of thin, evenly applied paint are better than one heavy coat)
- When paint is dry, remove the tape.
- Pop in some flowers or candles, and you and your table are ready to party!
4th of july firework CANDLES
To make your candles sparkle even more, follow the same steps as the Stars & Stripes Sparkly Centerpieces or the Patriotic Striped Centerpieces (above). Use them as a way to spice up your candle-in-a-jar or you can paint and glitter right on a candle. If you really want to show off your craft-chops, click here to learn how to make your own 4th of July Bug-Away candles.
diy party Games
What's a party without games? It's so easy to turn a game into a 4th of July game-- just make it red, white, and blue! I make a DIY ring toss for my 4th of July party by covering empty soda bottles with glitter and using glow stick bracelets as rings. Here are some other easy DIY-deas for 4th of July party games:
Did you know that there are 2,000 species of fireflies? I did. But only because I read this National Geographic article.