I love the 4th of July! There's just something about all that wholesome summery family fun. Backyard BBQs, kids playing late into the night, sparklers and hot dogs and giant slices of watermelon. I love it all.
And so I had SO much fun throwing together this last-minute 4th of July celebration. Seriously, I only spent about 3 hours on everything, and that included blowing up all the balloons.
This was a small, just-family get-together, so it wasn't necessary to make a grand spread. But just setting up a few things thoughtfully makes any gathering seem special. A gingham tablecloth my mom made back in the 1970s. Milk glass compotes I bought for my wedding (before I chickened out of doing my own floral arrangements). A wooden crate that came from our CSA.
A backdrop made of random fabric leftover from a dozen different projects. The only things I bought for this party were the balloons. I love re-using my party props! It helps me justify storing them in the garage. ;-)
My tiny little dessert/drinks station featured fireworks cupcakes...
...homemade waffle cone ice cream bowls...
...and sparkling star lollipops.
(Strawberry, Lemonade, and Blueberry flavors, of course!)
A simple punch made with red fruit juice and sprite is always a hit.
And watermelon star ice cubes add a perfectly patriotic touch.
While I was prepping the other party stuff, the kids had a blast making these tie-dye style fireworks t-shirts. I followed this excellent tutorial from Butterfly Jungle. They loved the craft, and love their new shirts. We'll definitely be wearing these again on the 4th! (And probably several more times inbetween then and now.)
I even used the same technique to make festive liners for the hot dog baskets.
(For the record, serving hot dogs like this got me a "You're the best mom ever!")
I just love those giant balloons, and I decided to try my hand at making a trendy balloon tassel for the first time. I love how it turned out.
I also adapted my idea from my Mother's Day Garden party, and switched out the balloon ribbon for a festive star garland. I don't think I'm ever going to use regular balloon strings again.
And to finish up the meal? Ice cream is good. Fresh berries are delicious. Homemade waffle cone bowls are awesome. But you add a sparkler to it? Now you've got a dessert worthy of the 4th of July!