How Do You Make a 4th of July Party Fun? We Have Loads of Ideas

family celebrating 4th of july
39 Festive 4th of July DIY Party Ideas Rikki Snyder

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Want to throw the best 4th of July party around? Start by putting together a slew of homespun red, white, and blue crafts that double as decorations. Next, plan a delicious menu of 4th of July recipes that would impress George Washington himself. Curate a playlist of patriotic tunes. And lastly plan some family-friendly outdoor games. There you have it - everyone will be vying for an invite to your bash!! To help you start planning, we’ve gathered our very best 4th of July party ideas in one handy list.

From festive tablescapes to super-easy summer recipes, there are plenty of ideas here for every host, whether aspiring or expert. You can recruit a few helping hands since many of the DIY decorations are simple and appropriate for all ages and skill levels. Plus, many of these ideas are so easy you can do them at the last minute if you're just now getting around to planning. Some even include items you probably already have lying around, like baseballs which you can place in a glass vase with small flags to create a whimsical centerpiece or an apple-picking basket that gets transformed with just a few coats of paint into an on-theme snack bin.

Because the food is what everyone cares about most of all, you'll find lots of simple drink and food ideas you can whip up in no time. Once you scroll through all the clever ideas, return here. The recipe collections listed below offer even more inspiration for your All-American menu:

And now for those 4th of July party ideas!

All-American Place Setting

A layered table sets the scene for a festive holiday celebration. Create a stunning centerpiece by filling a glass vase with baseballs and flags. Use vintage sparkler containers as place cards. Line the table with a selection of vintage noise makers and use stack red, white, and blue plates at each place setting. Happy 4th!

a table with a variety of flags in a baseball filled glass container
Becky Stayner

Patriotic Sorbet Loaf

This impressive dessert is like a Bomb Pop on a plate! Made from three layers of homemade sorbet it's sure to be a party showstopper!

Get the recipe.

red, white blue striped sorbet loaf on white plates with blue details and yellow handled spoons, garnished with fresh cherries
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Cherry Syrup and Rum Soda

Whether you decide to serve these with or without booze a homemade cherry syrup makes for the perfect celebration sipper.

Get the recipe.

cherry syrup and rum soda
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Snack Basket

Serve snack and treats in a basket painted in the colors of the season.

To make: Paint the vertical slats of a small wooden basket, alternating red and white. Paint the horizontal strapping dark blue. When dry, line the basket with a blue and white striped napkin or tea towel. Fill with snacks.

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a small vintage apple basket painted red white and blue lined with a napkin and filled with popcorn
Becky Stayner

Saltines with Basil Mayo and Burst Tomatoes

These cute and very delicious snacks made with two of the summers best ingredients - tomatoes and basil - will get your 4th of July celebration off to the right start!

Get the recipe.

saltines with basil mayo and burst tomatoes
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Mixed Berry Flag Pie

This patriotic pie, from the upstate New York shop Nobel Pies, will be the perfect dessert for your 4th celebration.

Get the recipe.

mixed berry flag pie
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Red Hots & Spanish Peanuts Snack

This savory and sweet snack mix, served up in a thermos top, has the color palette down!

Get the recipe.

red hots and peanut snack mix in a thermos top
Becky Stayner

Patriotic Tie Wreath

Take a trip to the consignment shop for a selection of vintage red, white, and blue ties then fashion them into the hippest wreath on the block.

To make: Gather about 10 color-coordinated ties (they can be made with red, white, and blue for the 4th of July or in your dad’s favorite colors for Father’s Day). Cut each tie about 7 1/2 inches long, measuring from the widest end of the tie. Arrange the 7 1/2-inch pieces around a 12-inch wooden craft ring, pointed ends facing out and cut ends facing in. Fold the cut ends over the inside edge of the craft ring. Hot glue in place, being sure the craft ring is fully covered.

a wreath made from vintage red white and blue ties hung on a brown wood door
Becky Stayner

Red, White, and Blue Straw Wreath

Celebrate the Independence Day and welcome guests with a colorful wreath made from a load of paper straws. For a sophisticated palette dot a few light blue straws in the mix.

To make: Attach different lengths of red, white, and blue straws to a craft ring with hot glue; layering them until the craft ring is fully covered.

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starburst style wreath made from red white and blue flags hung on a blue door
Becky Stayner

Apricot-Almond Slab Pie

This large format pie will be enough to serve the crowd you have at your 4th of July soiree this year!

Get the recipe.

apricot almond slab pie
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Vintage Flag Banner Decor

For a little indoor decor, drape a vintage (pictured) or new flag banner across a fireplace mantel (holding it in place with push pins) or wrap around the handrail of staircase.

vintage flag bunting draped over a fireplace
Becky Stayner

Fabric-Scrap Flags

Use these petite fabric-scrap flags to wave at the town parade or in a table centerpiece.

To make: Cut a 4-by-3-inch rectangle from a red-based fabric. Cut a smaller square of blue-based fabric. Glue the blue square to one corner of red fabric with craft glue. Glue the rectangle to a wooden skewer or small dowel with a few dabs of hot glue.

flags made from red white and blue fabric scrap resting on a wicker table
Becky Stayner

Bleached Bandana Bunting

Set the scene at your outdoor party with a bunting made from "reverse" tie-dyed bandanas. Use vintage or new bandanas or even squares of scrap fabric if you have some lying around.

To make: Wash 100% cotton bandanas; do not dry. Fold, scrunch, or crimp wet bandanas and hold together with rubber bands, kitchen twine, or binder clips. Soak in a solution that is 2 parts bleach to 1 part water until faded. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. (Note, new red bandanas seem to be pretty colorfast, and we found that vintage ones bleach better.) Once desired level of bleaching has occurred immediately remove binder and thoroughly rinse under cold water. Wash if desired. Fold bandanas in half to form triangles, then tie corners together to create a bunting.

tie dye bandanas tied together in a bunting hung on a white wall in front of a table
Becky Stayner

Vase Citronella Candles

Keep bugs at bay with a DIY citronella candle.

To make:
Fill clean and dry glass vases with citronella oil. Place a large oil lamp wick in the jar being sure it extends all the way to the bottom and about 1/4 to 1/2-inch above the top.

vintage vases filled with citronella oil and large wicks set on a table
Brian Woodcock

Ribbon "Sparklers"

Even the littlest kids can enjoy waving these DIY ribbon sparklers. These festive decorations look precious incorporated into a centerpiece (we used a vintage popcorn box for a container) or try laying one across every table setting.

To make: Wrap a 12-inch by 1/8-inch wooden dowel in washi tape. Cut lengths of red, white, and blue ribbon and rickrack of varying widths, colors, and textures. Lay ribbons and rickrack flat on a table and tie together in the center with a length of baker’s twine. Wrap baker’s twine around the dowel and hold in place with hot glue.

sparklers made from ribbon and rick rack in an empty vintage jolly time pop corn box
Becky Stayner

Red, White, and Blue Table Setting

Let's be honest: Food is the star of most parties. Pull out all the stops for the 4th of July with red, white, and blue linens, utensils, and serving pieces (including that vintage red cooler!). Tuck a few American flags in a vase for a patriotic centerpiece that won't wilt!

a table set with red white and blue for the fourth of july and filled with cornbread and ribs and slaw and fruit
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Blue Plates

Bright blue plates made of melamine are ideal for outdoor get-togethers like a 4th of July party. Pair them with grain sack-style napkins with a red stripe for a subtle patriotic look.

grilled fruit desserts and ice cream served on blue plates in various shades
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Balloon Ice

This party trick is one your friends will definitely copy! Fill red, white, and blue water balloons with water and freeze. Place in a tray and nestle in ice cream to keep it cold in style.

ice filled balloons keep cartons of ice cream cool
Brian Woodcock

Flag Placemats

Use these placemats featuring hand-stitched stars at your 4th of July party this summer.

To make:
Step 1: Cut a 15- by 11-inch rectangle from ticking stripe fabric and a 6- by 5-inch rectangle from denim fabric.
Step 2: Use a "disappearing" pen (available at craft stores) to trace a five-point star on denim. Outline by passing a need and thin white yarn though each of the points.
Step 3: Sew the denim to the top left-hand corner of the ticking stripe. (Iron-on adhesive will also do the trick.)
Step 4: Create a relaxed frayed edge by pulling out threads along the placemat's border.

placemats for your table that mimic an american flag
David Hillegas

Drinks Tub

Let guests serve themselves by piling up a variety of canned drinks in a big galvanized steel tub. This red one is just right for the 4th of July.

a red tub filled with ice and a variety of canned drinks
Hector Manuel Sanchez

USA Headbands

Kid guests will especially love these patriotic headbands made using felt, pipe cleaners, and pom poms.

To make: For fireworks headbands, twist short lengths of metallic red, silver, and blue pipe cleaners together at centers. Twist end of a silver pipe cleaner around each firework, and twist opposite end around headbands to attach.

For USA and star headbands, cut letters or stars from red, white, and blue felt. Glue small pieces of felt (in same colors) to bottom of each letter to create a tab. Glue tabs to plastic headbands, adding a dab of glue at the bend of tab to help letters stand upright.
For stars, glue metallic pipe cleaners to the back of each star, and twist ends around headband at varying lengths.

red white and blue headbands that say usa and have stars and pom poms on them
Haeley Giambalvo/Design Improvised

Sack Races

Customize plain ol' potato sacks with red and blue stripes for an easy DIY yard game that will keep the kiddos laughing all the way to the finish line.

To make: Insert a piece of cardboard between the layers of a burlap potato sack ( Mark off stripes with painter’s tape, making sure to push the edges down so that the paint doesn’t seep beneath. Use a foam brush and craft paint to paint stripes. Remove cardboard and painter’s tape, and let dry.

kids in burlap sacks competing in a sack race
Haeley Giambalvo/Design Improvised

Bandana Flower Pots

Group together bandana-covered flower pots in various shades of blue for a 4th of July centerpiece that will last all summer long.

To make: Use Mod Podge to attach a bandana to the outside of desired-size clay pots, folding fabric one inch over the top rim and cutting off extra fabric as needed. Once dry, fill with seasonal blooms or ferns.

flower pots covered in blue bandanas
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Vintage Tin Centerpiece

Use what you have, in this case, a vintage oyster tin that's been sitting in the cupboard just waiting to be filled with fresh flowers. Other items you probably already have that are good to repurpose as vases: Mason jars and old soda bottles.

a vintage tin that says flavor fresh oysters filled with flowers
Hector Sanchez

Red Cookware

A red-coated cast iron skillet (preferably filled with cornbread!) adds a festive touch to a 4th of July table, especially when finished off with a red, white, and blue napkin tied around the handle. The table linen with a star border can be used year round.

a pan of cornbread on a table
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Blue Bandana String Light Shades

It's no secret string lights make everything better, and 4th of July parties are no exception. We love the varying blue hues on these crafty string light shades made from plastic cups (really!) and bandanas.

To make: Use the tip of a hot-glue gun to melt a small hole in the bottom of a heavy-duty clear plastic cup. Download shade template. Cut out the template from the second page. Trace template on bandanas; cut out. Attach cutout bandanas to outsides of cups using Mod Podge. Thread mini-bulb string lights ( through holes in cups. Secure with hot-glue.

cups covered in blue bandanas in various shades are hung on string lights
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Oversize Fabric Pinwheels

Patriotic fabric pinwheels (with soda cap centers!) add whimsy to any 4th of July display. Use heavy-duty, double-sided fusible webbing to pair two fabric squares, then cut in from corners and hot-glue alternating points to the center. Top with a metal soda cap. Pack away and use year after year.

diy fabric pinwheels 4th of july
Brian Woodcock

Blueberry Whoopie Pies

When you can't decide whether to serve cookies or cake at your 4th of July party, these blueberry whoopie pies are the answer. With a buttery soft cookie exterior and a sweet mascarpone filling, these desserts are sure to be a crowd favorite.

Get the recipe.

blueberry whoopie pies
Brian Woodcock

Fireworks Glassware

Use fine-tipped, oil-based paint markers to draw (or stencil) firework designs on plain glassware. Fill your finished festive glasses with Raspberry and Lemon Rosé Sparkler, a bubbly blend of sparkling rosé and mashed raspberries.

Get the recipe.

diy fireworks glassware
Brian Woodcock

Paper Straw Garland

Cut several sets of red, white, and blue straws into different lengths. Then thread a needle and twine through them to create a paper straw garland. Hang across a window or on a table, as shown.

diy straw garland
Brian Woodcock

Push Pin Pillar Candles

Add some ambience to your 4th of July party with these patriotic pillar candles. Simply stick red, white, and blue star push pins into pillar candles of varying heights.

diy push pin candles
Brian Woodcock

Parmesan Tots with Dipping Sauce

Parmesan-dusted tater tots served with a sweet-chili-and-pickle dipping sauce make for an easy-to-serve and delicious appetizer. Tuck dotted paper wrappers into Mason jars for an easy, serve-yourself setup. Blue-and-white gingham napkins and a vintage 7-Up crate completes the patriotic color scheme.

Get the recipe.

4th of july recipes parmesan tater tots
Brian Woodcock

Mixed Berry Spritzers

Both kids and adults will love this berry sweet and patriotic spritzer at your 4th of July party. The recipe itself doesn't include any alcohol, but try adding 3/4 cup vodka or gin to the berry mixture for a boozy twist. Dress up your drinks station with wooden bead garland in blue and red.

Get the recipe.

mixed berry spritzers

Bandana Star Bunting

In addition to being a classic American accessory, bandanas make some of the best 4th of July party decor. To create this festive bunting, cut star shapes out of bandanas, attach to card stock or stiffen with Mod Podge, and thread through a string. Hang on a door, window, wall, or table.

bandana star garland
Brian Woodcock

Soda Float Bar

This soda float bar is sure to be the star of the show at your 4th of July party! Stock coolers and tubs with glass soda bottles for a casual, serve-yourself mood. Repurpose a vintage soda crate for serving snacks.

soda float bar
Brian Woodcock

Strawberry-Lemonade Punch

There's nothing better than a sweet glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. For a patriotic touch, this recipe includes a few more ingredients (like strawberries and blueberries) and star-shaped watermelon for a garnish.

Get the recipe.

strawberry lemonade punch
Linda Pugliese

Mini Stars Berry Pies

Our favorite desserts involve minimal ingredients for maximum visual impact, like these individual berry pies. Top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Get the recipe.

4th july recipes dessert
David Tsay

American Flag

Nothing evokes a salute like a grand old vintage flag. Remember: The union (stars) goes on the observer's left. Finish off the look with balloons and bunting in a mix of red, white, and blue.

4th of july party ideas flag
David Tsay

Patriotic Tablescape

This red table covered in a casual striped runner is a perfectly patriotic spot to feed a crowd on the 4th. A simple centerpiece features tiny flags and a pitcher of freshly cut blue hydrangeas.

4th of july party ideas decorating
David Tsay

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