What do you think of when you think of July Fourth? Maybe it’s great food and cold drinks, fireworks, bonfires, swimming, or any number of other staple summer holiday activities. Maybe you think of the stress that sometimes accompanies holiday planning. Maybe you think of large July Fourth block parties, or small gatherings with loved ones. No matter how you plan to celebrate July Fourth this year, it is right around the corner, and if you are anything like me, you still have way to much to do in preparation. It might be making sure the grill has propane, there is plenty of ice for the drinks, picking up the hot dogs and hamburgers, or any number of other tasks. It can all be a little overwhelming. So, if there is anything we can do to make this Fourth of July a little easier to prep for, or go a little bit more smoothly the day of, most of us are ready to give it a shot. I have gathered a couple of simple drink and snack recipes, helpful hacks, easy DIY décor ideas, and fun day-of crafts that will hopefully help you to get your party planning finished up.
July Fourth Inspired Snacks:
- White Chocolate Dipped Cherries or Strawberries – Melt down some white chocolate melting wafers into three separate containers. Add blue food coloring to one, red food coloring to another until it reaches the desired shade, and leave the last one white. (You can always stick with just one color if you wish.) Rinse your cherries (and or strawberries) and dry them. Dip your fruit into your chocolate and set on a wax paper covered sheet pan or plate to dry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Watermelon Stars – Simply cut your watermelon into sheets and use a cookie cutter to cut it into star shapes. You can vary the sizes and place on skewers, throw into a bowl, or toss into a fruit salad for a festive pop.
- Red White and Blue Skittles Candy Popcorn – (Will last in a sealed container for about a week)
You Will Need:
4 Cups Plain Popcorn
4oz Butter or Margarine
½ Cup Brown Sugar
¾ Cup Red Skittles (Use One Flavor Per Batch)
¾ Cup Blue Skittles (Use One Flavor Per Batch)
¾ Cup White Skittles (Use One Flavor Per Batch)
- Pop your popcorn according to package instructions. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- Tear off a sheet of wax paper (about 8-10 inches long) and place on the counter.
- Melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
- Pour in the first flavor of skittles and stir/ mash until completely dissolved.
- Once melted, pour the hot mixture into the popcorn and use a spatula to fold together.
- Pour the mixture onto the wax paper and spread thinly. Allow to cool.
If you plan to make popcorn balls.
- Allow to cool 3-4 minutes (or until you can handle comfortably). Coat your hands with butter or cooking spray and form the popcorn into balls. Set them aside.
- Allow to fully set (About 15-20 minutes).
- Repeat process for the other flavors/colors.
- Red White and Blue Mac and Cheese – Simply Replace your regular noodles with red and blue dyed noodles (or dye them yourself), and use white cheeses such as undyed American, White Cheddar, etc.. Use your family recipe or find one on the internet that you want to try.
- Berry Ice Cubes – Place blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, or any other berries that you would like into an ice cube tray and top with juice or water, and freeze. This will add a bit of color and natural flavor to your beverages.
- Red White and Blue Slushies – Start with a base of Frozen Lemonade. Choose your flavor and add your juice and alcohol to taste. Blend or shake in a container with a secure lid. If you would like to add some fizz you can add some lemon lime pop and stir before serving. You can always leave the alcohol out to include the kids in the fun. (Just make sure you keep track of which are which.)
- Red – Cherry Juice and Vodka
- White – Cream of Coconut and Rum
- Blue – Blue Curacao and Blue Raspberry Lemonade
July Fourth Party Hacks:
- Keep Ants Away – Spray down any surfaces that will have food on them with white vinegar to neutralize the smell of food, and keep ants away.
- Keep Bees Away – Place open cans of beer or halved grapefruits covered in sugar around the perimeter of your outdoor space (at a bit of a distance). This will attract the bees and they won’t bother you or your guests.
- Keep Insects Off of You – Rub dryer sheets on any exposed skin to deter mosquitoes and other insects from biting.
- Keep Tablecloths in Place – Place a piece of double-sided craft tape (the foamy kind for easy removal) under each side and corner of your table and stick the tablecloth to it.
- Use Muffin Tins for Easy One Dish Condiment Serving – Server the toppings, that do not already come in easy squeezable forms, for hotdogs and hamburgers in muffin tins to save yourself time on setup and cleanup.
July Fourth Crafts:
- T-Shirt Painting or tie-dye Stations – Gather some stencils, fabric markers and paints, and other decorations, and grab a few packs of plain white t-shirts from Walmart. This is a great activity to engage the kids as well as people of older ages with varying levels of intricacy in the designs.
- Decorate Takeout Containers – Buy some plain white paper takeout pails or boxes and set up stations with markers, stickers, paint, etcetera. At the end everyone has a uniquely decorated container to take home some treats!
- Patriotic Painting Stations – Use common household items such as straws, potatoes, or sponges to make firework, start and other patriotic shapes from. Roll out large sheets of craft paper and let everyone join in on the fun.
July Fourth Décor:
- Clothespin Wreaths –
You Will Need:
12-inch box wreath frame
Red White and Blue Spray Paint
Wooden Stars (Optional)
White Craft Paint
Foam Paint Brushes
Hot Glue Gun
String or Ribbon to Hang
Three Cardboard Boxes
- Clip your clothespins to the top of your cardboard boxes (using separate boxes for each color). Spray-paint your clothespins red, white, and blue. Let dry.
- Spray paint-your wreath frame red, white, or blue.
- If you have chosen to get small wooden stars, paint them white.
- After all of your pieces are dry, begin to assemble your wreath. Let your creativity shine here as you choose how you want to arrange your finished pins.
- If you have chosen to get stars, hot glue them onto the clothespins onto your wreath.
- Hang and enjoy!
- Red White and Blue Bandana Tablecloths – Sew together red white and blue bandanas in any pattern you choose to make a beautiful and simple reusable tablecloth.
- Easy Mason Jar Centerpieces – 1. Pick up red white and blue decorative sand, some mason jars, and tealights. Layer the sand by color inside the mason jars. Leave as is or place tealights, tiny flags, pinwheels, or other simple decorations into the sand for simple, yet memorable centerpieces.
- Place strings of battery-operated red white and blue fairy lights inside of mason jars for a cute light source when the sun sets.
- Fill mason jars with water and place alternation red, white, and blue glowsticks into your jars and seal for a simple alternative to the fairy lights option.
- Easy Temporary Lawn Stars – Make star shaped stencils and place in the lawn. Sift flour over the top for easy to rinse away lawn stars.
I hope that these few tips, tricks, snacks, and crafts will help you to celebrate July Fourth this year with a little less stress than in past years. If you have tried any of these out feel free to leave feedback in the comments. Or if you have tips, tricks, recipes, crafts, or anything else of your own, feel free to leave those in the comments as well. And remember that as always, Fifthroom.com has beautifully crafted indoor and outdoor furniture, lawn games, and more on our site. We are always here to help you to celebrate not only July Fourth and other holidays, but everyday life!