4th of July Party Decorations

fireworks

Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood that was made up of 2 acre lots. We were about eight minutes away from a large city, and our town was what you’d call “rural.” We didn’t have a post office, and our fire fighters were volunteers. I loved growing up in that neighborhood for so many reasons, but some of the best memories I have growing up “in the country” (we called it) were the July Fourth parties we had.

Since we were away from the city a bit, we could have fireworks in our back yard. The big stuff, not just roman candles, although they were my fave. We lived pretty close to a lake, and there were two fireworks stands near us that we would excitedly look forward to shopping each year for the coolest new firework.

Of course, we also gathered sparklers, Black Cats and those weird snakes that were really just ashes. We ate hot dogs off the grill, helped turn the handle on the ice cream maker and stayed up past our bedtime to shoot and watch fireworks.

The Fourth of July is magical for me, partly because it falls right before my birthday (on the 6th, just in case you’d like to send me a gift!) and partly because I have such fond memories from my childhood. I look forward to this holiday every year, from planning the party to covering almost everything I own with red, white and blue.

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest is one of my favorite places to find inspiration for a party, and I’ve found countless ideas for a Fourth of July celebration. From outfits to games to crafts and party food, there are plenty of totally doable red, white and blue ideas to create the perfect birthday party for America.

Add a few bursts of color to your household and party décor with easy-to-make crafts! Try a flag pick wreath on your front door.

4th of July Party

Or pick up a handful of red, white and blue bandanas and whip up a color-block tablecloth or simply layer them across the center of your table for a no-sew table runner.

4th of July decorations

Easy DIY paper pinwheels and pom pons (that look like fireworks!) pack a big visual Fourth of July punch for pennies. Add them to the potted plants in and around your home or display them centerpiece-style in vases filled with sand.

4th of July pinwheels

You can’t celebrate the Fourth of July without some yummy cookout classics! Hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob and potato salad are timeless favorites, but it’s easy to add a splash of red, white and blue in your party snacks too.

Dip strawberries in white chocolate, then sugar tinted with blue food coloring or layer on colored icing for a festive treat!

4th of July strawberries

Or add sliced strawberries, bananas and blueberries to skewers to make a patriotic flag fruit platter.

Party treats

No patriotic party is complete without homemade ice cream! We have made this in-the-bag version for a couple years now and it’s PERFECT every time. Jazz it up with colorful blue and red sprinkles.

Ziploc ice cream

Now that you’ve got your food and decorations down, shop for some pieces to coordinate your personal look with the party theme. With nautical styles trending for summer, now is the perfect time to find pieces in red, white and blue for your ensemble.

Navy and white stripes

Nautical stripes

Pair with some red accessories…

Red accessories

Or a custom painted mani can make your Fourth of July look sparkle.

Striped nails

Don’t forget to plan for some fun for after the sun sets. Find yourself a great seat for a local fireworks display or make your own lightshow with DIY glow in the dark fun.

Fireworks in jars

Share your favorite Fourth of July projects, decoration, or food ideas in the comments!

Sending cards to our troops

Sending cards to troops

In honor of Armed Forces Day this Saturday, we wanted to do something special for our troops. So we printed up some special “Thank You” stationery, formed a plan and got our whole company involved in writing thank you cards to our troops.

Did you know letters are the #1 thing that U.S. troops request? A simple thank-you note can reassure them and lift their spirits.

Sending letters to troops

If you’d like to send a card or a letter to our troops, there are many ways to do so. If a friend or family member has been deployed, ask them if they can give you a roster so you can write letters to specific troops.

But if not, there are lots of resources. Try going through a service like A Million Thanks. You can send as many letters as you like, and they’ll take care of addressing them for you. We were fortunate enough to get a roster from employees whose loved ones were stationed overseas, so we got to address each card.

If you’re not sure quite what to write, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few examples and tips to get you started:

Dear __________,

It’s hard to know how to thank someone who has sacrificed so much for our country, but I will do my best. Thank you for having the courage to stand up and defend our freedom. Thank you for all the things you have given up in order to be where you are today. I want you to know that there are millions of civilians who are proud of you and deeply thankful for everything you do. I am praying that you will come home safely and your family will be comforted while you are away. May you be blessed in all you do.

Sincerely,

_______________

Dear Service Member,

I wanted to take a moment and let you know how much your service is appreciated. Even though you are far away, you are in our hearts and prayers every day. I thank you for being brave, selfless, strong and courageous enough to help preserve all the freedoms we enjoy every day. May your tour go by quickly and may you arrive safely back home with your loved ones.

With deep gratitude,

_______________

Dear Service Member,

Thank you for the sacrifices you make daily to protect America and our freedom. We care, and we want you to know that we stand behind you. Thank you for your dedication and the sacrifices that you and your family have made on my behalf.

Many thanks,

_______________

A few more tips:

  • Thank the troops for their service and for the freedoms they secure for us.
  • Encourage them by letting them know that we support them.
  • Don’t address the card “Dear Soldier” unless you know the person is a soldier. Troops like Marines do not refer to themselves as soldiers.
  • Be creative – draw a picture, use decorative stationery or print pictures in your letter. (Many services like A Million Thanks don’t allow inserts, so photos need to be printed on the letter itself.)
  • Include your name and address, or email address – many servicemen like to write back.