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Clever 4th of July Party Ideas to Make This Year’s Backyard Bash the Best

Find quick and simple ideas for decorations, drinks, and treats for a fun 4th of July celebration. To keep the party going, find more July 4th desserts at

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Courtesy Katie Drane

Quickie Garland

To make your own 4th of July party garland on the cheap, try this trick from Fun Home Things, who cut red, white, and blue plastic tablecloths into strips, and tied them to a set of string lights.

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Courtesy Big Bear's Wife

Independence Punch

A drinkable 4th of July flag! Big Bear’s Wife mixed up a patriotic beverage using cranberry juice, blue Gatorade Frost, Diet 7-Up, and ice cubes for a refreshing party cooler.

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Courtesy Eat Drink Pretty

Bandana Banner

Eat Drink Pretty shares a two-second, 4th of July decorating trick: Fold a bandana in half and tie each end to a string. Then hang between two trees.

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Courtesy Brit+Co

Flag Goody Bags

Arrange a Hershey’s Cookies N’Cream Chocolate Bar, Twizzlers, and Pretzel M&M’s inside a clear plastic goody bag for a fun, flavorful flag, like the DIY masterminds at Brit + Co. do.

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Courtesy Virgil Bunano

Flag Canopy

Create a classy canopy and mood lighting for your 4th of July party with this genius idea from Style Me Pretty. Tie red, white, and blue paper streamers onto big-bulb outdoor lights, and hang above a picnic table or a grassy dance space.

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Courtesy The Merry Maple Vintage

Muffin Tin Art Caddy

Vaccuming in High Heels & Pearls created this quick DIY with a muffin tin and some red, white, and blue buttons, beads, and other odds and ends. For a 4th of July party activity, leave it out on a backyard table for kids to string necklaces and bracelets.

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Everlasting Snow Cones

Make snow cones that won’t melt—these beauties are actually Bakerella cupcakes in disguise. A glittery tri-color frosting tops a layered three-color cake that you (and your party guests) have got to see to believe.

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Courtesy Fantastic Fun and Learning

Firework Rings

Make fun fireworks accessories with the kids using this tutorial from Fantastic Fun and Learning. Twist together sparkly tinsel stems (or patriotic-color pipe cleaners) to create cute rings.

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Courtesy Danelle McCollum at Let's Dish Recipes

Cool Soda Bar

Desserts on the 4th of July can be used as party decorations with this sweet soda bar idea from Let’s Dish. Group red, blue, and clear soda bottles on a table with small bowls of striped straws, cherries, sprinkles. After the grill is off, bring out ice cream and let guests make their own ice-cream floats.

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Courtesy It All Started With Paint Blog

Stars and Stripes Table Caddy

Create a fun DIY caddy It All Started with Paint that you can use for your 4th of July party and all summer long. Coat a mason jar in a layer of white or blue acrylic paint, then apply painter’s tape in stripes around and paint a second coat, using another color. Peel tape off and let dry. To make stars, either paint them freehand, or use a stamp.

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Courtesy Jessica via Two Shades of Pink

Bandana Place Settings

Dress the table in a jiffy with this great 4th of July party idea from Two Shades of Pink. Wrap red, white, and blue bandanas around cutlery and tie with twine; the cloths become handy napkins.

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Courtesy Big Bear's Wife

Chalkboard Cups

Keep tabs on your drink with this easy project from Big Bear’s Wife. Sponge acrylic paint on to a set of mason jars, for a distressed look. (Do not paint the lip or inside of the jar.) Once dry, draw an oval with chalkboard paint and let that set. For your party, leave a cup of chalk on the table so people can I.D. their cocktails.

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Courtesy chickabug blog

Patriotic Glasses

Make your own patterned glassware in under a minute (seriously!) with this 4th of July craft from Chickabug. Using contact paper, punch out stars (or apply store-bought star stickers) onto glasses to keep your party table looking festive.

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Courtesy Liz Stanley

Fire-Free Sparklers

Help kids celebrate at your party without worrying about flaming sparklers by making this safe and cute 4th of July craft from Say Yes. All you need are festive straws, wooden skewers, paper, and tape.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest