The scent of backyard BBQs, American flags waving proudly, colorful sparklers and spectacular fireworks dazzling the night sky, 4th of July is an occasion to not only celebrate our preeminent national holiday, but also to kick off the summer fun with family and friends. If you’re hosting 4th of July festivities at home, it’s time to show off your red, white and blue spirit with these top DIY ideas.

 Stars and Stripes

From the front yard to the back, you obviously want to decorate your home with the colors of our flag, along with its stars and stripes.

You can make your own patriotic garland by attaching some miniature flags or red, white and blue star cutouts to a ribbon. Another simple idea is to pin items like these to a clothesline –boom, instant garland! Hang your patriotic garland along yard fences, and place it around your doorways and outdoor patio areas.

Here’s another simple, effective pro tip in three words: Flags On Sticks. Flags on sticks create a very patriotic impression, and can be placed around lawn areas, pathways, and anywhere else you can think to stick them!

If you want to take the national pride atmosphere to another level, you can hang white paper lanterns from tree branches or around a gazebo. Add your own patriotic embellishments to the lanterns. You can’t miss with red and blue cutout stars, and you can add some stripes by putting ribbon streamers on the bottom of each lantern.

Festive Tabletop Ideas

Decorate tabletops by placing miniature flags on sticks or DIY 4th of July pom-poms in glass jars. These fun party favors make for great takeaways to give your guests, as well.

Red, white and blue flowers can be arranged as a beautiful centerpiece statement for each table. For red flowers, you can use red anemone, chrysanthemum or poppy. For blue, there are blue delphiniums, cornflowers or hydrangea. And for white, try one of these lovely blooms: daisies, hibiscus, white anemone or ranunculus.

Cover tables with patriotic tablecloths, and/or trim the edges of tables with some of your DIY star-spangled garland.

And don’t forget to bring out your red, white and blue tableware! If you don’t happen to own any, you can always go with some festive, eco-friendly disposable plates.

Delicious Red, White and Blue Treats

Besides the traditional favorites off the grill, complement these savory dishes with some tasty, sweet sides and desserts that go with the 4th of July theme.

Try this amazing recipe from renowned chef Jacque Pepin: Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint.

Who doesn’t love a summer berry pie? Try these 4th of July pies from the one and only Martha Stewart.

Seasonal fruits can stand just fine on their own, too. From a juicy ripe red watermelon, to a mix of summer’s blue and red berries (like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries), your guests will love the delicious options of fresh fruit.

And on a hot summer’s evening, Minted Watermelon Popsicles can really hit the spot! Get the recipe here.

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