Friday, June 21, 2013

Decor: Star-Spangled Barbecue

In addition to fantastic liquid refreshments, M and I were determined to have every inch of the decor scream "AMERICA"! We decided early on that this would be a traditional red, white, and blue affair, and that all of the decor would reflect this classic color scheme.

One of the challenges of throwing this party on my city patio is that we were very limited in space, so we had to be quite selective about which items to include. Luckily, our old pal Dollar Tree (who provided the yellow napkins that we stamped for my 30th birthday party) was fully stocked with tons of festive decorations that prettied up the party yet required minimal storage space.

Let's take a peek at how the patio looked before our guests arrived...first up is our "Freedom" banner!

This banner was made from a free printable set - we simply downloaded the file, printed out each page, and cut out the bunting shape! To hang the banner, we used red and blue clothespins to connect the letters to a sparkly garland that was strung on the patio wall.

We kept the opposite side of the patio a bit simpler to keep the view of the courtyard unobstructed:

A single garland star was strung from the edge of the patio with red grosgrain ribbon, and twinkle lights surrounded the space to give us a pretty glow in the evening.

When hosting a party that has a theme as steeped in specific colors as the 4th of July is, it can be fun to get in on the act and match your festivities:

M and I paired our blue/white print dresses with red accessories, including our watermelon punch glasses! We were basically movable decorations.

Ok, now onto the paper goods and some minor crafts that make a big difference. First up: the plates, cups, and utensils: 

Keep things simple by using disposable items (this is especially important for me, as a city gal without a dishwasher)! We used large star dishes for our guests' meals to keep a steady stream of red and blue on the dining table.

In order to keep our napkins from blowing off the table, we did an easy utensil craft:


Forks and knives were wrapped together in star napkins that matched the dinner plates. To hold everything together, we used the red grosgrain ribbon again to tie a small bow that was sealed off with a tiny American flag sticker. Cute and functional! We switched up the holding plate to a red gingham print dish so that the napkins would pop against it.

Another simple craft to add some extra pizzazz to your gathering is straw tags:

These blue/white striped paper straws were already adorable on their own, but the "Cheers!" circle tags made them extra special. We downloaded a free printable design, cut out the circles, and punched holes at the top and bottom to slip them onto the straws.

One tip about the straws - as cute as they are, the striped straws get soggy pretty quickly so make sure to have plenty of extras on hand (3 per guest is a good estimate). 

Now, it's time to stick those straws in some mason jars!


Mason jars have definitely grown in trendiness over the past few years and are now a common fixture at all sorts of events from this casual barbecue to even a wedding! M and I love the rustic charm of mason jars, and appreciate how their clearness allows the drink to shine and also encourages some decorations for the glass.

We went back to the site where we found the Freedom banner, downloaded a free printable set of vintage-looking circles with a variety of American phrases, and secured them to the jars with star garland (which we also used to wrap our watermelon boat). 

This next item doesn't quite fit into the traditional category of decor, but it was a big hit at the party so we have to include it! Is there any activity more all-American than hula hooping?

We left a hula hoop out in the living room in the hopes that our guests would be intrigued and try it out as they walked by. It was a fun party game (and a little bit of cardio to start working off those barbecue calories!).

M and I are big believers in never letting your guests go home empty handed, so we assembled some small goody bags as a final party treat:

We used the same free printable circles that were wrapped on the mason jars, and tied them with a "Let Freedom Ring" ribbon that I found for 50 cents in a clearance bin at Michael's! I may not have known at the time that I would be hosting a 4th of July party, but I knew it was too good of a deal to pass up and that it would definitely come in handy one day. Whenever we see a fab deal on a specialty craft item, the TSN gals always snap it up! 

We used a star-shaped chocolate mold to make blue chocolate stars and wrapped them up in these red treat bags. Do you notice the white hearts on the red bags? Technically, these were Valentine's treat bags! I was originally going to use clear ones but it wasn't quite working out as I had hoped (the blue chocolate and blue ribbon together overpowered the small red stars on the ribbon), so I grabbed some leftover Valentine's bags from my closet to balance out the color scheme. M and I love to repurpose leftover craft items and party supplies, so I was happy to find a new use for these bags.

Of course, none of this decor matters if you don't have fantastic party guests:

A big thank you to all of our guests for being the most important part of this fabulous day!

What are your must-have party decorations?



  1. WOW!!!!! That looks like the most. Fun. EVER!!!!

  2. Your decos are amazing, as usual!! I really love the matching decorative outfits.... Super festive and cute!

    1. Thank you! We couldn't resist the urge to dress up and match the party!


Thanks for visiting The Sequin Notebook! We LOVE hearing from you :)
B & M

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...