I felt a vague sense of dissatisfaction when I opened my (one and only) box of 4th of July decor this year. (Compare this to my 4 Easter boxes, 12 Halloween boxes and 24 boxes of Christmas decor.) (Or don't, as I am sure you have far better things to do.) We almost always celebrate the 4th with family but this year we will be fending for ourselves. I realized that not only my decor was insufficient but all that fun stuff one uses to serve a festive meal was sadly lacking.
So is our budget.
I cudgeled my brain, pored over magazine photos (I especially love Victoria and Romantic Homes)and haunted the thrift stores for fetching, festive, frugal finds. I also came to a number of realizations, ones I am going to share with you. (Those of you who have already come to these conclusions can avert their eyes.)
Check your garden for flowers that lend themselves to the color scheme.
Don't fret if your red white or blue item is not American, or even English (it is the Mother Country, after all). This delightful cup and saucer says ooh la la Paris (as it was made and purchased in France, only, sadly, not by moi) but its dark blue and gold combined with the Colonial costumes (they call it "Georgian" in England--in France they call it ooh la la fashion of the past) (or so I assume) (never a safe thing to do) has Patriotic written all over it.
Check dollar stores and other discount party stores (don't forget thrift stores--last week I walked out of our local thrift store with a flag pillow in the shape of a star, a blue scarf covered with stars, a burlap flag that I made into a pillow and an Old Navy 4th of July kit full of rw&b crepe paper, stickers and other goodies, all for $4.32!) for items that will fit the theme. Star cookie cutters can be silver, plates can be plain white--they don't have to be fancy to look festive. Candy in the right colors are a fun way to decorate, too (if anyone finds red white and blue M&M's, pls.give me a holler!)
One can never have too many pictures of Strawberry Shortcake, thus, therefore, and because . . .
When evening falls, one feels the need to be outside. Light up the darkness with more paper lanterns (plain white ones are cheapest and can be painted by the kiddios with water colors) which can be obtained much more cheaply than 3 for $10 if you shop ahead of time online. (You can use a string of white Christmas lights.) The one below is a Bethany Lowe design (I adore her stuff) that I bought at--are you ready?--the thrift store for next to nothing. Love it!
My big splurge this year ($13) was fabric to slipcover my usual rose-strewn pillows in patriotic themes. It took less than an hour to make three pillow covers and I feel that they go a very long way towards making things festive in a Patriotic way. However you celebrate the 4th this year, I hope that it is fun, festive, yummy and safe!