Before we all know it, the 4th of July will be here! And with it, the outdoor family celebrations we all love—BBQs, cookouts, picnics. With so much summer activity already going on come July, how can you keep things simple (and sane!) as you pull together a festive outdoor table setting that’s both patriotic and practical? Lucky for us all, these 7 wonderful July 4th tablescape inspirations show how, using color-coordinated plate ware and serve ware, doable DIY centerpieces, and decorative elements you most likely already have!
Tablescape Decorating Tips for an Outdoor 4th of July Bash
Tip #1: Leave the table top bare.
Since you’ll be outdoors anyway, there’s no need to fuss with fancy table linens. Instead, show off the wooden slats of your picnic tables and be glad you need not worry about food spills and beverage stains! You may add checkered or striped table runners (1, 2) or colored place mats (4), if you wish, to create a festive vibe in a snap.
Tip #2: Use your serve ware to set the colors.
Time to bring out the red, white and blue crockery! If you have any plates, bowls, platters, glasses, mugs and glasses in any of these colors, simply set them out in a fun mismatched style (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
Even plain white plate ware can provide a crisp base for bright pops of red and blue, via the napkins, coasters, and serving trays. Or maybe you have plates with stars, fireworks patterns, stripes, even polka dots. Bring those in, too!
For something different, you can opt for a “cool” modern approach, laying out sky blue (7) plates and place mats and white napkins. Welcome visual relief from the hot summer sun!
Tip #3: DIY delightful centerpieces: floral, edible, patriotic!
This is the summer holiday! So grab what the season has to offer right in your own garden—fresh flowers in a pitcher (1); ribbon-tied bunches of daisies in glasses (2); potted geraniums, roses or carnations in a bright red bucket (4). Or from your kitchen, an edible centerpiece: a white frosted cake topped with blueberries and raspberries (5)!
And of course, super-easy and appropriate would be bunches of flags (1, 2, 4, 5, 6) placed in vases, pitchers, cylinders, or baskets. Stars and stripes forever!
Tip #4: Have eats that are visual treats, too.
Use your picnic/cookout food and snacks to double as decorations! Simply choose items that are red, white or blue—and display them in eye-catching ways. Think hotdogs, watermelon, fresh berries (5), fruit juices and colored sodas; as well as sweets like red and blue lollipops (4), licorice, gumballs, marshmallows, tri-colored popcorn, jello, snow cones.
The bonus to all this is the decorations get eaten. So less clean-up for you!
Tip #5: Add decorative pieces from your personal stash!
Take a look around your home, in your craft room, attic, kitchen or garage. You may discover quaint and charming “Americana accents” like throw pillows (4), red and blue bandanas, a picnic basket or blanket, crocheted doilies, or pretty paper lanterns (see pic below for a DIY burlap table runner by Thistlewood Farms).
Even odds and ends like striped, checkered or star-patterned ribbons are great for dressing up your table elements; old baseballs and a mitt; a patriotic art print you can display in a frame or pin to a tree. The possibilities can go on!
Okay, July 4th, here we come! We’ll be ready for you with the most fun and festive outdoor table settings we can create—easily and inexpensively!