While hot dogs and patriotic-ly colored fruit are nice, July 4th is less about the food (although we support these red, white and blue sweets) and is more about being outdoors, being around your fam and friends and — oh yeah — being thankful for our country’s independence. Here are 17 creative ways to snazz up your independence-appreciating. From DIY banners to lanterns to flags, you’ll wish you had an excuse to throw an outdoor party every day this summer.
1. Festive Drink Straws ($4): All you need to make your drink the cutest one at the party is a set of straws. Order festive straws online and use printable 4th of July tags to create an accent that will make red cups and glasses alike more attractive.
2. Wooden Flag Table: Really, is there any thing more American than beer pong? (via Mr. Kate)
3. Kite Garland: Appropriate for indoor or outdoor use, these kites are the cutest things since sliced bread. (via Brit + Co.)
4. Paint Chip Banner: All you do is trace and cut (and find the largest paint chips possible). (via A Bit of Sunshine)
5. Red White + Blue Mason Jars: The mason jar strikes again. This time it’s dressed appropriately. (via It All Started with Paint)
6. American Flag Marshmallow Pops: These mallows double as decor, and when you fire up the bonfire, whoa — the most patriotic s’more of all time is coming your way. (via Living Locurto)
7. Blue Glassware: If you can’t find blue glassware to purchase you can paint your own glasses and bottles with glass paint. They’re an easy way to look prepared. (via BHG)
8. Mason Jar Sippy Cups: Sippy cups ain’t just for kids anymore. Their purpose is twofold. They’re visually appealing ways to mark your drinks while adding decor to the party. (via Two Shades of Pink)
9. Crepe Paper + String Lights: Under these happy lights we envision drinking wine and laughing with your friends until afternoon turns to dusk. (via Style Me Pretty)
10. Candle and Vase Wrap: Grab a few glass votives, find any kind of patterned paper, arm yourself with some Scotch tape and you’ve got yourself party-appropriate candle holders. (via BHG)
11. Star Garland: A star stencil, sewing machine and people to appreciate your talent are all you need for this garland. (via Hope and Honey)
12. Printable Pinwheel Cupcake Toppers: Another printable project to make your cupcakes, or whatever food, more festive. (via Nest of Posies)
13. Confetti Popper Rockets: Not only do these rockets look adorable, you get to pull the string for a confetti surprise. The kids (and everyone else) will love them. (via Alpha Mom)
14. Patriotic Water Bottles: Hydration at any celebration is imperative. Wrap a small flag around water bottles and you’ve got a tall drink of America, the beautiful. (via BHG)
15. 4th of July Printable Party Collection ($15): Invites, banner flags, food labels and food flags, you name it, this set of printables has everything.
16. Printable Matchbox Labels: The cutest and most functional party favor ever. (via Lia Griffith)
17. Confetti Balloons: We thought these were too awesome to pass up… Fill them with red, white and blue confetti and they’re 4th-of-July-perfect. (via Kojo Designs)
What other ways can we make our 4th of July party the cutest ever? Let us know in the comments below.