How to Decorate Your Backyard for a Fourth of July Party

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Celebrating America’s birthday is the perfect excuse to throw a backyard party for all of your family and friends. It’s a day that's ideally spent relaxing by the pool, eating great food and enjoying a fireworks show. But before you send out an invite list, you’ll need to have some stellar red, white and blue decorations to really give your party a festive spirit. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry — you can handle making the decor yourself to fit in everywhere from the sprawling buffet table to the biggest backyard tree. And the best part about these personalized pieces is that you can reuse most of them long after this year's celebration has come and gone. Here are 15 ideas for making your Fourth of July backyard jamboree the best holiday party ever.

(Image: eHow)

Put on Patriotic Party Clothes

First things first — you and your family need to get dressed for the occasion. Buy pairs of white shorts at a superstore, and spend the days before your big barbecue or pool party dyeing them red, white and blue.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Try To-Die-For Tie Dye

Now that you have your shorts, it’s time to tie dye t-shirts for you and all of your guests. This is a great project to get the kids involved in, and they’ll have tons of fun trying to come up with funky tie dye bursts and streaks.

(Image: Kersey Campbell)

Set a Red, White and Blue Table

Now it’s time to tackle your tables with table settings that are festive and chic. This approach uses cloth napkins, melamine plates and an adorable dip bowl decoration. Bonus? If one or two of these colors are already part of your kitchen or dining room decor scheme, you can use parts of the place settings all year long.

(Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Dine Next to Mason Jar Centerpieces

Mason jars shout Americana, and you can use them to make a Fourth of July floral arrangement. You can make mini versions for multiple tables, or a big one for a long outdoor table. When your guests are ready to go, they can take a few home.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Make a Tray Ready for Dinner

Whether you decide to grill the standard barbecue fair or get some catered food (no judging here), you’ll need some servingware to help dish it out. This tiered serving tray is rustic, and you can use it to serve just about anything: hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches or even cupcakes.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

DIY a Lacquered Tray for the Liquor

The same goes for your drinks — if you decide to mix cocktails inside, you’ll need this lacquered tray to help you bring them to the patio or poolside. Again, you can totally reuse this piece over and over again in your everyday life. It looks great on a bar cart or on a dining room sideboard.

(Image: Jennifer Bridgman)

Get the Party Started with Homemade Poppers

When everyone gets to the shindig, hand them each a DIY party popper. If you want to take a break from more red, white and blue, use craft paper and confetti in bright, cheery shades. If your city doesn’t allow sparklers or fireworks, this is a safe alternative that everyone can participate in.

(Image: Gillian Ellis)

Craft Drinks on an Outdoor Bar Cart

If your Fourth of July party guest list comprises mainly of adults, chances are you’re gonna spend a lot of time pouring and serving drinks. Consider building this outdoor bar cart so you aren’t stuck in the kitchen the entire time. Set some time aside the weekend before to build it, and you’ll enjoy it all summer long.

(Image: Sarah Dorsey)

Repurpose Pots into an Accent Table

Have any terra cotta pots laying around? Time to make an outdoor accent table. This table is great to set a plate on, or as a surface for lanterns or candles. You can also learn how to weather pots, a technique you can incorporate throughout your garden or patio.

(Image: Tim and Mary Vidra)

Keep the Bugs at Bay with Citronella Torches

When your soirée extends into the early evening, chances are high that the bugs will come out to join the party, too. Instead of buying expensive sprays or lamps, put together these citronella torches. If you live somewhere that has a big bug problem, you’ll be glad you have these.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Dress Up Ordinary Twinkle Lights

As the moon goes down and you gear up for the fireworks show, you’re gonna want ambient lighting to give everything the perfect soft glow. That’s when you’ll break out these twinkle lights. Pro tip: you can use the same project for other holidays by swapping out the color scheme.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Use Extra Mason Jars for Backyard Lighting

Another lighting option is to DIY lanterns using mason jars. You can switch up the sizes of the jars for variety, and attach them to a fence or an awning post. You’ll end up using them through the dog days of summer.

(Image: Tim and Mary Vidra)

Skip the Floral Arrangement for an Herb Wreath

When your guests come out to the backyard, the first thing they’ll see and smell is this gorgeous herb wreath. Take a walk through your own garden to find clippings, or stop by the farmers market on a Saturday or Sunday morning before the big day. If you still want to incorporate flowers, you can stick in small blooms around the wreath.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Hang Fun Wind Socks

If you have trees in your backyard, tie up a few patriotic wind socks in the branches. Try experimenting with different patterns in the red, white and blue color scheme. The stars and stripes waving in the breeze will be a wonderful sight to see.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Paint a Festive Pallet Decoration

Pick up a pallet from the hardware store, and turn it into the perfect piece of Americana art. You can place it by the seating area, or tuck it in amongst your plants. When you step back and look at your yard waiting to have the best Fourth of July party ever, you’ll be so glad that you decided to do it all yourself.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

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