Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Last Minute 4th of July Party Ideas

Did you have big idea's for this years 4th of July festivities?  I know, we always do but then life happens.  Don't give up yet, I'm here to help you with some easy projects.  If you hurry to your local Dollar Tree or other dollar store I think you can still pull off a great party with very little money.

I've put together a last minute shingding for the 4th of July by picking up some inexpensive but festive items, and using a few things I have on hand around the house.

Forgive the dark photos, Hurricane Arthur has been getting in the way with his on and off dark clouds.

There are so many cute patriotic items you can pick up for a buck at the dollar stores.  Here's a breakdown of what I used to pull this together.

Dollar Tree Items

  • Uncle Sam hat
  • weighted centerpiece
  • lighted hanging lanterns - 3
  • pinwheels - 2
  • 2pk of paper medallions 
  • red white & blue metallic garland - 3
  • door hanger bell
  • blue metallic cardboard stars
  • napkins
  • cupcake papers with toothpick flags
  • 8 pk of batteries for lanterns
  • pack of Florida's Natural Fruit Strips 
  • bag of flag dinner mints
  • bag of pixie sticks
  • pool noodle (at Dollar General)
I spent a total of $19 at Dollar Tree & $1 at Dollar General for a total of $20.  Woo-Hoo!!

Things I had on hand
  • flag bunting
  • red woven basket 
  • blue flower tray 
  • red, white and blue filler
  • red, white and blue hanging tin pots
  • red and blue lanterns 
  • wooden flag candle holders
  • handmade Pillow
  • handmade garland 
  • wood flag stars 
  • star confetti
  • vintage Drum
  • Wooden skewers


  • red, white & blue cupcakes
  • red, white & blue marshmallows
  • cutout watermelon shapes
  • variety of candy
  • cokes, water Lipton kiwi sparkling tea

Stars on a plate or stars on a stick, both are fun and simple.  Just slice your watermelon end to end and use cookie cuts to cut out the stars.  You can also put a few blueberries and a star on a wooden skewer for a no mess way to eat.

Or you can cut out some cute summer shapes like boats and whales. Those cookie cutters were another $1 find that I found at Michaels craft store last year.  They're great for cutting sandwiches too and kids will really get a kick out of them.

How I put it all together

Paint is a diy'ers best friend.  The flower trays that hold the drinks were painted a bright new shade of blue and will be hanging on my windows soon.  The metal table lanterns were found at a thrift store for a $1 each and I just painted them.  Same thing goes for the hanging metal planters that I used as candy holders.  I found them at Dollar Tree a few years back and painted them in patriotic colors.  Last year I used them to hold flowers on my 4th of July porch.


  1. Turn your pool noodle into a wreath by bending and taping the two ends together with clear packaging tape.
  2. Wrap garland around.  Mine took 3 1/2 garlands.  4 would have been better but it was fine.  I taped mine so I could use the noodle wreath for other holidays by removing the garland.
  3. Using string I tied the door knocker with bells to the center.

I painted an old flower tray to hold the drinks & ice.  I used an old drum as a platform for the cupcakes.  You can color the cupcake icing with McCormicks food dyes.  Top with colored sugar or sprinkles.

Patriotic Marshmallows

  1. Put some sugar in 2 small ziplock bags.  With a toothpick add just a few dots of Wilton concentrated paste colors and massage until blending.  Keep going it doesn't take much, just work it in good.  You can use liquid food color but it may clump a bit until dry.  Transfer sugar to ramekins or small dishes.
  2. Dip one end of your marshmallow in a cup of water then dip into blue sugar. Put sugar end on skewer.  Repeat dipping the other end in water & red sugar.
  3. Using floral foam inside basket you can now arrange the marshmallow sticks.
DIY Garland

Sorry I didn't get a close-up it's barely visible at the top of the first photo.
  1. Cut triangles out of fabric.
  2. Using hot glue gun (be very careful) lay a ribbon across on the wrong side of the top of the triangles, spacing evenly and glue folding over the top.
  3. Turn over and glue stars to the front.

Be sure to have sparklers on hand for your guest.  I made little packages by tying them with ribbons.  Be sure to sprinkle your table with some fun patriotic confetti too.

DIY Flag Pillow

Here's a picture of last years 4th decorations.  You can see more porch decorating ideas here: http://cottonpickincute.blogspot.com/2013/07/decorating-with-old-glory-for-4th-of.html

I bought four of the large flag buntings years ago at Joann's using 40% off coupons. We use them for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day every year. It was so worth it, best buy ever!!

So see it's not too late you just have to HURRY!!  I hope you enjoyed my post.  Don't forget you can enter my Hapari Swimsuit giveaway to win a $100 Hapari gift code here: 
Hapari Giveaway.  Be sure to also enter my Denny's giveaway, where you can win a $25 gift card here:  Denny's Giveaway.

Wishing you all a fun and safe Independence Day...

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
~ Psalms 33:12


  1. How festive! I love it all :) I love sparklers & hope to get a few boxes for my grandson to enjoy for the 4th. I love your porch!! That nook in the far left corner looks so cozy & the red rockers are so southern country. You sure had great ideas with the red white & blue & a great low price too when pulled all together. Hope you guys have a bang up time! Happy fourth of July Tracy :)

  2. There sure are a lot of wonderful ideas for decoration for the 4th of July and it is not very expensive if I get the items at the Dollar store. I sure like the watermelon cut outs. They are so cute!!

  3. Dollar Tree is the best place to go for decorates gift wrapping and bags and cards. You did a great job decorating!

  4. I'm back again to see your pictures Tracy ;) they are so cheery! You house reminded me of Steel Magnolias the movie.