4th of July Fun with Bashery & Co. and Party City
Posted on 27 June 2017
When I was a little kid my family's 4th of July party was major! I'm talking a hundred people in two backyards in a small town in Pittsburgh. This was the norm for every holiday, but for some reason their 4th of July party is something I remember so clearly. Maybe it was the fireworks or the decorations my Gramma used or the smell of the hot dogs and hamburgers or the 50 trips to the cooler to get anyone who asked another can of I.C. Light! We loved poppin' open the cans and my brother and cousins would always sneak a sip, but not me - I hated the taste of beer and still do! Now the frozen peach brandy concoction they came up with is another story! Anyway, but boy did I learn how to throw a mean game of horseshoes. Growing up with all boys, I had no choice.
A lot has changed since then but my love of the party is stronger than ever! We are actually travelling to Pennsylvania this year for the Fourth of July and will hit up my husband's hometown of Lewistown first where we will celebrate the Fourth. Their parties are just like my family's - we are from the same mold, hence the fact that we were engaged just 3 months after our first date. My family will have a party for us the following weekend and it will not disappoint.
I wanted to give you guys some fun, simple and affordable party inspiration so I threw a little pre-party this weekend with the help of Party City, focusing on decor, outfits, desserts of course drinks! I know most of the parties you see me throw are over the top but the truth is they don't have to be in order to have fun and that's the whole point, right? My family didn't have a lot of money but boy did we party and that's what life is truly about, celebrating it. When my grandmother died, my grandfather told everyone that would listen at the funeral home that he may not have had a lot of money but he sure was rich in life. That has stuck with me this past decade and I just want to provide that outlook on life to my girls. I honestly have no idea how this blog post turned into a lesson in life but I just started typing and this is what came out!
Now to the party inspo. Can we talk about the flag balloon wall?!! I was so happy with how it turned out and it is the easiest thing ever!!
Flag Balloon Wall
- 5" balloons (red,white and blue) from Party City (water balloon size)
- Mounting tape from Amazon (regular double sided tape does not hold for very long, especially if it is windy)
- Balloon pump because it is way too hard to blow up this many balloons!
- Figure out your layout based on the amount of space you have. I wanted the flag to fit perfectly above my couch so we did 10 balloons across and seven down - 70 balloons.
- Start pumping but be sure not to inflate too much as you want the balloon to maintain the round shape and not get pear shaped
- We used 10 strips of mounting tape and stuck on the wall, cutting off the excess tape
- Just press the balloons into the mounting tape and you're all good!
- If you are doing this outside make sure the balloons are not in direct sunlight or they will deflate quickly and/or pop.
- My flag lasted a full 24 hours and could have lasted longer if the sun didn't come out.
- Blow up extra balloons and just throw around on the floor for a fun look.
Pillows and table runners
I am a fabric hoarder - literally bins and bins of random fabric that I use to make pillow cases and table runners and anything else I can think of to go along with a party theme. These fun pops just tie everything together! I know you are thinking that it is too much work to sew pillow covers and table runners but you don't even need to know how to sew. There are so many no-sew tutorials like this one that are super easy. Table runners are beyond easy - just cut and use fabric glue and you got yourself an awesome decor piece that isn't plastic and you can reuse. Of course I had to throw some white sequin in there! You can literally use any type of material.
Drinks Drinks and more Drinks!
I love a good festive drink and here are a few that will have you feeling all kinds of festive! Oh and some for the kiddos too! I am all about Watermelon Fresca - spiked of course!
- 1 watermelon, cubed
- 1 cup water
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Mint for garnish
- For the drink
- 1 ounce spiced rum
- 1 ounce vodka
- 4 ounces watermelon agua fresca
- Jacobson Cocktail Salt
- Mint and watermelon for garnish
- To make the watermelon agua fresca, pulse the watermelon in a blender with the water, sugar, and lime until smooth. Strain over a fine-mesh strainer lined with paper towel, reserving the liquid.
- Fill a drink shaker with the spiced rum, vodka, and watermelon agua fresca. Top with ice and shake.
- Rim a glass with lime then dip in salt. Fill the glass with ice and then the drink. Garnish with a watermelon wedge and enjoy!
Blueberry Absinthe Cocktail
Fill a cocktail glass with ice cubes (we froze blueberries inside ours). Use a cocktail shaker to mix a handful of ice, 2 shots Stoli Blueberry vodka, 1 oz pomegranate juice, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice and a splash of simple syrup. Pour into a small tumbler. Top with 1/4 oz Lucid Absinthe, then club soda, pouring both slowly over the back of a spoon. The absinthe will slowly turn from clear to milky white.
For each drink, blend 5 frozen strawberries, 1-1/2 oz lime juice, 1-1/2 oz rum, 1 tsp sugar and 1 cup ice. Don't forget the fruit garnish, drink umbrella and sugar rim! Yum!
The best party drinks are as much about the presentation as the ingredients! Pour some red, white and blue stripes by starting with pomegranate juice, cranberry juice or red Italian soda, then adding blue Gatorade and club soda or lemon-lime soda. Finish with fun curly straws for a family-friendly cooler that'll make 'em ooh and ahh way before the fireworks start!
A little summer fruit in your party cups is a quick, easy way to turn even the most basic beverage into a festive party drink. Whether it's sangria or a Shirley Temple, make it U.S.A. all the way by adding sliced star fruit, sliced strawberries and a handful of blueberries. Red, white and blue all the way!
Fun Decor from Party City
Yay for flags and pinwheels
Our fave 4th of July centerpiece is also a great way to display patriotic party favors. Mix different sizes of American flags and pinwheels in a clear ice bucket filled with metallic tinsel. It's a bright and colorful display that celebrates the spirit of Independence Day!
Drape a star-spangled banner behind your tables
Make a grand Old Glory backdrop with a large American flag. Make a big impression with the large flag from the flag kit as your background, then add solid color serveware and tableware printed with stars and stripes. Sprinkle handheld American flags and mini paper buntings along the table for fun pops of color.
Keep the drinks chillin' with colorful balloon ice!
Here's a fun way to keep drinks cold: Fill red and white star-printed balloons halfway with water and freeze the night before the party. For a USA-mazing drink display, we tucked in star-themed yard signs, and snazzed up red and blue sodas with fun hand-written stickers. A warm summer's night, fireworks and ice-cold drinks – 4th of July perfection!
Give the little patriots Uncle Sam hats filled with favors!
What's more exciting than fireworks? Party favors in red, white and oooooh! Mini patriotic top hats make unique favor containers and fit the perfect amount of goodies, like star-shaped novelty glasses, bubbles and glow sticks. Put them out on a tray to surprise your pint-sized patriots. They'll have a blast playing all day!