Fun decorations for July 4

Light up the weekend with a star-spangled lantern, red-white-and-blue tabletop, and more

Glowing tablecloth

Wendi Nordeck

July 4 decorating ideas

Secret garden night lights

Eden Rodriguez, owner of End Design in Santa Rosa and Mill Valley, places garden stake lights or a small battery-operated camping lantern under tablecloths.

To hide an electrical cord, she parts the grass, tucks in the cord, and stakes it with a U-shaped piece of wire. If you're using electric lights, keep fabric 2 feet from the bulb.

For extra shine, you can create a table covering from brightly colored ― and inexpensive  taffeta. Use fusing tape to secure panels together and tuck unhemmed edges underneath.

Lawn stars

Thomas J. Story

Lawn stars

This Fourth of July, let a few lawn stars brighten up your celebration. They're ideal alongside a walkway or next to your picnic table.

1. Use a craft knife and a metal ruler to cut a star-shaped stencil out of a large piece of chipboard or cardboard.

2. Mist the patch of grass with a spray bottle of water.

3. Place the stencil on the grass and, using a sifter or large strainer, sprinkle a very small amount of white flour into the stencil.

4. Carefully remove the stencil and dispose of the excess flour. For a longer-lasting star that can be walked on, use spray or marking chalk. To find suppliers, search the Web using the key words "spray chalk."

Festive tabletop for the Fourth

Festive tabletop for the Fourth

Here's a quick way to tap those patriotic colors with contemporary style.

How to:  Set this festive outdoor table

Star lanterns

Make star luminarias

White bags and vellum stars make festive outdoor lanterns.

Use a star stencil and colored vellum to make red and blue stars. Glue them to white paper bags. For beautiful (and safe) illumination, use a small tap light instead of a candle.

Hanging lights

Rob D. Brodman

Hanging lights

Give hanging lights a festive kick with blue tea candles, then suspend them by replacing their hanging chains with red and white ribbon. It's your own, updated version of stars and stripes.

These came from Dandelion in San Francisco, CA.


James Carrier

Star-spangled pinwheels

These patriotic pinwheels are easy to make and fun to see spinning in the breeze on the Fourth of July. All you need are a few basic materials.

More:  How to make party pinwheels

Fourth of July chairs

Rob D. Brodman

Chairs for the Fourth

For a crisp and casual accent, cover outdoor folding chairs with red-, white-, and blue-striped canvas fabric (ours is acrylic-coated so it won't fray).

For two chairs, each about 13 inches wide, we used 2½ yards of 32-inch-wide fabric cut lengthwise and trimmed to fit. Five-foot lengths of ribbon, tied with a neat bow, secure the fabric at the back of each seat and at the top of the front legs.

Patriotic pillows

Rob D. Brodman

Patriotic pillows

These pillows, from L.A. textile designer Paula Smail, instantly warm up bench seating ― and would look gorgeous on your couch year-round.

Set a jaunty table

Rob D. Brodman

Set a jaunty table

This place setting says Independence Day with a modern spirit that would make our forefathers proud.

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