How to Throw a Beautiful and Frugal 4th of July Party

I’m so excited to share with you all how to throw a beautiful AND frugal 4th of July party this year! Our independence is certainly worth celebrating, so let’s explore together how to do it with style and without breaking the bank. If you use your imagination, you’re sure to come up with something fabulous!

Our July 4th Inspiration

I will never forget Starla’s stacks of Martha Stewart Living magazines sitting around the house when I was a kid. They were a constant source of inspiration for her. Looking back now, I realize, even though I was very young, their images are burned in my mind as well.

Martha Stewart can throw a party! When I think of her 4th of July issues, images of happy children’s faces being lit up by sparklers or fireworks come time mind. Hazy memories of Edison lamps and rustic American flags hanging in trees flash into my memory. It’s a feeling of cozy Americana.

a July 4th barn party with bunting and Edison lights life full and frugal

Cozy, rustic, old fashioned Americana is the feeling we wanted to create with this July 4th celebration! Our younger sister Serena hosted for us at her home. The original plan was to have the party under their gorgeous linden tree. It’s such a dreamy space! Unfortunately the weather forecast called for a 70% chance of rain, and the possibility of lightning and hail. We had to pivot. Their beautiful barn was the perfect plan B! They even already had all of the Edison and LED string lights for us!

Foxglove Springs Boutique Wedding and Events Venue

Our sister Serena and her husband Matthew are planning on opening a wedding and events venue on this beautiful property in the next 2 to 5 years. Our sister Skyla and her husband were married in their barn a few years ago and it was truly magical! Be sure to check them out in the near future! If interested, reach out to us for more details. 

a beautiful July 4th bunting and table setting life full and frugal

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Use What You Have to Throw the Party

I wouldn’t consider the decor in our home very “patriotic” or “Americana”. We have a lot of lighter, pastel colors. Even so, when we looked around at all of our glassware, stemware, pottery, and plants, we were able to really gather quite a few red, white, and blue items!

We were finally able to use a beautiful collection of milk glass vases for the table setting. To bring  a pop of red to the table, we placed red roses into the milk glass vases. The roses were from Aldi ($3.99 for a half dozen), and they were gorgeous!

My mom got me the most beautiful red wine glasses for Christmas last year. We simply placed tea lights in them and they were absolutely beautiful on our July 4th table!

a beautiful table setting for a 4th of July party life full and frugal

For the tables, we used a combination of tablecloths. We didn’t have two of the same, so we just mixed and matched what we had! The main table had two linen ones, along with a red tablecloth from Christmas, and a beautiful lace cloth for the middle. When we ran out of tablecloths, we simply used a clean white sheet and it worked wonderfully!

an American flag surrounded by lights and plants life full and frugal

We keep a collection of picnic baskets, apple baskets, and wine boxes around to use as props. You never know when you will need to create some height on a table or corner for a plant or candle. They have been so great to use on our porch for plants and holiday decor. Using this collection of boxy props was so helpful to decorate for the 4th of July party!

Use Your Houseplants!

Bringing some greenery to the decor was an absolute game changer! We have houseplants (and porch plants) everywhere. It was so nice to be able to use the plants that we already have instead of needing to buy new ones for this one occasion. I especially love the way the plants looked around the American flag at the head of the table. These plants made a perfectly beautiful and rustic frame around the flag!

Cut Your Own Flowers

Do you have your own cut flower garden or flower beds? How about some wild flowers from some local fields or ditches? It was so fun to be able to cut our own Shasta daisies, blue salvia, and decorative grass right from Serena’s yard. I love how the red roses, Shasta daisies and salvia all looked together! Best part? They were free!

an arrangement of Shasta daisies and blue salvia on a 4th of July table life full and frugal

Accept Hand-Me-Downs to Decorate for the 4th of July

Many of the items that we used throughout the barn to decorate were given to us for free! This is something we encourage people to do a lot; accept hand-me-downs! If someone has a box going to Goodwill, leftovers after a garage sale, or they need to empty a house after an estate sale, say yes to taking some things off of their hands! It doesn’t hurt to at least look through things and see what might be useful to yourself or someone else. What you don’t like or can’t use can always be taken to the charity store later.

Some of my favorite hand-me-down items we used are these beautiful little Apollo 13 and Apollo 14 juice glasses. They came from the end of a friend’s estate sale. I thought they looked so cute with a tea light!

apollo 13 and apollo 14 juice glasses life full and frugal

The blue kombucha bottles we used on the table were from Shanna. Aren’t they gorgeous? Another one of my favorite little touches are the little wooden planters that my friend Heather gave to me. They were absolutely perfect to sit little house plants in so that they all had a rustic cohesiveness.

Borrow What You Don’t Have When Throwing a July 4th Party

Thank goodness for Serena and Matthew’s generosity when throwing this party! They have a cobalt blue and white theme in their kitchen, so she shared so many cobalt pieces for the table setting with us. Because of the wedding venue they are preparing for, she also has a beautiful collection of lanterns that we were able to use. They brought something really magical to the whole space.

Another part of their venue collection are some gorgeous antique church pews. Talk about dreamy! We used one to kind of frame off the room. It was surrounded by plants, lanterns, blankets and old-fashioned bunting. The perfect space for family photos!

a cozy church pew with lanterns and house plants life full and frugal

There was some space in the barn the we didn’t need, so my parents provided some heavy canvas drop cloths to make a false wall. Along with the lights and bunting, this drop cloth wall brought such a lightness and coziness to the whole room.

Another beautiful touch was the large wooden logs that my brother-in-law Matthew provided for the plants to sit on. Can you get any more rustic than that? I also LOVE the antique ladders that we used to place candles and plants on. My favorite feature of the room has to be the old wooden ladder hanging horizontally with the mason jars and ferns!

Use Blankets

When I think of “old fashioned Americana”, my mind almost always goes to a hand stitched quilt. Serena provided a beautiful family heirloom quilt for us to sit on as we enjoyed the evening breeze outside the barn. If you don’t have a quilt, simple white cotton blankets will do perfectly!

Hit the Dollar Stores for Decor

Once you’ve exhausted all of your options to use what you have, I suggest checking out your local dollar stores for the rest. Dollar General and Dollar Tree have some beautiful 4th of July decorating items! 

a patriotic table setting for a July 4th party life full and frugal

For example, we got the large American flags hanging in the doorway of the barn, and the bunting hanging on the ends of the dinner table at Dollar General. Notice those beautiful red white and blue bows holding up the bunting? Yep, those are also from Dollar General! Same thing with the sparklers that we lit for the kids at the end of the evening.

The plates, napkins, dip bowls, and rustic bunting hanging on the drop cloth wall were all from the Dollar Tree. In fact, the bunting is actually just made from scarves that we tied together. Isn’t that so pretty?!

homemade Americana 4th of July bunting life full and frugal

Plan an Inexpensive Menu for Your July 4th Party

Throwing a big party means feeding a lot of people! Keep the costs down by planning an inexpensive menu for your guests. 

My brother-in-law Matthew is a hog farmer so they are able to get pork really cheaply. We decided on pork burgers and chicken legs for the main meats. The chicken legs were less than $5 for a 12 pack at Aldi. We simply marinated those overnight and they were absolutely delicious grilled! For sides, we served homemade potato salad, homemade French onion dip, a veggie tray, potato chips, tortilla chips, and pink dip.

a plate of food at a July 4th party

For dessert, we wanted to stay with something cool and seasonal. We served Nanny’s Blueberry Banana Delight, and strawberry shortbread.

To drink, we had homemade lemonade and iced tea, along with water. So as you can see, the menu was simple, homemade, and delicious. It fed a large group without breaking the bank. And everyone went away with full bellies and smiling faces!

homemade lemonade life full and frugal

Get Creative For Your Independence Day Celebration!

I hope these ideas have inspired you to throw your own beautiful and frugal July 4th party! If you allow your creative juices to flow, get some inspiration, gather, and mix and match what you have, you’re sure to come up with something sparkly and gorgeous! We wish you a very happy and blessed Independence Day celebration with your friends and family!

a little boy holding a sparkler for July 4th life full and frugal
an evening view of a July 4th barn party life full and frugal

Feeling Inspired? Pin It for Later!

how to throw a beautiful and frugal 4th of July party life full and frugal

10 Comments

  1. Alicia Cummins

    Such a great article and how beautiful!!! I have some of the same memories!! Happy 4th to you all!!🇺🇸❤️💙

    Reply
    • Shanna

      So glad you enjoyed it, Alicia! Happy 4th to you as well! God bless you! =)

      Reply
  2. Errika

    Beautiful job. I love the tip about borrowing things. I always seem to forget that’s an option!

    Reply
    • Sierra

      Thank you so much, Errika! It’s so nice to have friends and family that share! LOL! <3

      Reply
  3. Stacey

    These are amazing tips! Your party looks incredible 🤩

    Reply
    • Sierra

      Thank you, Stacey! It was so much fun! Hope you feel inspired! <3

      Reply
  4. Juliea Huffaker

    Great Ideas for celebrating the 4th of July!!! Beautiful decor, beautiful post & blog. Thank YOU!

    Reply
    • Sierra

      Thank you so much, Juliea! That means a lot!! Hope you have a wonderful July 4th weekend! <3

      Reply
  5. Julie

    These are some great frugal tips!

    Reply
  6. Betsy

    I love this! The bunting is beautiful, and I love the touch of the Apollo glasses. So cool! Thanks for all of these great ideas. 🙂

    Reply

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