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The Fourth of July is literally around the corner and with that comes outdoor parties, barbecues and all sorts of entertaining over the long weekend.
This year, I decided to try upping my own entertaining game, but I wanted to do it on a budget, creating things that were under $10 and easy enough to make in under 10 minutes. Literally, with one trip to Michael's craft store I was not only inspired but ready to craft and DIY so many amazing things. For starters, greeting my guests with decor for the door.
I picked up a few small frames, a small flag and a medium-size flag. Framing the flags was very easy but how was it going to hang? I added ribbon on the back to hang them. It needed a touch more razzle-dazzle so I added a few stars to embellish it. This is a great decor item to hang on your door, you walls or even on a tree in the backyard.
Going with the always patriotic red, white and blue theme, I wanted to switch out the pillows on my front porch. Rather than buy new ones, I picked up some red, white and blue bandannas and made those into pillow covers. Basically, I took two bandannas, put them both front facing and adhered them together with an iron-on adhesive. Within a matter of minutes I made a slipcover. Once cooled, I reversed it and inserted a pillow and just tucked in the bottom. Talk about fast, fun and frugal!
Setting the table is one of my favorite things to do when having a party. Create a tablescape by adding a runner, but if you don't have the right one for this occasion there's a hack for that! Take spools of ribbon (I draped red and blue ribbon over a white tablecloth in this case) and roll them out lengthwise, attaching them all together on the backside with regular tape. To finish the ends of the runner, I added some silver sparkle from gift wrapping that gave it an extra bang!
When it comes to centerpieces, it's okay to fake it. Glass vases, silks with coordinating glass gems (blue with blue, red with red, white with white) are totally fine to use.
A pro tip to make them look a tad more real is to remove the leaves from the stem and use them to line the vase.
Also make sure to go the extra step by setting the table in style and personalizing it with menus cards, seating cards and anything else that gives it a custom touch. You can get a similar look like we used here by printing free templates from Tableau Events. Another great tip when setting your table – think about using dish clothes as your napkins for a charming feel.
And of course when it comes to a party you must have cocktails and drinks, but how do you keep them cool without all the added mess and extra ice? Buy frozen water balloons – they are a great practical presentation to use instead of ice. There's no drippy water mess and later they can be turned into a fun game once they've melted!
I hope these ideas have inspired you to have an amazing Fourth of July party of your own.
Francesco Bilotto is an interior design in New York City and TODAY Tastemaker who shares his tips and tricks on TODAY.com every month.