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Quick tips for a last-second 4th of July party

Let me be real with you, my internet friends: I know how you ended up reading this post today. I know because I’ve been there before. In mid-June, you invited your friends or family (or both) to come over for a 4 th party, and you said to yourself, “I have plenty of time to make plans; no need to worry.” Then you blinked and *BAM!* it’s July 3 rd ! In a panic, you googled something along the lines of “easy 4 th of July decorations” or “last second 4 th of July party,” right? And here this post was — a shining beacon of hope, certain to convince your friends this party has been at the top of your to-do list for at least the past week. Trust me, from one party planner to another, absolutely ANYONE can throw this one together is about two hours!  

RELATED: 3 pieces of USA-made furniture for the proud American

The best part about a 4 th of July event is no one expects anything swanky or over-the-top. No matter who you are, or where you live, you can bet your guests are prepared for a casual red, white, and blue cookout. So, let’s break it down into basic party planning steps, shall we? A theme, entertainment, menu, venue, decorations, and then little details.

That sounds like a lot – I know – but trust me, your party planning guru, when I say this one will come together in a snap. Obviously, the theme has been decided for us, which is great! This totally decreases the number of decisions we have to make and means you can collect what you need in no time. Entertainment also is taken care of by fireworks, of course. Personally, my rooftop garden has a great view of the city’s fireworks so I will be setting up my tables and chairs there. Figure out where your local fireworks will be, and either set your yard up accordingly or plan to take coolers and blankets to a better vantage point. Menu and venue are also simple. We are going full cookout here — nothing to it! Outdoor setting: check! Cookout: check! I’ve even added a shopping list to make your life that much easier. Print this bad boy out and head to the store right now.

RELATED: Check out the Outdoor Furniture Selection by Morris Home HERE

Did you notice the “paperware” and “other” sections? Oh, yes, that’s right. Decorations: check! Everything you need to decorate is right there in the grocery store. We are going to use disposable paper products for this one, which not only reduces clean up but also allows you to bring in the colors of the event. Red tablecloths, blue plates, etc. are so easy to find and amp up the festive atmosphere instantly. I like to get solid colors for most of these products because they are cheaper and more accessible. Leah party tip: I always try to go with place settings (paperware, in this case) that fit the theme because it saves time and money to combine decorations with something you have to buy anyway. I also happened to come across a few 4 th- themed paper products in my grocery store, too. They had American flag napkins and the most adorable red, white and blue paper straws. Keep an eye out for things like that to give you an extra “oomph.’ For the table tops, I get flowers because, again, they are sold in the grocery store and cut out a step. This year, I found these really cool dyed flowers, but if your grocery store doesn’t have those, white daisies would work. Red and white carnations are easy to find, too.

We could stop here. I guarantee that, at this point, your friends will have a great time and be none the wiser that you slapped this one together in only a few hours. But let’s say you have THREE hours instead of two, yes? Here are the other things I do to make the party THAT much more special. You all know by now that I love a good party favor — this one is simple and still grocery store accessible. Grab a few packs of mini flags and some SPARKLERS! That’s all it takes. I found some red ribbon in my craft closet, so I tied them together to make them extra cute. I got some sidewalk chalk and drew stars, flags, and phrases all over the asphalt. It adds another special touch and is the perfect entertainment for my friend’s kids.

PINTEREST: Check out the Morris Home “Home for the Holidays” Pinterest for lots of great ideas!

My last tip is this: WEAR your party theme. This little detail makes YOU look absolutely put-together. It’s just so simple to do, but we overlook it. Just adding a fun outfit adds some extra flair to your event. The 4 th of July is the easiest one there is, too. I am throwing on some blue jeans, a cropped white tee and this little collection of red accessories which I already had in my closet. Festive and simple: just what we like.

Boom! Done! It’s as simple as that. It’s easy to throw a great party quickly if you just break it down into these simple steps. It’s easy to impress your guests with a great menu and a few extra details. If you do happen to have a little extra time on your hands, check out the Morris Home Pinterest for more ideas and lots of simple DIYs.

You can find more selection, more style and more savings on the latest interior designs at Morris Home stores in Ohio and northern Kentucky. Start shopping now at http://www.morrisathome.com/

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