Party Patriotically With a Red, White + Blue Backyard Bash

Show your true colors this summer with an Americana-themed get-together. Our tips will help you festively deck out your deck or patio for the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or any summer celebration.

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Set the Scene

Summer parties are about enjoying time outdoors and relaxing with friends and family. Get your patio ready to party — without spending a fortune — with our tips.

A New Twist on Tradition

Americana colors + a few nautical nods = a winning setting for any summer soiree. For a traditional look that feels fresh, set your table with a mix of new and old items while keeping the focus on the tried-and-true: red, white and blue.

Bring the Indoors Out

Add a charming finishing touch to each place setting with vintage Blue Willow salad plates. Don’t own any of these handsome hand-me-downs? Check local estate and garage sales and thrift shops. Easily the most popular transferware pattern around, Blue Willow has been in constant production for more than 200 years, making it easy to pick up on the cheap.

Viva la Vintage

Give your table a playful touch by mixing in a summery vintage find or family souvenir, like this mini brass boat that’s actually an old sailing trophy.

Bandanas for the Win

Swap disposable paper napkins for reusable and budget-friendly bandanas. Check your local dollar or craft store — they’re typically $1 each — or save even more by buying them in bulk online.

Create a Layered Look

Keep with the red, white and blue theme and stack plates in the patriotic palette for a pitch-perfect look. Complete each place setting with earthy woven grass placemats and chargers.

Centerpieces: More Is More

An umbrella over an outdoor dining table is great for providing shade but it also presents a problem: where to put the centerpiece. Skip a single arrangement and instead surround the pole with an assortment of containers filled with flowers. No need to buy expensive vases; use what you have — like an old blue canning jar — then fill with summer blooms and greenery clipped from your backyard.

Create a Conversation Area

Pull together an outdoor sofa and chairs to create a cozy spot for guests to gather before and after the meal.

Light Up the Night

Lanterns do double-duty to carry the red, white and blue theme while also providing soft mood lighting after the sun sets. Fill with remote-control battery-operated candles for fuss-free flames that you can extinguish with the push of a button.

Cozy Up Patio Furniture

Weather permitting, bring indoor striped or patterned toss pillows and throws outdoors and pile them high to create a layered look.

Bring On the Blooms

Fill an old watering can with an assortment of grocery store or backyard blooms for an easy-to-craft decoration.

Serve Seasonal Sips

Free yourself from mixologist duties by whipping up a big batch of white wine sangria or lemonade before guests arrive. Whether you choose the cocktail or mocktail route, mix in lots of fresh blueberries and strawberry slices for added flavor and to keep with the party’s signature shades.

Conquer the Chill

Don’t let falling temps send guests packing. Fill a basket with fuzzy throws so guests can linger long after the sun has set.

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