FOOD, HOLIDAYS, HOME TRENDS, VIDEO
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Check out these patriotic party ideas

I’m sure many Mississippians are preparing for a July 4 holiday gathering this week with family and friends. With a busy schedule, it may seem impossible to find the time and energy to decorate for your patriotic party, but I’ve collected a number of easy ideas for you that could help make your Independence Day party a fantastic Fourth affair.

Check out the video above to see some of the following decorating tips in action. And if you have tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Ten simple and inexpensive patriotic party decorating ideas:

1. Hit up the Dollar Tree. Your first stop should be the Dollar Tree or anywhere with an assortment of holiday decorations at a low price. You don’t have to spend a lot if you’re being creative. Part of the fun is seeing what you can come up with on your own without dropping a lot of cash.

2. Blow it up. Red, white and blue balloons are cheap. Fill a few with helium and place them in strategic locations.

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3. Have fun with fruit and flags. Buy plain white cakes, cupcakes and vanilla ice cream. White is a great base color because it’s easy to decorate with red and blue items. Add a small flag to a simple white cake, or place blueberries, strawberries and raspberries on it for decoration. You can do the same with ice cream. (It only took me about two minutes to top this purchased cake with fruit.)

4. Get your freedom on. Dress in patriotic colors. Chances are you already have something red, white and/or blue in your closet, so wear it to show your American pride. (Look for a story on patriotic fashion in Tuesday’s edition of The Clarion-Ledger.)

5. Revolutionize a wreath. Find a few inexpensive red, white and blue flowers at craft stores to easily create a holiday wreath. Add a flag to your wreath. (Watch the video to see the before and after transformation of my wreath. I purchased the original grapevine wreath used in the video for $1 at a thrift store.)

6. Red, white and baby. If you have a baby girl, the Fourth of July is a great time to buy a new headband or hair accessory for her with a patriotic design. You can find a number of Mississippi sellers on Etsy.com making them.

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7. Uncle Sam wants you . . . to have fun. Use flags in your centerpieces, and put them in vases with flowers. You can also transform an Uncle Sam top hat into a centerpiece.

8. Patriotic pets. Don’t forget your pet. Buy a small piece of flag-printed or red white and blue fabric, and make your kitty or puppy a patriotic bandana. They don’t want to be left out.

9. Free Fireworks. If you live in the Jackson metro area, check out The Clarion-Ledger to see what kind of July 4 events you could end the night with. Those who live in Northeast Jackson and Madison County are only a short drive away from Ridgeland’s annual Celebrate America Balloon Glow. If you want to sneak over after your party, you can watch an amazing fireworks show from the parking lot of Northpark Mall around 9:30 p.m. And it’s free, just like our country. (Look for a story about it in The Clarion-Ledger’s Weekend section Thursday.)

10. Be a recycling rebel. And If you’re an Ole Miss fan, you may be able to recycle some of these red, white and blue ideas, using them again for a sports party. I have also created a Pinterest Board with many more simple July 4 decorating ideas, so check it out.

Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

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