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Last Minute 4th of July Ideas

Today, we’re sharing last minute 4th of July ideas! While Independence Day has not entirely snuck up on us, we’re less prepared this year than we’ve ever been thanks to a jam-packed May and June. 

I know some stores might be low on red, white and blue party supplies right now. But with a bit of creativity and effort you can still make your home feel warm and inviting this holiday weekend. 

Here’s a look at last minute 4th of July Ideas you and your family can enjoy without a lot of extra fuss…

Start with a Bucket List

When you’re short on time, creating a 4th of July bucket list will go a long way in helping to make sure you get to enjoy those activities you care most about. 

It doesn’t have to be long on involved but it should contain your top priorities and wish list items even if that includes a nap on the porch ?

Plan a Festive Menu

After your bucket list is complete, start planning a festive menu.  There are lots of fun and easy ideas you can create from grill packets to pasta salads to gourmet hot dogs to lobster rolls and seasonal salads.

My only advice is to shop early and make it as easy as possible. 

Fly Old Glory or Hang Bunting

Flags are a super easy way to make your home festive for the 4th of July! Even if you don’t have a designated spot for a large flag to fly at your house, consider lining the sidewalks on your property with flags, adding them to a centerpiece or a container garden on your front porch.

Make a Simple 4th of July Centerpiece

Shop your house, the floral department of your local market or the garden center for a simple 4th of July Centerpiece.  You can use flowers, vintage finds, flags or party supplies from the dollar store to create something special.

Create a Patriotic Tablescape

Creating a patriotic tablescape doesn’t have to be complicated at all!

You can use red, white or blue ticking, checks, polka dots or stars as a simple tablecloth or runner or napkins.  Then layer with basic white plates or another favorite from your collection. 

Keep glasses and eating utensils as basic as possible by using mason jars.

Finally, a simple bouquet of flowers such a hydrangeas, sunflowers, peonies or red roses is an easy way to complete a festive feel.

Wear Red, White, and Blue All Weekend

If your family is anything like ours, you’ll be attending multiple events throughout the weekend.  Wearing red, white and blue is a super easy and inexpensive way to remember the sacrifice of your fellow countrymen by wearing our nation’s colors with pride.

Plan a Hike, Walk on the Beach, Day at the Lake or Picnic in the Backyard

Planning intentional time for family will definitely take a bit of extra creativity this year given each state and city has different social distancing rules in place.

That said, being able to enjoy each other and reconnect over a hike, walk on the beach, day at the lake or a picnic in the backyard help you celebrate each other in ways you might not have been able to for a while.

Visit a National Park, Monument, or Battlefield

I know being able to visit a National Park, Monument or Battlefield will look different depending on what state you live in, crowd size and weather conditions. So, be sure to check all the details out in advance.

Paint a Patriotic Sign You’ll Be Able to Use Year after Year

This sign was inspired by the love my sisters and I had for sleepaway camp.  We use it every year both indoors and out.

If sleepaway camp is not your thing, try making a sign that is important to you and your family.  You can use words from patriotic songs, poems, or even your favorite quote.

Create a Freedom Wall or 1776 Table Runner

Living a life of freedom is a blessing we must never forget. You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to show gratitude though. 

Easily create a freedom wall or table runner with craft paper or a chalkboard and have your family write down the freedoms they’re thankful for this year.  

Host an Outdoor Patriotic Movie Night

There’s nothing like lazy summer nights snuggled up watching movies! Turn this summer tradition into a yearly rite of passage by hosting a patriotic movie night. 

A few to consider include:

  • Independence Day
  • Band of Brothers
  • Saving Private Ryan 
  • The Patriot 
  • Glory
  • Lincoln
  • Hamilton’s America
  • Forrest Gump
  • Rocky IV
  • Hidden Figures
  • Top Gun
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Captain America: The First Avenger 
  • Smith Goes to Washington 
  • The National Parks Documentary from Ken Burns 

Fill Paper Cones with Red, White and Blue Goodies

Using Independence Day scrapbook paper from the craft store to make festive party cones is another super easy last-minute 4th of July idea. 

Depending on the age of the recipients you can fill them with everything from sparklers to sweet treats.

Churn Homemade Ice Cream

Summer was made for homemade ice cream!

I can remember making ice cream with my Granny on many a hot summer day.  While we no longer churn our own ice cream by hand I think about her every time I scoop a bit of vanilla over blackberry doobie or peach cobbler.

I hope this list of last minute 4th of July ideas has given you easy ways to help make this holiday a special one. 

As with everything else this year, it’s going to take a bit of extra effort and creativity but making the time to create special memories will always be worth it!

Other Patriotic Posts You Might Enjoy:

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. I am loving all these last minute ideas, CoCo! Such wonderful breadth in these – I love that you’ve included everything from eye catching home decor to table settings, food and movies. There’s truly something for everyone here – I wish I was celebrating too! Enjoy your 4th of July!

    1. Thanks so much, Katerina! I seriously can’t believe how fast the summer is flying by already. Thankfully, we’re determined to make every day count and I’m sure you are too. Hope your week has been a fun one so far, CoCo

    1. Thank you, Linda! I still can’t believe how fast June flew by. It’s kind of bananas to even think about. Hopefully, things will slow down a bit after the 4th so we can soak up all that summer has to offer. Hope you’re having a blast at the lake. Hugs, CoCo

    1. So glad you like these! We’re all about quick and easy especially this summer 🙂 Hope you’re having a great one so far, CoCo

  2. So many wonderful ways to celebrate the 4th, CoCo! I love each one of them but honestly, you had me at ice cream! LOL! So many memories of churning it on the farm as a young girl! I hope you and yours have a fabulous 4th! Hugs, Christine

    1. ha ha we could totally be friends, Christine! I love homemade ice cream. I think I’ve eaten my weight in homemade peach ice cream this week. Thankfully, we have an ice cream maker now but oh my word I remember the days of hand cranking and they were no joke 🙂 Big hugs, CoCo

  3. Elizabeth says:

    they are so so so so fun me and my sister loved doing them thank you CoCo

    1. You are so welcome, Elizabeth! I know our festivities looked different than what we imagined they would be but I hope you guys had fun celebrating and your weekend was a relaxing one. All the best, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel, I really appreciate it! Hope you and your family have so much fun celebrating this weekend, CoCo

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