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Fourth of July – Shop Emily’s Entertaining Essentials

Remember this shoot three years ago where I said ‘I’m not a party thrower, I’m a party goer’? Well, our life has changed and now I’m all of a sudden dying to throw a 4th of July party in the new house. So I started pinning and planning and designing my fantasy 4th of July family backyard party. Then I realized that we were going to be out of town, so instead of letting those pins go to waste, I’m giving you my 4th of July party plan.

But first…. We have been doing smaller dinner parties out on the patio, more impromptu style and here is what I’ve been using as my essentials. Some are splurges I love and use constantly, and some are cheap solutions to outdoor entertaining. But these things, below, are my go-to’s for all our summer BBQ’s.  I’m not going to write a essay about each piece, but I’ll call out anything noteworthy.


1. Cake Stand A splurge but I love it and will use it year round | 2. Round Throw I bought for a picnic shoot but love it on my dining table as well as on the ground. | 3. Blue Glass Serving Bowls I love that these look consistent and have a million functions (plus are inexpensive).4. Silver Serving Utensils Because I’m loving silver these days 5. Blue Tassel Kitchen Towel | 6. Copper String Lights We have these wrapped around our patio area | 7. Bar Cart | 8. Beverage Tub We have two of these and we typically use one for ice and one for beer/wine. Don’t forget to buy the stand for it so you don’t have to bend over. | 9. Wine Glass | 10. Water Acrylic Glass (set of 4) Now typically I don’t like acrylic glasses, but we tend to take our glassware down to the castle area and inevitably some child knocks one over, so from now on either acrylic glasses or classic canning jars because they are hard to break (and make me feel happy) | 11. Blue and White Striped Tray I’ve had forever and I love that you can put it in any room | Now to the boards – All of these look great together and can be for any occasion, indoor or out | 12. Round Cutting Board | 13. Marble and Wood Board | 14. Ceramic Serving Board | 15. Large Wood Cutting Board | 16. Oval Blue Dot Plate (I love so much) 17. Resin Champagne Bucket | 18. Blue and White Towel | 19. Food Tent | 20. Wood Handled Flatware  So I don’t have to bring all our flatware out every night | 21. Canning Jar | 22. Bamboo Plates | 23. Compostable Wooden Hot Dog Tray  I love an upgraded paper plate and these are still really inexpensive | 24. Small Blue Dot Vase Normally in our bathroom but I would bring out for little dinner parties | 25. White Pitcher | 26. Lounge Chair  Because we need some for guests that can be on the grass but will fold up and can be stored easily, but prettier than lawn chairs (I have serious outdoor movie night plans with these) 27. Large Glass Bottle (I love these for mixers or elixers) 28. Medium Glass Bottle | 29. White Tray | 30. Acrylic Drink Dispenser | 31. Beverage Tub Stand | 32. Acrylic Pitcher | 33. Navy White Stripe Kitchen Cloth | 34. Citrus Squeezer | 35. White Disposable Flatware On the nights where it is more than 8 people, I ain’t doing dishes …. which leads me to these: 36. White Disposable Cups | 37. White Disposable Napkins | 38. Chip and Dip Bowl Set | 39. Divided Server | 40. Wooden Dip Bowls | 41. Dutch Oven | 42. Tall Copper Lantern | 43. White Votive Candle Set | 44. Short Copper Lantern | 45. Grill Set | 46. Ice Cream Scooper | 47. Popsicle Stick Tray I love how it’s only 2 pieces and not a ton of plastic

So that’s what I’m working with, my staples so to speak and what I would have out most nights either with just us, or a handful of friends.

For themed holidays (especially one that is only one night, not Christmas) I don’t replace everything, I simply layer on affordable pieces. There might be a few that I store for next year (like that pillow and those vases) but I don’t want to have to store a TON of random American flag decor. I try to keep it classy, not too themed out but festive enough that you know you are indeed celebrating America.


1. White Bunting I actually will use this for every holiday, it’s so cute | 2. Red Balloon Big impact, super cheap | 3. Table Runner So cute and an easy thing to store | 4.  Large Navy and White Striped Mixing Bowl I need mixing bowls anyway | 5. Small Navy and White Striped Mixing Bowl | 6. Red Zig Zag Hand Towel | 7. Blue Scalloped Painted Vase I love these vases | 8. Blue Stripe Painted Vase | 9. Vintage Patriotic Flag Tassel Garland  See? I’m festive! | 10. Stars Ice Tray | 11. Red and White Straws | 12. Small Striped Tin | 13. Red Serving Tray | 14. USA Balloon At first I wanted just 3 silver ones, but these are only $10 and huge and that makes way more sense | 15. Blue Striped Pillow This was why I wanted to throw a 4th of July party in the first place | 16. Blue Cotton Braided Basket | 17. Red Ombre Stripe Kitchen Towel | 18. White Cloth with Red Stripe | 19. Paper Star Napkins | 20. United States Ice Tray For jello (shots), obviously | 21. White Wreath | 22. Red Popsicle Tray | 23. Denim Print Dessert Cup | 24. White Disposable Flatware | 25. Inflatable Patriotic Beach Balls The kids! plus graphic and fun to look at | 26. Wooden Lawn Bowling Set For the kids!! |  27. Corn Hole Bag Toss Set Because Mr. Henderson loves him a corn hole set

So I made us put together a board that is my essentials + the Fourth of July party items so you can see how they work together and how keeping your essentials simple can make layering on even crazy primary colors really easy and still stylish.


1. 1. White Bunting | 2.Copper String Lights | 3. USA Balloon | 4. Red Balloon | 5. Tall Copper Lantern | 6. White Votive Candle Set | 7. Short Copper Lantern | 8. Bar Cart | 9. Beverage Tub | 10. Red Zig Zag Hand Towel | 11. Red Serving Tray | 12. Large Navy and White Striped Mixing Bowl | 13. Small Navy and White Striped Mixing Bowl | 14. Table Runner | 15. Blue Glass Serving Bowls | 16. Wooden Dip Bowls | 17. Tile | 18. White Wreath | 19. Bamboo Plates | 20.White Disposable Flatware | 21. Paper Star Napkins | 22. Compostable Wooden Hot Dog Tray | 23. Round Cutting Board | 24. White Cloth with Red Stripe | 25. Blue and White Striped Tray | 26. Blue Stripe Painted Vase | 27. Blue Scalloped Painted Vase | 28. Lounge Chair | 29. Blue Cotton Braided Basket | 30. Blue Striped Pillow | 31. Large Wood Cutting Board | 32. Ceramic Serving Board | 33. Oval Blue Dot Plate | 34. Chip and Dip Bowl Set | 35. Vintage Patriotic Flag Tassel Garland | 36. Acrylic Drink Dispenser | 37. Beverage Tub Stand | 38. Small Striped Tin | 39. Stars Ice Tray | 40. Large Glass Bottle | 41. Medium Glass Bottle | 42. White Tray | 43. Red Ombre Stripe Kitchen Towel | 44. White Disposable Cups | 45. United States Ice Tray | 46. Red and White Straws | 47. Corn Hole Bag Toss Set | 48. Inflatable Patriotic Beach Balls | 49. Wooden Lawn Bowling Set | 50. Ice Cream Scooper | 51. Denim Print Dessert Cup | 52. Red Popsicle Tray

While there isn’t a lot of straight up American flag stuff, I think it says Happy Fourth! while not wasting a lot and using what I already have.

Please, folks. Someone do this party. I will next year but if you do it this year please send photos. Happy Friday.



Photo by Tessa Neustadt

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6 years ago

Thanks, Emily. This is awesome. What do you use for to keep bugs away? We’re having a party July 4th weekend and I’m afraid the flies / mosquitos / tiny who-knows-what-they’re-called bugs are going to drive us insane.

6 years ago
Reply to  Es

Fans – the bugs hate flying through the wind and the cool breeze is refreshing to guests.

6 years ago
Reply to  Es

very nice essentials collections.

6 years ago

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Sarah D.
6 years ago

The 4th is, hands down, my favorite holiday of the year…and my birthday… and my anniversary!!! We do a whole family games extravaganza with just a hint of red, white & blue. Thanks for these great ideas:)

6 years ago

Love this post! Maybe you could elaborate on really liking silver lately? Maybe in another post? It seems like silver was out for awhile and I would be interested if it was coming back in.

6 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Silver, chrome, and polished nickel are definitely swinging back in. As a biz owner that sells lighting, i find it interesting. As a lover of nostalgia, im super excited to use my grandmother’s silver more frequently! Dont get me wrong though, brass copper and black are still so great.

6 years ago
Reply to  Katie

This cracks me up, because I live in the Midwest and I swear silver, chrome, etc have never gone out here. Gold probably won’t be “in” here until the coast are over it.

6 years ago

Your patio was made for 4th of July parties! Holy cow.

6 years ago

I love those bottles and have have a secret tip for getting them cheap! World Market has imported French soda in those same bottles for $2.99. Save the trouble of filling them yourself the first time because they’re already filled with fancy soda and then just take off the label after your party and you scored the bottle half price!

6 years ago
Reply to  Katy

That’s EXACTLY what I did, and now have about 5 of them ready for parties!

6 years ago
Reply to  Emily

IKEA also has bottles in that style for $3!

6 years ago

Great collection!

JSYK, the prices in the main collection image are a bit hard to read at the size and serif that they are now. Not sure if that’s intentional to make them subtle, but wanted to let you know nonetheless.

Happy 4th!

6 years ago

I love the idea of putting rugs out instead of blankets. It looks like that would work much better!

Fashion Blog

6 years ago

Such a fun roundup! I’m reluctant to have people over until my house is finished. Which it won’t be anytime soon – great inspiration to just do it. Thanks Emily! 🙂

6 years ago

Check out my 4th of July tablescape using these products! or on Instagram

6 years ago
Reply to  Maria

I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and hopeful that you will write many more posts like this one.The knowledge you share really changes me in life, I sincerely thank you for the things you have done, sure your blog will help more people. Sincerely thanks

6 years ago

I love that you’ve built a party around a single pillow.

6 years ago

The 4th is, hands down, my favorite holiday of the year…and my birthday… and my anniversary!!! We do a whole family games extravaganza with just a hint of red, white & blue. Thanks for these great ideas:)

6 years ago