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Get Your Outdoor Party Lights 4th-of-July Ready

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Independence Day

5 Tips to Star-Spangle Your Backyard

Wondering what to do on 4th of July this year? Well, for starters, let’s take a moment of gratitude for our health, our freedoms, our provisions, and perhaps most of all, the people we love. With everything going on in the world, it’s easy to forget the simple, yet most important blessings. 

We also want to celebrate the fact that families are reunited, and we can travel more freely than at any other time in the past two years. So, we have a range of options for celebrating Independence Day.

If you have itchy feet, you may want to head out of town. If that’s the case, have fun and be safe. You can still get some fantastic outdoor party decoration ideas from this article, especially suggestions on how to hang outdoor patio lights.  

If you’re a bit more of a homebody, like us, then grab a nice, cold, refreshing beverage, kick your feet up, and take 5 to read this blog. We have some insightful and delightful 4th of July party ideas for bedecking your backyard with a whole lot of Stateside razzle dazzle, including outdoor party lights (our speciality!).


Raise the Flag

The most sensational––and obvious––inclusion in your 4th of July decor is none other than the Star-Spangled Banner. But before you jump the gun and get a head start on your good-patriot party planning, ensure you know appropriate practice for displaying Old Glory. 

Follow the Flag Code to learn the proper guidelines for displaying the American flag (check our resources section for the official USA Government flag display etiquette).


Create Mingle Zones (with Fun for the Kids)

The size of your backyard or patio is going to determine how large a soiree you can manage. If you’re having an intimate gathering of a few friends or neighbors, then creating one or two sitting nooks is probably sufficient. If you’re working with a large outdoor space, you have a lot more options. 

Ensure you have your snack and beverage zone. You may choose to keep the food inside to avoid spoilage or attracting pests. But if you have the BBQ going, a few snacks outside makes the grilling more a social activity than a mere food prep one. 

Once the food zone is settled, create some sitting spaces. Ensure there is enough seating for everyone, and if there’s not, toss down some weather-proofed cushions or mats on the lawn for a more casual backyard summer party feel. Foldable lawns chairs can be added in a snap if your cushioned patio chair set can’t adequately seat everyone.

You may also want to consider tucking a couple of mosquito coils or fly tape in some inconspicuous location to prevent those pesky visitors from becoming too bothersome. Plenty of shaded space is ideal too, especially if you live in a hot climate. 

Last but not least, unless it’s an adults-only affair, create a space in the shade for the kids, with priority given to safety (for example, don’t make it adjacent to a swimming pool, fish pond, etc). Throw down some safe and easy supplies so they can engage in simple, child-led art activities, like homemade bubbles, face paint, and coloring. 

If you have pavement close by, red, white, and blue chalk is an ideal activity that’s great for all ages. The kids will love making their own 4th of July decorations! A simple bean bag toss game is fun for all ages too!

Outdoor sitting space


Ready your BBQ

A party isn’t a party without food! You can get really creative with some red, white & blue themed snacks, which may require an over-reliance on food coloring. We recommend keeping it simple. 

Potlucks are great because they mean less work for you. However, if you’re a host with the most (or a hostess with the most-ess) then you likely enjoy the effort that goes into preparing and cooking food for the bunch. Just ensure you keep it simple enough to enjoy the party too. A casual menu that meets the likes of most people includes simple finger sandwiches, like cucumber and cream cheese, crisp, fresh veggies and dip, tossed salads (hold the potato salad or devilled eggs if your food bar is outside!), simple rice pilafs, chips and salsa, and of course… BBQ! 

Anything goes on the grill! Chicken kebabs are easy and tidy for feeding a group, as are classic hamburgers and hotdogs. Teriyaki salmon is nice too but the price may run a bit too high for feeding a group. For vegetarian versions, tempeh fingers marinated in miso grill up nicely and are less finicky to work with than tofu. Grilled sweet potato and eggplant rounds, are a delicious addition too, and super easy to prepare. 

The web is loaded with recipe ideas for 4th of July parties, so a quick search should land you a variety of great options.

Outdoor BBQ


Make a Playlist

A party definitely isn’t a party without the tunes! In a day and age of immediate, fingertip access to all varieties of music, planning a playlist is pretty simple. SoundShare, Spotify, Jukestar, and SoundCloud are a few popular apps you can use to create a perfect house party playlist.

There are two benefits to creating a party playlist before the party. First of all, you don’t have to worry about the music when the party’s in full swing. So, you can focus your attention on the food, the people, and the fun. Second, it prevents your guests from playing DJ once the beverages get flowing. Let’s face it – not everyone has your great taste in music! 

See our resources section at the end of this article for tips on creating a party playlist.

Outdoor party


String Up a Spectacular Light Display…

Last but not least, Fourth of July outdoor decorations aren’t complete without lights. But have you ever been to one of those social events where the lights are all wrong? They’re either too low, making you feel like you unwittingly joined some red-light event, or the lighting was a total oversight and the patio light’s bare bulb is shining its harsh cold glare on an otherwise warm social gathering.

Ambient lighting is where it’s at. But how do you achieve that? With string lights, it’s easy. Further, with string light poles, it’s a total snap. You can, but don’t have to, rely on perfectly positioned fences, trees, or pergolas. Or you can install string light poles quickly and easily, just about anywhere you want them.

Check out our popular Best DIY Outdoor Lighting Guide for the Lazy Landscaper to learn everything you need to know about installing string light poles (they’re so easy you’ll have them up in the same amount of time it takes you to read the guide!).

Then, choose your display from these 7+ Creative Ways to Arrange your Patio String Lights. We recommend an extravagant display if you really want to do it up, but a sweet and simple swag zig-zag pattern works with almost any backyard space.

For a bit of 4th of July kitsch, consider red, white, and blue string light bulbs. If that’s not an option, or a little too over-the-top for your style, make up the color combo with napkins or throw pillows.

Before you get started planning your 4th of July decorations for your backyard party, don’t forget to check out our DIY Lighting Guide, and hit up our resources section for additional ideas.

Have a blast this Independence Day! Cheers from all of us at Backyard Therapy. 

Outdoor string lights


Thanks for reading…

Feel free to check our blog and social channels anytime you need a little boost of inspiration. We’re here to lighten up the DIY with easy, practical, and fun solutions for transforming your backyard, patio, or outdoor space into the perfect staycation spot. 

And we’re eager to hear your thoughts! Tell us what you love or would love to see from us. Share your own swear-by-them DIY tricks. Bring us your challenges––we’d love to help.

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Author: Colleen Thornton

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