The Frugal Hostess posed this question on her Facebook fan page last week: What does a frugal Fourth of July mean to you? The answers were sparse, because the traditional ways of celebrating Independence Day are already pretty frugal: wienie roast, free fireworks, and watermelon. But did you ever think that it might be time to upgrade? That maybe, just maybe, this is your year to make the Fourth of July shine?
Enter The Exploding Brunch.
This party is ideal for having eight or ten people over to your house. It is not exactly kid-friendly, although it could be modified somewhat to achieve that.
Obviously red, white, and blue will feature prominently. Rather than the typical bunting or flags, look around for less traditional objects that fit the color scheme. Ideas to try for your table centerpiece:
1. All shapes and sizes of white candles, accessorized here and there with red and/or blue ribbons.
2. A monochromatic still-life of everything red you can find.
3. White butcher paper stamped with assorted shapes in red and blue ink.
4. Glass bowls or platters filled with red, white, and blue foods. Red could include Twizzlers, strawberries, apples, Red Hots, Hawaiian Fruit Punch, and Doritos. For white, use marshmallows, honeydew melon, SnoBalls, pistachios in their shells, and string cheese. Blue can be blueberries, all shapes of blue gummies, blue corn tortilla chips, and Sweetwater Blue beer. Note: this is a fun thing to do, but it can get really expensive.
In addition to a table centerpiece, The Frugal Hostess always decorates for a party with a little something in the bathroom her guests will be using and a little something on the front porch. For the bathroom, a white candle tied with red and blue ribbon or a milk glass vase with some red carnations would be plenty. The front porch is a little more difficult unless you have a flag holder, in which case, duh. If you have potted plants on your porch, stick a couple of miniature flags in them. If you have hooks for hanging plants, you can use them to hang mobiles made of red, white, and blue ribbon or cut paper.
How to make a ribbon mobile:
One embroidery hoop, separated into two circles
Red, white, and blue ribbon in various widths
1. Cut the ribbon into 12-16 inch lengths (you will need a lot).
2. Tie each length to the embroidery hoop, turning the knots so that the ribbon hangs right.
3. Tie three lengths (10-20 inches, adjust based on what looks best at your house) of fishing line at even intervals around the hoop, then tie the ends together at the other end. This last knot needs to be strong, since you'll use it to hang the mobile up.
Variation: Since you would need a giant amount of ribbon to completely cover both hoops, it might be more frugal to use paper shapes. Cut stars or some other shape out of red, white, and blue papers (good way to use up old scrapbooking supplies or construction paper). Tape the shapes to 12-16 inch lengths of really thin ribbon, and tie the ribbon to the hoop. Twelve dangling shapes should be plenty on each hoop. That way, you can use fewer pieces but still have a big impact. A bonus step would be to paint the hoops before tying on the ribbons.
Whew, The Frugal Hostess is worn out. Stay tuned for The Exploding Brunch, Part Two.
photo by The Frugal Hostess (hence poor quality)