The start of summer brings many opportunities to gather with friends and family. Of course, one of the most important reasons to celebrate is the 4th of July! No need to stress if you’re hosting this year, these fun DIY projects will help you get your home party-ready in no time. From decorations to recipes to party favors, we have everything you need to guarantee that your 4th of July party is a success.
Need some 4th of July themed decorations? Try making a True Destiny Designs’ DIY bandanna pillow. These look great on your front porch, inside or in the backyard. Bandanna pillows are easy and inexpensive to make. All you need is some thread, two bandannas for each pillow, stuffing, and basic sewing skills.
- Lay two bandannas flat on top of each other with the patterned side facing out.
- If you want to take advantage of the bandanna’s finished edges, sew three sides of a square shape around the pattern leaving at least an inch or more on the edges. This will create a “ruffle” on the pillow.
- Another option if you don’t want a ruffle, is to sew along three edges with the pattern facing inward. Then flip the bandannas right side out to have a clean edge.
- Finally, stuff the bandannas, and sew up the opening on the fourth side.
For more DIY 4th of July decorations, check out our DIY pallet flag tutorial here.
Every party needs party favors, and no 4th of July celebration is complete without sparklers. Sparklers provide a fun activity that everyone can enjoy, as well as a great photo opportunity. Be sure to stock up on sparklers and pass them out once the sun goes down.
Seasonal Fruit Salad
For a delicious side dish that couldn’t get any easier, make a patriotic fruit salad! Fill a large bowl with any combination of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries. Add as much fruit as you need for however many people you’re serving. Save some valuable time in the kitchen with this sweet salad that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Guide to Perfecting Juicy Lucy Burgers
The “Juicy Lucy” hamburger is a unique alternative to a classic cheeseburger to serve at your 4th of July gathering. A Juicy Lucy is basically an inside-out cheeseburger. While these are delicious, cooking them comes with a few challenges. We have the best tricks and tips to help you out.
First Problem: Exploding Burger
If the burger patty isn’t made properly, the liquid cheese will burst out of the center and make a huge mess. Why does this happen? As the burger cooks, it also contracts. This can put too much pressure on the melted cheese in the center. If the patty is not well made, the cheese flows out of any holes and will get burned onto the griddle. To avoid this problem, you need to make sure that the construction of your patty is flawless. To get thin, even patties, place a ball of meat between two pieces of plastic, and flatten it using the bottom of a pan. Once you have two patties, place the cheese in the center of one, and cover it with the other patty. Be sure to seal the edges tightly.
Second Problem: Overcooked Patty
Another common belief when making a Juicy Lucy is that the burger must be cooked well done for the cheese to melt. Many people just deal with this because the melted cheese helps the texture of the burger when the meat is a little on the dry side. But you don’t have to settle for a dry, overcooked burger. There are steps you can take to improve the texture and quality of well-done beef.
The best thing you can do is use home-ground meat instead of store bought pre-ground meat. Oftentimes, ground beef you get from the store is ground too finely, which causes it to shrink when cooked. The pre-ground meat doesn’t retain the internal juices and fat, creating a drier patty. Also, freshly ground beef has a looser texture, which allows the fat that melts as it cooks to sink into the patty. So, if you use freshly ground meat, you can get a juicy burger even if it’s cooked well done.
For step by step instructions to make your own Juicy Lucy burger, click here.
Red, White & Blue Cupcakes
Try out this delicious recipe and add a patriotic twist to make the perfect 4th of July cupcakes. These red, white, and blue layered cupcakes are a fun and easy treat to make. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 ¾ cups of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- 1 ¼ cups of milk
- While preheating the oven to 375 degrees F, cream butter and sugar together in in a mixer.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, flour and milk.
- Stir until batter is smooth.
- Divide batter evenly into three separate bowls.
- Dye one bowl blue, and another one red using liquid or gel food coloring. Don’t add any dye to the third bowl to represent white.
- Starting with red, pour equal parts of red, white, and blue batter into paper lined tins until they are 2/3 full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes before frosting.
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 box of Domino confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup half & half
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- Whip the butter, sugar, half & half, and vanilla together in a mixing bowl.
- Once cooled, frost the cupcakes.
- For a festive touch, add red or blue sprinkles, and a miniature American flag.
(Photo courtesy of: Ginny, True Destiny Designs)