Fourth of July BBQ Tablescape

There's nothing America loves more than a good, old fashion Bar-B-Q for the Fourth of July. A tasty spread of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, chips, dips, refreshing beverages, and a slew of friends and family, is truly what the doctor ordered for this mid-summer celebration. I am no exception; I love a great Independence Day bash. However, for me, it's more that I'll use any excuse to throw a party. I absolutely love to decorate, cook, and bake for anyone and everyone. 

For this year's celebration, we will be hosting my in-laws, and want to make it a fun occasion. So, I have set about gathering supplies to throw a fabulous backyard BBQ. My go-to for affordable decorations is always the Dollar Tree. I am all about making my own version of things that I don't want to spend money on, but you really can't beat $1. I usually start by purchasing a handful of items there, gather everything I can from around my house, and make the rest. I'll break down what I bought, made, and re-used for this festive tablescape.

With these tips and tricks, you can impress your guests, and still have money for food, refreshments, and fireworks!

I used one of those fold up tables that everyone has lying around for Thanksgiving or Christmas, when you have too much family to fit at your normal table. This is perfect if you don't have a fancy outdoor table.

I made the star garland last year with stars cut from craft paper, and twine. The pinwheels were quick and easy to make yesterday, with craft paper I had lying around.

I was so excited to find these basket at the $1 Stop (Dollar Tree). They were four for a dollar! I picked up extras. The bandanas also came from the Dollar Tree. You can also find them at Hobby lobby and Wal-Mart for cheap.

I used a mason jar wrapped in raffia, and a bandana to display and hold serving utensils.

This round place mat is one I have had for years. You can pick up similar ones at the Dollar Tree.

These star picks are actually cake toppers that I made. I stuck them in these vintage vases I picked up at Goodwill some time ago. I'll put them in an actual cake for next Friday. The red vases were Dollar Tree purchases, and the hibiscus is from our front flower bed.

The table cloth is from the $1 Stop (Dollar Tree), and the burlap is from a fundraiser I styled last year. You can usually find it at fabric stores, but it isn't terribly cheap. You could easily pick up a few yards of some inexpensive fabric to use as a table runner.

I love these mason jar glasses. I scored them at our white elephant gift exchange last Christmas. You can use regular mason jars instead, or some colorful glasses. The little flags are cupcake toppers that came with cupcake wrappers I bought at Dollar Tree.

I snagged different size vases and items to use as candle holders from around the house to add to the mix. You could buy inexpensive flowers, or pick some wild flowers, to make it even more lovely. Use smaller glass items for bud vases or to hold votive candles.

I love these old school ketchup and mustard bottles I picked up at the Dollar Tree. They just add a little bit of fun to the event.

The mason jars I used were from the fundraiser I did as well. I picked up a few boxes of them at Wal-Mart for relatively cheap. They are great to put little votive candles in or use for bud vases.

I pulled the chairs from our dining room. You can use folding chairs if you have them.

The paper globes are from Dollar Tree. You could jazz this up even more with a string of lights. Everyone loves twinkle lights!

Get creative and think outside the box; use items for purposes other than what they were intended for, and pull things from around your home to save money. Your guest will be so impressed with your set up, and even more impressed with how little you spent! Most importantly, have fun!

DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches

Here is a super fun and easy summer treat that anyone can make! Have kids or just a sweet tooth? Then this is for you! 

I myself have a soft spot for sweets, and decided to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies over the weekend. Not to toot my own horn, but I think they were my best batch yet. It really is all about timing. There were so many, and it being just the two of us, I knew the hubby and I would never finish them, so I concocted the idea to make ice cream sandwiches in order to use them up. During our trip to the grocery store on Sunday, I picked up a gallon of a good ole Texas staple, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. Growing up, the creamery was just a 40 minute drive from my hometown, so you can bet I made my fare share of trips to take a tour and get all the yumminess I could handle. What a happy surprise to find my childhood favorite all the way our here in Virginia!

I now had all I needed to make some tasty treats! This couldn't be easier. You can bake up a batch of your favorite cookies, or hop over to the grocery store to pick some up. Grab two, add your favorite ice cream in the middle, and you've got yourself the perfect warm weather dessert! I wrapped mine up with cling wrap and threw them all into a large freezer bag to make sure they stay fresh and delish.

This would be a great little dessert to make for a bbq, party, or get together. Throwing a Fourth of July celebration? Impress your guests with these homemade goodies! You could even kick them up a notch by rolling them in colorful sprinkles, chocolate chips, or nuts! You could even set up a station, and let people make their own. Be creative and enjoy!