You don't have to spend a lot of money to throw a fabulous fourth of July party. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Planning a Fourth of July fete can seem daunting for a lot of folks. Fears that the festivities will fizzle leave some people avoiding the prospect. But with the help of the crew at A Perfect Plan Event Planners, you can make sure your party pops from the beginning with a fabulous tabletop spread. ``You don’t have to spend a ton of money,'' Perfect Plan owner Sue Orrico says. ``A lot of people think you do, but you really don’t.'' Hitting up hobby stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts opens the door to dozens of opportunities to primp your table, Orrico says. Leslie Patrey, a freelance decorator and marketing coordinator for Perfect Plan, says Target is also a place for good finds, especially if you’re planning a more upscale celebration. Once you return with your decorations, Patrey recommends doing a dry run to make sure you have all your supplies and that the table comes out the way you had planned. Tablecloth Venture to the hobby store for a piece of patriotic fabric, Patrey says. You don’t even have to finish the edges, she says. But you could tie the corner ends for a little flare. Mason jars Common in many households, these jars can add an old-fashioned feeling. Patrey jazzed up the jars with patriotic ribbons of varying prints. And the plus side is the decorations are removable, making the jars reusable. Patriotic top hats Cut a slit in the tops of these 99-cent top hats and you’re on your way to a holiday-appropriate centerpiece. Patrey placed silk flowers and American flags in the slit. Candles Patrey placed a paper lantern in the center of the table that would be perfect for hiding a citronella candle. Red-star votives are in step with the festive feeling of the table and are also good for Christmas, Memorial Day or Valentine’s Day. Galvanized buckets Use large buckets to ice down drinks and smaller ones for other purposes. Here Patrey uses it as a utensil caddy. She recommends later using them for corn on the cob remnants. Or pack party favors in them, Orrico says. But forget fireworks for your private party Fireworks are illegal for private citizens to use, possess or sell in Massachusetts. That includes sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners and cherry bombs, according to the state’s Web site, www.mass.gov. But there are always the professionals. Check your local listings. The Patriot Ledger