Hard to believe the 4th of July is right around the corner, isn’t it? I keep thinking it’s weeks away, but nope. NEXT WEEK, folks. We’re going super low-key this year — just a few friends coming over for a late afternoon BYO picnic, most likely followed by an ice cream run, and then finishing up with watching the fireworks from our neighbors’ hill. If I’m being completely honest, I have to admit that the first summer after our daughter was born, I kinda had a thing against any and all fireworks, because FIREWORKS + A SLEEPING BABY = BAD NEWS BEARS. Thankfully, our girl now loves fireworks and it’s a special treat to let her stay up to watch them. I’ve even nearly made peace with the guy a couple streets over who uses any Saturday night as a good excuse to fire off his own private fireworks display. Our dog is still harboring a grudge, but she’s also afraid of thunderstorms, slamming doors, and balloons popping.
My husband would tell you that when I say, “It’s going to be super low key,” what that really means is that I’m only going to decorate the back porch, instead of the whole house. Good thing he good-naturedly puts up with my party-prep shenanigans. When I was thinking about how to give our porch a patriotic feel, I decided to go back to a favorite craft that’s made a resurgence on Pinterest of late. Remember paper chains, the classroom decoration of choice for all first through fourth grade teachers? (Well, mine, anyway.) When they’re color blocked and hung vertically to create a curtain effect, paper chains are a fast and easy way to add a pretty pop of color to a blank wall. I’ve used them at baby showers and birthday parties, and it’s always funny to see and hear the reactions of guests when they spot an old craft activity repurposed into pretty and modern decorations.
I kept my paper chains relatively short, knowing I was going to hang them from the porch railing, but they’d look great on a full-height wall as well as a food table or photo-booth backdrop. And though my little one isn’t quite at the age to use a stapler, this is a totally kid-friendly project with the requisite supervision of cutting and stapling.
Happy 4th of July, y’all! Here’s to ice cream, friends, family, and fireworks to celebrate this great land in which we live!