The Fourth of July marks America’s birthday and the the peak of the summer season, so it goes without saying that it’s an occasion worth celebrating. How you decorate for the holiday will depend on just how much effort you want to put into your Independence Day look, and whether you’re decorating indoors or out.  From front porch flags, to stars-and-stripes themed home accents, and patriotic tableware, there are plenty of ways to make sure your home, barbecue, or pool party looks festive for the Fourth. 

Fourth of July decorating ideas

Set the scene for celebration with these red, white, and blue decorating ideas.

1. Try a muted take on red, white, and blue

To make your decor last all season long, try a pale shade of blue and a coral-toned red. The combination still feels patriotic, but you’ll get more life out of the cushions that you would if you had to stash the right after the holiday. 

2. Make your food a part of the decor

If you’re hosting a Fourth of July party or barbecue this year, simplify your to-do list by making your desserts a part of the decor. Fill mason jars with a mix of red, white, and blue candies, or bake cupcakes in Americana-themed liners.

3. Hang pom poms from the porch

For an unexpected front porch idea, use red, white, and blue tissue paper to create pom poms, then hang them from the porch ceiling or railing. No porch? Try suspending them from a tree. As a bonus, this makes a fun activity for kids on summer vacation. 

4. Mix-and-match vintage china

What better reason to eat off of your fancy china than America’s birthday? Fancy doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend a fortune on a new set of Independence Day-themed plates. Instead, collect pieces in shades of red, white, and blue at thrift and antique shops. You’ll likely find a whole host of options that won’t break the back, plus, it’s a fun item to collect. 

5. Go all out with your patriotic decor

When it comes to decorating for the Fourth of July, more can definitely be more. Connecticut-based design expert Nora Murphy (opens in new tab) styled this layered Fourth of July look with bunting hanging across the top of her home, flags placed in outdoor planters, and a sophisticated-yet-inviting tablespace on her front lawn. Take a cue from her lovely garden party ideas for your own event.  ‘I dressed up the house inside and outside with larger buntings [I found at] (opens in new tab) and Brimfield Antique Market, along with to smaller flags on sticks from the hardware store,’ Murphy says. While the look is all out, it works because all of Murphy’s decor fits her central theme. ‘For maximum style impact, keep your theme focused,’ she says. ‘To achieve this celebratory look, I pulled everything I had that was red, white & blue.’

6. Set the table in red, white, and blue

Start your Fourth of July celebration first thing in the morning with a patriotic breakfast table setup, like Jennifer Griffin (opens in new tab) did, above. Set the foundation with a red-and-white gingham table cloth, then add rattan or natural fiber placemats, and blue and white china to create a layered, elegant look. Finish off the vignette with watermelon wedges set in fruit bowls.

7. Add outdoor throw pillows

‘I love to create a pillowscape using a three-pillow formula on an outdoor sofa by combining a solid, printed and a holiday-inspired patterned pillow like an American flag,’ says Jenny Reimold, interior stylist and HomeGoods (opens in new tab) style expert, who created the look above for the back porch of her Florida home.  Reimold was also intentional when choosing the best outdoor furniture for her home, opting for pieces that would be suited to hosting large gatherings like a Fourth of July party. ‘For larger patios, treat it like a family room outside by opting for a woven, wicker outdoor sofa with water-resistant cushions to pair with a coordinating coffee table,’ she says. 

8. Suspend a flag from the porch

No summer porch decor would be complete without a nod to the U.S.A. With Memorial Day kicking off the season and the Fourth of July right in the middle, red, white, and blue is a must for the front porch. An easy way to adopt the look? Hang an American flag by its grommets from the roof of your porch. 

9. Hang a flag above the mantle

Decorating for the Fourth of July tends to be done outdoors, since that’s where most of the celebrating typically takes place. But, if you want your love of the stars and stripes on full display indoors, there’s no better spot than right above the mantle.  Hanging a flag in this prime piece of decorating real estate is all the patriotism one room needs. Plus, it’s an easy item to swap mantel decor ideas in and out: simply push clear push pins through the top corners of the flag (tap gently with a hammer if you need to), or stick the flag to the wall with clear Command clips.  Bonus points if you can find a vintage flag, like in the home above by Micheala Diane Designs (opens in new tab). 

10. Plant patriotic flowers

For an easy way to celebrate America’s birthday throughout the summer season, plant hanging baskets with red, white, and blue flowers. Looking for the best hanging basket plants for a Fourth of July themed planer? Plant brand Proven Winners (opens in new tab) offers these flower combinations.

Superbells Double Ruby Double Calibrachoa (a Calibrachoa hybrid)  + Laguna Dark Blue (trailing Lobelia) + Snowstorm Snow Globe Bacopa (Bacopa)Supertunia Mini Vista White (a Petunia hybrid) + Superbells Red (a Calibrachoa hybrid)

11. Take it to the backyard

If you’re planning a backyard get together for the Fourth, why not choose activities that double as decor? Think: a wooden croquet set, cornhole boards or ring toss with navy and red accents, or awning-striped lounge chairs in similar shades. 

12. Go sophisticated with a layered table

This table, styled by Murphy, hints at the Americana theme without going overboard on the flag prints or literal motifs. To get the look, layer place settings with various red, white and blue dinnerware to reinforce the summery theme. ‘Set the table with larger scaled kitchen towels for placemats and napkins, and put napkin rings to work,’ Murphy says. ‘Napkin rings can hold flatware as well as napkins, which works beautifully for picnics.’ There’s also lot of crossover between nautical and July 4th decoration styles, so if you have a lot of red and blue marine-inspired accents on hand like Murphy did, decorate with that in lieu of purchasing pieces specifically for the Fourth. 

13. Decorate the fence

If your yard has a fence around it, use it as an anchor point for stick flag decor. First, tie two or three flags together at the base using twine or floral wire. Then, affix the grouping to your fence or garden gate with zip ties. For bigger impact, attach flags every three to five feet along the fence. 

14. Hang a bunting

Whether you’re looking for patriotic outdoor birthday party ideas or for a way to decorate indoors, red, white, and blue-themed flag buntings can do the trick. Inside, hang July 4th decorations across the fireplace mantle or a string them in front of a window. Outdoors, hang them over the dinner table or from the ceiling of your porch or patio. 

How do you decorate for the Fourth?

There are a few key elements you’ll need for any Fourth of July decorating scheme. They are:

Red, white, and blue. The colors of the American flag are perhaps the most prominent decorating theme for the Fourth of July. Even if you don’t have any dedicated Fourth of July decor, using decorations in this patriotic color palette is enough to set the scene.American flags. Whether you hang an American flag from your front porch, place a few in your planters on the front steps, or use flag-themed table linens and dinnerware, displaying the stars and stripes is a must on the Fourth.Fireworks. Fireworks motifs are another go-to decoration for the Fourth of July. Try fireworks themed centerpieces for your table, hanging LED lights in the shape of fireworks or firework-printed throw pillows. 

What decorations are used for Independence Day?

You’ll find all sorts of decorations with the patriotic themes we mentioned above, but a few ideas for incorporating them into your space include:

Throw pillowsTableware and serving piecesTablecloths and napkinsCandles and candleholdersFlowers and vasesOutdoor flags and buntings

When should you decorate for the Fourth?

The best time to decorate for the Fourth is about two weeks before the holiday so you can enjoy your decorations for a while.  However, if you like to go all out with your decorating ideas, you can really leave patriotic decor up for the early half of the summer season. Start with your Memorial Day decor in mid-May, and then leave it up through Flag Day in mid-June, and Independence Day in July.