I really love the Fourth of July! Since it’s summertime, especially here in Arizona where it’s so hot, I try to keep our celebrations low stress and super easy. I have teamed up with Chinet to share easy Summer Barbecue ideas; plus, I’m giving away my free printable July 4th decor templates to help simplify your Fourth of July festivities.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Chinet® brand . All opinions are 100% mine.
Even if it’s not blazing hot where you are, summer entertaining is all about relaxing and enjoying the company of family and friends. People just don’t get together enough, and when my family comes over I want to enjoy the time rather than stressing about the dishes that are piling up!
Easy Summer Barbecue Ideas
Paper plates and disposable utensils are a must for low-stress summer entertaining, and for me it’s got to be Chinet®. Their Chinet® Classic White™ paper plates and bowls are my favorite for good reason — they are super sturdy so I’m not worried about spills and leaks. If you’ve ever tried to cut steak on a flimsy paper plate, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Chinet has always been my go-to plates for parties, but I didn’t always have them on hand. I stockpiled Chinet plates during our kitchen remodel and got into the habit of using them for our everyday meals too. I’m only partially ashamed to admit that I now opt for paper plates much more often. The Chinet Classic White plates have definitely become a staple in my pantry. It’s so nice to be able to just toss the dishes, and we busy moms can use a good shortcut.
If you feel bad about tossing them, remember that Chinet Classic White plates and platters are made from 100% pre-consumer recycled material that can be composted after use. Plus Chinet products are made in the USA — how fitting!
Doesn’t that apple pie look DIVINE?! I’m going to let you in on my top-secret pie shortcut: buy a frozen pie; one with a crumble topping will work best. While it’s frozen solid, you can easily remove the whole pie from the metal tin and transfer to your own baking dish. Bake according to the box instructions. If anyone asks, you totally *baked* that pie at home. OK so it’s a little sneaky, but I just like to call it creative LOL! ;) If you’ve got time to bake one from scratch check out my super-simple homemade Pie Crust tutorial.
Printable July 4th Decor Ideas
I know I’m talking about simplifying, but that definitely does not mean I’m skipping decor. I still want to make things festive for my family, but printable July 4th decor makes it really easy. Let’s start with some super-simple July 4th table ideas.
This Stars & Stripes tablescape is simple to recreate. The RED STRIPE TABLE RUNNER is made with just white paper and ribbon. I keep a roll of white butcher paper around because it is my favorite disposable tablecloth. Simply roll out and cut off a length long enough to hang down on either side of the table. Add long pieces of red grosgrain ribbon to create the stripes. Then place the simple July 4th flag centerpiece in the middle of the table — it makes a big statement and it’s just flags and a vase (see the flag centerpiece tutorial).
I created a free printable BLUE STAR PLACEMAT template. Regular, letter-size paper is too small to be a placemat, so I made an 11×17 template that you can print at a copy center. For a print-at-home option, I also made an 8.5×11 template that can be taped together — I went this route. To make the placemat, just print two copies of the 8.5×11 template. Trim all the margins off of the first copy. On the second copy trim off 3 of the margins, but leave one of the long-side margins. Apply double-sided tape to that margin and then attach the two pieces together.
To complete the place settings my printable July 4th decor kit includes editable STRIPE PLACECARDS that you can personalize in Adobe Acrobat. You can use these for food tags too! I love that these metal ring placecard holders are on the heavy side to help keep plates from blowing away. At each spot, I placed water bottles wrapped with my USA TRIVIA WATER BOTTLE WRAPS along with the STAR UTENSIL CUPS made using Chinet® Cut Crystal® 14 oz. cups. These cups corralled everybody’s goodies — napkins, cutlery, straws, sparklers, glowsticks and little American flags.
I designed simple July 4th STAR PARTY PUNCHABLES that can be used for all kinds of things. To make the utensil cups, I cut the stars out using a 2-inch circle punch. Then I attached them to the sturdy Chinet Plastic Cups with double-sided tape, a glue dot or hot glue gun would work too. I used these to make the Paper Plate Pinwheels too, more on that in a minute.
If you’ve read my party planning guide, then you’ll know I’m a firm believer in white serving pieces — another reason why I love the Chinet® Classic White™ collection. I don’t want my paper plates or platters to stand out, I just want them to be the quiet, strong type! Chinet keeps things simple and stylish — a blank canvas letting the food and decor take center stage.
I love that they also offer disposable serving pieces that are every bit as sturdy as you’d expect from Chinet. This was my first time trying the new Chinet divider Chip & Dip party trays, which I filled with berries and greek yogurt. We also served up watermelon and simple, slow-cooker pulled pork with pineapple cole slaw (get my easy recipes).
Okay so I’m sure you’ve been wondering about those fun things dangling in the tree — can you believe they are paper plates?! I’m calling them PAPER PLATE PINWHEELS or July 4th Danglers… I had a hard time deciding on a name so you pick. One thing is for sure, you’ve got to make these with your kiddos.
This is my favorite printable July 4th decor idea because it makes such a big wow with very little cost. Paper Plate Pinwheels are so inexpensive — all you need are Chinet® Classic White™ Paper Plates, my free printable pinwheel template and some ribbon in patriotic colors. (Read the Paper Plate Pinwheel tutorial.)
All these new July 4th party printables coordinates perfectly with my classic free printable USA banner for July 4th. I also added a giant star pennant — not sure why I hadn’t included it before because it totally needed it! (Download USA Banner template.)
Be sure to pin this post so you’ll be able to easily download the free printables in future years!17