How to Throw A Crazy but Cheap Fourth of July Party

Are you looking to throw your first Fourth of July party but fear it can’t be done? Don’t know where to start? Worried you lack the cash required to make it memorable? Think again! Whether you are a college student looking to have a crazy day with your frat and sorority buddies in your new apartment or are a college-graduate in new city looking to impress your new coworkers and neighbors, I have the solution for you!

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I have mapped out a blueprint for the perfect Crazy But Cheap Fourth of July Rager! I covered all the bases :

Decorations, Drinks, Appetizers, Food, Desserts & Entertainment

All of these party ideas are inexpensive and easy to throw together! I’ve done the hard work so you can focus all your time on worrying about how to get your cute crush’s attention this Independence Day!

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Now that you are a young adult, you can no longer get away with decorating with boring ol’ balloons and streamers. It is time to step up your game! Here are some grown-up Independence Day decoration ideas that require little money or expertise.

Glass Bottle Centerpieces 

Don’t throw away the beer bottles left over from last weekend’s party. Instead, repurpose them into centerpieces with these three steps:

  1. Paint the bottles white.
  2. Throw on some patriotic stickers.
  3. Fill them with flags and pinwheels.

For more detailed instructions, visit At the Picket Fence.

Money Saving Tip: Purchase the stickers, flags and pinwheels from your local dollar store.


Scrap Fabric American Flag

Want to look creative and artsy? Hang up this DIY American flag made out of your scrap fabric and ribbon. All the steps can be found at Craftiments.

Money Saving Tip: Don’t have extra fabric around the house? Head to your nearest craft store and purchase leftover fabric pieces for a great bargain!


Free Fourth of July Chalkboard Printable Tags

These are the cheapest decorations ever! All you need is a printer, some paper, scissors and string. Tie these adorable chalkboard printable around vases or jars you have laying around the house. Maybe even place them on the food table to add some pizzazz. Download the files at Yellow Bliss Road.



Firecracker Cocktail

Your friends are going to think you were a bartender in another life with this layered patriotic cocktail. The best part is this recipe isn’t as complicated as it may look. You only need to purchase two types of alcohol — vodka and blue Curacao. The detailed recipe can be found at Budget Savvy Diva.


Non Alcoholic Beverages

To ensure you satisfy everyone; serve some non-alcohol beverages that are just as festive as your Firecracker Cocktail. Try blue and red fruit punches, juices and lemonades. If you want to get extra fancy, check out Sunset’s Raspberry Lemonade.



Drinking and snacking go hand-in-hand so don’t leave your guests with a growling tummy. 

Chips and Salsa

Purchase red and blue tortilla chips from the grocery store and serve them with you favorite store-bought salsa. If you want to get fancy, try this homemade salsa recipe from Babble.


American Flag Veggie Platter

Instead of serving your store-bought veggie tray out of the plastic container, rearrange the veggies into an American flag and throw some blue food coloring into the ranch dip. Your friends will think you are too clever! For more instructions, go to Living Locurto’s blog post.



You can’t do a summer BBQ without hamburgers and hotdogs, am I right? Here are two side dishes that will complement those meaty dishes perfectly:

Red, White and Blue Pasta Salad

Make a fancy-looking pasta salad with some pasta, food coloring, Italian dressing and mix-ins. You are all at various levels of kitchen mastery, but even if you frequently burn toast or overfill your cereal bowl with milk, I promise you can make pasta. I was once afraid to bowl water but have learned that pasta is one of the least expensive and quickest meal. This pasta salad can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes and will feed your long guest list at a minimal cost. Find the full recipe on Lynnae McCoy.


Red, White and Blue Sweet Summer Salad

Balance off the meal with a traditional green salad that continues the patriotic theme. Green Lite Bites has the perfect recipe for a colorful and nutritious salad filled with strawberries, blueberries, feta cheese and poppyseed dressing — even those friends who only consume meat are going to want to try this flavorful salad!



Let freedom ring late into the night with desserts that continue the red, white and blue theme.

Independence Day Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Set out some tubs of ice cream with mason jars filled with red, white and blue toppings:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Patriotic M&Ms
  • Star sprinkles
  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Yogurt-covered nuts and pretzels

Find more detailed instructions at About a Mom. Your guests will love indulging in a create-your-own ice cream sundae!


Go one step further with these dipped ice cream cones from Noble Pig.


American Flag Fruit Kabobs

In case you have some friends that aren’t a fan of ice cream (first off, why are you even friends with them? Who doesn’t absolutely love ice cream!!!), make some kabobs out of berries, bananas and marshmallows. Detailed instructions can be found on Pop Sugar.



Patriotic Photo Booth

Lets be real, did the party even happen if you don’t have adorable pictures of the event? Ensure that your guests leave the party with stunning Instagram pics to document your party by setting up a table filled with Independence Day props. Find hats and flags at your local dollar store. Add a personal and crafty touch by adding these free printable from Capturing Joy – complete with hats, glasses, a “Happy 4th of July!” banner to hang on the wall, and more!


American Flag Balloon Dart Game

Make your guests feel like they are at a hip sports bar with this giant balloon dart game from Giggle Galore. Purchase a piece of white pegboard from your local hardware store, secure balloons to resemble a flag, and get ready for non-stop fun! Plus, you can easily turn this into a drinking game.


Or put a new spin on beer pong with a few tweaks to this game. Get two smaller pegboards and have two teams take turns trying to pop balloons. If one team pops a balloon, the other team has to take a drink.

Caution: do not stand near the pegboard while others are throwing darts.


Now you are all set to throw a mature Fourth of July party, but still celebrate like the little kid you are at heart!

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