Around May, stores start to fill up with Fourth of July decorations. Tiny flags, streamers, strings of lights, sparklers -- you name it -- and it's all red, white and blue. You could buy all the bunting you can find and have a Fourth of July shindig that looks exactly like everyone else's, but why do that? Without much more effort, you can create out-of-the-ordinary decorations that everyone will remember. Stay within the color scheme, of course, but get creative. Throw some metallics in there. Never underestimate the power of stickers and spray paint, and remember that a little glitter never hurt anyone.
Instead of using store-bought bunting to adorn your deck, have some fun with fabric. Find red, white or blue fabric in any kind of pattern you want -- doesn't have to be stars and stripes -- and tie it to the railings with contrasting strips of material. Find patterned paper that you can cut stars from. Grab some colored rubber bands from your office and wrap them around clear votive holders to make a striped candle display. Put some red apples in blue buckets or strawberries in white bowls. Bandannas can be used in any number of places, such as coverings for seat cushions, as placemats on tables, tied around chair backs, wherever you want.
Keep your eyes open for creative color ideas when you're thinking about the three most important components of your Fourth of July backyard décor: table dressing, lighting and finishing touches.