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Credit: Courtesy Rachel Parcell

It may seem as though Pink Peonies blogger Rachel Parcell only goes big or goes home when hosting a party at her house. I mean, check out this gorgeous fête she threw for her two year old daughter’s birthday. But the mom of two can throw together a casual bash with a limited budget and at the last minute and still keep it festive. This summer she gives us her pointers on how to host an impromptu 4th of July party without breaking the bank.

Read her tips below.

VIDEO: How to Make a Festive Sprinkle Cake For July 4th

Add a bit of red, white and blue

You don’t have to have red, white and blue everything, but adding a few touches of these patriotic colors can go a long way. Whether it’s in your paper goods, like napkins and plates, or tablescape, like centerpieces or table runners, have fun incorporating these three colors into your party. I love to shop at Zurchers for my party decorations and they have the best balloons, too.

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Credit: Courtesy Rachel Parcell

Make it Festive

One of the easiest ways to decorate for an all-American theme is by using flags. I’ve purchased some small flags at the dollar store before and they are a super cute and affordable way to make a statement. You could even place them in a vase with flowers (this time of year I love peonies and white or blue hydrangeas), or put a few in a glass jar to add something extra on the food table. I always have to have fresh flowers whenever I entertain, and I usually find great ones at my local grocery store.

Keep it Casual

Try using disposable plates, utensils, napkins and cups. Your table can still looks super cute plus it cuts the clean-up time in half! You can have waste cans outside that way everyone can pick up after themselves.

Crowdsource the Food

When it comes to the menu it’s totally up to you! You may want to consider preparing the main dish and ask your guests to bring their favorite side dishes and desserts. This will be less work for you as the host but will still ensure there’s enough variety and food for everyone. Pinterest is my favorite place to search for Fourth of July recipes and dishes that are festive and popular.

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Credit: Courtesy Rachel Parcell

Make S’mores

Whenever I think of summer nights I instantly think of roasting s’mores around our fire pit. It’s our family’s favorite dessert plus I love that we can laugh and talk around the fire for hours. All you need is Hershey’s chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers (all affordable and can be found at your local grocery store).

Have fun

This year I told my husband I wanted to hang a huge American flag in our backyard (I found the flag at Colonial Flag) and we are loving it! It’s the perfect backdrop for your guests to enjoy and take photos in front of.

End with a bang

What’s the Fourth of July without fireworks?! You’ve probably seen the firework stands around town, or even at your local grocery store. You don’t need to spend a fortune, just a few fun poppers or sparklers for the kids to enjoy!