On the Fourth of July in 1776, our founding fathers asserted a new nation’s right to choose its own government by signing the Declaration of Independence.
Future president John Adams was so excited that he proclaimed July 4 should be “solemnized with pomp and parade … from this time forward and forever more.”
And so it came to pass. In towns and cities across the nation there would be Independence Day celebrations featuring fireworks, feasts and a dazzling display of colors and patterns.
Goodwill has been part of those celebrations for nearly 120 years, a shining light of hope and opportunity for communities everywhere. If you’re planning a Fourth of July celebration (big or small), your local Goodwill is the perfect place to start.
The problem with party planning, however, is keeping track of the details so you can actually enjoy the free-spirited mood of the day. We don’t want you to miss out on the fun, so here are a few tips to help you avoid missing out on the good parts.
Have your decor pull double duty
Every event needs food. Whether you’re hosting a huge gathering or just preparing enough for your family, it’s easy to color code your foods to fit the theme. Arrange a red, white, and blue dessert in a clear glass bowl (browse a wide variety of shapes and sizes at Goodwill for a great price) and use it as a centerpiece.
A fun tablescape accent is the addition of painted mason jars to hold your flatware, napkins or flowers. Pick up some jars at Goodwill and buy some red, white and blue paint. Paint one first mason jar all blue and then add white stars to it after the first coat has dried. To complete your flag, paint the other two jars with alternating red and white stripes. This decoration is fun and functional.
Another functional decor item that is super simple to make (and cheap) is the party favor bag. You’ll need brown paper lunch bags and red, white, and blue crafting tape. Just put some tape on the bottom of the bags in alternating patterns. You can fill these bags with cookies, chips, or even red, white, and blue confetti. Lay them out around your party or hand them out as party favors. Any way you use them, they’ll be a cute decoration.
Create some festive attire
Having the clothing you wear contribute to the color scheme is a simple yet effective way to create a cohesive look without having to put a lot of time into party prep. Start by looking through your closet to see what you already have. Most people are big on whites and blues, so finding something to wear with those two colors shouldn’t be a problem. Red, however, may require a browsing session at Goodwill first!
You can also play around with an old pair of jeans, cutting them into shorts and using a bleach pen to draw star patterns onto them. Find a red belt and you have the perfect accent to a patriotic pair of shorts.
A thrift store secret is that the item you’re considering buying brand new might actually be waiting for you at Goodwill for only a fraction of the price. Plus, when you buy second-hand items you’re helping keeping items out of the landfills.
While you will find all sorts of treasures for your Fourth of July party, think of Goodwill as your year-round independence inspiration. You may be a fan of thrift shopping because it’s less expensive and better for the environment, but did you also know that when you shop at or donate to Goodwill, you are helping to fund important employment programs? These programs promote independence and dignity for people within your own community who need support to provide for themselves and their families. What better way to honor our nation’s birthday.