Parties with Hester & Cook: The Patriotic Story

Red, white and blue are my favorite colors to use over the summer when entertaining, so naturally, the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. The options are endless when it comes to decor for this holiday, but I really love using paper products when entertaining outdoors. Thankfully, paper party decor has come a very long way over the years, and Hester & Cook is leading the charge with design and options for paper entertaining. They have so many red/white/blue options to choose from, but I used their bomb-pop paper accents as the starting point for my 4th of July table with them (all items shown are linked at the bottom of this post). I had the best time styling this backyard table for a casual but festive summer supper, and we even included patriotic cocktail and summer party playlist that pair perfectly with the theme!

One of my favorite decor pieces that I already own is this metal table rod from Terrain that attaches to a table and allows you to hang items from it. When I spotted this paper garland from Hester & Cook, I knew it would be fun to swag over the table, which I did using multiple, overlapping strands. I wanted to keep things simple and easy with flowers, so we used red and blue plants in white containers that you could continue to enjoy on your porch or patio after you’re done using them as a centerpiece. It also helps that these plants won’t wilt in the heat, which is something you should always consider when styling an outdoor table in the summer in the South.

To create a layered look on the table, I started with a staple product from Hester & Cook- their striped table runner. I then added on placemats that coordinated with the bunting over the table, striped guest napkins (which can be used as hand towels in a restroom or as dinner/luncheon napkins), and I also included their darling gingham cocktail napkins under the beverage glasses. There really are so many great items to choose from at H&C, and I never mind mixing up various patterns as long as the colors coordinate. You can always take pieces away, but on a large table, especially for a holiday gathering, the more you layer on top, the better.

As I mentioned earlier, the bomb pop paper accents were my starting point for the table, and we created a fun cocktail recipe (details below) that includes the signature bomb-pop popsicle. I used the paper accents here as place cards, but they would also look cute placed underneath the flatware. Speaking of flatware, how fun is this PLASTIC flatware?!? I love the gold and red combination, and it certainly looks and functions much better than normal clear or white plastic flatware. Hester & Cook offers a variety of colors, and I appreciate how sturdy they are, even though they are disposable.

Let’s take a minute to talk about the non-paper items on the table. How fun is this wooden star bowl that you can fill with SO many items for the holiday?!? It could function as a cheese board, s’mores board, holiday-themed candy tray; the options are endless. I also love the melamine patriotic appetizer plates with different designs but all still coordinate. I layered them on top of this blue and white floral china, which is something many of us already own in one pattern or another (I personally have about a million Spode blue and white plates that would also have worked great here). And these seagrass wrapped glasses can be used throughout the spring, summer and fall, as they really jazz-up a basic glass (don’t worry- the seagrass wrap slides off the glasses when it’s time to put them in the dishwasher). I’m always a fan of using china and glassware you already own with new paper pieces to help balance the budget. I never have an issue mixing paper pieces with non-paper tabletop items. It’s a great way to keep costs down, since you can combine items you already own with affordable paper products that you can change out as much as you want. This is especially helpful when you enjoy buying new tabletop and decor items every season, but don’t want to break the bank or find new places to store everything.

I thought it would be fun to pull out these blue chiavari chairs from Please Be Seated (our family party rental company), for this outdoor tablescape. I just love the fun pop of blue with the overall table design, and if I needed more tables and chairs for a larger gathering, these would be even better as they are very affordable to rent and I could rent as many as I needed. My general rule-of-thumb is that if you’re hosting more than 12 people for a seated event, you should consider using event rentals for some if not all of your tabletop needs. Paper products aside, if you need more than 12 chairs, plates, glasses. etc., it’s easiest and often more affordable to rent than purchase what you need. Oh, and when your gathering is over, the rental company will come and take everything away (dirty dishes included), so just like using paper products, the clean-up is a breeze!

I hope this table inspires your own red, white and blue BBQ this summer, and to help you out, I’ve linked everything I used on this table from Hester & Cook here. I also included the most fun (and refreshing) specialty cocktail recipe and summer BBQ party playlist for you to enjoy. Happy 4th of July friends!

“Star Spangled Sipper”

Ingredients: 1.5 oz Vodka, 0.5 oz Lemon Juice, 0.5 oz Blue Curacao, Soda Water for Topper & Bomb Pop Popsicle for Garnish

Directions: Mix first three ingredients together in a cocktail glass, stirring well. Top off the glass with soda water than add-in a bomb pop popsicle. As the popsicle melts into the drink, the beverage tastes even better!

Summer BBQ Party Playlist

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