Food, friends, fireworks and fun–what more could a neighborhood 4th of July block party need? Just one thing– a classicly gorgeous printable graphics collection by Anders Ruff Custom Designs to coordinate those 4 ‘F’s previously mentioned. This year, we wanted to kick our neighborhood block party up a notch. We chose Anders Ruff’s 4th of July Pinwheels collection to tie the elements of our 3rd Annual BBQ together in a beautiful way. Families enjoyed decorating bicycles, wagons & scooters for a bicycle parade, feasted on delicious food & dessert, participated in a little water balloon competition, made S’mores, ate & ate & ate dessert, & observed a colorful fireworks display to conclude the night.
The focal point for our party was definitely the dessert smorgasbord. Josh (Jen’s handy husband), jumped on the DIY task of building a backdrop out of PVC pipe for hanging the red & white striped fabric (a cheap tablecloth purchased at Target) & pennant banner created with coordinating patterned papers from AR’s graphic package. A few accordion rosettes were added for a bit of patriotic flair. The table was covered in a navy polka dotted vinyl fabric purchased from Ikea. Styrofoam blocks were covered in wrapping paper to act as a platform for more patriotic decor and desserts. Red graduated hat boxes were stacked, adorned with coordinating wrapping paper & Whirly Pops for added whimsy.
Dozens of homemade treats lined 3 different dessert tables. Much of the patriotic candy housed in various apothecary jars was provided by Oh Nuts! Candy Company and was a huge hit. Kids were delighted by the fun colors & delicious variety of sweet treats (rock candy, gumballs, mint lentils, Jelly Belly jelly beans, patriotic mints, red pistachios, striped candy sticks & such. In addition, Oh! So Yummy Cookie Favors & Confections provided spectacular coordinating pinwheel cookies which perfectly coordinated with Anders Ruff’s graphics. Johanna Dellino of Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops created custom pinwheel & patriotic cake pops for our event. Not only did they look amazing, but they were delicious! (I may have eaten 3-4 myself. Oops.) Other homemade items included: caramel apples (recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chewy-Caramel/Detail.aspx), hand-dipped caramel & white chocolate “sparkler” pretzel rods, patriotic marshmallow pops, cupcakes, whoopie pies, chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberry/blueberry trifle & rice krispy treats on a stick. Fresh popped popcorn & roasted peanuts were also on hand as a late night snack while watching the fireworks. (The adorable vintage popcorn & peanut bags, as well as cupcake liners can be found on Etsy in Hey Yo Yo’s shop.)
We loved finding fun ways to use the Pinwheel Collection . AR’s patterned papers were used to bundle blue raspberry licorice, & wrap napkins and utensils, as well as create pinwheels for the tops of the cupcakes. Water bottle wraps were added to boring water bottles to add some festiveness. These were reduced in size and added as cute little matchbox covers to be used later in the evening with the darling sparkler favors created from AR’s printables. Coordinating mini flags were added to caramel apple sticks. Various circle tags were used to decorate the candy jars and metal favor tins, as well as top off the cupcakes.
While everything was a huge hit with our neighbors, I’d have to say the most loved & useful item were the S’mores kits we put together for our marshmallow roast, using the treat toppers. Not only were they cute, the kits were so helpful in keeping that portion of our party organized and less chaotic. Firepits & little friends can sometimes be crazy!
We are grateful to Anders Ruff for inspiring a wonderful neighborhood BBQ and block party!
Patriotic Candy & Nuts: Oh Nuts!
Pinwheel Cookies: Oh! So Yummy Cookie Favors & Confections
Pinwheel & Patriotic Cake Pops: Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops
Cupcake liners & Peanut/Popcorn Bags: Hey Yo Yo