Fourth of July Easy & Fun Centerpieces

Red, White and Blue Rice

Along with creating a festive Fourth of July table, these patriotic candleholders are scented with smells that keep bugs away from your guests and food. And most of the materials needed for this easy DIY can be found at the dollar store. So set the table, light the candles, and get ready for a bug-free celebration! You’ll have a fun addition to the celebration in no time.


2 pounds white rice (not instant)
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring
Lemongrass, lemon eucalyptus, or citronella essential oil
3 small bowls
2 sheet trays
Parchment paper
4 small glass votives
4 tea candles
Rubber gloves (optional)

July 4th


Before starting, we recommend wearing old clothes and a pair of rubber gloves to prevent ruining your clothes and staining hands.

To create the colorful rice, place a sheet tray over your work area to protect it from the food coloring.  Evenly distribute the rice between three bowls, and then add the red food coloring to one bowl and the blue to another. Use a spoon to mix and distribute the color.

Lemongrass Oil

Add five to 10 drops of the essential oil to each bowl, and stir to coat the rice. Bugs don’t care for the smell of citronella, lemongrass, or lemon eucalyptus, which makes these scents a good choice. The essential oil will lightly scent the candleholders and create a nice smell for your festive table. And while the candle is burning, it gently warms the rice, releasing even more of the bug-repelling scent.

Remove the bowls of rice from the sheet pan, and cover the pan with parchment paper. Scoop one bowl of the colored rice onto the covered pan, and evenly distribute to create a layer of pretty rice. Rub the grains together with rubber-gloved hands to ensure grains are totally coated with color. Do the same on the other sheet pan with the blue rice.

Blue Rice Centerpiece

It is important to let the rice completely dry so it won’t come off on your hands or mix with the other colors of rice while assembling the patriotic candleholders. If humidity or time is an issue you can place the sheet pans in a 200˚F oven, and warm for one hour. This bakes the color into the rice and saves you drying time. Allow the rice to cool before handling.

July 4th Candles

Line up the glass votives/vases to help make the layers even. We found glass votives, vases and mason jars at the dollar store in a variety of shapes and sizes, all of which would make fun containers for this project. Scoop the blue rice into the base of the glass, putting equal amounts in each votive.

Now add the white rice to the vase, and then add the red, leaving about two to three inches of space at the top to place a tea light or candle in the center of the red layer, and you’re ready to party.


July 4th Pops

Patriotic Lollipop Centerpiece

Fireworks season is upon us and with 4th of July just around the corner, here is a fun patriotic center piece that the kids will love! I can guarantee that if you bring this to your next gathering it will be the hit of the party! A quick and easy lollipop centerpiece made in about 10 minutes.

Want a fun activity for the kids to join in on? Let them decorate the containers and proudly display their creativity on the tables. After the fireworks each child can take home memories of all the holiday fun. (See instructions below)


Red, Blue and Black Sharpies
5″ or 6″ Styrofoam Ball (Use a ball that is slightly smaller than the opening so that it fits nice and snug.)
1 galvanized bucket or clay pot 5″-6″ in diameter.
40 lollipops (buy online)

Styrofoam Ball

For the bouquet, place the Styrofoam ball snugly into the container than begin filling it with the lollipops. There is no wrong way to do it, but some people find starting at the bottom, completing one row at a time moving up to the top is easier. The pictures here show the use of a lollipop pattern. Again, be creative and have fun with it.

Lollipop Topiary


The day before, spray paint the pots with white indoor/outdoor paint. Outdoor furniture paints is perfect. On the day of the party set up a work station for the kids to decorate the pots on. Good old newspaper works great.


For coloring I love Sharpies! They are so easy for the kids to use and dry instantly. Make sure to buy a variety of tips for coloring large areas or small details.

Marking it up

Pick up or order online a few stencils like stars and creative borders to make being creative a piece of cake.. Hobby Lobby or Michaels are great sources for all types of stencils.

For Marker Cleanup:
Yes, kids will be kids and drawing outside of the lines and onto someone’s face will probably happen. Use baby oil or olive oil with cotton balls or tissues. Either should help to remove most of the ink. Marker ink, like some paints seeps into dead skin so, if some of the marker still doesn’t come off add some sugar to the oil creating an exfoliating effect.




Red, White and Blue Daisies

There is not a lot of explanation for this adorable and simple centerpiece. Pick up some glass vases, containers, or mason jars. To get the colored water just use Blue or Red food coloring. Below is a variation using a mixture of flowers and adding a flag. Carnations work really well too.




Flag Centerpiece

Layered Flags

Another simple, yet colorful and classy centerpiece. Shown here using gumballs, but  you can also use marbles. peppermint candies, or the colored rice from above.




Patriotic Pretzels

Salty and Sweet all dressed up. This is a fun and easy dessert and centerpiece idea for the 4th of July! They can be whipped up ahead of time too! These Red, White and Blue Dipped Pretzels are perfect for your summer celebration!

Red, White and Blue Candy Melts #Walmart and #Michaels
Pretzel Rods
White Sprinkles

Pretzels Drying

Start with the white melts. Melt in the microwave according to package directions. Dip two thirds of the pretzel rod in the white. Lay out on parchment paper or cooling rack with wax paper underneath. Allow them to dry.

Pretzels Drying

Next you will melt the blue candy melts. Dip the top third of the white section in the blue. While it is still wet, sprinkle with the white sprinkles. Allow to dry.

Pretzels Drying

Finally, melt the red candy melts. Pour melted red candy into plastic baggie. Cut the corner of the baggie and drizzle over the white section. Allow to dry.

Place 6-8 pretzels in either a mason jar or another glass container. Tie a red simple ribbon around the container and if you like add a small flag.



Corky’s Catering wishes everyone a safe and blessed Fourth of July. Don’t forget we have great menu packages for any type of party you’re planning so, call us today to order at (630) 396-3030



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