Oh, say can you see my red, white, and blue Patriotic Tablescape? Like most folks, when we host the 4th of July, we serve American classics such as hamburgers and potato salad. However, even though our menu consists of typical picnic fare, I love a table setting that is anything but typical. This year, I’m especially invested in creating a festive table to celebrate being with friends and family once again.
As I’ve said before, I like to set a layered table. A tablecloth can be a great way to establish a color scheme and create a foundation for all the other elements you put on top of it. Unfortunately, a nice cloth table covering has literally been off the table for our outdoor dining space because of the obstacle of the umbrella. That’s been the case until this year when I found this terrific striped tablecloth with a hole for the umbrella.
It’s made of stain-resistant fabric and sewn with a nifty zipper so that it can easily be placed on the table without having to remove the umbrella. So Cool!
For the next layer of my patriotic tablescape, I wanted to add something with a strong, rich color to contrast the white background of the tablecloth. These round red placemats provide the punch I was looking for. The quilted flower design also harmonizes perfectly with all the other floral motifs on the table. I think red placemats are worth the investment because they can be used for Christmas as well as the 4th of July.
For the plates, I used my set of “Liberty Blue” transferware dishes. Paper plates are more convenient, but I love the juxtaposition of serving picnic food outside on china plates. In fact, I use china and linens outdoors so often that once when I used paper napkins for a barbeque, my brother-in-law teased me about my slipping standards.
Wedgwood originally produced these “Liberty Blue” ironstone dishes as a promotion for the Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings and Loan in 1975. They must have produced a ton of them because, even though they were discontinued in the mid-’80s, they are still readily available on Ebay and Replacements. Nevertheless, the plates are quite charming. All the pieces have lovely wildflower borders and central illustrations, depicting 15 different American colonial scenes. My “Liberty Blue” dinner plates feature Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
The vintage dinner plates are not that large, so I added star-shaped bowls to the place setting. These white melamine bowls are perfect for salad or fruit.
The vivid floral print on the hand-blocked cotton napkins relates to the floral border on the plates. It also brings all the colors of the patriotic tablescape together. Since the table is surrounded by my summer flower planters, it seemed appropriate to place the napkins in these adorable watering can napkin rings.
Once I found the watering can napkin rings, I decided to really lean into the flower garden theme. To this end, I painted small clay pots and planted them with Lobelias. These patriotic pots are fun little favors for guests to take home.
A bright red watering can serves as a vase for a bountiful bouquet of blue and white Hydrangeas. The watering can coordinates with the napkin rings and adds another strong red element to the table.
To finish off the patriotic tablescape, I festooned the umbrella with various red, white, and blue party decorations. These inexpensive paper fans and flower balls are sold as a set. And once they are hung from the spokes of the umbrella, they really say “it’s a party!”
After I took the photos for this post, I realized that I had forgotten to place the small flags I had purchased in the pots of lobelia. Looking at my pictures, I’m not sure if they would have been a bit too much or not. Even without the flags, I’m pretty sure there’s enough red, white, and blue in this patriotic tablescape to inspire guests to spontaneously break into a rousing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner!”
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