Creative Nautical 4th of July Ideas

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We are SO excited for the 4th of July and summer parties.  Nautical and preppy decor meets 4th of July = adorable!  Adria and I put together this shoot and partnered with the fabulous Becca Bond Photography

While we were researching ideas for our 4th of July props, we noticed lots of twine accent pieces along with a nautical flare among the stores…. We knew right away that we wanted to incorporate this preppy New England look.

Our Nautical 4th of July Printable Collection can be found here and this week we are offering it for 40% off! USE CODE ARFOURTH

Be sure to check out these other popular 4th of July Party Ideas:
Pinwheels 4th of July Party
Classic 4th of July Party
All American 4th of July Party


july-4th-party-fireworks-backdropOld wooden boxes and crates like you might find around boating docks helped pull in the nautical theme.  Mix in a vintage lantern and Captain’s wheel to give that sailor vibe.  We created boating sail flags as a pennant banner and embellished most items with twine.  Very rustic, yet clean & simple!  Sailor knots were a must, and we simulated fireworks as you might see above the harbor.

Here are some of the fun 4th of July party ideas and details

cakeWe died shoelaces red, and made our own sailor’s knotted roping along base of the cake!

Sail pennant cookies were strung across the top!  Firefly Confections matched the cookies to our designs and they were almost too pretty to eat!


table up closeTurn corks into push pins to create a gorgeous backdrop that resembles fireworks. This was so simple -we just cut corks in slices, painted them and stuck pins through them onto the backdrop.

cork fireworks

We wanted to serve simple foods, yet come up with something catchy… Firecrackers and cheese anyone? Or how about some patriotic parfaits?


pie in a jar

Pies are always a summer favorite – we decided to create a non-bake “Pie in a Jar”…. festive and easy to do – your guests will love this home-made feel!  They are so easy to store in the fridge for easy prep, too!


We wrapped twine around vintage jugs to give that sailor swagger – Red & blue kool-aid is perfect for all summer parties!

side table

We used cutting boards as serving trays for our lunch vignette… with a galvanized container to hold easy lunch items (wrapped pb & j, macarons & chocolate covered apple) – along with standing popcorn containers.  We added tissue fringe to the popcorn box and toothpicks for some firework flare.  Napkin wraps and bottle wraps are a simple trick to tie in the decor elements…. and we used wooden utensils along with vintage bottles to go along with our Nautical theme.


A great way to dress up your table decor is with candles – You can use inexpensive candles and embellish them with twine to add interest!  We used twine and a favor tag to make a simple white candle look like it was purchased from a boutique!


Remember the DIY 3D Art project we showed you on the Ruff Draft?

We also used this template to create custom 4 & July pillows.  We designed the pillows from scratch – a super simple DIY project to spruce up chairs!

chair pillows



Of course you know I am obsessed with macarons – We stacked red, white & blue macarons in clear containers for stripe affects! This is a great idea for a favor, too.





– Cork Firework Backdrop Craft: Keeping with the “nautical” concept, we wanted to incorporate corks. We made a backdrop using re-purposed wine corks. We cut them into 1/2″ slices first. Then we threw them in a ziploc bag with acrylic paint and shook them around. Laid out to dry on wax paper. When they were dry, we used straight pins to push through the cork and into the backdrop board (which was made of foam core). (Homemade tacks, really) We arranged them to look like firework mosaic on the backdrop.

– Applique Pillows: We used our printable “4″ and “July” to create a template to cut out fabric. We stitched it onto white denim fabric and frayed the edges.

– Homemade Rope Cake Decor: we dyed shoelaces red, and tied knots to create a rope garland for around the cake. It replicated the Polo brand rope garland on the front of the table.

– Cake bunting: Firefly confections made pennant cookies on string for a cake bunting.

– Twine wrapped candle favors embellished with our printable favor hangtag.

– Tissue paper firework cupcake toppers.

– Popcorn Boxes with fringy trim.

– Twine wrapped jugs (These can be expensive in the store so we bought one at an antique store and added our own twine)

– Monogram “4″ wrapped with twine


– FireCRACKERS and Cheese: We packaged round crackers in cellophane and added printable wrap to the base. Tied with twine. Star cookie cutters were used to cut cheese and we stacked them and topped with a tissue “firework” toothpick.

– Red, white and blue macarons: packaged in clear boxes from Nashville Wraps for favors.

– Blueberry Patriotic Parfaits: Phyllo Cups with yogurt and blueberry, topped with a party flag.

– Pie in a jar with twine wrap: Graham cracker crust, white chocolate mousse and raspberries on top.

– Galvanized lunch boxes: DIY Chocolate apple, macarons, sandwich and rock candy.


Nautical 4th of July Printables are available in our shop for purchase and instant download. (On SALE 40% off until June 15 using code ARFOURTH!)



– Concept and Styling: Anders Ruff
– Nautical Party Printables: Anders Ruff
– Photography: Becca Bond Photography
– Cookies: Firefly Confections
– Clear Macaron Favor Boxes: Nashville Wraps

SOURCES to recreate this look:
Nautical Wheel
Clear Glass Beverage Bottles
Red Lantern
Awesome Rope Twine
Similar Wooden Cutting Boards for Serving
Striped Nautical Fabric

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