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This party started with a wonderful surprise from Zoila at Squared Party Printables. She sent me her Stars & Stripes collection, which is very big and a steal at just $8 on Etsy.
Not long after, Ellie from A Felt Affair sent me a red, white and blue felt garland as a thank you for using another one of her garlands. Zoila and Ellie take thank you notes to a whole new level!
It was clearly time to have a 4th of July party, I just needed a concept – and it was right there in my living room. There is a famous painting you’ll probably recognize when you see it.
The original hangs in rotunda of Congress and is reproduced on the back of the $2 bill (not that anyone uses $2 bills anymore). It’s “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence” by John Trumbull. Trivia for you: My maiden name is Trumbull … yep, the same Trumbull. An antique etching of the painting hangs in my living room. There was my theme.
Independence Day would be the perfect time to shoehorn in a small history lesson, and a little bit of family history for the girls. I decided to take my inspiration from the painting, creating a dessert table that mimicked our founding fathers, gathered to sign the declaration.
I held the party in our library, which I use as my office. I liked the idea of the desk as the dessert table because it reminded me of the painting. For the backdrop, I used our flag. (Not the flag of their time, but this was the more practical choice.) To that I added my etching.
I used silver and crystal because I thought that’s what these men would have been accustomed to. Since the founders had books and papers on their table, I used encyclopedias and a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence on my table. (One of the encyclopedias includes the entry for John Trumbull.)
In a silver teapot, I added some sparklers for fun later. My parents lent me an inkwell from my father’s family, and I popped a white feather in there (again, like the painting).
To keep with our Revolutionary War-era theme, I did a little Google research on desserts of the time and based all our treats on popular sweets of the day. I served All-American Apple Pie, Hasty Pudding Push-Up Pops, Gingerbread Whoopie Pies, Betsy Ross Sugar Cookies, Revolutionary War Balls, Orange Raisin Cakes, and Tax-Free Tea.
Some of these recipes were loosely interpreted, to say the least! Hasty pudding is actually more of a corn pudding, and mine was chocolate pudding. I’m pretty certain their gingerbread was not in the form of whoopie pies. My Revolutionary War Balls were cinnamon donut holes, but those actually sound just like real thing!
For the pie, I used Squared Party Printables paper to create star bunting and hung the stars on red and blue twine.
Best yet, because I used what I had and made all the food (except the mini cookies), this party only cost me $107 (plus the cost of food).
For favors, I wrapped up some red Sixlets and blue Jelly Bellies in red and blue candy cups and attached a Squared Party Printables tag.