When I was little this porch was a deck.

I spent a Fourth of July walking around on it dressed up as Betsy Ross.

I would give my right arm and one of my molars if I could show you a picture.

Trust me.

It was amazing.

That year we celebrated the Fourth here at the Cape and I was in the local parade pulling Molly Pitcher in a red wagon and dressed in a long turn-of-the-century styled gray gown with ruffles and a mob cap and an attitude.

At the risk of stating the obvious….

…I’m pretty sure I was waving a flag.

And I spent the parade telling anyone who would listen that I invented it.

So today, on the porch where my American history lesson started, I’m sharing a few simple and easy porch decorating ideas with my sweet friend Leslie from My 100-year-old Home.

It’s all about easy summer celebrating.

One star and one stripe at a time. 🙂


Maybe it was all those summers spent on the Cape and celebrating the Fourth at the heart of where it all happened.

Maybe it was the fireworks over the ocean and that long ago parade and the streamers and the wheelbarrow races and the fifty-yard dash.

Or maybe it was Betsy and her flag.

Whatever, however, whyever.

I love the Fourth of July.

So yesterday I took a trip to the shopping mecca that is the Christmas Tree Shop with the windmill.

If you have ever been to the Cape you know what I’m talking about.

Every year I wave to it from the Sagamore Bridge and after the ocean?

It’s my first stop.

Especially when the Fourth of July is just around the corner.

So here are a few simple, easy, no-stress red, white and blue decorating ideas from my mob-cab to you.

1. Centerpiece lantern with flowers

Here’s an easy tip for a centerpiece. This is actually a candle lantern that came from The Christmas Tree Shop years ago. I took out the center and added a tall glass vase.

Then I filled the vase with flowers.

The flowers are from the local grocery store and I added ivy from the yard.

(total aside: you can always stretch a grocery store arrangement with greenery from the yard.)

2. Add pillows

I know this is so Captain Obvious.

But if you have any height-challenged people in your life?

They will thank you.

I am five feet tall and my feet can’t reach the floor in a lot of chairs.

But with a pillow? I’m a supermodel.

Especially a cute Fourth of July pillow like this one.

3. Use dishtowels as napkins

This is my GO-TO.

If you aren’t doing this—please add it to your to-do list.

So many times they are cheaper than napkins.

And cuter.

These napkins come in a set of four and are so much bigger and sturdier (and wash up so much better) than napkins. We keep these in a bucket in the kitchen and use them for everything.

4. Fourth of July plates

If you have a Christmas Tree Shop in your life?

I found these there for only $3.99.

If not, I found these kind of similar plates on Amazon here.

They also had this cute paper plate option and these napkins.

6. Placemats and seat covers

I’m going to show this later, but I made these placemats into seat covers.

You can find the placemats here at Walmart for only $2.00.

They are worth every penny and look SO much more expensive than that.

You can thread a red and white checked ribbon through the edges and tie them onto the chairs.

7. Recipes

If you are looking for a little dessert to go with your placemats?

Here’s one of my favorites and it’s SO EASY. You can make it ahead and refrigerate it.

You can see how to put it together here.

And this Fourth of July Apple Pie.

I made it using my favorite pie crust.

You can see the recipe here.

If you are looking for me on the Fourth of July?

You’ll find me waving my flag.

But this time? I’m not pulling Molly Pitcher in the wagon.

Even if she asks nicely. 🙂

PS Be sure and stop by Leslie’s.

I’m waving flags, but she is making pizza on the porch.

Yes, please.

See all the details and the how-to’s here.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

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  1. Image for Kris Kris

    Super cute! If you decorate with blue and white anyway, it's pretty simple to add in some red touches to set it all off. Thanks for showing us how. Going down memory lane ... I was in the 1976 bicentennial parade. I had been in my sister's wedding so I had a long dress in a sweet subtle floral print and my mom made me a mob cap. I was convinced that being in a parade was going to make me famous. It was more of a Laura Ingalls look (yes, we were mixing historical time periods! I'm pretty sure mob caps weren't a thing in Laura's day--sunbonnets were!) and I felt oh, so important.

  2. Image for Nancy Nancy

    I LOVE all of this! Your parade memories bring back many of my own. One we tell about every year is 1976 and our kids in costume. The Bicentennial Conestoga wagons even passed through our hometown of Warren, PA that season! I do wish I had seen the chairs a few years ago because I sold ours and never thought about how nice they would look if white! Happy Fourth to YOU and yours! P.S. I am enjoying your vacation right along with you.

  3. Image for Glyniss McDaniel Glyniss McDaniel

    You might check with the local historical society or town library up there for newspapers, photos, etc. of the parade that year. Hopefully, you might find a photo of you in that little mob cap pulling the red wagon!!

  4. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Good morning! I love the Cape, the CT Shop, the ocean, and blue/white decor. And I especially love the Fourth of July! We’re usually on Nantucket for the holiday and love how small towns can celebrate big holidays! After the Fourth, Town is still dressed in red, white, and blue and the party continues all summer. It’s magic! Thanks for this colorful post!

  5. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    OMG-Christmas Tree Shops! My husband and I were just talking about missing our trip to Christmas Tree Shops! I was so upset when they closed down their internet ordering! We have a 100+year home in Massachusetts, but work a lot in California. With covid it has been difficult getting back and forth. Your decorations on the porch makes me homesick. Wishing you the best time at your family beach house :)

  6. Image for Patti Harrison Patti Harrison

    We vacation at the Cape every year And have been doing so over 50 yrs. What town are you in? We always go to the CTS! My daughters and I just love all of them. Patti

  7. Image for dee dee

    Always such great ideas! I love to decorate the top of my pie's, and your pie turned out super cute! I love all the blue and white, and thinking of you all Betsy Ross makes me smile! xo

  8. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Loved hearing your story! So cute That was a good ideal to check to see if there are pictures! Your porch is beautiful. I love love love the Christmas tree shops too! It's not so close to me but I get there a few times a year! Happy 4th of July to you, make many more memories!!!

  9. Image for Shirley Shirley

    Oh that rug on the porch- gorgeous. Love the way you styled the table too. The little wooden lobsters. ❤️ You are so lucky being at Cape Cod. The first time I flew on holiday to America in 1980 we flew over Cape Cod. It did look like a fish’s tail from the air. We were so low we could see people on the beach. When the Captain announced for everyone to take a look we all rushed to the left hand side of the plane. I thought it was going to tip up !!! 😉🙄🤣🤣

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Love nearing about your vacation. We have lived on the Cape for over 20 years. It’s a very special place. Love the parade story. I remember marching in the July fourth parade with my then 3 year old daughter. Wonderful memories. Enjoy!❤️

  11. Image for jane Lund jane Lund

    Love this whole look, how festive , cozy and fun! Did you make the stripe and anchor throw pillows? those are darling too! Happy 4th!

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