By Leslie Goldman
Summer wouldn't be complete without a red-white-and-blue-themed bash. Your guests will see fireworks when you serve them these patriotic strawberries, dreamt up by party designer Courtney Dial, editor of Pizzazzerie.com: On the morning of the party, melt white chocolate chips in the microwave; dunk strawberries in 2/3 of the way, then dip them in a shallow bowl filled with blue sprinkles or blue sugar crystals. Set on a piece of waxed paper to dry. Or try a charming United States-shaped cake.
Next, pop some mini American flags into assorted deli sandwiches, cupcakes, and cocktails. Set them all out on a festive tablecloth: Hit up your local fabric store and purchase two to three yards of a fun seasonal fabric, like bold stripes, plaid, or a kitschy vintage pattern. "It's more elegant than plastic, washes well, is reusable, and costs only $8-$12," Dial says. You can also use butcher paper in lieu of tablecloths—don't forget to set out plenty of red and blue crayons!