Necessary ingredients for a successful last-minute Fourth of July party: Invite too many people (and tell them of course bring your children). Chill too many beers, and serve too many of my grandmother's deviled eggs. Everything else is optional.
That said, it's helpful to have some additional emergency outdoor party supplies on hand (stock up now on sale items to prepare for next year's last-minute Fourth of July party):
Above: Tear off table linens from a perforated roll of all-cotton napkins and placemats; MYdrap Gingham Cotton Lunch Napkins (20 to a roll) are $30 per roll from Gracious Home; Gingham Cotton Placemats (12 to a roll) are $38 per roll.
Above: A set of five Candle Torches is on sale for $7.99 at West Elm (marked down from $25).
Above: If sitting on the grass to watch fireworks is on the agenda, the Rustic European Picnic Blanket is $29 from Williams-Sonoma.
Above: The Zak Design Large White Party Tub holds ice and twelve bottles; it's $28 from Gracious Home.
Above: For my grandmother's deviled eggs, boil a dozen eggs. Peel and slice in half lengthwise. In a mixing bowl, combine yolks with homemade mayonnaise, finely chopped sweet pickles, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Pipe mixture into the hollow eggs; sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley. To serve, a Ceramic Deviled Egg Tray is $19 from West Elm. Image via Pinch My Salt.
Above: Here's the DIY bug repellent that Alexa made recently -- a natural salve that smells like rosemary (she brought some into the office to share). For instructions, see DIY: Bug Repellent Balm.