Whether your Fourth of July picnic will take you to the beach or a tiny back yard, San Jose floral designer Jose Ibarra has set a holiday buffet table for any space on any budget. And for this All-American holiday, Ibarra is embracing the simplicity of red, white and blue. But, as always, he does it with a fanciful twist.
Here are some of his tips for setting a table for a fabulous fourth:
1. Round up your American Flags: For a patriotic backdrop (or just to hide an unattractive corner of the yard) hang the stars and stripes from strung wire behind the table. Ibarra found some of his favorite vintage flags at flea markets.
2. Paint a tablecloth blue and white: Ibarra used a sheet of linen, but a white sheet or even a roll of paper will do (get the kids involved!). For added interest, he laid it perpendicular to the table, instead of end-to-end.
3. Stripes, stripes, stripes! To dress up plain glass vases, wrap them in red, white and blue ribbons. Top with white carnations ($5.99 at Safeway) and red roses ($9.99 at Safeway) and, if you don't have blue delphiniums in your yard, splurge a little. Look through your cabinets for colored glasses and plates. Jose pulled out a red-and-white striped water pitcher.
4. Hello Jello: It took Ibarra three days of watching each layer set in his fridge, but the effect is worth it. He was ready with his blue and red Jello to layer in his large candy jar. But what about the white? He stopped at the Mexican market, and there it was, white Hazelnut gelatin. Add shredded coconut, raspberries and blueberries on top and you've got a grand old flag.
5. Salute this Cake! Ibarra ordered a sheet cake with white frosting from a Mexican market. Add blueberries for the stars and cherries for the stripes. Dig in. (But whatever you do, don't let a crumb touch the ground!)
Here's the complete slideshow: