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Patriotic Painted Paper Tableware

These DIY paper tableware pieces are great for a big Fourth of July party. 

By painting your own designs on standard paper plates and cups, you can create a fun, custom style that is also simple and inexpensive!

Paper cups display blue stars made with quick brush strokes for a painterly look. Then, to complete the patriotic table setting, red and white stripes are painted on standard paper plates. These plates can be folded into disposable serving dishes for small items like nuts and candies, or you can make one for each guest, using them as individual bowls for chips, popcorn—even your famous party mix recipe! Here’s how to make your own July 4th table settings.


White paper plates and cups

Red and blue acrylic paint



Blue tissue paper


Step 1: Fold the sides of your paper plates to form a basket shape with a square bottom.

Step 2: Unfold the plate and use a paintbrush to apply red acrylic paint in diagonal stripes on all sides of the exterior. (If stripes aren’t your thing, get your kids involved instead! Let them unleash their inner Picasso on these plates. They’ll be so proud that they helped to make the colorful, abstract table settings!)

Step 3: Once dry, refold the plate into a basket/bowl shape. Use a stapler to secure the sides in place.

Step 4: Cut a square of blue tissue paper, and use that to line the bowl. The tissue paper serves as a barrier between the painted surface and your food items.\

Step 5: For your cups, paint simple star shapes all over the sides of the cups. Don’t worry about making perfect stars—these should look relaxed and fun. Focus the stars toward the bottom of the cup to avoid applying paint near the top where you would drink out of it.

For more paper décor ideas for July 4th celebrations, see the Rosette Wall Hanging, a Patterned Floral Centerpiece, Confetti Cupcake Toppers, and a Fringe Star Piñata!

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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