Here's another idea for July 4 party decor. Start with napkins, a runner, and seating cards in bursts of red, white, and blue. Then add a set of paper pom-poms attached to skewers to bring more fireworks to the table. Stick the skewers into sand-filled jars, as we did, or into a cake or a cheese plate.
To make pom-poms, below middle, fold a 3-by-15-inch piece of vellum in half twice lengthwise. Cut slits every 1/8 inch, leaving inch at the top uncut. Unfold the paper, and attach a 1-inch piece of double-sided tape to one uncut corner; adhere to a bamboo skewer, and wrap the paper around several times. Once you reach the other end, use another piece of double-sided tape to secure. Curl the lower strips with the edge of a scissor blade, as you would a ribbon.
For the napkins and runner, below right, dip the bristles of a kitchen scrub brush into fabric paint from a crafts store. Press bristles firmly onto fabric. Use smaller bottle brushes to create patterns on paper place cards; then handwrite names with a white pen.