20 Patriotic Memorial Day Decorations and Party Ideas


Memorial Day is the time to honor and remember those who have served in the military, but celebrating the holiday in a fun, meaningful way can be a challenge. The day is usually warm, but not sweltering, and you'll want your décor to lean patriotic, but not as flag-covered as a Fourth of July celebration. The trick is to go subtly festive without overdoing it on the stars and stripes. Our ideas will enliven every corner of your fête without making it feel too excessive.

A cheerful striped table, just like the one pictured here, will prime your patio for a season of fun, while buckets filled with small flags create a festive centerpiece. Simply remove the flags, and you've got the perfect craft station or buffet to display all of your barbeque creations. If a table runner is more your speed, we have just the one to add a pop of color to your lunchtime spread. Take a bite out of the festivities with decorations that look as good as they taste. Bake our Fruited Cheesecake Flag or put together some Flag Ices for patriotic treats that pop on your tables.

We have plenty of festive DIYs to add to your party, too. A way to commemorate those who've served is by crafting a Silk Poppy. The flower symbolizes peace and is associated with mourning, which means making some of these faux flowers is a beautiful way to show your respect. For something more red, white, and blue, make a flag garland to drape over your fence, honoring veterans for all to see. Another colorful project that will add to your party decorations are paper lanterns. Not only are they perfect to hang in your backyard, but they also illuminate your space, making them ideal for a nighttime party.

Ahead, discover colorful Memorial Day decorations and party ideas guaranteed to make your gathering—no matter what size it may be—pop.

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Red and White Bandanna


Looking for an easy way to add patriotic flair to your tables? A bandanna runner adds rugged country charm and red and white color to your tables. We like that it slips right off the next day. Add blue flowers for an entirely thematic setup.

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Patriotic Pillows

Juliana Sohn

You don't need to plaster your home with American flags in order to evoke the spirit of the holiday. Give your interior design a subtle patriotic update from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July, and even until Labor Day. Simply cover your pillows with festive scarves in shades of red, white, and blue. If there's one thing we love more than a chic design moment, it's one that does double duty.

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Burlap Party Banners

Pottery Barn "Liberty" Burlap Party Banner
Courtesy of Pottery Barn

A burlap American flag banner can withstand the wear and tear of time, making this a great investment. Plus, it'll look great on your front porch or in your backyard this Memorial Day.

Shop Now: Pottery Barn "Liberty" Burlap Party Banner, $29.50, potterybarn.com.

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Decorative Table Runner

Saro Lifestyle American Flag Table Runner
Courtesy of Target

A subtle nod to the American flag, this table runner is just the thing to spice up your Memorial Day party decorations.

Shop Now: Saro Lifestyle American Flag Table Runner, 16'' by 72'', $18.99, target.com.

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Bald-Eagle Tissue Paper Lanterns

Johnny Miller

Hang lanterns in two styles. Paper ribbons inscribed with the words "America the Beautiful" dress up accordion-style lanterns and are fastened with LED tea lights inside for a safe glow. Meanwhile, upside-down honeycomb bells become bodies for bald eagles, and looped wings and a drawn head give this flier a little patriotic flourish.

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America's Sweetheart


If there's one thing that has our all-year allegiance, it's dessert. Go ahead and play the flag card on the buffet table. It's for a good cause.

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Flag Ices

red white and blue ices
Chelsea Cavanaugh

A sweet Memorial Day decoration that doubles as a dessert? Yes, please. This delicious red, white, and blue recipe is easy to make, and only requires 25 minutes of prep, leaving you more time to focus on the party and less on cooking.

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Flag-Inspired Tableware

Martha Stewart Collection "Americana" Collection
Courtesy of Macys

Whether you're serving a flag-shaped treat or plating up some delicious recipes, these flag-inspired plates and serving pieces are nothing short of festive.

Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection "Americana" Collection, from $28, macys.com.

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Spirit Explosion


No fireworks yet, but you can fake it with some confetti-filled balloons—a surefire hit with partygoers young and old.

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Red, White, and Blue Flowers

Courtesy of Aaron Dyer

Arrange a beautiful bouquet of flowers in our country's colors for a festive, subtle touch of patriotism this Memorial Day.

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Flag Garland Fence


Have the most patriotic home in the neighborhood in honor of Memorial Day. Here, we used 8-inch-wide bunting to dress up a plain white picket fence. Start by measuring the desired length of your swag and cut 1 3/4 times this length of bunting. Then, pleat the fabric: First, lay the fabric down, the wrong side up. To make a single box pleat, crease both edges of a block of blue, and fold both creases so they meet in the middle, covering the blue; the red and white stripes will line up. It's a good idea to spray with starch and iron the folds as you go; sewing along the top using a straight stitch.

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American Flag-Inspired Ribbon Pins

America Flag-Inspired Ribbons
Aaron Dyer

Honor a veteran or someone currently serving this Memorial Day by crafting a flag-inspired pin. With just three steps, this DIY makes for a great party favor.

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Fruited-Cheesecake Flag

flag dessert patriotic fourth of july

Who wouldn't love biting into this patriotic cake this Memorial Day? Cheesecake squares are topped with raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries to create a delicious treat that is equal parts decoration and party idea.

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Paper Lanterns

Johnny Miller

Whether you decorate your front porch with these festive lanterns or illuminate a nighttime Memorial Day soirée, these lights are easy to make and look great. Accordion-fold tissue paper several layers high and punch with a star punch. Decoupage them onto the lantern using a store-bought medium or a homemade mixture—combining one part white glue with one part water. To create a cascading star pattern, as shown here, cluster stars close together at the top of the lantern and paste stars farther apart toward the bottom. Hang the lanterns in a group for maximum impact.

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Silk Poppies

Ditte Isager

A commemorative flower, crafting a silk poppy is the perfect way to honor lost loved ones this Memorial Day. While this one is yellow, you can make a red one to show a dash of patriotism.

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Stuck on Summer


Now that the table's got stars and stripes, don't let the bar go lonely. Stickers take a keg or ice bucket up a notch this Memorial Day.

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Stars and Stripes Paper Cones


Serving snacks? Filled with a mix of beet and blue-potato chips, this easy-to-make container is something to cheer for. To make these paper cones: print clip-art image (red or blue) and trim. Score along dotted line, and fold back to create a tab. Wrap to form cone, and attach sides with glue stick or double-sided tape. To prevent grease marks, line the inside of the cone with waxed paper if desired.

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Faithful Flatware


Channel the coast with table settings that'd be right at home on Cape Cod. We like that they're also reminiscent of the American flag.

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Festive Can Decorations


Display May flowers and even hors d'oeuvres in DIY tin-can vases. Gingham, bandannas, and lightweight denim make wrappers you'll use all year.

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