Wow Guests by Adding a Firework Tablecloth to July 4th Decorations

Shawna Bailey
by Shawna Bailey
5 Materials
25 Minutes
For our July 4th BBQ, we invite everyone we know and make it a huge blow-out! Every year I'm on the lookout for new July Fourth party ideas, and this year I saw this incredible technique for a fireworks tablecloth. Not only can it be washed and reused every year, but all it takes is alcohol, Sharpies, and a cotton flat sheet!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
I used a sheet instead of a table cloth for several reasons. First, it's much cheaper, than a cotton tablecloth. Second, sheets almost always come in 100% cotton, as opposed to most tablecloths out there. Third, white sheets, unlike white tablecloths, are made without a pattern, so it was a nice, blank slate for my fireworks. I also used a red sharpie, a blue sharpie, and rubbing alcohol poured into a condiment container. The condiment container is optional, but you will need some sort of squirt bottle.

Step 2: Draw Your Fireworks
Draw your fireworks around the edge of the table cloth. You might want to put the sheet on the table to see where the sides come up to. I experimented a bit on another piece of fabric, before settling on the two shapes I thought looked the most like fireworks. I found that if the dots or lines were too close together, the firework came out looking messy. You should experiment with what works for you - it's helpful, but also it's so much fun!

Step 3: Drip on Alcohol
After all my decorations were in place, I used a condiment bottle to drip alcohol in the center of each firework. Any container that allows you to drip would work, like a syringe, medicine dropper or small squirt bottle.
I added just a few drops at a time, and the effect was incredible! The designs "bloomed" beautifully right away, and continued to spread after a minute. If you want a more dissipated firework, you can add more alcohol at any time.

Step 4: Let Your Tablecloth Dry
I let my creation dry for 10 minutes before I move it. You don't want to accidentally spread color from one side of your tablecloth to another, so letting it sit is important. You can still add alcohol to expand your firework after it's dry.
That was all it took and the tablecloth came out so amazing!! You can also make matching napkins or t-shirts for your July 4th guests.
Now I have a fourth of July tablecloth that I'm going to use every year. I can't wait to see the looks on my guests faces - they're going to flip!
Suggested materials:
  • Red Sharpie
  • Blue Sharpie
  • 100% cotton white flat sheet
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 12 questions
  • Gail Moseley Gail Moseley on Jun 27, 2017
    To be sure, but not this year. What do you put under the sheet to protect the table when making the design?

  • Deb28190967 Deb28190967 on Jun 19, 2018

    love this idea! but does it fade in the washer??

  • Lisa Kubin Lisa Kubin on Jun 12, 2020

    Does the fabric have to be cotton?

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3 of 70 comments
  • Jodi Jodi on Jun 20, 2020

    Very clever idea! I like it. This is one I'll try, maybe on a tee shirt. Thanks for sharing .

  • Val Hawkins Val Hawkins on Jun 20, 2020

    Love this idea ! Would be great to have guest sign their names & follow through the next year with your memories growing you'll have an autographed keepsake !!

    • Mary Rose Mary Rose on Jul 23, 2020

      I did this for my children's birthdays. They each have a record of their birthday each year.