15 DIY Memorial Day Decorating Ideas

Pay homage to the holiday and welcome the start of summer with our favorite red, white, and blue motifs.

memorial day party picnic table

As one of the most highly anticipated events of the warm-weather season, Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember those who have served in the military. It's also a day recognized by many as the unofficial start of summer. Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue or celebrating oceanside, you'll need some decorations that commemorate the holiday in style. From red, white, and blue tablescapes to festive DIY party favors, our Memorial Day decorating ideas are guaranteed to make your gathering a success.

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Pom Pom Napkin Rings

napkin ring pom poms
Pernille Loof

Make quick work of napkin rings by wrapping red raffia around a credit card and cinching it with floral wire until it forms a DIY pom pom. It’s the perfect way to add some Memorial Day flare to plain linens. 

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Sailor’s-Knot Wreath

saillor's knot wreath

Welcome guests to your holiday gathering with this on-theme wreath. The sailor’s knot is a decorative knot made from one continuous length of rope that’s intertwined to make a closed loop. Here, we’ve tied it into a flat mat and finished it off with a red-white-and-blue bow. 

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Rocket Confetti Popper

fourth of july rocket confetti poppers
Linda Xiao

Give kids something to do at your Memorial Day bash by setting up an area for them to set off these confetti poppers. To make them, you just need a cardboard box and tube, paint, tape, barbecue skewers, construction paper, and kitchen twine. 

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Patriotic Door Medallion

mld104375_0709_rossette_exp4_hd.jpg (skyword:289432)

A popular Memorial Day motif, this red, white, and blue medallion is easy to make at home by piecing and trimming bunting together to create a bullseye pattern. 

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Red and White Bandana Tablecloth


Looking for an easy way to add patriotic flair to your tables? A bandana runner adds rugged 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. 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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Red, White, and Blue Dessert Table


If there's one thing that has our all-year allegiance, it's a dessert table. Give yours an on-theme twist by serving red, white, and blue desserts and decorating the display with miniature American flags.

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Red, White, and Blue Bouquet

Courtesy of Aaron Dyer

Arrange a beautiful bouquet of flowers in our country's colors for a festive touch of patriotism this Memorial Day. Place them on your tablescape as a centerpiece for a subtle callback to the holiday.

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Flag Garland


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 garland 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 should line up. Spray with starch and iron the folds as you go. Sew along the top using a straight stitch.

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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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Thematic Ice Bucket


Now that the table's got stars and stripes, don't let your beverage station go lonely. Add star-shaped stickers to your ice bucket to take it up a notch this Memorial Day.

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Stars and Stripes Paper Cones


Serving snacks? Filled with a mix of 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 the dotted line, and fold back to create a tab. Wrap to form the cone, and attach sides with a 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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Red, White, and Blue Linens


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

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Festive Snack Tins


Display everything from flowers and hors d'oeuvres in these DIY tin-can vases. Gingham, bandanas, and lightweight denim make for festive wrappers you'll use all year.

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On-Theme Balloons


Fireworks are typically reserved for Fourth of July, but you can nod to the motif with some confetti-filled balloons. We chose red, white, and blue colors for ours, but no matter the color palette this idea will be a hit with all partygoers, young and old.

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