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How to Make an Easy and Inexpensive Patriotic 4th of July Centerpiece

This oh so Patriotic 4th of July Centerpiece is a wonderful way to give three cheers for the Red, White, and Blue - it's also super easy to make and cheap!

I love almost anything patriotic. I always have for as long as I can remember. I got it from my Dad. He was in the Marine Corps and instilled that love in me from an early age...and I am so thankful to him for that.

Three mason jars filled with red white and blue rice on a white cake plate with small American Flags in each Jar - a 4th of July Centerpiece

And, while my Dad didn't make crafts, if he did, he would like this 4th of July Centerpiece because well, it's red, white, and blue, there are flags involved, and he always fussed over everything I did. 😉

I had just about everything that's needed to make this on hand and then a quick trip to the Dollar Tree rounded out my supply list and this simple centerpiece was ready from start to finish in under an hour.

Thrifty Style Team Red White and Blue Logo for 2021

This inexpensive craft is part of this month's Thrifty Style Team share. You can scroll to the bottom of this post for all the other gorgeous patriotic décor!

So, let's get crackin'!

3 Mason Jars, a bag of white rice, and food coloring


Mason Jars

White Rice

Food Coloring


Small Flags or tea lights

Parchment Paper

Cookie Sheets or Trays

Container with tight lid


Prep trays to hold the dyed rice by covering with parchment paper.

Dye the Rice: This is actually so easy!

White rice in a black Chinese food takeout container - how to make dyed rice

Place approximately 3 cups of rice in a container with a tight fitting lid.

Drizzle 3 teaspoons of vinegar over top of the rice.

Add food coloring. I added approximately 20 drops of blue food coloring to this batch (the next batch will be red, obviously!).

White rice dyed with red food coloring in container

Now, put on the TIGHT-FITTING lid and start shaking! Shake the container until the food coloring is evenly blended into the rice.

Freshly dyed red rice in a container

This doesn't take long at all.

Red and Blue dyed rice on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper

Once the rice is the color you desire, gently pour it out onto the cookie sheet that's been covered with parchment paper and allow it to dry. It was a HOT day when I made mine and it took less than 30 minutes.

Now, let's fill the jars for our 4th of July centerpiece!

Mason Jars filled with Red, White, and Blue dyed rice for a patriotic 4th of July Centerpiece

We'll start layering the rice in each jar - red rice on the bottom, plain white rice in the center and top it all off with the blue dyed rice!

Red, White and Blue rice-filled mason jars topped with tealights - a festive 4th of July centerpiece

Leave a little bit of room at the top to add either votive lights or flags.

I think the tea lights would be a pretty option if you'll be having friends over at night but if the centerpiece is just for you, indoors, flags are the way to go!

I placed my jars on a cake plate and then wrapped some battery-operated lights around the bottom. I love the way it looks and even though this is inside, my flags were waving like crazy (that's what I get for leaving the ceiling fan on while taking pictures).

And now, for inspiration from the rest of the Thrifty Style Team!

Click on the links below to be taken to the post!

4th of July Printables

4th of July Indoor Decor

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  1. Vicki and Jenn 2 Bees in a Pod says:

    Your 4th of July centerpiece is stunning. Your dad would love it! Thank you so much for sharing your colored rice tutorial. We had no idea that you could do this to rice!

  2. Cindy LONG says:

    Absolutely darling Mary Beth! I LOVE how you dyed the rice, that is so clever and it looks so good! Love this thrifty idea and I know your dad would too 😉

  3. Paula@SweetPea says:

    I love this idea!!! I can't wait to make this for my home.

  4. Michelle @ The Painted Hinge says:

    I love this idea! I've never thought of using food coloring to dye rice.

  5. Kristin Lenz says:

    Such a fun idea!!

  6. Mary Beth, I've never tried to dye rice but I'm glad to know that it's easy to do so. I love both versions of your centerpiece-with the votives and the flags! Such a great idea!

  7. I never would have though of dying the rice! perfect idea for a patriotic look. What a beautiful look. I am sure your dad would be proud of your patriotism. I am grateful for his service.

  8. OH MY GOODNESS! Totally sharing on my page...this is BRILLIANT, MB!!!!!!!!

  9. Chas Greener says:

    What a great centerpiece and how vivid the colors are with the rice. Great idea, and I'll have to give it a try.

  10. Angie @ Postcards from the Ridge says:

    This is such a fun centerpiece. I never would have thought of dying rice, but it's a great idea and perfect for red, white, and blue decor! Thanks for the how-to!

  11. Kelly Radcliff says:

    I love this idea! It turned out so pretty. Pinned!

  12. Kristi L Dominguez says:

    Wow...I never even knew you could dye rice? How clever is this? Your centerpiece is just lovely, Mary Beth. Love it. xoxo, Kristi

  13. Michelle James says:

    This is so cool! I had no idea it was rice when I first looked at it I definitely want to try this. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.