Turn your backyard into a gathering space for family and friends. You don’t have to wait for a special day. With these handy party tips, any day can be a special occasion. It’s the start of the outdoor party season with warmer days, fresh air, and green grass to tickle your toes. So invite your favorite friends to raise a glass. Enjoy the moment!
Romance and fragrance is in the air with the scent of just-cut roses. Pick whatever is in bloom, even mix in blackberry stems or other greens from the yard. Juicy berries inspired the DIY tablecloth. It’s a simple cotton sheet dyed with festive berry-color stripes.
If a few guests are gathering around the table, create a low-profile centerpiece. It’s quick and easy with just a serving bowl filled with floating candles glowing among blooms in the water.
Serving trays are great to bring food from indoors to the outdoors. Plus, it is an easy way to mingle and bring treats to your guests at the same time. Modern serving trays lined with on-trend copper is a creative DIY project. Just weave strips of the soft metal, cut to fit inside a standard-size tray. (Find copper strips at crafts stores or search online.) Bonus: Painted plant markers are a fun way to ID nibbles.
Sweet tarts are a big hit with guests and no hassle for the host. Fill store-bought mini crusts a day or two before the party. Or serve ready-made frozen tarts—we won’t tell. Put them on a beautiful tray and garnish them with a sprinkle of fresh mint or herbs. They’re going to look special and freshly made from scratch.
Cheers! A self-serve drink station means no one is stuck tending bar. Make a batch of lemonade, then drape a pretty linen cloth over the drink container to keep bugs at bay. Tie weights—such as copper washers–on the corners of the cloth to anchor it. And for a fresh bar-side snack, try iced fruit. Cherries, strawberries, and grapes are prime picks. Check out recipes for fun drinks here!
Add the warm glow of flickering copper lanterns, but at a bargain price. Make your own by using round disks and glass hurricanes from a craft store. The metal? It’s copper tape from a home store, adhered to the glass in a simple grid. You can also decorate with live plants. Potted strawberries and lemon thyme are table decorations that can be enjoyed all summer long after the garden party is over.
What’s the secret to a stress-free gathering? Planning and doing things ahead. Start working on the invitations and decorative projects about two months in advance. Food and flowers need to wait until two days before the gathering. On the afternoon of the party, put everything out or make it ready to go, so you can relax and have fun at the party. The host deserves to enjoy it, too!
Meredith Corporation. Copyright 2015