Updated: 06/20/2016 4:13 PM | Print Story |  Email

DIY Summer Patio Party

If you've got plans to throw a party this summer, it's time to throw out the red checked picnic table cloth and take your table decor up a notch.  Our TCL Craft Star, Alisun Abott, stopped by with three themed table settings that will you look like an event planner extraordinaire.

1. Updated Garden Party
While there may be a tea sandwich served at this party, we say goodbye to teacups and lace and take our inspiration literally from the garden.

Name Card: For an adorable place-setting card, add a low maintenance plant to mini terra cotta pot and top with a handwritten name.

Ice Bottle Chiller:  Gather herbs, flowers and pretty leaves to submerge into water to then freeze and create a beautiful ice bottle chiller.

For this project you will need two buckets: one large and one small. The smaller bucket will need to be able to fit into the larger bucket. Find two buckets that will easily fit in your freezer.  Alisun used a plastic two litter, lemonade bottle with cap and a dry storage bucket from her pantry.  

  1. Fill the lemonade bottle with water and put the cap back on the bottle. This bottle will work as a weight when submerged in the larger bucket. 
  2. With your smaller bucket or bottle in the larger bucket- add your clippings from your yard. Add hot water to the bucket and then freeze.
  3. When you are ready to entertain, take the bucket out of your freezer and run hot water over the bucket. Remove the smaller bucket or bottle, this is the place you will add your wine bottle or sparkling cider bottle. This beautiful ice bottle chiller can act as your table’s center piece. Make sure to put the ice bottle chiller on a plate to while serving.

Garden Statue as Center Pieces: Garden stores are an excellent resource for creative and impactful center pieces. To give the table setting even more of a garden vibe, cut various leafs and place them in a cluster of vases or jars.

Natural Ombre Dip-Dyed Napkin with Beets & Turmeric: For a truly unique color, try dying your fabric napkins with items grown in the garden. 

  1. Add a tablespoon of turmeric, to a bowl of hot water, then add your fabric and let it sit in the solution overnight.
  2. Rise the fabric with cool water until the water runs clear.
  3. Cut and peel three to four beets. Add beets to a boiling pan of water, let boil for 10 minutes then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove beets and add fabric napkins. Leave the napkins in the beet water overnight. 
  5. Remove the napkins from the pan. Rinse the fabric with cool water until the water runs clear.

Plates & Dinnerware:  Invest in your everyday plates. Seasonal dining-ware is consistently on sale.  For this places setting, I am using my everyday plates with a $2.00 floral bowl and a $2.00 water goblet and tumbler. Plate chargers are the unsung hero of entertaining, they give an instant style upgrade, are easily accessible, and are relativity inexpensive.

2. Stars & Stripes
The Fourth of July is a holiday that for some reason has décor that seems to be expensive but also disposable.

Centerpiece:  By using a large gold mirrored tray, Alisun was able to create an impactful base for my table. Alison purchased three white, wooden stars from Target. The stars are versatile and could also be used for winter holidays too.  The stars are the perfect base for the balloons.

Paper Bag Stars:  These are the easiest and most adorable craft Alisun has ever made!  To create a star using paper bags, you will need about 10 paper bags and a glue stick.

  1. Start by making sure that all your bags are facing the same way.  With the opening of the bag facing you, start by making a T shape on the bag with your glue stick
  2. After you have made the T shape, place another bag on top of the glue
  3. Repeat this step with all 10 bags. Make sure to firmly press the bags on the glue.
  4. When you have glued and placed your last bag, fan the bags out in a circular shape so that the top bag and the bottom bag are now touching.
  5. Hole-punch top two bags, and string them together.

Sparklers as Place Setting:  For a sparkling first impression, add personalized sparkler packs at every place setting.

Red, White & Blue:  Easily add patriotic color to your table by purchasing colored cloth napkins and colorful drinkware.

3. Personalized Picnic
This is a lovely and tasteful way to create a buffet style table setting. By creating this personalized picnic tablescape, you playfully nudge and encourage guests to find a comfy place to dine.

AstroTurf Table Cloth: Create a playful table cloth by going to hardware store and asking for some AstroTurf.  AstroTurf is often sold by the square foot. I purchased mine for $3.00 a square foot.  I recommend laying the turf over a table cloth as the bottom of the turf could scratch your table. 

Personalized Galvanized Tubs: Place all the makings of a perfect picnic for each guest in their own galvanized tub. Make sure to add a cute, checkered napkin and colorful drink.


For other crafty entertaining ideas, click here.