1. CUTE INVITES...A MUST! I'm really diggin' these...
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE! No one likes a stressed out host. Go store bought and stay out of the kitchen. Modern classics are the way to go: Grilled pizzas, pigs in a blanket, chicken wings, popsicles, etc. Here's a whimsical and colorful way to display your popsicles courtesy of I Heart Nap Time:
3. GIVE PARTY FAVORS! Everyone loves them, they're easy and food makes a great favor. Try setting a nice display up on a side table for a Candy Buffet:
You can display them in glass jars with lids (ones like these you can find in Walmart for as little as $6.00)
Or you can display your delicious treats in open glass vases for a more elegent touch. Vases like these can be found at Marshall's for as little as $8.00. Add little scoops for a more personal touch, this way your guests can scoop out what they need. Another hostess tip...bags are a great addition! This way your guests can have some now, and take some for later!
4. KEEP IT COOL! A summer party can get hot so think about placing a basket out with a few paper fans in it. This way guests can just help themselves. They look great and they're really cheap and easy to find. Any party supply store in your area will have them!
5. CREATE A PICNIC! Find some oversized lightweight coverlets and pillows to create a summery and relaxed feel outside. Scatter them around the yard with picnic baskets at each one filled with wonderful suprises like fresh fruit, cheeses and breads. Don't forget to throw in a few little spritzers to drink!
You can even throw in a few bright colored plates. They're functional and they add so much character. Your guest will love having their own little picnic areas to enjoy.
6. SET AN INVITING BAR AREA! Offer guests one specialty drink option. Punch in a bowl is always a guest fave! Add some slices of fresh fruit to your bowl for a sweet surprise! Another drink favorite for summer is fruit infused water. For this you will need to fill the desired container with half to two-thirds of water. Then add the fruit of your choice. Strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and lemon are always among the faves. If you do this the day before or the morning of it'll be perfect by party time!
You can find some really great decorative pitchers at.....(yep, you guessed it....Marshall's) for next to nothing. I found one recently for $14.99. It's a great investment for summer parties as well as family dinners and get togethers on the back deck! If you don't have a Marshall's, TJ-Maxx or HomeGoods in your area...no worries, Walmart and Target should also carry them in their Home Section.
Bottled drinks such a beer, wine, sodas and water can be displayed in large metal tubs filled with ice and placed around the yard for easy access at all times.
8. ENTERTAINMENT PLEASE! Music is a great backdrop for an outdoor shindig! Download a party themed playlist on your ipod and hook it up to outdoor speakers for everyone to enjoy. Ipod docking stations are available anywhere electronics are sold. Need some added fun and perhaps a little entertainment? Try setting up a volley ball net to get some good interaction between your guests....here's a twist....instead of usually the actual volleyball use water balloons. Yep, you heard right...water balloons!
Here's how it works: Teams will be set up on opposite sides of the net (like usual) and will be given a blanket to hold onto, collectively. The object of the game is to launch the balloon over the net with the blanket and the other team has to catch it in their blanket without it busting. It creates quite the hilarious scene, I must say! Be sure to have an entire cooler filled with extra water ballons off to theside....you'll need them!!
Most important rule of all....HAVE A BLAST! With these simple self serve party ideas you have more free time to enjoy yourself and time with your friends and family!!