Outdoor Entertaining Extras
Summertime and eating – and entertaining – outdoors go hand in hand. Just because you will be serving guests al fresco does not mean that you cannot so so in style though. You don’t have to buy every generic place setting at the local home or party store either. Here are just a few ideas for outdoor entertaining decor that you can make yourself:
A plain dining table is not very inviting, indoors or out, when you are entertaining guests, but you probably do not want to break out your very best linens when you are dining al fresco with a number of people. Here is an easy way to create a stylish ombre tablecloth that is easy and inexpensive and That can be customized in any way you want:
What You Will Need:
A plastic drop cloth
A canvas drop cloth with a vinyl or leakproof backing (available at most home stores)
Fabric dye in the color of your choice
A spray bottle with an adjustable spray nozzle
How it’s Done
- Find a spot outside – against a wall or fence is ideal – where you can hang your drop cloths. In a pinch a washing line will do, as long as it is not a very windy day.
- Hang the plastic sheet first. This will protect whatever you are spraying against from accidental over spray.
- Hang the canvas drop cloth over the plastic sheet.
- Mix the fabric dye with water (follow the package instructions carefully , a little dye can go a long way) and then add the mixture to your spray bottle.
- Choose your stream setting. A direct spray will give you darker colors, a mist setting will result in lighter hues.
- Spray away! You can experiment with darker and lighter shades by adjusting the nozzle as you go, or by standing closer to, or further away, from the canvas.
- When you are satisfied with your handiwork leave the new table cloth outside to dry for at least a few hours before you use it.
Easy DIY Summer Fairy Lights
An evening of outdoor dining calls for just the right lighting. “Task” lighting around the dining table is essential of course so that people can see what they are eating but ambient light can help set a relaxed and charming tone as well. Fairy lights are great for doing just this but specially made ones are not always cheap. Here is an easy way to create your own summery fairy lights instead:
What You Will Need:
A string (or strings if you are ambitious) of plain fairy lights. These days you can pick them up for no more than a buck or so at discount stores.
Vellum paper in a variety of colors of your choice
How it’s Done
- Cut squares of the vellum paper – 5 to 6 inch squares work best and you will need two of three of them for each light.
- Fold the square in half diagonally so that you are left with a triangle.
- Next fold the left and right corners up to meet at the center. This will form a diamond shape. Then fold again to form a mini triangle.
- Cut slight curves into the remaining open edges to create a petal effect. You can try using a different shape for each color, doing so will add extra interest and depth.
- Cut across the bottom to form a small opening to slip the fairy light bulb through. When you have done that carefully unfold your “flower petal “.
- Layer a few petals on top of one another for each light. Remember to attach them above the bulb on the wire so that the bulb itself is still exposed.
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