If you’re planning a party this summer and would like to spend a little bit of time organising something that’s truly “Pinterest-worthy”, you’ve come to the right place for inspiration. Especially, if, like me, you LOVE planning fun celebrations, bright colours are your thing and you go CRAZY for unique finishing touches!
I’ve spent a couple of months planning (read: scouring Pinterest boards and Googling ideas) for my 30th birthday later this month. I’m only having a small get-together with four members of my family and even though it’s such a small affair, I still want it to be a Pinterest-worthy party with lots of eclectic flair because that’s my style!
Pinterest-worthy summer food & drink:
1) Thirst quenching cocktails and mocktails
No summer garden party is complete without a jug or two of Pimm’s, it’s practically a British institution. It’s one of two staple drinks consumed at Wimbledon, the Chelsea Flower Show, the Henley Royal Regatta and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera – the other being Champagne. Pimm’s is also the standard cocktail at polo matches and it is extremely popular at the summer garden parties of British universities. As such, it’s a perfect choice for our Pinterest-worthy festivities too.
A jug of Pimm’s looks impressive but is very easy to knock together, probably why it’s such a favourite with us Brits! Here’s a recipe:
Classic Pimm’s Recipe from BBC Good Food
Fill your jug with ice and pour in 200ml of Pimm’s No. 1. Top up with 600ml of lemonade and give the concoction a good stir.
Next, add several pieces of sliced orange and a handful of chopped strawberries. Mint sprigs and sliced cucumber is used as a garnish.
Your friends that are teetotal, pregnant, driving or simply off the booze do not need to feel left out! There are plenty of ‘mocktail’ recipes that everybody can enjoy. Try this visually impressive blueberry mint agua fresca from familyfreshcooking.com (pictured below). It’s a healthy fruit punch made using only four ingredients, cold water and edible flowers! Get the recipe here.
2) Mouthwatering main courses
Everybody is different when it comes to party food and there are no right and wrong choices. You might opt for a handmade pizza made in an outdoor clay oven, or you could fire up the BBQ and make hotdogs with impressive toppings.
I’ve made all three several time they are certainly delicious
3) Delicious desserts
After spending hours sweating over the stove (or BBQ grill) cooking for guests, as hosts we’re unlikely to have time or energy for baking desserts too. For Pinterest-worthy puddings, I’m thinking about cheating. I’ll be visiting Marks and Spencer, which is just around the corner from my house… I’m pretty tempted by these delights:
If you DO want to bake a cake, how about this beauty that I found on the Party Pieces blog? It’s a Strawberry and Elderflower cake by baker and cookbook author Fiona Cairns. It is perfect for summertime. I’m making this for my Clandestine Cake Club meeting next weekend, so I’ll let you know how it tastes.
Get your garden party ready:
4) Spectacular seating
Make sure there is plenty of seating available for your guests to relax! If your party is a one-off, ask obliging friends to bring their spare patio chairs. If you’re planning to entertain regularly, you may wish to invest in a couple of outdoor beanbags, additional seating like benches and scatter cushions to brighten the place up.
Often on my Pinterest travels, I see backyards that are decorated as if they’re another room in the house. Wooden fencing panels and walls are painted, there are mirrors and pictures hung on the wall, outdoor seating resembles living room furniture and there are even bright and cheery rugs on the floor! Perhaps this is practical if you live in a particularly sunny place, like the southern states of America – but it’s certainly inspirational for the rest of us too. Does your garden need a makeover?
5) Dreamy decorations
I’m not sure why, but I find planning party decorations really exciting. I think it’s because the right decorations can shape a party’s ambience. Use a mood board (or Pinterest board) to carefully plan your party, only selecting decorations that add to the mood you’re trying to cultivate.
Those who’ve visited this blog before will know that I love eclectic style, bright colours and all things pretty! So, I am trying to bring that into my Pinterest-worthy party decor.
On my party wishlist:
- Brightly coloured bunting – I recently acquired my first ever sewing machine and I purchased a DIY sew your own bunting kit complete with all the fabric I’d need, instructions and such like. I’ll be making it in the coming weeks, before my party. The photo below (left) is what the finished product should look like.
- Confetti garlands – This is a fab, easy and cheap DIY that any crafter can make (centre). Use leftover paper from your stash and punch out confetti circles (using something like this) in a range of contrasting colours. Load up your sewing machine with cotton and sew through the centre of the circles, stitching them together (ensure they’re equally spaced). Make multiple garlands, as many as you can! Hang around your garden, drape over wooden pergolas, tie into the trees, dangle from the doorway – the possibilities are endless.
- Hanging paper flowers – I’m currently obsessed with the idea of making garlands from paper flowers and hanging them from the trees in my garden (below right). I’ve seen this idea in wedding photographs, but I think brightly coloured pink, yellow and turquoise papers would really work for my party.
- You could also decorate with paper chains, tassel garlands, fairy lights, lanterns…
6) Blooming marvellous flowers & a neat garden
It’s unlikely that you’d host a party in an untidy home, so your garden should be neat too! I’m not green-fingered at all, so I’m pretty happy that our landlord instructs a gardener to come and tidy up for us every couple of weeks. He keeps the beds weed-free and the grass short. But I will be taking a trip to my local B&Q in the next few weeks! We’ve got a couple of boring, empty pots that I want to fill with flowers. I will stretch to a couple of hanging baskets too, which will add some colour to the front of the house… I’m toying with the idea of buying something ready-made and artificial, like the beauties shown below!
7) Cutlery, crockery and glassware
Presentation is important, but there’s no pressure to buy a fancy set of serveware, crockery and glassware to match your party theme. Though, if I won the lottery I’d happily buy the whole kit and kaboodle from Anthropologie, because everything sold there is just so darn beautiful…
But, for now I am going to be sensible and stick to using what I’ve got. For instance, we already have these fun soda glasses from Tesco, I’ve got a large glass pitcher for the Pimms, I have a smart cakestand from Dunelm and I recently bought this nice water carafe.
I do resolve to build my collection of cutlery, crockery and serveware gradually throughout the year, and I will be paying close attention to the sales as the season ends (and stash my bargains away for summer 2016!)
Of course, we can’t possibly throw a Pinterest-worthy party without cute paper drinking straws! I’ll be ordering some of these for my birthday festivities:
If you’re a washi-tape addict like me, you can always have a go at making little coordinating flags for your straws too! I love how this blogger has used washi tape to decorate all of her party accessories. I’ll be pinching this idea for certain!
8) A fabulous table centrepiece
Add a little wow factor to your table by creating a bold, beautiful centrepiece. You don’t need to be an aspiring Martha Stewart clone with expert floristry skills to boot, there are plenty of simple ways to add flair to your table. Here are some quick and easy DIY ideas:
- Use brightly coloured sheets of tissue paper to create a row of pompoms along the centre of the table.
- Fill china teacups and saucers with little plants and dot around in clusters.
- Obtain several mason jars in different sizes, fill with bright flower stems and tie with ribbon. Tie a couple of balloons (in coordinating colours) to the tallest glass jar (see below, but imagine it in PINK, my favourite colour!)
- Save empty cans and run them through the dishwasher. Spray paint in a mix of pastel colours. Tie coordinating baker’s twine around the cans. Decorate with lace, washi tape bunting, ribbon – anything you like! Fill with flowers.
9) Evening plans
If it’s particularly clement and your guests are happy, relaxing and enjoying the midsummer vibes, there’s every chance your afternoon party could extend into an evening soiree. It’s smart to have a couple of chunky blankets on standby for guests who don’t enjoy the cool breeze as the sun sets.
Think about lighting beforehand too, where necessary. Glass lanterns with tea light candles will illuminate your party sufficiently. Solar powered lights are a must-have, and outdoor fairy lights are a no-brainer.
For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board (below). I aim to pin everything you’ll need to host a fab summer party:
Add your must-have in the comments:
Do you have your own tips to share? What makes an outdoors party Pinterest-worthy in your opinion? Do you have opinions on music? Party favours? Themes? Dress codes? Anything else? I’d love to hear from you! Post your message in the comments section below!