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Porch Party: Casual Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

Before the warm weather slips away, call your friends and neighbors over for a porch party. A DIY mojito station and recipe card party favors keep the party fresh and the mood light.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Casual Outdoor Party Ideas

      Guests are likely to linger at this low-key summer affair. Stage seating for easy conversation, spread out a table of make-your-own mojitos, plus offer a few light appetizers. We've collected the recipes in a free booklet.

    • Porch Party Tips

      Late Sunday afternoons are a great time for conversation and get-togethers, says Denise Gee, author of Porch Parties. Denise regularly serves drinks, nibbles, and casual conversation on her own porch. "It's what I called the 'unplanned party plan,'" she says.

       

      Seating at her parties is a mix of a porch swing, solid-color outdoor chairs, and lean-on-the-railing perching. Guests serve themselves at food and drink stations, promoting conversation and movement at her parties.

    • Food Place Cards

      No guessing here -- answer "what's for dinner?" with paper place cards naming the evening's nibbles. Get the free designs, featured in Denise's menu and shown here.

    • Keep Drinks Cold

      A plastic-lined urn is on chill duty: Line this porch staple with a garbage bag, fill with ice, and tuck in an array of sodas and drinks for a grab-as-you-like atmosphere.

    • Party Cocktail Idea

      Dress up your drinks with something special, such as a juicy citrus knot to top off your sipper. The knots are easy to make: Using a sharp peeler or paring knife, cut an orange peel into 1/4-inch-wide strips and tie. You can make them ahead and store them in cold orange juice to up the flavor.

    • Mojito Basics

      At a mojito bar, guests concoct their own fruit-infused libations. Ensure you've got the supplies, leaving room for experimentation.

      To make a mojito, drop a palmful of mint or basil in a glass. Instead of sugar, add a jigger of fruit-flavored simple syrup and rum. Add a couple of teaspoons of fresh lime juice and muddle the herbs. Fill the glass two-thirds full with ice and squeeze in two lime wedges. Top it off with club soda and stir.

    • Free Recipe Booklet

      Get six of Denise's original recipes, plus some of her favorites from Better Homes and Gardens. This free printable makes a great print-and-trim party favor so guests can re-create their party favorites.

      The recipes include:

      • Nannie's Pimiento Cheese
      • Great Guacamole
      • Watermelon Agua Fresca
      • Poteet Strawberry Cakettes with Strawberry Glaze
      • Coconut Shrimp with Mango Sauce
      • And more!
    • Porch Party Fans

      Keep guests comfortable with a few paper fan party favors. Simply trim the edges of heavyweight scrapbook paper and sandwich a clean paint stick between two of them. A bit of glue keeps them intact.

    • Porch Decorations

      Line your railing with these bright paper fans: Start with two large pieces of colored paper (we used 19"x25" drawing paper in two colors). Fold each piece into 1-inch accordion pleats (a bone folder can help with this task), then fold each paper in half to form a fan. Nest one fan inside the other and tape or glue them together. String a ribbon through the narrow end to hang.

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      Next Slideshow Graduation Party Tips and Ideas

      Graduation Party Tips and Ideas

      Whether she's graduating from middle school, high school, or college, your grad deserves a little pomp and circumstance. Throw a casual outdoor party to celebrate her accomplishments with these tips and ideas for success.
      Begin Slideshow »

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