16 Easy Summer Party Ideas

Gather inspiration for a casual outdoor gathering from one of our easy summer party ideas. From dinner on the deck to a festive taco buffet, your options are endless for a no-fuss summer party.

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11 Fun Ideas for Decorating a Cake with Candy

Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch, The Cutest 5-Ingredient Cocktail Ever!

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Sugar-Coated Ice Cream Social

I scream, you scream … You know the drill. Host a sugar-coated ice cream social the kiddos will love -- with cereal necklaces, paper crowns, candy truffles, and a whimsical ice cream truck. Go on and get celebrating!

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Pitcher Cocktail Recipes

Where there's a pitcher, there's a party. Whether you're brunching, dinner partying, or hosting a (very) happy hour, these fun pitcher cocktail recipes are sure to hit the spot. Find icy margaritas, fruity sangria cocktails, spiked punch, and more!

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Cheap Winter Party Decorations

Decorate your home for a holiday or New Year's Eve party without overspending with our tips for cheap party decorations. All you need is some craft magic and our clever decoration ideas.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Sparkling Candles

      Create a warm glow at your holiday or New Year's Eve party with a set of glitter-dusted candles. To make these cheap party decorations, brush candles with glue and roll them in a mixture of Epsom salt and glitter.

      What you need: candles, Epsom salts, glitter, glue

      Estimated cost: $12

    • Pinecone Chair Decorations

      Pinecones from your backyard make gorgeous but inexpensive party decorations. Leave them natural, or lightly spray-paint them white, and hang from chairbacks with ribbon.

      What you need: pinecones, white spray paint, ribbon

      Estimated cost: $13

    • Chalkboard Party Menu

      Give guests a head’s up on the night’s feast with an elegant chalkboard menu. We recommend trolling thrift stores for the perfect inexpensive platter to paint.

      What you need: plate, chalkboard paint, chalk

      Estimated cost: $8

    • Snowflake DIY Tablecloth

      Build a stunning snowscape on your dining table or buffet with snowflakes snipped from paper napkins. We love the contrast of red and blue, but you can choose one color to save cost.

      What you need: assorted paper napkins

      Estimated cost: $6

    • DIY Snowflake Wreath

      Inexpensive craft supplies make this DIY wreath an ideal party decoration. Bonus: The snowflake motif looks pretty all winter.

    • Wrapped Candle Centerpiece

      Wrapping paper and double-stick tape combine for the easiest party decoration ever. A plate full of glimmering candles is the only centerpiece you need.

      What you need: one roll of wrapping paper (two if you want to mix patterns), double-stick tape.

      Estimated cost: $5

    • Easy Wooden Snowflakes

      Create a party-perfect winter wonderland with sweet DIY snowflakes. Using paper or painted craft sticks and paint stirrers, as shown here, hang a grouping of snowflakes over the dining table, up the banister, or from your buffet table.

      What you need: craft sticks, white spray paint, glue

      Estimated cost: $11

    • Painted Metallic Vases

      Sparkling vases will light up your tabletop, and they’re cheap to make. Pour metallic craft paint into a vase and twirl until you get the desired coverage. 

      What you need: metallic craft paint, clear glass vase

      Estimated cost: $8

    • Floating Candle Display

      Upgrade simple floating candles with cranberries and a sprig of fresh greenery for an easy and cheap party decoration. For ultra-inexpensive options, trim the greens from your yard and use clear glasses if you don't have mason jars. 

      What you need: mason jar, fresh greens, cranberries, floating candle

      Estimated cost: $18 (for 8 candle displays)

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      Stunning Vegetable Centerpiece

      Got candles? Then a trip to the grocery store is all you need to make this unexpectedly elegant centerpiece. Wrap candles with rubber bands, and then tuck veggies into the bands. Hide the rubber bands with a green ribbon for a monochromatic look, or try a contrasting color.

      What you need: candles, assorted vegetables, ribbon

      Estimated cost: $11

    • Sweater Trees: An Adorable Christmas Centerpiece
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      Sweater Trees

      Pretty up a window or table display with DIY trees made from fuzzy recycled sweaters.

      What you need: old sweater, 1/4-inch-thick wooden dowel, sewing supplies, hot glue, polyfill, slice of wood

      Estimated cost: $5

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