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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Paper Pinwheels Project

Pinwheels made from scrapbook papers can be arranged in a large vase as a whimsical "bouquet" for a party or wedding.

What You Need:

These fun table settings are pretty reminders that can be held onto for a lifetime.
  • Newspaper
  • 12 x 12-inch sheet each of two coordinating patterned scrapbook papers
  • Multipurpose spray adhesive (we used 3M Super 77)
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Scissors: large scallop-edge, wavy-edge, and small scallop-edge
  • 1/4-inch hole punch
  • 19-inch length of 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowel
  • White florist's tape
  • 1/4-inch nylon clamp
  • 1-1/2-inch threaded aluminum screw post that fits clamp
  • 1-1/2 x 4-inch rectangle of coordinating scrapbook paper
  • String
  • Crafts glue
  • Silver glitter

Instructions:

1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Download Pinwheel diagram

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Cover your work area to protect the surface. Place one sheet of scrapbook paper wrong side up on the newspaper and spray the scrapbook paper with adhesive. Aligning the edges, smooth a second sheet of paper wrong side down on the adhesive side of the first sheet.

3. Place a ruler diagonally on the layered paper from corner to corner. Beginning at one corner, use a pencil to lightly draw a line 5 1/2 inches long. Repeat from the second corner. Reposition the ruler and repeat for the remaining two corners. Use the large scallop-edge scissors to trim all edges of the layered paper. Cut on the drawn lines with the wavy-edge scissors. Use the hole punch to make a hole at the center of the paper and in every other pinwheel point of the cut paper.

4. Wrap the dowel with white florist's tape, overlapping the edges. Slip the plastic cable clamp onto one end of the dowel. Separate the screw from the post portion of the screw post. Aligning the holes, fold down the punched points of the paper over the center hole to create the pinwheel; do not crease. Beginning with the points, thread the post through the holes. Insert the post through the holes in the plastic nylon clamp, and thread the screw into the post.

5. For the pinwheel center, trim the long edges of the 1-1/2 x 4-inch paper rectangle with the small scallop-edge scissors. Beginning with a straight edge of the paper, make accordion-style pleats at every scallop edge across the paper; finger-crease each pleat. Tie string around the center of the pleated paper; trim the string ends.

6. Pull the straight edges of the pleated paper together, forming a circle; glue in place. Apply a drop of glue to the center front of the circle and sprinkle with silver glitter. Shake off the excess glitter and let the glue dry. Glue the center back of the pinwheel center to the post on the front of the pinwheel.

More: Paper Lantern Project

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