Cheap Outdoor Party Ideas
Throw an outdoor party on a budget -- we have paper decorations, easy snack ideas, and even a fun dip-dye technique that transforms dollar-store napkins into perfect party accessories.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Throw an Inexpensive Party
By focusing your party on a few snacks and a simple color scheme executed with patterned paper and pretty, inexpensive napkins, you can throw an outdoor fiesta on a budget. Get our how-to techniques and patterns to complete a handful of hanging medallions, fans, and dip-dyed napkins.
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Make: Paper Medallions
Hang these large fold-em-up paper medallions over the featured table to create a more intimate atmosphere. Match them to your color scheme and vary the size -- they're sure to be a conversation starter.
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Make: Paper Fans
Accordion-folded fans keep you cool and make cool decorations. Stick them in a box filled with sand for a DIY party centerpiece.
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Make: Dip-Dye Napkins
Use our easy-peasy dip-dye technique to jazz up basic cloth napkins. The same $10 technique works to create a cotton table runner or place mats.
To make the napkins:
1. Follow the package directions for fabric dye. Add 2 cups warm water to each of 3 deep bowls (stainless steel or glass). Add 1 cup dye solution to the first bowl; 1/2 cup solution to the second; 1/4 cup solution to the third.
2. Dip a folded white cotton napkin into the weakest dye solution, leaving the top section undyed. Leave in solution about 15-30 seconds. Squeeze to drain excess dye. Continue by dipping napkin at a lesser depth in each of the heavier solutions to achieve an ombre effect.
Watch: Our Dip-Dye Tutorial!
See our dip-dye technique in action, then use it to turn dollar-store napkins and table runners into showstopping party decor.
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Give jars a bright makeover with a quick coat of transparent paint. Mix and match shades for easy (and inexpensive!) mood lighting.
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Basic bandannas make a beautiful table runner when layered with grocery-store flowers. We love a combo of crisp white and blue.
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Make: Wine Labels
Sip on the cheap! Disguise an inexpensive bottle of wine with our personalized wine wrap.
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Put the "aah" in August (or any other warm-weather month) with these cool-off cocktails. These adult-only sippers are served frozen and in glasses so you don't miss a drop.
- Start to Finish:
- 15 mins
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How to Throw a Casual Mexican Taco Party Like a ChefWhether you're celebrating Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo, or just a low-key Friday night with friends, a build-your-own-taco buffet and a few colorful decorations make for a fun Mexican-theme party. "Top Chef" judge and frequent party host Hugh Acheson shows you how.Begin Slideshow »