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.
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.
Accordion-folded fans keep you cool and make cool decorations. Stick them in a box filled with sand for a DIY party centerpiece.
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.
See our dip-dye technique in action, then use it to turn dollar-store napkins and table runners into showstopping party decor.
Give jars a bright makeover with a quick coat of transparent paint. Mix and match shades for easy (and inexpensive!) mood lighting.
Basic bandannas make a beautiful table runner when layered with grocery-store flowers. We love a combo of crisp white and blue.
Send guests home with a jar of homemade maple mustard and they'll be thanking you all grilling-season long.
Sip on the cheap! Disguise an inexpensive bottle of wine with our personalized wine wrap.
Watermelon is in season and on sale. Blend with white grape juice, lime, and mint for a refreshingly sweet summer drink.
Budget-friendly bites like cheese crackers, rice cereal, and shoestring potatoes are perfect for this quick snack mix.
Your guests will gobble up this salty-sweet blend. This big-batch recipe can be customized with any nut you like!
Homemade sauce makes hot dogs totally party-worthy. Top with crushed chips just before serving for extra crunch.
Pantry staples like pasta, eggs, and mayo make for one amazing pasta salad.
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.
Who says brownies have to be basic? Beat the box with our incredible peanut butter bars.