Cheap Outdoor Party Ideas

Peanut Butter Brownies
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Turn inexpensive white napkins or a table runner into ombre-dyed decor with our simple steps. It's easier than you think!

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.

Make: Candleholders

Give jars a bright makeover with a quick coat of transparent paint. Mix and match shades for easy (and inexpensive!) mood lighting.

Decorate: Bandannas

Basic bandannas make a beautiful table runner when layered with grocery-store flowers. We love a combo of crisp white and blue.

Make: DIY Party Favors

Send guests home with a jar of homemade maple mustard and they'll be thanking you all grilling-season long.

Make: Wine Labels

Sip on the cheap! Disguise an inexpensive bottle of wine with our personalized wine wrap.

Serve: Watermelon Punch

Watermelon is in season and on sale. Blend with white grape juice, lime, and mint for a refreshingly sweet summer drink.

Serve: Cheesy Snack Mix

Budget-friendly bites like cheese crackers, rice cereal, and shoestring potatoes are perfect for this quick snack mix.

Serve: Caramel Popcorn

Your guests will gobble up this salty-sweet blend. This big-batch recipe can be customized with any nut you like!

Serve: BBQ Potato Chip Crunch Dog

Homemade sauce makes hot dogs totally party-worthy. Top with crushed chips just before serving for extra crunch.

Serve: Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad

Pantry staples like pasta, eggs, and mayo make for one amazing pasta salad.

Serve: Frozen Cocktail Treats

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.

Serve: Peanut Butter Brownies

Who says brownies have to be basic? Beat the box with our incredible peanut butter bars.

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