Summer parties are probably one of our favorite kind of parties. The smell of the grill, the cool summer breeze, a refreshing drink in hand…It's the perfect time to kick back, get some R&R, and connect with family and friends. Throw a fab summer bash of your own with some simple budget decor, much of which can be reused or can serve a new purpose after the party is over. Taking a page from the season, these ideas incorporate elements of nature–sand, greenery, and wood.
One of the most inexpensive options for tabletop lighting indoors or out are votive candles nestled in Mason jars. Fill the base of the jars with sand, shells, or pebbles and add a candle to each. Bonus points for multiple jars! A collection of these look great clustered in small groups. Use the blue Mason jars for a cool pop of summery color.
For a super easy centerpiece, purchase some flowers from the nursery and arrange them inside a basket still in their pots. Make sure to use a basket tall enough to cover the edge of the pots. After the party is over, you can plant them in your garden and reuse the basket. You can even give away the individual pots to your guests as surprise take home favors.
Drink dispensers are a hard-working party essential we can't go without. It's so much easier to mix up a batch of one main drink than run around trying to play bartender AND host. Get one in a simple, clean design you'll want to use again and again. Clear glass is versatile and displays your drink as a decoration in and of itself. No stand? Stack slabs of tree trunk cut cross-section (You can find them at craft stores.) for a touch of nature. If you're having both kids and adults over, offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
Purchase a flatware set intended solely for outdoor use and parties; that way, you'll always have extras and you won't need to worry about damaging your good silverware. Look around at dollar stores and thrift shops for low-cost pieces. Mismatched forks and knives give off a vintage, casual vibe. Try using inexpensive dish towels as cloth napkins. And for a rustic place setting, tie the cloth napkin and flatware together with a twine bow.