Beautiful on the Outside,Celebrate,Design

Thrifty Summer Party

I love a good party!  I especially love parties outside with lights and candles.  Honestly, it can be hard to look at some of the stunning party ideas on Pinterest.  Most people, including myself, don’t want to spend a ton of money on just one evening.  It’s likely for some of us to have only one party during the summer anyway.  Not to mention, if I’m going to spend money on a party, it will be spent mostly on the food! 

A few years ago, I threw a party in my old backyard in Minneapolis.  I had so much fun doing this one!  I reused a ton of old materials and didn’t go out and buy anything!  I mean it!  Okay, I did buy flowers at Trader Joe’s (but just went with whatever flowers they had available for $15).  Oh, and food!  That’s it, I promise.  I either borrowed items or pulled scraps together to create this shabby, mad hatter looking outdoor party.  I know it’s not the typical trendy, bright colored party you see these days on Pinterest, but it didn’t matter. I was creative problem solving, using what I had and I felt like it still came together in a sweet country fresh way.

Everything was mismatched.

My chairs, plates, stemware, napkins and other little accessories were all different.  My glasses were one of the few items that matched (which were from Ikea).

I made my napkins.  I threw them together with old scrap fabrics that I had laying around.  I had some letter stamps, so I dipped them in white acrylic paint and stamped them on smooth rocks.

I borrowed three different sets of stemware and four different sets of plates that I mixed and matched throughout the table.

For my candle holders, I used clear glass bottles that I wrapped with lace and ribbons.  I love how the wax dripped down the candles and onto the bottles!

The lace was crocheted by my great-grandmother.  Of course, I had to use them!

For additional splashes of color, I used tissue paper that I layered with my grandmother’s lace.

I hung textured jelly jars and mixed them with regular mason jars as my quick, last minute chandelier.  I know it looks a bit sloppy, but you couldn’t tell when it was dark. 😉

As I mentioned, I went with whatever flowers Trader Joe’s had that day.  I grabbed a bunch of their cheaper bouquets and arranged them in some old vases and called it good.  I will say, though, I was looking for flowers that wouldn’t be poisonous, because I wanted to use some to decorate my cake as well.

I got my cake for $40 at Lunds, a nice grocery store in the area.  I asked the baker to make me a simple, two layered (chocolate & vanilla) cake with a smooth vanilla butter cream finish.  I added the flowers myself.

Long story short, I encourage you to think outside the box and use what you have around. Don’t feel pressured into buying items you’ll only use once.

Looking at these photos makes me want to do this again!  You know what else?  In addition to borrowing and using what you have, you can also have everyone bring a dish to share.  Talk about an affordable and very stylish way to spend time together!

Does this make you want to plan something in your backyard?  What would your party look like?



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  • Heather Lindsay
    July 14, 2017 at 7:25 am

    This is amazing! Love the chandelier!

  • Grace H.
    July 14, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Absolutely love all of it! It looks beautiful. I want to jump into the pictures!

  • Liz
    July 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

    This totally makes me want to have a party in my backyard! Love the borrowing idea!

  • Anonymous
    July 14, 2017 at 8:41 am


  • Martha
    July 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Great summer ideas!!!!

  • Amy
    July 14, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    The chandelier is so charming!

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