One backyard Fourth of July BBQ coming right up… Doable hosting ideas for entertaining outdoors this summer to create an enjoyable get-together that will be easy on you, from setup to cleanup.
This post has been sponsored by Huhtamaki, Inc. makers of Chinet® brand. All ideas, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Now that the outdoor summer season is here, Memorial Day has come and gone and it is already June, the Fourth of July will be upon us before we know it. I want to be ready, so I thought I would share how I plan to set up a Fourth of July party we are hosting.
Summer around the lake sees a lot of action. Every Fourth of July, the state park near me has a fireworks show that we can see perfectly from our lakefront backyard.
The party I am setting up this year is going to be a casual picnic-style, late afternoon into evening get-together to watch the fireworks.
In past years, we went out on our boat to watch the show on the water. However, it can get a little crazy with literally hundreds of boats in one area of the lake. So this year, we decided to stay ashore and move the large classic picnic table in the yard closer to the shoreline for the best fireworks viewing.
How I Make Entertaining Outdoors Easy
1. Create a Party Closet
This is my number one tip that truly makes entertaining outdoors easy. Stock up on supplies (besides food) for both planned gatherings and impromptu entertaining and store all of it in one easy-to-reach place. When it is time to set up the gathering, all you need to do is grab what you need and go.
If you have read my blog for a long time, then you know I call this storage place in my house my “party closet.” I even made a sign for it.
It is a small closet in my house where I store everything, including the Chinet® Classic White™ line in a few different shapes and sizes along with disposable drink glasses, cups, utensils, tablecloth, lighter, candles, matches, napkins, salt and pepper shakers, and an extension cord to keep the music playing all night.
More recently, Chinet® Cut Crystal® Stemless Wine Glasses along with basically everything I need to throw a party in a quick, yet festive way, even on short notice is in my Party Closet.
Another way I have found to keep entertaining easy is that guests really don’t want lavish and over the top. The best get-togethers are simple – no need to fuss and have everything perfect when what guests really are looking forward to is to hang out with family and friends, drink, eat and enjoy the conversation around the table.
Knowing this I still like to add a little of my own style to the table and over the years have made a few no sew tablecloths.
2. How to Make a No Sew Fourth of July Picnic Tablecloth
To add a little red, white and blue spirit to the picnic table for the Fourth, I bought a length of white star spangled navy fabric yardage at the fabric store to make one easy and patriotic tablecloth.
- To finish the raw edges of the fabric to create a tablecloth, I simply folded the raw edges over an inch, pressed with an iron and used fabric glue to create finished hems.
3. For Evening Get-Togethers… Add Some Ambiance
No need to buy a candle lantern or anything expensive when you can make one or more using large pickle jars and twine.
Even though it is just a jar – I like the casual vibe. Once it gets dark out, the candle light in them creates the perfect outdoor ambiance for any outdoor setting.
4. How to Create a Moveable Feast When Entertaining Outdoors
In my Party Closet, I also keep two low-sided cardboard boxes that I got at a wholesale warehouse store. They have them to take for free as you leave the store to carry your goods home in.
These low sided boxes help me to make the contents of the Party Closet, portable. When you can find plain ones with little to no writing on them they look like big square or rectangular trays. I call them my carry-all trays to bring stuff from inside the house to the outdoor table and entertaining area. I was lucky to find two that fit perfectly on my outdoor sideboard.
5. Add Labels to Coolers, Trash Cans and Recycling Bins
Chinet® Classic White™ products make cleanup easy – just toss when done.
I made these free printable labels for coolers, trash cans as well as for when I place a recycling basket out. I have them cut and ready to tape on so guests will know the contents of a cooler as well as where to toss disposables and recycling.
6. When Entertaining Outdoors Serve Tried and True Crowd Pleasers
When I entertain outdoors, I serve what I am familiar with making. It is not the time to try out a new recipe. My basic tried and true recipes always serve up well.
Chinet Classic White products are strong enough to serve the heaviest, messiest meals with style and are made from 100% pre-consumer recycled material that can be composted after use.
They are designed to not bend, fold, or leak. I like using them because they are white and add a touch of elegance and coordinate with every event and occasion, just like my white ceramic dinnerware that I use inside my house. White complements any décor and doesn’t take away from showcasing the food.
7. How to Tie Napkins and Utensils onto Disposable Chinet® Classic White™ Plates
Chinet® Cut Crystal® cutlery comes in a “host-ready”container making it easy for you to look good when setting out the serving items and food.
When eating outdoors, making things easy for guests as well as myself is important. One thing I like to do with the cutlery is to tie a napkin, disposable knife, fork and spoon onto the plate. It allows for one hand to hold all of it so guests still have a free hand to grab a drink or whatever else they need.
You can do this with bandanas, cloth or Chinet® Classic White™ napkins well in advance of a party so you have the amount of plates at the ready even for an impromptu get-together.
- Chinet® Classic White™ plates or compartment plates – The compartment plates are my favorite style of disposable plates. I like that they keep each food item placed on the plate separated.
- Napkin – either disposable or cloth
- Disposable cutlery – knife fork and spoon
- Paper hole punch
- 10″ ribbon for each plate
- Use a paper hole punch to make a hole along the right side of the plate as shown.
- Thread a 10″ piece of ribbon through hole.
3. Lay napkin on top of ribbon and then place the cutlery on top. Gather the napkin with each end of the ribbon and tie the ribbon into a bow or knot. Notch ends of ribbon with scissors.
Tying the napkins onto Chinet Classic White plates also adds a little bit of style to a causal picnic table setting when not eating buffet style.
So now that I know what I am going to do for the Fourth, I just have to hope for a nice day.
Do you have anything special planned to celebrate the Fourth of July or any special events this summer?
For more easy and festive ideas for entertaining outdoors, visit MyChinet.com