I absolutely love to entertain, and hosting a Memorial Day cookout is one of my favorites. Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, and here in Michigan, we thought summer might never arrive, so there is extra reason to celebrate this year. Here are a few of my secrets to decorating your outdoor spaces.
Food serving areas: My go-to stores for party decorations are Party City and Michael’s craft store. These stores offer excellent products to really jazz up a picnic table for a party. For starters, check out Michael’s for a wide variety of Mason jars. Buy three jars: one for forks, one for knives, and one for spoons. Buy some ribbon in red and white, like this one here, and tie them in a bow around each jar. Plastic utensils and plates like the ones here come in a rainbow of colors to fit the patriotic theme.
To decorate the edges of the food table, try some red, white, and blue bunting or flags like the ones found here from Michael’s. One of my favorite ways to decorate the center of a picnic table is a galvanized steel bucket filled with small American flags. Visit your local home and garden store or a local nursery to pick up a bucket. The flags (or pinwheels of you’re feeling extra festive) can be found at here. Here is a link to the finished product for the centerpieces.
Beverages: Instead of two liters or pitchers that could spill, use a large tub to hold cans and individual sized drinks. I like this tub here. Partially fill with ice, place drinks inside and cover to the top with more ice. Everything stays cold and looks cute. If you have a keg, red Solo cups never go out of style and actually come in different colors so you can mix and match red, white, and blue. For a large quantity of lemonade, I like a lemonade dispenser. Check out Party City to find a good one.
Lighting: Lighting is one of the most important elements to any outdoor soiree. Another one of my favorite places to shop for party supplies is Amazon.com. I think you can find everything including kitchen sinks here, but we’re all set with sinks; we need lights! For outdoor parties, globe lights are classic. Get a 25-foot string of lights (or several, depending on the size of your deck) and drape or weave them around the railings of the deck. These here are my favorite. To add a patriotic flair to your light display, add some of these red, white, and blue lanterns.
Food garnishes: I make cupcakes for every special occasion, so for the decorations for this party, I love to use American flag or red white and blue pinwheel toothpicks; check them out here; adorable and inexpensive. They can also pull double duty and garnish the burgers too!