While the snow may still be on the ground in some areas, it is not too soon to begin planning your next garden party, Key West style. This plan works better if your home has a backyard, as opposed to just a patio or slab. You could use the tips for a patio or slab party-just scale back drastically and select what works for your space.
I bought plastic colored prisms and gems at my arts and craft store. I also picked up a spool of fishing line there. I, with the help of a friend, actually hung about three hundred gems and prisms in my trees. I used a small stepladder so I was never in danger of falling and getting hurt. I only used the lower branches. You can decide which to branches to use, but do pick trees with a substantial amount of sturdy branches.
I bought three sets of solar, multi-colored garden lights. I placed them along the walk, against the fence, and at the base of the trees. I wanted a Conch festive feel with lots of color.
At each table, I placed plastic battery operated free-standing chandeliers. I bought those at retail stores, Target, and thrift shops. I wanted the cost to be minimal. You could use gas lamps if you wanted. Just be careful if child will be attending the party.
I strung multi-color strands of lights along the fence and from tree to tree. I wanted the feeling of Olde Towne in Key West. My lights are still hanging. I love how they look.
I used round card tables. I bought floral sheets at the thrift store and cut them into square shapes. The raw edge is perfect for the tropical look. I placed the sheets catty-corner on the tables and threw flower petals on them. I also scattered some seashells around the table. My chairs were a mix of odd plastic chairs I had accumulated.
I bought plastic planters and plastic flowers and greenery. I wanted to be able to re-use the flowers and pots. I sprayed the planter with gold and silver paint, so they would sparkle under the lights. Then I found a pack of metal butterflies on a stick. I put two-three butterflies in each planter.
I bought two huge goldfish bowls at a retail discount store similar to TJ Maxx. In one, I made pink lemonade for the children. In the other, I made my adult beverage. I made yellow lemonade and added rum for a little kick. In both, I put lemon slices and ice cubes. My ice cubes had carnations frozen in them. Carnations are edible and actually tasty. Just make sure to rinse the carnations carefully before freezing them.
I bought china and crystal at an antique store. None, not one, of the plates or glasses match each other. I picked pink and blue as my desired color scheme and then I bought pick and blue linen napkins. The linen napkins were the most expensive purchase for the entire party.
Chilled shrimp and cocktail sauce
A cheese tray
A cracker tray
A crab dip
Chicken wings with jerk sauce
Mini Key Lime pies
Key Lime cookies
You want to achieve an eclectic and tropical Island feel with your garden party. Play some island tunes and sit back and enjoy! Your guests will love your Key West Garden Party.