Although the evenings are longer in the summer and the sun stays out for longer, lighting is still essential come 9 o’ clock! Summer illumination calls for creativity and a sense of fun, like the season itself, and irreverent and quirky DIY lighting receptacles are ideal for creating this mood.
Tea lights can be displayed in old jam jars and either used to dress tables, or hung from the branches of trees. Tapered dinner candles can be placed in used wine bottles and pillar candles; typically boasting a longer burn time so perfect for long, lazy celebrations, can be displayed in customised cans. Each of these DIY ideas can also be personalised with paint, ribbons or coloured straw; especially useful for parties with a colour theme.
‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’, for Furniture
When it comes to finding furniture for informal garden parties, less really is more and rather than spend on seating, inviting and stylish make-shift chairs and tables can be created by using items already to be found in the home and garden.
Crates and larger buckets can be transformed into tables simply by topping with a table cloth. This will create a rustic and relaxed look which is perfect for summer parties. If you live near a farm (or are lucky enough to live on one!), summertime seating can also be sourced from hay bale, which are brilliantly comfy when accessorised with blankets or sheets. Another light-hearted furniture idea is to create a tepee. This playful piece is guaranteed to please both children and adults alike and will also make an excellent centrepiece for any outdoor event. If you can locate canvas, rods, a spare afternoon (and a few ‘willing’ friends!) you can create a handmade hut yourself!
Make Flowers a Feature, using Buckets, Bottles and Bulbs
Flowers are a summertime décor essential both indoors and out. If your garden is lacking in floral finesse and the bushes are sprouting weeds rather than blooms, DIY floral arrangements are one way to fake it. Depending on the size of the container used, these can be displayed on both table tops and the floor - allowing florals to fill the area.
Buckets, bottles and bulbs can all be used to display flowers creatively. As well as placing in soil or floral foam, floating flower heads can also be displayed in pots filled with water. Glass bottles; whether originally used for wine, water or sauces, can also be filled with flowers and placed on tables and guests can even be invited to take a display home with them when they leave! Light bulbs are another surprising every-day item which can be upcycled to showcase greenery. Simply tipping bulbs upside down and filling with flowers will create a feature which can then be hung from branches to create a truly novel lighting fixture!
A summer garden party is the ideal time to rekindle a love for classic games and reminisce over days gone by. Channel sports days of the past and create a retro-inspired classic games contest – this will not only provide entertainment for adults but will also encourage children to get off their phone, and on to the field! (Well no guarantees…) Vintage activities such as skittles, skipping and sack races can all be created using the minimum of apparatus. Drawing out hopscotch squares and dashing about holding an egg on a spoon is also likely to be a welcome excuse for children to get the ground messy, when they are usually being told the opposite!