Bluebird Chic ambassador Cara Mathis of Catcher in the Rye Photography shares five diy projects to take your summer parties to the next level!
I’ve never had a yard.
Well, actually let me clarify: I’ve never had a yard in my adult life.
I grew up in rural suburban Bucks County, Pennsylvania, so we had a huge yard for the first 18 years of my life.
But then I went to college in Philadelphia, and then grad school in Washington, DC, and when we moved out to Annapolis, Maryland, we lived in a townhouse without a blade of grass to its name.
So when we moved to Utah in November 2016, one of my biggest requirements was a yard. I had dreams of outdoor entertaining, and I need a creative workspace to fulfill those dreams.
We searched and searched and found our dream house. And, sure enough, it had a spacious backyard area. The only problem? It took almost two years to actually get it installed.
We finally got the sod, shrubs, and concrete laid this Spring, and you know I jumped right into entertaining.
My first party was a huge success, and I owe it almost all to the DIY projects I’d created to make the space feel truly magical.
Below are five DIY summer party projects you can complete in a matter of hours to make your summer party pop. Not only do they add pizzazz to your party, but they show off the unique creativity you bring to your home.
1 – DIY CROQUET SET
Since I love lawn games, I dreamed of incorporating croquet into my summer party. But my entire house is pastel in color scheme, and the only sets I could find were bold, primary colors.
That wouldn’t work for a seamless integration from house to yard. So I improvised!
I bought this inexpensive but perfectly useful croquet set, and I put my Rustoleum spray paint to work! The whole process took an hour or two – and most of that was chasing balls around a cardboard platform.
(Pro tip: These balls have a small carve-out that rests comfortably on a flat surface and keeps them from rolling. I did not discover this until the last ball. Whoops.)
I love the finished product, and everyone had a blast with the game!
2 – DIY HULA HOOP DECOR
I have a lot of white space on the walls of my house that surround my entertaining area. For this party, I wanted to fill them with something substantial to make a statement.
I found these cheap hula hoops online, and decided they’d do the trick.
All I did was spray paint them white and add a faux flower and small tassel to one of the sides. Then I hung them at various heights on the walls of my home. I used Command hooks so I could easily take them down afterward.
They’re now my favorite form of décor, and I have them stored in the garage for future parties.
You can also change out the flowers and tassels for different iterations! So easy!
3 – DIY CORN HOLE BEAN BAGS
This one was a no-brainer. I’m no sewing expert, but I thought this would be an easy and impactful addition to any summer party. I bought an inexpensive, but regulation-size set of corn hole boards that came with a set of regulation bean bags in blue and red.
By now, you know that bright red and blue don’t go with my décor, so all I did was bought a few yards of two beautiful fabrics, and covered the bean bags in them.
4 – DIY WREATHS
Now, while a lot of DIY work takes place prior to your guests’ arrivals, you can also incorporate DIY into the party itself. At my party, I added a wreath-making activity for guests.
All it takes is a large embroidery hoop, some floral garland, fishing wire, a galvanized metal (or other) word, and some pretty ribbon.
I demonstrated the five-minute assembly, and then let the girls create their own versions of the craft. This is such a great way for your guests to explore their creativity and leave with a gorgeous addition to their own home décor.
5 – DIY SERVING STATION
I desperately wanted a place to entertain my guests, but all of the classy beverage stations I found were upwards of a thousand dollars – way out of my price range.
So I got down to business and found this potters bench online for next to nothing.
(Pro tip: Wait for it to go on sale; it gets crazy cheap.)
I painted it white, and then sprayed its hardware my favorite Rustoleum metallic gold. For a bit of flair, I added this fun bear bottle opener, and voila! A perfect beverage station, complete with built-in ice bucket!
The best part about DIY is that you can modify any of these projects to fit specific color schemes, themes, or décor, and they can be reused and repurposed again and again for parties to come!
What kinds of DIY parties do you plan to host this summer?
A lover of the details and all things beautiful in life, Cara began her professional photography journey in July 2017 and has been infatuated ever since. When she’s not shooting photos of her son, decorating her house, and throwing lawn parties, she works for the federal government putting bad guys in jail. Ka-Pow! Visit Cara at: http://catcherintheryephotography.com/