How to Decorate for a Backyard Party

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Whether the occasion is a birthday, graduation, barbecue or something else entirely, you can decorate your backyard for a party with just a little time and effort. With countless possibilities for party themes and decor, the only limitation is your own imagination. Decorations can be as simple as checkered tablecloths and sunflower arrangements on the tables, or as elegant as ornate candelabras, party tents and more.

Things You'll Need

  • Tableware
  • Silverware
  • Serving pieces
  • Decorative elements
  • Party favors
  • Flowers (optional)
  • Candles (optional)
  • String lights (optional)
  • Tent (optional)
  • Outdoor lights (optional)
  • Decide on a theme or style and brainstorm potential outdoor decor ideas. When adorning an outdoor space, emphasize your space's positive aspects. For example, a series of picnic tables might look ordinary but can be transformed with festive tablecloths, runners, centerpieces and place settings. Bushes and low trees can have bows, ornaments, crepe paper or streamers added to them. A decorative pond or swimming pool can be illuminated at night with floating candles, LED lights or temporary solar lights to create a stunning look. If you have a flower garden, add freshly cut flowers to the tables or centerpieces. Likewise, if you grow your own vegetables, incorporate some into your party menu.

  • Purchase decorations and supplies from a party store, including an ample supply of disposable necessities such as paper tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins, plastic cutlery, serving dishes and bowls. Since the party is outdoors disposable plastic items are best; you don't have to worry about breaking your good dishes and glasses, and cleanup after the party will much easier.

  • Rent or purchase a party tent. Not only does it provide shade on a hot day, but it also comes in handy in inclement weather. Outfit the tent with outdoor string lights, decorative ribbons or bows to match the look or theme of your party.

  • Provide ample outdoor lighting if your party will extend into the evening or begin at night. Temporary outdoor lighting options include solar-powered garden lights, battery-operated camping lanterns, candles in enclosures, tikki lights and even artfully placed industrial work lights.

  • Make or buy fun party favors that fit the theme or purpose of the party to adorn the tables during the event. Examples of inexpensive and easy-to-make party favors include edible gifts such as candy or jelly beans in attractive containers, cookies in cellophane bags, small toys in clear plastic Chinese takeout boxes, coasters, stickers and key chains. Homegrown produce or freshly cut flowers from your garden also make memorable parting gifts for your guests.

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