If you don’t have a lot of time to spend decorating your backyard, these creative summer outdoor decor and entertaining ideas are fast and easy to do but still look pretty enough for a party.
Now that it’s summer and I have my garden weeded, deck cleaned and my patio set up the way I like it, I love to entertain outside (even if it’s just the family or a couple of friends).
But when it’s so hot out, I don’t feel like spending a bunch of time sweating (literally) over the details.
So I have come up with some tried and true outdoor decor and entertaining ideas that are easy to set up but still look good.
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If you have a birdbath in your garden, add some floating candles* to it for a really easy summer party decoration that looks really pretty.
If you don’t have floating candles, the tealights that come in the clear plastic containers* work just as well.
Floating single flowers in water is a really inexpensive way to have real flowers for your summer outdoor decor. Especially if you’re lucky enough to have some growing in your garden.
Just cut the stems really short and plop them in some water.
With more upright flowers, like roses, floating them in a glass or narrow vase works best since the sides will help to keep the flower standing upright.
But if you have daisies or other flat flowers, they could float in your birdbath along with the candles.
Keep The Bugs Out
Upside down cupcake liners are a great way to keep the bugs out of your drinks. They come in many colors and patterns that look pretty as well as being functional.
To make these:
You will need to make sure you have cake liners that are a little bigger than the top of the glass.
Start by flattening the cupcake liner out.
Then fold over one side far enough that a hole punch can reach into the center of the cupcake liner…but not too far, or you’ll end up punching a hole in the folded part, too (like I did below).
Then fit the cupcake liner over the top of the glass, and push the sides down so that it stays on.
Add the straw, and your drinks will be bug-free for the rest of the evening.
Create a Faux Flower Centerpiece
It may seem a bit of place that someone who loves gardening is recommending faux flowers for a summer party!
But you can set them up ahead of time and don’t have to worry about watering them. Which makes them really easy to use. For this table I used some faux hydrangeas* in blue and white.
Pair them with a few candles in mercury glass candle holders* and you have a stunning centerpiece that also prevents the umbrella pole from being the center of attraction (always a bonus!)
Use a Wine Cooler
One of my favorite outdoor party accessories is this wine cooler/decanter*.
Just add ice to the center tube and it keeps your wine cold without watering it down…and there’s no running back and forth to the fridge!
Of course, depending on how much your friends drink, you may need more than one 🙂
Provide Shade With Multiple Umbrellas
I have to admit that I was never a fan of outdoor umbrellas. Until I had lunch on an outdoor patio in New Orleans a couple of years ago…and the restaurant had their whole courtyard covered with green and white umbrellas. It was so pretty!
When I got home, I decided to try the idea on my own patio and I love it there, too!
I always get tons of compliments!
Match The Tablecloth With The Umbrella
Speaking of umbrellas, another easy summer party idea is to match your table cloth color with the umbrella color. If you don’t want to have to think too much about the table settings, this is a no-brainer 🙂
And if you want to go all out, the dishes and outdoor rug can match, too.
It automatically pulls the whole table together and makes it feel like a special occasion.
I used this idea for my Alice in Wonderland party also. It was a big hit!
Hang Flame-less Candles From Bushes
They look magical when it starts to get dark.
Use the candles with timers to make it easy for yourself. They turn on at the same time every day and turn off automatically 6 hours later.
Serve Berries with Whipped Coconut Cream
I love berries this time of year! For a summer party, they are the perfect refreshing dessert. And they are really easy to make.
If you would like to make the coconut whipped cream, pour a can of coconut cream into a mixing bowl.
Add a little sugar or Stevia if you want to sweeten it.
Then use a mixer to blend it until it thickens (usually a couple of minutes).
Refrigerate it for a couple of hours and it’s ready to use.
Use Blue And White Ginger Jars for Vases
If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I have a lot of these blue and white ginger jars. I love them!
Although most of the time, they are decor on my shelves, I do really like to use them for vases whenever I have fresh flowers.
Plus they look good with pretty much any type of flower arrangement from a simple one with only 3 stems of hydrangeas.
To pink roses with baby’s breath.
To the red, white and blue arrangement from my 4th of July table.
Those are my top 10 outdoor decor ideas that are so easy to do even the lazy entertainer (like me!) will be able to pull them off. Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration for your next summer get-together.
Do you have your own easy summer outdoor decor and entertaining ideas? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on July 31, 2017 but was updated with new content on January 21, 2024.