Tablescape: Festive Summer Tablesetting

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Even if you decide not to leave home for a vacation this summer, you can still celebrate the season at home with your family. Make the most of the sunny season with a festive summer tablesetting for meals on your deck, patio or in your backyard.

I covered my glass-top table on my deck with a bright white polyester tablecloth to set the background for al the color. For each placesetting, I used a round orange straw placemat under a white dinner plate. On top of each plate, I placed a yellow cotton napkin in a multi-fruit napkin ring. I also used orange plastic handled flatware, but you can use your regular flatware. You can easily use white paper plates, colored paper napkins and make napkin rings out of colored ribbon.

Since it is very hot almost all summer where I live, if you use ice in your drinks, it’s going to melt quickly and dilute your beverages. So I bought plastic reusable ice cubes which you brighten your drinks and keep them undiluted. You can find these inexpensive plastic ice cubes in kitchen departments of home goods stores. They come in all kinds of colors and shapes. I keep mine in a zip-lock bag in my freezer, ready to use.

For a centerpiece I wanted to use something that was very festive. So I took an orange vase I had, put a small piece of floral foam or Styrofoam in the bottom and then filled the vase with a piece of a fluffy orange-lime-fuchsia garland which I found at Party City. I just love this inexpensive garland which also comes in primary colors. You can hang it on a railing, wrap it around a bare wreath, or make a party lei out of it.

Then I put colorful cardboard cutouts of summer icons on skewers in the vase. The cutouts are of pinwheels, watermelon wedges, and popsicles. I stuck the skewers into the foam in the bottom of the vase to hold them steady. I found these inexpensive cutouts last summer at Walmart, but you could easily make your own cutouts and glue them onto barbeque skewers. Perhaps your children could draw and color your cutouts for you.

After I finished making my centerpiece, I decided that I needed to raise it a bit. The cutouts were right in the eyes of the guests across the table. So I checked my party stash as well as my closets for something that would work as a riser. I found this colorful cardboard suitcase that some stationery had come in. It was just the right height when laid on its side to place the vase on. The cutouts were now tall enough so as not to obscure my guests’ view of the guests across the table.

So you can brighten your family’s meals together with this festive summer tablesetting! Make every meal a vacation!



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