Easy Tabletop Ideas for Summer Parties

Throw a summer party with our easy-to-do ideas for your outdoor table from Food Network.

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Nerwork, G.P. All rights Reserved

Garden Fresh

Use burlap as a table covering to give your display a neutral color base but still add a bit of texture.

Wood and Bamboo

Use sustainable bamboo plates and silverware plus wood bowls and cutting boards to give a rustic yet elegant feel to your table.

New Use for Herbs

Before you plant your herbs in pots, put them in leftover fruit baskets and then set them in a larger basket for an aromatic centerpiece.

Napkins Stay Put

Use different-colored stones to keep your napkins and bowls on the table.

Mason Jars

Use different-sized mason jars as small vases for hydrangeas. We kept them a bit sparse, with odd numbers of stems added to the jars. You'll be able to feature flowers but not block the view across the table.

Punched-Up Picnic

This summer table is filled with fun colors. Don't worry about finding exact shades or combinations; you can let your imagination run wild.

Beach Towel

Skip a tablecloth in favor of a beach towel. It's a colorful, easy-to-wash surface that goes great on a picnic table.

Plastic and Containers

There's no need to take food out of plastic or glass containers if you display them on a colorful surface. Skip silverware and glassware in favor of plastic as well.

Flowers of All Sizes

Use different sizes and heights of vases or glasses for your flowers. Gerbera daisies are available in all different colors all summer long.

Layered Plates

Use one (or even two) chargers or larger plates beneath your dinner plate to give a bit of height and add even more color to your place setting.

Fourth of July

Use a classic combination of colors for your patriotic table. Layer a couple of red, white or blue runners and linens to get fun lines.

Glasses

Have mismatched glassware? Keep the same color but use different sizes. They'll look great together with a colorful straw.

Flag Vase

Use a bud vase to hold small flags and let them serve as a centerpiece.

Splash of Color

Try a splash of yellow or other color outside the patriotic palette with a floral display.

New Napkin Rings

Use multicolored rope to tie your napkins.

Barbecue Buffet

Turn a basic buffet into a fun table by combining grill pans, bowls and aluminum serving trays.

Easy Silverware

Juggling a plate and glass is challenging enough. Tie together your knives and forks and napkins with string for easy-to-transport bundles of silverware.

Grill Pans

Cast-iron pans come in all shapes and sizes. Use them just for decoration or serve different sauces in each.

What Vase?

Spare your fine glass vases from the perils of a party and use a plastic pitcher instead.

No Wineglasses Needed

Keep your party casual by serving wine in regular drinking glasses.

Bar Setup

Use vibrant trays, fruit and fun napkins to add color to a basic bar setup.

Swizzle Sticks

Skip wine charms in favor of colorful swizzle sticks to identify which drink is yours.

Tabletop Trays

Use trays to punch up a basic white bar top.

Glassware Essentials

For a basic bar setup you'll need: martini glasses, margarita glasses, white wine glasses, red wine glasses, highball glasses, rocks glasses and shot glasses.

Tools of the Trade

You'll need a few bar tools for a basic setup: a muddler, cocktail shaker, strainer, corkscrew and stirrer or long spoon.

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Summer Parties