DIY Summer Cookout

The Kitchen is throwing a nautical beach party with fun and beachy DIY decor.

Refreshing Lemon Washcloths:

Cut off the bottoms of lemons so they can stand on their own vertically. Cut off the tops, then hollow out the lemons with a paring knife and melon baller, reserving the juice. (You can also save the flesh for lemonade or other uses.) Cut thin white washcloths in half. Dip the washcloth halves in a mix of water and the reserved strained lemon juice. Roll up the washcloth pieces and place inside the hollowed-out lemon rinds. Serve before or after dinner to guests.

What You'll Need:

  • Fresh lemons
  • Thin white washcloths
  • Fabric scissors
  • Paring knife
  • Melon baller

Nautical Rope Vase and Utensil Caddy:

Using a hot glue gun, glue the end of a piece of nautical rope to the bottom of an empty metal can and begin wrapping it tightly around the can. Add a bit of hot glue every 2 to 4 inches and press down on the rope. Continue wrapping until it reaches the top of the can. Trim the rope and glue the edge of it to the can so it doesn't stick out. Use as a vase or utensil caddy.

What You'll Need: 

  • Clean can (metal coffee cans work great!)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Nautical rope

Soda Bottle Flower Ice for Punch Bowl:

Cut the bottom off of a 2-liter soda bottle with a craft knife. Add whatever juice you're using in your punch (such as cranberry juice) to fill the bottom of the soda bottle (it should look like a flower). Freeze until ready to use. Use in your punch bowl instead of ice so you won't dilute the punch.

What You'll Need:

  • 2-liter soda bottle
  • Juice
  • Craft knife

Sea Shell Salt and Pepper Pinch Bowls:

Place 2 clean small seashells side-by-side with the concave sides facing down and glue them together with a hot glue gun. Apply some hot glue to the top. Place a shell concave side up on the glue. Flip it over so the single shell is the base. Continue with more shells. Fill one half of each pair with salt and the other with pepper. Put at each place setting.

What You'll Need:

  • Small seashells
  • Hot glue gun
  • Salt and pepper

Lemon Boat:

Cut a lemon in half horizontally, then cut off the bottom so it stands on its own. Fold a napkin or piece of craft paper to form a triangle. Cut 2 slits in the napkin using a paring knife. Place a skewer through the slits and into the lemon to form a boat.

What You'll Need:

  • Lemon
  • Paring knife
  • Napkin
  • Long toothpick or skewer cut in half

Edible Sand Castle:

Spray the inside of a sand castle mold with cooking spray. In a large, heatproof bowl, pour in 1 packet gelatin for every 1 cup boiling water, until you have enough of the mixture to fill the mold. If you want the color darker, add extra packets of gelatin mix. Pour the mixture into the sand castle mold and let it set overnight.

To remove, place the sand castle mold in a bowl of hot water for 45 seconds to loosen the sand castle from the mold. Crush up some vanilla wafer cookies, light brown sugar, and graham crackers to make sand around your gelatin castle. Add edible sea shells.

What You'll Need:

  • Clean plastic sand castle mold
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Gelatin packets
  • Vanilla cookies
  • Light brown sugar
  • Graham crackers
  • Edible sea shells (purchase online)
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