It’s easy to throw the best party of the summer with these classy, helpful hacks.
1. Ladder Drink Station
So maybe you don’t exactly have nine foldable card tables, but you do have a ladder! All it takes is a few two by fours, and you have yourself a rustic chic drink station. Add vintage luggage beneath for the cherry on top.
2. Frame Up Your Photos with a Floating Frame
Cutest, easiest DIY photo booth ever. Grab a stylish frame from the thrift store (or your storage closet) and hang it up outside. So professional for so little work!
3. Watermelon Jello Shots
There are a lot of awesome jello shot recipes out there, but this one really steals the show. Learn how to make your own watermelon jello shot “slices” here.
4. Outdoor Twister
This is a great activity for the kiddos. Spray paint some circles on the ground and grab the spinner for an all-night edition of the classic indoor game. We’ve even seen some folks put shaving cream in the center of the dots. Perfect for getting messy during a pool party.
5. Giant slip n slide
Probably the greatest summer invention ever is actually really simple to make. All you need is a hill, a hose, and whole lotta heavy duty plastic. Add dishwasher soap for extra sudsy fun. Get the step by step instructions here.
6. Easy cheeseburger sliders for a crowd
So the grill is occupied, and you have a big bunch of hungry people to feed. Enter oven made sliders for a crowd. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with ground beef (mixed with your signature spices, of course). Top with American cheese, bake, and slice. You rule. Get the full recipe here.
7. Have an outdoor movie night
Invite the whole block over for a movie night. It’s probably the easiest party you could throw. Make this stellar outdoor movie screen with a sheet and some two by fours. Even better, have the guys over beforehand to build it. Man bonding! Here’s how this mom made her projector screen for $30.
8. Keep bugs out of your drinks with cupcake liners
Anyone living in the south knows that summer = mosquito season. Those in the deep south have the added misfortune of love bugs. Keep every kind of flying, buzzing, germy bug out of your drinks by simply topping them with an upside down cupcake liner. Punch a hole for your straw, and voila! Safe beverages.
9. Mess-less Watermelon Slices
We all love a sweet, juicy slice of watermelon, but not necessarily the sticky deluge of watermelon juice that runs down our arms to our elbows. Keep your fingers clean by popping a popsicle stick in the base of your slice.
10. Set out a Dirty Dishes Bin
Cleaning up after the party always takes time and energy — energy you probably won’t have after partying. Save yourself an extra step by telling your guests where they need to put their dirty dishes. All you’ll have to do is carry the bin off to the kitchen.
11. Don’t make Popsicles, make a Popsicle Loaf
Popsicles for a crowd are a lot easier to make in loaf form. Simply mix up your favorite popsicle recipe, place your sticks, and freeze it in a loaf pan lined with cellophane or wax paper. When the guests are ready to eat, all you have to do is slice and serve. And, it makes way more than your typical two- or six-slot popsicle tray.
12. Freeze Grapes for Ice Cubes that Won’t Water Down Drinks
Hallelujah! A cheap and easy way to chill our wine without melting! Just toss some grapes in the freezer. Bam. Total party saver. These are great for cocktails, too. And orange juice. Heck, you’ll never want to use regular ice again.
13. Use a Wheelbarrow for an Impromptu Ice Chest
Got ice and beer, but no big ice chest to hold it all? No worries, hose off your wheelbarrow right quick and fill her up with the goods. It’s rustic.
14. Watermelon Rind as a Fruit Bowl
This just makes so much sense. Slice a watermelon in half, long ways. Save one-half in the fridge for later. Take the second half and scoop out the edible part. Cube it up. Cube up a bunch of other fruits you want to serve. Put it all in your little watermelon bowl. No dishes!
15. Write Burger Doneness on Buns in Ketchup
While your grillmaster is taking orders, grab the ketchup and make note of each guest’s preferred level of doneness. When the burgers are coming off the grill, place them on the unmarked bun half, and put them open faced on a plate. Your guests will know which burgers to take.
16. Effortlessly Glamorous Balloons
Put some large glitter confetti in your balloon for some instant glam. Pop one over someone when they’re least expecting, or when they just want to feel fabulous.
17. Make it a Picnic Party
Don’t have enough seating? You’re never too old to sit on the floor. Get a pile of cheap, 5o cent thrift store sheets and lay them on the ground for a picnic style shindig.