The calendar says it’s time for fun, so make plans to celebrate with joyous gatherings, designed to delight. Here, we offer some of our favorite spring and summer entertaining touches to add the perfect notes of beauty, whimsy, and welcome to a gracious get-together. Browse the gallery to get ideas for tabletop decor, place cards, flowers, and more.
1. Bind a bouquet in place with a band of snow peas secured to a small tumbler or other smooth-sided vessel. Trim the bottom ends of the peas for a uniform appearance, and wrap with a bright ribbon, hot-gluing the ends.
2. A strip of ball fringe in a festive hue makes a fun, whimsical alternative to a conventional napkin ring. Simply pleat the napkin and tie on the fringe, then fan out the napkin ends slightly.
3. This rustic silverware holder is just right for an outdoor party. Using spray adhesive, affix a floral-printed fabric to card stock, and center images of vintage silverware on each tag. Tie the tags to mason jars and place them in a wooden tool caddy to make self-service easy.
4. Lively lemon posy holders bring a little dash of sunshine. Cut the top off a lemon and scoop out the pulp, leaving the rind intact; cut a thin slice from the bottom to level it. Add a bit of water and fill with clipped ranunculus, roses, and other seasonal blossoms.
5. Summer’s garden bounty yields a perfect vase filler: luscious red Roma tomatoes. Simply layer them into clear glass vessels and add water, then tuck in a handful of wildflowers from your yard.
6. Celebrate prime gardening weather with a seed-packet place card that doubles as a favor. Slip easy-to-grow seeds and a few garden helps, such as flower snips or plant markers, into small flowerpots, and finish each one off with a twine bow.
7. A perfect, brilliant bloom deserves a showcase all its own. Use a glass trinket box to display it on the table as you would a special keepsake.
8. No need for complicated napkin folds when a fuss-free approach will do. Just tie a loose knot in the center of a large cotton or linen napkin, then lay it casually across the plate. Easy breezy!
9. Chill beverages in fresh style with floral ice cubes. Place tiny flower blossoms (pansies are particularly lovely), petals, and mint leaves at the bottom of each compartment in ice-cube trays; fill the trays with water, and freeze until set. Add the cubes to a pretty bowl and nestle in a bottle of lemonade, sparkling cider, or Champagne.
10. Transform a favorite spring edible into a natural vase. Fit a votive holder or a small cup filled with water inside a hollowed-out artichoke before adding irises or any flower that suits your fancy.
11. These lovely-in-lavender place cards smell as good as they look. Punch a hole in one corner of a piece of card stock printed with the guest’s name, and thread a small sprig of dried or fresh lavender blooms through it. You can change up the idea to suit the occasion—try baby’s breath for a baby shower, or rosemary for a Tuscan-themed meal.
12. Streamline summer table settings with individual grab-and-go utensil sets. A small square berry basket is the ideal size to contain a neatly folded napkin. Use coordinating raffia to tie on bamboo flatware for the feast.
13. Bring a hint of the garden to the table with a mini planter at each place setting. Wrap a small potted plant (such as this maidenhair fern) with a napkin, securing the back with a safety pin. Top it off with a garden marker bearing a sweet sentiment.
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