Dynamite Outdoor Decor How-To: Using a Few Favorite Pieces 2 Ways!

Posted on Aug 25 2014 - 5:26pm by Jessi Meehan

Labor Day weekend is another great opportunity to wine & dine outside!  This summer we’ve definitely thrown more than one outdoor bash, and without breaking the bank buying new pieces for every table. How do we do it? Find ways to refresh your favorite pieces, such as placemats and sand pails, fresh greens from the garden and even sea shells! Everything you have can be repurposed into a creative tablescape. Carving out a few extra minutes can make a memory that will last forever. Earlier this summer we had family in town from Canada; my Aunt Lana and Uncle Don as well as my brother Gavin and his fiance Carla. We had the absolute BEST time and this night in particular, a fantastic meal outside ended in my Uncle singing a sentimental song that my parents danced to right at the table!


My mom set the mood for the night with a rustic and intimate feel for all of us to enjoy. By using some of our favorite lime green placemats to tie in the colors of fresh herbs and flowers she trimmed from the garden, a summery look with greens on greens was created! 3P shopping basic: Our lime green placemats that truly anchored our table, are available in an assortment of color for only $1.99 or less at Bed Bath and Beyond, and sometimes you can even score a few at Dollar Tree! They’re incredibly durable and “all-purpose” for outdoors. Our coordinating napkins were picked up on sale at Kohl’s using Kohl’s cash, and have been a “table-staple” for years.

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Mom kept it simple by ringing our lime green napkins with some of our favorite patio chair shaped napkin rings. These funky miniature chairs from Pier 1 also have a slight green hue to them that encourage the “outdoor” feel once again, and 3P Bonus: they are “triple purposed”! They’re not only napkin rings, but on them will sit a favor, a tea-light or a place-card! (As shown in our next table scape!) The hint of gold in our glasses, and coordinating candle in green hurricane glass tied in the colors of our rustic patio chairs.

Creating a simple centerpiece by grounding our hurricane glass with a simple glass tray, a few green “budding” branches, and adding lime green votive holders…it couldn’t have been more “Practically Patio Perfect”! If you have greens and herbs growing in your yard, try giving them a snip and adding them to your next tablescape. The smell is incredible, and it just fills in the “blanks” with beauty on the table.


A few weeks later we had family friends Chris and Jen over for a summery outdoor supper, and we were able to use some of our favorite pieces shown above in a whole new summer light! It was themed a little more playful, but definitely still green!


3P Tips to This Summer Centerpiece:

1. The most important thing is to keep your items organized and easy to access. This might sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! We keep all of our napkins folded in a hanging shoe-organizer in the closet, and have a large plastic container where we organize all of our napkin rings in ziplock bags for easy finding. We keep our placecards and holders in a buffet drawer to grab & go, and of course all of our Summer decor can be found in our summer event box! Placemats are kept in a laundry basket so that they lie flat and unwrinkled and we can choose fast! This is the true key to quick tables! We stored our watering cans leftover from Easter in our spring box, as well as sand pails we picked up on sale…they make for great anchors for balloons…and a quick centerpiece too!

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2. Keep on the lookout for end of season decor on clearance. Last fall we scored these palm tree photo holders and sea shell plates for $0.29 each!

3. Now to design: Remember 3’s, 5’s and 7’s are the numbers to choose. Odd is best. 🙂 We chose 3 placemats to ground our centerpiece, and arranged a few faux flowers in our sand pail. By adding an assortment of fresh trimming from the garden to our faux flowers, we achieved a playful look that was also tasteful. Be sure to add DIMENSION as well…we chose pieces that were staggered in height, including an upside down taller pail that we sprinkled with sparkling marbles for color and shine!

We used palm tree photo holders with recycled green card stock for place card holder…(we love recycling and repurposing around here!) By filling lime green items we keep on hand with bright and summery pieces, everything stays “different” and “unique”…while still feeling like it’s got a personal touch all of our 3P guests love! The moss colored  paisley napkins hadn’t made an appearance in awhile, and were welcomed to the party with butterfly napkin rings that we picked up for $0.18 in Dillards, and kept for 20 years! We spruced up some faux summer florals with more fresh flowers and buds from the garden again, and used our little go-to patio chair napkin rings as votive holders this time! It’s easy to tie in your favorites without letting things get boring when you find new uses!


SO there you have it! Two totally different summer tables, using some of our favorite pieces to shine a new summer light on outdoor dinner decor! Do you have a few favorite pieces hanging around that you’re not sure how to repurpose? Send us a photo to jessi@practicallyperfectplanner.com, and we’ll send you a few 3P Tips!

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tania Atack August 26, 2014 at 10:24 am -

    What a bunch of great ideas to be able to achieve a fun look during the summer.
    All of your table settings are gorgeous and very easy to apply in anyone’s household.