Pair these easy decorating ideas with our fresh spring menu for a memorable outdoor party.

Gather Friends for Brunch
Credit: Tina Cornett

We all know there are many special occasions to celebrate in the spring--weddings, Mother's Day, and graduations, just to name a few. But why wait for a big event when a glorious morning is reason enough to throw a party?

Our colorful decorating theme includes loads of fresh ideas, all of which are economical and doable. From making button-and-bead wine charms to giving new life to old table linens, our boxes are brimming with easy how-tos. And forget fussing with a complicated menu--our six recipes showcase much of the season's produce, making them the perfect collection for a warm-weather brunch.

A Stunning Centerpiece
Pretty peonies are even more divine when clustered in vases that show off their slender stems. We filled the vertical portions with stems, while the bowls hold peonies with stems cut about 6 inches below the blooms. Substitute roses or large, frilly-edged parrot tulips for an equally gorgeous centerpiece.

To create this look with items you already have, try stacking a shallow bowl on a wide-based vase--just make sure it won't tip over. Secure the bottom of the bowl to the vase rim with florist clay or denture adhesive. You could also float blooms in a water-filled trifle bowl placed alongside a tall, flower-filled vase.

Easy Tabletop Touches
We found the supplies for these smart-looking table touches at a combination crafts-fabric store.

  • Give new life to napkins you already have. Thread beads and buttons onto embroidery floss; then sew onto one corner of each napkin. Accent pastel colors with bright, primary colors for an elegant, energizing palette.
  • Send friends home with a treat. Pick up scrapbook paper, small organza bags, ribbons, embroidery floss, and a hole puncher to make these party favor bags. Fill each one with Jordan almonds.
  • Answer guests' question of "Is the tea sweet or unsweet?" or "Does this have alcohol?" with beverage labels. Braid embroidery floss, and attach it to a paper label using stationery sealing wax pressed with a decorative stamp. Follow package directions for using wax. For a quick alternative, use decorative stickers. Label each beverage, including water, to follow through with the idea.
  • Help partygoers keep track of their glasses. To make your own wine charms, string one color button for each guest onto fine gauge wire along with beads. Tie onto stemware with ribbon.

Source Information:
Stackable glass vases and salad servers from Carnevale, (901) 775-0800; barware (flute, wine cooler, decanter, pitcher) from Abigail's, 1-800-678-8485; cake stand from Abbey Lane, (205) 879-7122.