When the weather warms up enough to eat outside, then you can guarantee that we’ll be eating alfresco every night, as long as the weather holds up. We don’t eat out much, mainly because I love to cook. And, not only do I love to cook, but I also love to set a table. Sometimes even the simplest of details can turn a basic picnic table into fancy outdoor dining room.
We have a long picnic table up under a huge maple tree, and it’s that space that I love to turn into an outdoor dining room. Who says that just because you’re setting up a picnic table that it can’t be fancy? No need for fine china, melamine plates are just as lovely, if not moreso. Better yet, they’re not breakable, making them the perfect plate for outdoor dining.
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A Pretty Way To Set A Summer Table For Alfresco Dining
If I could pony up one tip first and foremost: when setting up a picnic table for entertaining: it’s always a good idea to provide seat cushions. The ones I have are super affordable, and totally help in the fanny fatigue category, bringing much sitting comfort when enjoying a meal. Adding seat cushions is also more inviting to your guests. You can find these comfortable seat cushions HERE!
Now For The Fun Part: Setting The Table
This is a quick and easy tablesetting that packs a big punch. I’m always a firm believer that outdoor meals are more enjoyable while sitting at a pretty table. Because, why not bring a little fancy to an otherwise casual affair.
This is a quick and simple gesture that always makes a meal more enjoyable.
Start with a table runner. I used an inexpensive burlap one that I hot glued ribbon to for a little special detail. I prefer a little overhang on both sides of the table; 10 inches on either side did the trick.
I created custom charger plates, my favorite kind, of course. I followed THESE STEPS for easy and affordable custom DIY charger plates.
From there, I added a classic white dinner plate, and then a fun, garden design inspired salad plate. I love to play on pattern and texture and bring whimsy to a tablesetting. I have THESE NON-BREAKABLE plates with a bamboo edge in my cart. They look so chic, don’t you think?!
This tablesetting called for a classic striped napkin. The easy DIY no-sew cloth napkin found HERE.
Last but not least, the centerpieces. For a long table, I like to work in odd numbers, and display a line of arrangements. I keep things easy and buy flowers from the grocery store, then I shop my yard for a few clippings from a fern plant and a couple hostas to round out the arrangements. These types of centerpieces add pretty design when setting a summer table for alfresco dining.
TIP: When arranging centerpieces, let the grocery store help you out. Then, for added filler, shop your yard. You’ll be surprised at the amount of greenery you’ll find in your yard that you can add to your floral arrangement.
No matter what shape or size of outdoor table you have, it’s always nice to set a pretty summer table for alfresco dining. It only takes a few minutes to create a moment for every meal.
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Another Idea For Entertaining Outdoors
Ever see a cable spool sitting on the side of the road? Well, if you have a means to get it home (even if you have to roll it up the hill like we did), turn it into a dining table. Click the button to see how I turned a heavy duty cable spool into a dining table!