There’s just a month left before the leaves leave their many shades of green behind and start to take on that distinctive carrot soup colour. It’s also looking like it’s going to be the hottest month of the year, at least here in London. So all is not lost if you haven’t yet thrown your glorious summer picnic or BBQ! Check out our earlier ‘perfect picnic’ posts for some ideas on grub and look no further for some tips on how you can add some extra ‘scene-setting love’ to your outdoor party!
1. Picnic mat alternatives
Don’t fret if you don’t have a ‘proper’ mat. Blankets, quilts, tablecloths and even fabric can be more interesting. Nothing says picnic like checkered fabric. If you’re doing your shopping online, instead of searching for ‘tablecloths’ search for fabric instead. It’s cheaper and since it’s a picnic it won’t matter too much of the ends are little frayed and not stitched up. If you’re getting fabric and have some dosh to spare, get two or three colours or complementary prints and line them up side by side.
2. Leather or fabric bound books
If like us you never throw any books away or you know a cheap little second hand bookshop, then short stacks of 2 or 3 fabric or leather bound books add some vintage elegance and double up as a place to stand a plate or a tumbler of juice when you’re sitting on the grass. Even 6 books will do the trick – remember they can be heavy so don’t cart too many along with you if you’re setting up a distance from your own home.
3. Individually packed picnics in DIY brown bags
Instead of laying all the treats out on the mat, why not pack everyone’s picnic individually? Grab a pack of brown bags, you can decorate each one in a variety of ways. We like to get some paper doilies, apply glue on the back and stick them on or around the bag. You can also stick on dried flowers, use pretty ink stamps or just write your guests names on them and tie them up with pretty ribbon. Then pop in a sandwich, a little tupperware of potato salad, a cupcake or jammy scone wrapped in greaseproof paper and even a cute mini bottle of prosecco or juice.
If your picnic is in your garden or you have access to wheels (4 would be preferable to 2! Though some amazing folk can balance a lot of stuff on a bike!) grab cushions off your couch and armchair and use them to add a bit of homey-ness to your set up. Paired with cosy blankets or striking fabric, they make the whole idea of sitting on the ground extremely inviting!
5. Bunting, paper lanterns, fans and Pom poms
If you can find a spot under a tree with low hanging branches, you’re sorted! String up some bunting, paper fans, lanterns or Pom poms. You can even tie long pieces of ribbon on branches to create a lovely curtain effect or go for a more wispy look by tying long lengths of white or pale coloured ribbon at wider intervals around a few different branches.
6. Fruits and flowers
Never to be underestimated for the instant value they bring to any setting. Save up old jam jars, tie ribbon or brown parcel string around the rim and fill them with meadow flowers or seashells if you’re having a beach picnic. Salad Bowls, each piled with peeling oranges, tangerines, apples and peaches make for striking pops of summery colour and double up as easy to eat picnic dessert!
*Do click on the links for the photos we’ve posted. They’re from some really talented folk who have some excellent ideas for making life a little prettier!
x Anu & Suba