Decorating An Outdoor Party

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Over the three day weekend, we hosted our annual Memorial Day barbecue / ping-pong tournament. Unlike last year, when we foolishly kept the ping-pong table in the back house, we decided to take full advantage of our backyard. Take a look at some of our solutions after the jump...First, we moved the ping-pong table outside underneath the cabana, positioning it parallel to the fence to prevent stray ping-pong balls from going next door. Then, we moved the picnic table over to the other side of the patio, closer to the back house:
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The table cloth is actually an Ikea fabric that was cut by the yard. We used it last year as the backdrop to our holiday Christmas card and held on to it because we liked the pattern.

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Another lesson we learned from last year was to provide ample shade! We took down the Ikea curtains from the other end of the trellis, and then draped them so they looked like banners. All four panels are pinned to the trellis with small nails. For some color, we grabbed streamers and had them converging at the center of the trellis where we hung ten helium balloons.

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We arranged the food buffet-style on an old desk that we had in the garage, and moved a cheap end table next to it to hold the Tivoli stereo and flatware. Craig of Get Outside More manages to withstand Herbie's constant begging.

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Dogs were welcome to the party, so we made sure that the fence was secure. Herbie and Nanners got to romp around with Aki, Leo, and Frankie without anyone having to worry about the dogs escaping.

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Since we had more guests than chairs, we pulled out these makeshift benches from the back house: Ikea Lack bookcases with machine-washable cushions that were made by my mum. Looks like Leo and Frankie liked the bench more than the guests!

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We originally had the grill between the picnic table and the buffet table, but once Todd (pictured here) got the ribs going, it got smoky QUICK. So we moved the grill towards the back of the yard next to the other fence mid-way through the rounds. Speaking of rounds, Todd won this year's ping-pong tournament (grand prize: a discount at the Apple store and a huge cubic zirconia diamond pendant on a dookie rope chain).

After discovering that the majority of our guests had never played beer pong, we decided to go a few rounds after the tournament:

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Todd and Benny Gold cleaning up at the beer pong.

Got your own decorating tips on hosting an outdoor party? Share it with us in the comments!

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