The Macs

Thursday, August 12, 2010

backyard bar-b-que {the details)

Our back yard is nothing spectacular. We do have tons of room...definitely a perk of living in the country. The natural corn "fence" is definitely a perk too. But, I have never wanted to have a party in our backyard. We have always had parties in our front yard. Our backyard is not landscaped at all. We don't have a patio or deck. There is no door into our house from the back. We have reseeded some of the grass, but not all of it. We have weird things in the middle of our two propane tanks...and old clothes lines. But in the evening it is very shaded so we decided to party in the back this year.

All that to say, your yard doesn't have to be perfect to throw a party. With a few simple decorations you can turn your yard into the perfect spot for a backyard bar-b-que.

When I started thinking about Joel's party I e-mailed Heather to get some ideas. She is so sweet and helpful and has the BEST party ideas (and she is going to have a new baby any day now)! I told her what I was thinking and she suggested a "burlap and bbq" theme. Perfect. Here are the details:

1. Invitations: I made the invitations using photoshop elements and then e-mailed them out. I used free digital scrapbook paper I downloaded here. The rest is just text boxes.

2. Decorations: I pretty much made everything using red gingham, burlap, jute twine, and red & white bakers twine. I purchased the fabric from JoAnns using 40% off coupons. The jute twine is from the dollar bin at Target and the bakers twine was from here.

Pennant Bunting: Heather sent me this idea and I decided to try to make something like it myself. (If you don't want to make your own, the buntings in that etsy shop are super cute!) I made my bunting using 6 x 9 pennants of gingham and burlap. I zigzag stitched them right onto the jute twine leaving about 2 inches in between each one and enough twine to tie on each end. I am not sure if this is the best way to do this, but it worked for me. I was going to stencil letters on the burlap, but I ran out of time and added the gingham instead. I think it looked just as cute plain though.

Wreath: The wreath was made using an old wreath that I had in my basement. I wrapped strips of burlap around until the wreath form was covered. Then I wrapped bakers twine around the burlap. I printed out a "30" stitched it onto craft paper, punched two holes in it and tied it to the bottom of the wreath. I did this about 2 hours before the party. It took about 10 minutes. Super easy.

Lights: The lights were from Target in their outdoor/summer section. They were on sale last week!

3. Tables: We used two picnic tables that we had and borrowed the rest. I covered the tables with gingham and then cut a runner out of burlap to put down the middle of the tables. I didn't sew any of it. In the center of each table I put a mason jar of hydrangeas that were cut from my mom's bushes (thanks mom!).

4. Food: We served hamburgers (good thing we have so much meat!), potato salad, pasta salad, watermelon, and potato chips. My mom, mother-in-law, and grandma made all the salads. Apparently this person really liked potato chips! The silverware was wrapped with a red napkin and tied with bakers twine.

5. Drinks: We had lemonade and water in drink coolers that we borrowed. I wrapped a piece of burlap around each cooler and tied on a sign. We also had IBC root beer (or sugar beer as my niece calls it) and pepsi (both are Joel's favorites). We put a lemon and a red straw in each mason jar. The mason jars were ones that I had from previous years of canning and a few extra borrowed from my mother-in-law. The straws were from a pack I had picked up at IKEA a few years ago.

6. Ice Cream Bar: We had homemade vanilla ice cream made by my sisters-in-law and Ruth. It is SO yummy. I would give you the recipe, but it is one of those family recipes that isn't really an "exact" recipe. We use a White Mountain ice cream freezer. The toppings were sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, mini m & m's, peaches, and chocolate sauce.

Heather also suggested homemade bbq sauce in little mason jars with custom labels for party favors. We didn't do that, but it would be really cute!

I pretty much made everything and decorated the day of the party. I couldn't have done it without the help of my sister and brother-in-law though. Thanks guys! Joel helped lots too. I really didn't want him to have to work for his own party, but I really needed him! :o)

There you go. Now go plan your backyard bar-b-que! Unless you live in Kansas. It is way too hot here to have a backyard bar-b-que right now! Maybe I will start planning a fall party. Fall weather sounds so nice.


Blogger Morgan Paige said...

this is SO awesome!
you did great!
really makes me want to throw a party!

August 12, 2010 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger SING Praises said...

Oh, thank you for sharing! You don't know me, I'm just a random follower who came over from Meg's blog several months ago. :)
My hubby turns 30 in October and I have been stressing myself out over planning and catering and tent rentals and any number of other silly unnecessay details he wouldn't notice at all!
I needed this little reminder that I can have a fun people-focused (rather than stuff-focused) party that doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg!
God has used you to get a message to me today. :) Thanks for being so "real," I love your blog and have thought of your sweet family often in my prayers!

August 12, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Loved every single detail...

August 12, 2010 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...


I loved reading about your party. It sounded like everything was done with great love. What a beautiful gift for Joel.

You are amazing! Thanks for sharing.

August 12, 2010 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Wow. What a great party with a wonderful home-made (& cozy home-made) feel. :)

Your husband is so blessed. It is so clear how much you love each other.

Off topic - i've always been curious, is your corn Monsanto/GMO?

August 12, 2010 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Love all the details! You did a great job!

August 12, 2010 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I just found your blog last week - and I love it! It's always nice to come across more Kansans. The 30th birthday party looked wonderful!

August 12, 2010 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so reading all about how you did the party even made me more impressed. I could NEVER do that! My mind works nothing like yours! And oh how I wish it did! You are super, dooper talented and impressive! Glad you are a Mac now so you can add some of this talent to the group. See you tomorrow! Andi

August 12, 2010 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Lesley said...

what an amazing job you did...I looks like it was one killer shin-dig...a wonderful way to celebrate...and I LOVE your backyard.....

August 12, 2010 at 11:49 PM  
Anonymous lemonade said...

Looks like one heck of a party! Love what you did with the place. You really have it all planned, :) Love the lemonade glasses (or jar, lol!) very rustic! It goes well with the theme. You just make me want to throw out a barbecue party myself! Thing is it's nowhere near anyone's birthday here, lol! Oh well, probably I'll just make up one,lol! Hmmm, I think we should have a Max day! (Max is our black labrador, :) )

August 13, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

You throw a great party! Everything looked wonderful.

August 13, 2010 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

super fun... Heather is definitely a go to gal :)

August 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Very fun! It looks a lot like the BBQ we had to celebrate my son's 8th birthday. His birthday is the 4th of July and this year I wanted to do a traditional backyard BBQ so I just mixed in a little Star Wars and he was happy. :)

August 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I don't think I have ever commented before but I am a frequent visitor. I had to tell you that we do not have a back door either. I am glad I am not alone!! The party looked great!! You did a fabulous job!

August 13, 2010 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 13, 2010 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

You're so creative! :)

August 13, 2010 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Kristine Hanson said...

how fun! love all the red gingham!

August 14, 2010 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger The Rodriguez Crew said...

oh my goodness, everything is DARLING! You did an awesome job!!

August 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Ceri said...

Thanks for sharing the how to's. I you said you use adobe elements. We have that program instead of photo shop. (I wish I had photo shop) How have you learned to use it? It's SO hard to work with we have had it for years, and I am still learning! Any tips or books you read? I feel like there is so much I could do with it if I only knew how.... Beautiful party, and I love your blog. I check it several times a week. :) Thanks for sharing your life with us!

August 16, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Nan said...

SO cute! You are such a sweet wife! And talented too! :^D

August 26, 2010 at 9:27 PM  

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