Planning the perfect outdoor summer party is a difficult job. While most people would only consider the food, you can’t ignore the decorations. Luckily, there are plenty of fun, creative ways to decorate your outdoor space for a summer gathering. Thanks to Martha Stewart, here are a few simple ideas to throw the best summer party in your neighborhood.

Hanging decorative lanterns

Lanterns have become popular party décor items in recent years. For one thing, they are a simple décor piece you can hang from a deck. They add color to your party, but they are also an easy way to provide light. In addition, any pale-colored paper lantern can be covered with pastel, precut tissue paper for a charming finish.

However, if you don’t want to hang paper lanterns, you can also hang paper flowers. According to Martha Stewart, you can turn humble paper bags into hanging paper flowers with just a few snips and folds. You don’t have to buy real flowers for your party. Instead, you can make them yourself!

Outdoor picnic table

You don’t always have to go to the park to have a fun picnic. You can recreate a picnic in your backyard. To do so, place a picnic table underneath the shade of some trees. Then, cover the table with a simple, full-length white tablecloth. Add rustic white seat covers to your chairs to complete the look. Your guests will feel like they’re at a picnic in the shade. For an extra special touch, add small picnic baskets to your table to place napkins, silverware, or to simply feature as a table centerpiece.

Southern romance dinner party

Southern-inspired parties have been the hottest trend in recent years. People love rustic décor, but also the sophistication involved in the simple décor pieces. For example, it is popular to place hydrangeas in the centerpiece of a blue linen table. In addition, you can mix formal dinner plates with everyday food platters and serving bowls, paired with sterling silver flatware sets. This table setting will look like the Southern chic party you have always wanted to host.

Tree stump cake stand

One of the best things about hosting an outdoor party is that you’re surrounded by nature. You have plenty of flowers, fresh green grass, beautiful trees that provide shade, etc. Your natural surroundings can provide the decoration for your party, but you can still be a little creative with your options. For example, you can assemble cupcakes atop an old [but cleaned] tree stump. This table decoration adds to the natural elements already in place at your party.

Romantic sunset dinner party

The best summer parties take place in the evening when the sun is beginning to set. It’s not as hot outdoors, so your guests will feel more comfortable. Decorate the dinner table with bright and bold hues, particularly orange and yellow, to complement the colors of the sunset. Place sunflowers in a vase as the centerpiece. Finally, Asian lanterns provide a romantic setting but also necessary light when the sun finally sets on your summer backyard party.

Beach bucket centerpiece

It is sometimes difficult to decide on the best centerpiece for your dinner table. You can easily turn your kids’ beach sand buckets into custom centerpieces. Paint the buckets a color to match the color scheme for your party, fill them with rocks, and then place a small plant inside the bucket. The centerpieces might inspire your guests to go to the beach this summer.

The perfect pool party

The best summer parties are the ones alongside a swimming pool. If you’re lucky enough to own a swimming pool, set up a low table on the deck next to the pool and arrange colorful beach chairs by the water. Your guests can sit by the pool but also enjoy small bites of food. Does it get any better than that?