Use color to theme this three-stop elegant party with your friends and match your decor and food.
Color Block Your Party!
Code Orange! 6 p.m: Cocktails & Appetizers
Make a cheery first impression! Lay out a spread of tangerine-hued cocktails and nibbles and put on your cutest coral necklace, because this festive setting will kick off the night with a shot of energy.
Transform your table
Transform the patio table by turning a tall glass tumbler into an eye-catching vase: Glue the inside edges of several orange paint-chip strips together to make a hollow tube. Once dry, slide it onto the glass and drop a bunch of flowers or a candle inside.
Ask hosts to wear pieces that reflect their party color. Intimidated by orange? Don't be: Sherbet- shaded jeans are the summer's most craved accessory, and neon pops of orange are on everything from ballet flats to chunky bangles. Mix, match and layer for maximum impact.
Go Green Cuisine!
Celebrate the main event with a tangle of lively, verdant greens. The emerald-topped pork gets its bold flavor from the season's fresh herbs, while ribbons of zucchini make for a lush, fresh-from-the-garden salad.
Draw chalk arrows and messages on the driveway, like "Dinner," "Cheers!" or "Dessert This Way."
Stylish Swatch Place Settings
Make menus: Write the details of the course you're serving on six paint chips and put one at each place setting. Serving buffet-style? Turn them into menu ID cards and display them in front of the platters.
Wrap your playlist around your vase to make it work double-duty.
For another easy centerpiece, wrap clear glass vases and hurricane lamps in green streamers or tissue paper. For an ombré look, use three similar colors (like light, medium and dark green); cut the tissue into strips, wrap them around glass containers and secure with clear tape. Finish the look with flowers or votive candles.
Party Hosting Pointers
- Choose Your Hue: Empty a box of crayons into a hat and have everyone pull one out. The color you pick is your inspiration for the night. Then, just choose a course!
- Mix the Music: Ask each host to come up with an hour-long playlist for their portion of the party. Start the tunes when guests arrive, and move on to the next stop when it's done. Throw in songs that reflect the theme, like "Orange Crush" by R.E.M., anything by Green Day, and "Purple Rain" by Prince.
- Tack on Time: Estimate how long you'll need to travel between houses, and add 15 minutes. Guests can linger or casually stroll over.
Party All Night Long in Purple
Turn your yard into a cozy oasis filled with touches of deep plum and dusky amethyst. Spread out a blanket, toss some pillows and serve plates of plum-topped tarts. It's time to wind down under the stars.
String Up Lights
Cover simple white string lights with mini lampshades: Curl purple paint-chip strips into cylinders (with the color sides facing out) and secure with clear tape. Slip one sleeve over each bulb and attach it to the wire with tape. Hang the garland over doorways or from low-hanging branches.
Candle Light Bright
Instead of turning on your backyard floodlights when night begins to fall, set up a few softer options. Fill a large, shallow bowl with water and place a pillar or floating candle in the center. Scatter a handful of purple blooms -- like these lavender daisies -- around the candle..