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Throw a summer bash!

Host a fantastic party with these fun DIY ideas and free printables.

By Today's Parent staff
Throw a summer bash!

Easy summer birthday party planner

Ready to party?

Whether you're celebrating a birthday, the end of the school year or the arrival of summer, hosting a fab, fun party is simpler than you think! To get started, pick a colour (we started with blue) and then choose up to five complementary hues. (For a cheat sheet, use paint chips, or go to benjaminmoore.ca.) Then, just follow our step-by-step instructions, and celebrate! A version of this article appeared in our June 2013 issue with the headline "The easiest party on the block," pp. 87-95.

Throw a summer bash!

DIY Birthday tablecloth

How to make this DIY tie-dye tablecloth: Wash and dry a 100-percent cotton sheet. Mix the fabric dyes according to the instructions on the package (you can find these at your local craft store). Bunch the corners of the fabric tightly and wrap them together with a rubber band. Place another rubber band higher up on the bundle. Dip the sheet into the darker colour up to the first rubber band. Repeat with the lighter colour, dipping it up to the second band. Rinse in cold water and let dry. Remove the rubber bands. Ta-da!

Throw a summer bash!Photo: John Cullen; Produced by Virgine Martocq; Recipes: Irene Ngo

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Thank-you gift

Thank-you gift candy jar: Instead of a loot bag, guests can take home jelly bean jars. Simply fill lidded jars with layers of candy and attach a pretty personal message of appreciation. Get the printable tags here: Birthday party printables Also read: 11 goodie bags with a twist>

Throw a summer bash!Photo: John Cullen; Produced by Virgine Martocq

Italian soda station

Use pretty jars and vases (stock up at your local dollar or second-hand store) to create a soda station with a fruit flavour that matches your colours. Blueberry soda syrup: Combine 2 cups blueberries, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer over medium-low until mixture turns slightly syrupy, about 10 to 12 min. Remove from heat, cool and strain. Stir in 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice. Pour syrup into glasses and top with ice and soda water. Lime soda syrup: Make sugar syrup as above, but without blueberries or lemon juice, and stir in 1 cup lime cordial. Top with ice and soda water. Serve.

Throw a summer bash!Photo: John Cullen; Produced by Virgine Martocq; Wardrobe: Jessica Albano; Recipes: Irene Ngo

Lunch

Blueberry jam and cheese pinwheels: Cut 5 slices of white sandwich bread into long layers (or ask the bakery slice it for you). Cut crusts off bread. Spread 2 heaping tbsp each of cream cheese and blueberry jam on each slice, to the edges. Roll into a short log, wrap tightly, and chill at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Throw a summer bash!Photo: John Cullen; Produced by Virgine Martocq; Recipes: Irene Ngo

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Snack cornucopia

It's a party hat and a snack holder! Get the free printable template here: Birthday party printables

Throw a summer bash!Photo: John Cullen; Produced by Virgine Martocq; Wardrobe: Jessica Albano; Printable: Jamie Piper

Host a photo booth

Create the perfect backdrop and have kids strike a pose. Attach biodegradable balloons to a wall using double-sided tape. You can use one colour or create an ombré effect by organizing in coloured rows. Let the kids take turns being the photographer. Tip: Using confetti as a prop guarantees superstar smiles — and a mess that’s worth it.

Throw a summer bash!Photo: John Cullen; Produced by Virgine Martocq; Wardrobe: Jessica Albano

Easy cake how-to

Making a birthday cake from scratch gets a whole lot easier with this easy how-to. Follow these simple directions to assemble a pretty dessert to serve on the big day! Get the how-to recipe for the cake here: Vanilla birthday cake with buttercream icing

Throw a summer bash!Photo: John Cullen; Produced by Virgine Martocq; Recipes: Irene Ngo
This article was originally published on May 23, 2015

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