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The Backyard: Decor Ideas

Blueprint, Volume 1 2006

Speed-demon decor starts with wrapping pieces of greeting-card garland around cloth napkins (the place cards are nestled inside). The collapsible table, for the buffet, was covered with unhemmed floral cotton, which is simply duct-taped in place along the underside (it's stretched tight -- no need to iron). The paper lanterns overhead don't have lights in them, but they still signal what Blueprint editor Rebecca Thuss calls an "instant party feel."

Floral and Informal
Those were the watchwords while setting the table. The runner looks like a natural linen, but it's Chilewich vinyl; just wipe it clean and roll it up at the end of the party. Votive candles were placed in a casual, irregular pattern, and the pillar candles were set in hurricane lanterns adorned with flower and bird stickers (for the how to, see below). "Candlelight is another one of those instant upgrades for the table," Rebecca Thuss says. "It's the easiest and least expensive element for automatic ambience."

Sticker How-To
1. Wash the vessel with dish soap or glass cleaner.

2. Cut the part of the sticker you want to use from the main sheet. (You don't need to snip close to the design itself; you can cut a rough outline.) Peel off the white backing.

3. Smooth the sticker onto the glass slowly to avoid making air pockets. Carefully peel away the clear top sheet.