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8 Affordable Accessories To Turn Your Backyard Party Into A Pinterest Dream

The humble backyard gathering is no doubt going to be all the rage once again, thanks to this pandemic reality we’re living in. To be honest, this is the one part I’m not mad about though.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls lately and Emily’s ability to host a shindig is severely underrated, but now that we’ve graduated from trying to hold a party over Zoom, it seems like the perfect time to level up our hosting skills.

From a recent (small and following all the socially distanced rules) get together in my very small and concrete covered back yard, I can confirm that just a few simple things can make it seem like you put in way more effort than you actually did.

#1 Serving ware

 

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I’m warning you now that this article could also be mistaken for a Kmart appreciation post, because it’s awesome but more to the point because it’s got really nice serving ware for super budget prices.

It doesn’t have to be Kmart obviously, but a nice wooden board to serve up a cheese plate here and a three-tiered serving dish for cupcakes and finger sandwiches there, makes all the difference. In case you’re interested, I bought this $16 board, and this $4.50 cardboard cupcake stand, then used a bunch of smaller bowls and serving plates we had around the house.

#2 Table cloths and rugs

Having been in a share house situation for years, I haven’t really bothered spending a lot on things like nice outdoor furniture. In fact, the table I currently have is a ragged-as-hell, side-of-the-road find. Remembering back to the olden days of tablecloths, I borrowed one form my parents and the whole thing was transformed. You can get cheap and simple ones for like $5, so buying your own won’t break the bank.

Along the same lines, that concrete backyard I was talking about is something of an eyesore, if I’m honest. There wasn’t much to be done about the floor (although you certainly could consider a large rug or blanket, especially for a picnic scenario), but I whacked a nice bohemian-esque rug I had over a very boring brown bench and it just added a little *pizzaz*.

#3 Hanging flowers

That same concrete backyard has one redeeming glory: a giant frangipani tree that is somehow thriving despite its surroundings. It hasn’t flowered yet though, so I Pinterested the heck out of backyard decorations and turned all our glass jars into hanging vases for the day.

We already had a bunch of pot plants around the place too, which helped make it feel a little more green and jungle-like.

#4 Fairy lights

On that note, I challenge you to find any setting that doesn’t look 1000 times better with strings of fairy lights. This is probably the easiest way to turn your gathering into a Instagram influencer’s paradise.

They’re cheap too, often going for under $20. Personally, I’d head straight to Bunnings where solar powered fairy lights start at $12.50 and you know they’re going to work — but I am my Father’s daughter.

#5 Bluetooth Speakers

 

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No backyard doo is complete without a little ambience, which comes in the form of your chill picnic Spotify playlist. For that reason a portable bluetooth speaker is super handy, even if it’s technically not budget. think of it as na investment.

At the time, I had a non-portable one that did have a light up disco ball in the top (amazing) but kept cracking up when I took my phone outside with me (not so amazing). Recently I’ve upgraded to the new Sony SRS-XB23 portable speaker. The sound is great and it’s waterproof, dust proof and shock proof — essential for unpredictable Aussie weather and even more unpredictable drunk friends.

#6 Drinks and snacks

Maybe you hate cooking, maybe you’re on a budget, maybe both. I hear you. The thing is, it’s super easy to provide snacks and a few drinks that are budget-friendly but look like you’ve blown the bank. Cobb loaf dips exist after all. I’m also a big fan of cheese boards and finger sandwiches (check the pin above, I tried a couple of those and people loved it).

As for drinks, just make yourself a big bowl of punch and you’re laughing. Goon sack sangria looks fancy and still tastes like a dream, but keeps the cost low.

#7 Firepits

 

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People were going crazy for firepits during lockdown, so I’m going to assume you all have one. If not, seriously consider getting one. I don’t know what science explains the magic of sitting around a fire bringing people together, but it exists. Again, Bunnings is probably your bbest bet for these, starting from $XX

#8 Outdoor furniture

I’ve left this one to last because if you follow the above steps, it not really necessary. If you want to though, a cute outdoor set is always a fun time.

I’m personally obsessed with Facebook Marketplace, but if you don’t want to wait for the perfect ‘get’ to come along, check out the new affordable and rather flash outdoor collections from Big W and Kmart.

(Lead Image: Unsplash / Eric Nopanen)