Summer Parties Made Easy: A Miami Mom’s DIY Guide

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Hey Mommas, I’m here to make your summer parties easier than ever with creative DIY decoration ideas and buffet-style themed food stations. Are you ready to get together with family and friends this summer but feel your hosting skills are a bit rusty? Not to worry!  We’ve curated some fun and summer-perfect party themes to inspire you.

A little girl on a donut shaped inner tube
Source: TheWhitePineHome.com

I. American Inspired Summer Party Theme

Fourth of July kicks off the summer season, and to honor it, our first easy-made Summer Party theme is “Celebrating America.”This patriotic color scheme is quintessential summer!  Red, white, and blue decor definitely puts us all in a summer frame of mind. Designer Jenny Reimold incorporated the colors in her outdoor space by adding cushions in these classic colors for an instant update. She even made this amazing DIY “Rag Flag” using strips of leftover fabric and ribbon.

A red, white, and blue rag flag
Source: JennyReimold.com

How easy is that for a quick DIY summer project? Check out her full tutorial here. Get the kids involved and have them make their own smaller versions, or have them tear the fabric pieces as you work together. The end result is so beautiful it’s worth leaving up year-round! 

A smaller red, white, and blue American rag flag
Source: JennyReimold.com

Ella Claire & Co. inspired us with another easy and fun patriotic-themed decoration using red, white, and blue balloons to create a larger-scale American flag. This idea works great as a backdrop for a dessert table, food station, and even photos! 

A red, white, and blue balloon flag
Source: EllaClaireInspired.com

A. Classic American Party Food Ideas

Here are some easy summer party food suggestions! Food ideas for an American-inspired summer party are as simple as adding fresh strawberries and blueberries. Fresh sweet tea is also an American summer staple. Make it fun by adding different flavors such as peach, mango, or berry-flavored iced tea. 

A fun dessert table
Source: EllaClaireInspired.com

Check out this s’mores dip recipe pictured below that will leave your guests wanting more!  Simple grocery store items complete this red, white, and blue sweets board. 

A red, white, and blue themed sweet charcuterie board
Source: HoosierHomemade.com

What could be more classic than an all-American “Burger Bar” for your easy-made American-inspired summer party? Using a varied collection of sides and condiments, a simple BBQ is now elevated as guests have fun creating their own burger masterpieces. Over at MakingTimeForMommy.com, the burger bar they created included an array of fixings that allowed guests to truly customize their burger, and even try new combinations.

An example of a burger bar
Source: Makingtimeformommy.com

Burger Bar Condiment Ideas

Cheeses (Cheddar, Provolone, and Colby Jack)
Bacon
Onion
Tomato
Lettuce
Pickles
Pineapple
Coleslaw
Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Guacamole
Dressings
BBQ Sauce
Steak Sauce
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Ketchup
Mustard
Mayonnaise

A Classic American Food: The Hot Dog Board 

A hot dog charcuterie board
Source: Culturacolectiva.com

II. Citrus Garden Theme

Our second easy-made summer party theme is “Citrus Grove” inspired by our native lush Florida orange groves. Florida is definitely not in short supply of citrus and tropical fruits to take advantage of. Incorporating citrus fruits and tropical foliage is a perfectly refreshing approach to your summer soiree. And most importantly, it’s as easy as a grocery store run to pick up an array of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes. Add them whole or sliced to a garland of greenery and you have a perfect table runner! 

A citrus themed table runner
Source: FashionableHostess.com

Even a dish with freshly sliced citrus fruits doubles as beautiful decor and drink garnishes. Look how perfectly paired the citrus colors play against the classic white and blue stripes of this tablecloth. These colors scream fresh summer fun!

A plate of sliced citrus fruit
Source: DiaryofaDebutante.com

A. Citrus Party-Themed Drink & Food Suggestions

As for your food and drink inspiration, look to serve some ice-cold lemonade or Mimosas with freshly squeezed orange juice. You can also serve Limoncello for an Italian twist. These flavors pair nicely with light seafood such as lobster and shrimp. Who doesn’t love the combination of fresh-squeezed lemon atop their light and buttery lobster roll? Here are some great food ideas for your Citrus-themed party. I’ve included links to some amazing recipes, just click and enjoy!

Key Lime Pie
Tropical Fruit Salad
Ambrosia Salad
Grapefruit Crème Brulee
Fruit flavored sorbets
Lemon Cake
Lemon Meringue Pie
Ceviche
Shrimp Cocktail
Lobster Rolls

A beautiful citrus-themed table

B. Citrus-Themed DIY Crafts for the Kids 

Have the kids join in the fun of decorating! Making simple paper citrus fruit slices and hanging them as a garland is a great way to include them. They can also be used as name tags, or drink tags for guests.

Paper citrus fruit slices
Source: deliacreates.com

Sliced dried citrus also makes a beautiful garland and it’s simple to make. Slice fruits, place on a parchment paper-lined tray, and bake at 325 degrees until dried.

Citrus fruit garlands
Source: cavinelizabeth.com

III. “It’s a Fiesta!” Party Theme

Finally, our third easy-made summer party theme is “Fiesta.”  There’s nothing simpler than just having fun with bright summer colors.  Any colorful decor will saturate your party space. Infuse ice cream and popsicle decor for that perfect summer feel.

Sponge popsicle sticks
Source: HandmadeCharlotte.com

The kids will enjoy selecting different colored and shaped sponges from your supply store. Simply insert or hot glue popsicle sticks and string them into a garland. They’re also a waterproof decor piece if you’re hosting a pool party. Use them as centerpieces or place them along the table as a runner.

A sponge popsicle garland
Source: HandmadeCharlotte.com

OhHappyDay.com created a similar idea using pool noodles for popsicles. Throw them in the pool as decoration, or string them into a garland.

Pool noodle popsicle stick decorations (Aymee Blanco Contributor Miami Mom Collective)
Source: OhHappyDay.com

Streamers and tissue balls hang beautifully as backdrops via weddingchicks.com and ruffledblog.com‘s featured events. Easy paper and tissue decorations are another fun opportunity to have the kids help.  

Tissue paper streamers
Source: ruffledblog.com
Tissue paper balls and streamers
Source: weddingchicks.com

A. Colorful Summer Party Theme Food Suggestions

If you’re interested in serving colorful food at your “Fiesta” themed summer party, a Mexican Taco Bar fits the bill.  

An cute little taco bar
Source: bai.com

Pizzazzerie.com shows us how to throw a proper Mexican fiesta. She includes the recipe for these adorable signature drinks with colorful garnishes.

Fiesta themed drinks
Source: Pizzazzerie.com

Finally, be sure to add an ice cream bar to the menu. On hot summer days, ice cream and popsicles are a welcome treat for your guests. Kids will especially love adding their own toppings to their ice cream creations. Serve the ice cream on waffle cones, or in mason jars.

An ice cream bar
Source: darcymillerdesigns.com
Ice cream sundae toppings
Source: Popsugar.com

IV. More Easy Summer Party Suggestions

Creating themed buffet-style food stations has been trending lately. I’m sure you’ve seen the gigantic charcuterie boards on social media. These concepts are easy to put together, practical, and your guests will enjoy them. A themed food station saves you the time and energy of creating a mixed menu. Here are some more examples:

Mason Jar Ice Cream Station
Waffle and Pancake Bar
Gourmet Sandwich Bar
S’mores Bar
Salad & Sandwich Bar
Baked Potato Bar
Popcorn Bar
Bagel Bar
Make Your Own Nachos Bar
Pasta Bar
Chili Bar

Also, make sure you have some extra towels, sunscreen, and bug spray on hand for guests. Here are some final inspiration photos to make your summer party easy for you and amazing for them! 

Sunglass party favors
Source: NessysTreasuresShop
Popsicle buckets
Source: ANightOwlBlog.com
A sunscreen and bug spray station
Source: Buzzfeed.com
Squirt gun station
Source: firsthomelovelife.com
A water balloon station
Source: Buzzfeed.com

Hope you enjoyed our summer party themes. As always, creativity and fun are the best ingredients for any amazing party. Whether it be a small or large event, details make it all the more special. Themes also help when planning food and drink ideas, as well as games and activities. Include the kids in easy DIY decor projects to lighten the workload. When guests can serve themselves, it’s easier for you as the host! Be sure to work smarter, not harder, and enjoy this summer! 

Are you planning a summer party? What are some of your favorite tips and tricks?

Updated July 2023

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Aymee Grace Blanco is a native Miamian with a Cuban heritage. She resides in Pinecrest with her husband, Alex Blanco, and their 2, soon to be 3, daughters, Anabelle (6) and Audrey (3). She attended the University of Miami where she received her B.A. degree in sociology and proceeded to attend and graduate from FIU’s College of Law. She has practiced in the areas of family law, real estate law, bankruptcy, and most recently was a state prosecutor for the Department of Children and Families. In her role as a prosecutor and working with struggling families, she learned the importance of social awareness, community involvement, and compassion for others. She carries these values into her current role as a SAHM and blogger now pursuing her other passions in event planning and interior design via www.thewhitepinehome.com which offers event and home styling services. Follow her at @thewhitepinehome

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