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Picnic Ideas: Style Tips for a Relaxed Outdoor Meal

Ready to celebrate a great outdoor dining tradition? We’re talking about picnics, folks! In fact, the art of planning and executing a delightful picnic has reached new heights, thanks to the creative work of DIY and design bloggers who have brainstormed a variety of ways to eat in the open air without losing a strong sense of style. Whether you’re planning a quick meal in the park or you’re looking to get a little bit fancy, check out the picnic ideas that follow and let them inspire you…

Picnic Basics with a Twist

Let’s start by setting the stage with an intentional color palette. Picking a picnic palette doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money or over-coordinating. But a lightweight picnic blanket in a color such as blue is perfect for summer. The refreshing picnic below from Style Me Pretty Living (shared by Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha) also includes reusable ice cubes that add color and coolness. And there’s nothing like a stylish tray for serving:

Refreshing picnic palette from Style Me Pretty
Refreshing picnic palette from Style Me Pretty

Don’t hesitate to add a few outdoor pillows to the mix. They can provide an extra dose of comfort, as well as another fun visual element to your dining spot! Below we see a summer picnic from Oh Joy!:

Stylish summer picnic from Oh Joy!
Stylish summer picnic from Oh Joy!

In a picnic planning post titled “12 Secrets for the Perfect Picnic,” Design Mom shares some helpful picnicking tips, such as the usefulness of using a combination of disposable and reusable plates and containers. Lightweight metal or disposable utensils are also picnic-perfect. Don’t forget to let colorful, fresh food items set the tone for a vibrant dining experience!

Colorful and practical picnic ideas from Design Mom
Colorful and practical picnic ideas from Design Mom

If you don’t have a picnic blanket, try making your own! This DIY picnic blanket from Paper & Stitch is crafted from a canvas drop cloth in a geo/circle pattern and created with the help of fabric paint, painter’s tape, a bowl, and a few other basic supplies:

DIY picnic blanket from Paper & Stitch
DIY picnic blanket from Paper & Stitch

If you prefer paper goods but you want to take things up a notch, try making these DIY Summer Snack Trays from Studio DIY. Thanks to printable patterns, they’re easy to pull off, especially if you have a Cricut:

Summer snack trays from Studio DIY
Summer snack trays from Studio DIY

To keep flatware in check, opt for these Clip-on Picnic Utensils from Oh Happy Day. By gluing a small clothespin to a wooden fork, you can then easily clip it to your picnic lunch. And folks, there’s no shame in paper bags, especially when the printable labels are this fabulous:

Stylish picnic packs from Oh Happy Day
Stylish picnic packs from Oh Happy Day

Don’t forget the entertainment! These DIY Cloth Picnic Games from Say Yes are whimsical and fun. Plus, you can use them to enhance the color palette of your picnic. The post’s DIY instructions make it easy for you to create your own tic tac toe and squares games:

Cloth picnic games from Say Yes
Cloth picnic games from Say Yes

Getting Fancy

Let’s end the post by putting a fancy spin on the picnic concept. By setting a stunning low-to-the-ground table outdoors and surrounding it with cushions, you can create a decadent outdoor dining experience. Below we see a Bohemian picnic featured at Camille Styles, which boasts an abundance of flowers in interesting receptacles, as well as overhead string lights:

Bohemian picnic idea
Bohemian picnic idea

If your picnic is in your yard, it never hurts to set up a drink station for guests. Below we see a glass canister of delicious grapefruit punch, accompanied by lime garnishes and wooden bead stirrer sticks. Visit Camille Styles to learn more about the design team behind this fabulous fete.

Grapefruit punch for a Bohemian Picnic
Grapefruit punch for a Bohemian Picnic

Finally, it never hurts to take your picnic to an unexpected, fabulous location. How can you go wrong when you set your picnic in a greenhouse?! This Greenhouse Picnic from Design Love Fest features an abundance of interesting plants, as well as a custom picnic blanket created from an affordable painter’s drop cloth. Styled by Bird Dog Wedding:

Greenhouse picnic from Design Love Fest
Greenhouse picnic from Design Love Fest

Are you ready to grab a blanket, pack a lunch and head outdoors? Happy picnicking!

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