Backyard Gone Glam #1: outdoor party decoration ideas

Welcome to the first post in our backyard gone glam series! This is part 1 of a week-long series on how to dress up your outdoor party, and today we’re talking about party decoration ideas.

For years, I’ve obsessed over photos of outdoor parties and weddings, and how people seem to completely transform their outdoor spaces. Well, I’m finally getting the chance to try my hand at transforming my own space for my 30th birthday party, and what a difference a few things can make!

I had thought it would be pretty difficult to make a big impact, but I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past few months, and it turns out that there are some fairly simple things that can really do the trick!

Even though I’m taking cues from weddings, engagement parties, and other big events, I found these things can be easily adapted to smaller and more intimate parties (without having to spend a fortune).

This week I’ll be sharing some of the best ways to dress up your space for your next outdoor party or get-together.

Let’s get started!


Add outdoor lighting

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

clockwise from top left: Bright fringe lights via Domestic Fashionista | Paper bag party lights via Martha Stewart
Fairy lights via A Darling Affair/Steven Michael Photography
Colorful hanging paper lanterns via Wedding Chicks | Mason jar lights via Bourbon & Boots

Lights set a theme, tone, and mood—and there are so many options! Candles, tiki torches, market lights, paper lanterns, twinkle lights… I could go on and on.

Get creative with color to create a playful daytime space that transforms into something magical once the sun goes down.


Choose a theme

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

Lemonade party via Holly Viles Design | Beer tasting party via Mochatini | Burger party via Cardstore Blog

Giving your party a theme—and infusing it into the decorations and menu—is a great way to make planning easier and to create a cohesive look.

Even a theme as basic as a color palette or a staple food item will help you narrow down your decorations and food.


Hang banners, garland or streamers

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

DIY bunting via Mint Loves Social |Streamer canopy via Hostess with the Mostess
DIY tassel garland via Cardstore Blog | Tissue pom poms via Paper White Designs

Garland, banners, streamers and ribbon add so much festivity! They have endless color options, so it’s so easy to coordinate them with just about anything. You can hang them from trees, fences, or balconies.

The best part? All of these materials are pretty easy on the bank :)


Decorate with flowers and plants

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

DIY painted clay pot with succulents via Best Friends for Frosting
Hanging mason jar flower vases via Wedding Chicks | Easy DIY flower pot centerpieces via Noble Pig

Flowers and plants are a great way to dress up a space, and they add an instant splash of color that will last longer than your party.

If you’re feeling especially creative, you could even decorate your pots!


Don’t miss out on other ways to glam up your backyard – check back tomorrow for the next part of my outdoor party series!


Find the rest of the series here: part 2, part 3, part 4.

About Gwen Bucknell

3 Responses to “Backyard Gone Glam #1: outdoor party decoration ideas”

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  1. A nice collection of lanterns hung directly over this outdoor dining area look beautiful. Love the ideas for party.

  2. McCall Hazelton says:

    I really like the idea of hanging lanterns from trees. I’ve tried mason jars and everything, but haven’t had a ton of success with it. I was looking on to get some ideas on how I could best light the area and found some really cool lanterns and ideas. I think getting a candle lantern will look the best, and be something I can use around the house after the event.

    • Gwen Bucknell says:

      Great idea! In my mind it would look magical in the evening to have those lanterns softly lit by candles :)

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