Ideas on how to decorate your patio can come from many unexpected places: flea markets, antique shops, garden centres and hardware stores.

A sophisticated party on the front porch calls for a lot of ornaments. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot however, because you can pick up paper lanterns that come really cheap, and put them up in your patio, amongst a lot of greens you have farmed yourself in your garden. Fresh flowers (also from your very own garden) can be placed atop the table – for a spring theme, choose pink, red, orange and yellow zinnias, inside ceramic pitchers, and separate ones for the dinner plate dressing up. 

A colonial style front party in your home would include numerous birdcages picked up perhaps from flea markets, with candles inside the cages, burning like bright corals. If you would much rather have a party that looked like it belonged in some European folklore tale, then work on designing a wheelbarrow first: get shelving planks from your hardware store, place them on a plastic wheelbarrow and make it look like a moveable sideboard, useful for storing plates and cutlery. 

The food containers must be authentic and thus manufactured of galvanized metal and chicken wire – the aim here is to look like you have miraculously befriend the witch of Hansel and Gretel, even though you are not supposed to because the witch eats children. The table should look like it has a story, like all of these table settings, even if it is something ordinary and whimsical. To dress the wheelbarrow service table, add potted plants, such as potato vine and numerous clanking bells. 

If you like to have napkins on your tables, during dinning, instead of fancy paper tissues, then get some pretty ones and adorn them with butterfly napkin rings, manufactured from crafts-store critters and hot glue. 

If you would much rather have a romantic arrangement then Susan and zinnia flower heads can be used as floating candles on a birdbath, filled with water to recreate an atmosphere that makes you want to think out loud about John Keats.  

A farmer’s rake can be decorated to make your patio look like it’s from the country: fill a mason jar with snapdragons and a few zinnias and hang the arrangement from the rake with the help of an aluminium wire handle that is ½ inch further from the top of the jar, a metal hose clam also tightened at the top of the jar and over the ends – fold up the ends of the hanging arrangement to wrap up the decoration. 

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