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 Pin-spired party: Throw a summer soiree everyone will envy

June 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM ET

Video: Lifestyle expert Brit Morin shares her favorite “pinspiration” for summer entertaining this season, from DIY table runners and colorful place settings to summery food and drinks.

Summer party season is upon us, which means lots of entertaining! I had a great time on TODAY this morning showing that you don't have to spend hours upon hours in order to wow guests with your amazing hostess skills. All of the projects shown in today's segment are super easy to create, and were all inspired by Pinterest. That's right - I used Pinterest to plan and create this entire party scene!

Before I settled on a design theme, I hit up Pinterest to start pinning all my favorite ideas for summer parties — my "Pinspiration," if you will!

Once you have a whole bunch of ideas on one board (see my Summer Hostess board), you can start to refine the theme. Our theme is Citrus Summer. Here are 12 DIY ideas for creating your own citrus summer soiree:

Popsicle invitations from designsponge.com via Pinterest
designsponge.com via Pinterest
Popsicle invitations from designsponge.com via Pinterest

1. Popsicle Invitations: Yes, you can send digital invites, but paper invites will ALWAYS score you more points. To stay on theme, we used fruit popsicle invites that were simply printed and cut into a popsicle shape. Then we glued popsicle sticks on the back to make them look real. (via Design*Sponge)

2. Paper Fan Garland: Remember making accordion paper fans back in the day? Turns out a whole bunch of them in lots of different colors actually make a pretty stylin' garland. (via Oh Happy Day)

Chalkboard table setting from http://blog.heylook.fi/
blog.heylook.fi via Pinterest
Chalkboard table setting from http://blog.heylook.fi/

3. Chalkboard Table Runner: Chalkboard paint is a HUGE trend on Pinterest, so of course we had to incorporate it into our party. We simply painted it onto oil cloth, then chalked on some cute phrases and labels all around the table. (via Hey Look)

4. Lemon Pitcher Centerpiece: Now you need a centerpiece. For this one, all you need is a pitcher, vase, flowers, and lemons. Start with a smaller vase inside your pitcher, then just add sliced lemons all the way around to give it a citrus summer appeal. Add your flowers once you’re done. (via B-Movie Star)

5. Wine Glass Votives: For a bit of soft light around your table, try grabbing a few candles and sticking them on top of upside-down wine glasses. You can even add a pretty flower or succulent inside to make it look even sweeter. (via The Little Round Table)

Citrus placecards via porterhousedesigns.com/colorsizzle
porterhousedesigns.com/colorsizz
Citrus placecards via porterhousedesigns.com/colorsizzle

6. Citrus Placecards: When it comes to place settings, you don’t have to get too fancy, but it is nice to have so that every person knows where to sit. If you have some extra citrus, grab a toothpick or a leaf and label their names right on the fruit. (via Color Sizzle)

7. Watermelon Punch: Now I don’t care what you say, there is NO better summer fruit than watermelon. Turns out, watermelons actually make great punch bowls as well. So you can use it as watermelon juice and as a serving dish. (See also: How to Turn a Watermelon into a Punch Dispenser) (via Martha Stewart)

8. Veggies and Dip: For your apps, stick to foods that are simple and portable. Pinner My Baking Addiction came up with a great idea of serving up veggies and dip in individual shot glasses for visual interest as well as grab-and-go portability. (via My Baking Addiction)

TODAY Home Pinterest board.
Carissa Ray / Pinterest
Find lots of great ideas for summer entertaining on our TODAY Home Pinterest board, where Brit Morin will be guest pinning all summer.

9. Watermelon Feta Skewers: If you have extra watermelon from your juice, you can couple it with blocks of feta cheese for a delicious crisp app on a stick. Finish it off with a quick drizzle of balsamic for another great snack for your mingling guests. (via Drizzle and Dip)

10. Salmon in a Bag: This “salmon in a bag” is a signature Pinterest recipe. By blogger The Devil’s Punchbowl, all you have to do is wrap up a piece of salmon with lemon and butter, bake for 25 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a tasty main course! Citrus green beans make for an excellent veggie pairing. (via The Devil's Punchbowl)

11. No-Bake Fondue Station: No dinner party would be complete without some dessert — but you don’t need to spend hours baking it. Instead, create a no-bake fondue station where your guests can help themselves. This idea for the topping station was created by pinner Bakers Royale: Just grab some kraft paper and start labeling your toppings so that guests know where to dip their chocolatey fruit. (via Baker's Royale)

12. Cherry Favors: Finally, every great hostess sends her guests home with a party favor. So in the spirit of easy DIYs and citrus summer, we used brown lunch bags to create mini bags of cherries that guests can take home to enjoy. If you have any spare time, you can even use your home printer to print a cute phrase on them like “Cheers!” (via Martha Stewart)

All in all, Pinterest turned out to be a pretty stellar party planning partner. Check out my boards for more fun, easy pinspiration as well as Today's Home Decor board where I'll be guest pinning all summer long, and you can follow all of TODAY's boards on Pinterest here.

And be sure to check out Brit + Co. for all the latest tutorials and gadgets that make the art of living beautifully even easier!

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