A Summer Table + Outdoor Ideas Party!

By Kate Riley May 19, 2011

Greetings everyone, welcome to the link par-tay celebrating the great outdoors!

cg kates summer table

May means the kids will soon be out of school and the days are getting longer.  The sun sets later, the weather is warmer, and that means we will be dining outdoors most evenings, so why not spruce up our mini outdoor dining space?  Yes indeedy, that’s what I did!

Just last week I popped into Anthropologie in NYC and spied the Tahitian Vine tablecloth with a fabulous ruffle detail, but it was $98 dollars, ouchy.  I was so inspired I decided I neeeeeeeded to create my own version of a bold and bright floral tablecloth with ruffled trim, but with an outdoor fabric that would resist fading.  I picked this vibrant pattern in a playful floral, than I stitched up a quick tablecloth, and added a flirty striped pleat along the bottom.


cg anthropologie inspired tablecloth


The floral is an outdoor fabric called ‘Richloom Wizard’ found at Joanns, and the stripe is an outdoor fabric by Dwell Studio.  If you want to add a fun pleated trim to any of your tablecloths, indoors or out, here are the simple steps:

1) Cut strips of fabric 2 ½ times the total height you desire, flip the fabric inside out and hem it closed.  2) Attach a large safety pin to one edge then insert it into the ‘tube’ you’ve created with the strips of fabric inside out.  3) Work the safety pin through to the other side.  4) Pull through to reveal fabric, pattern side out.  5) Press strip with iron for flat edge hiding seam along the back.  5) Attach to tablecloth with sewing machine, pinching pleat every inch or so.

making pleat steps

A flirty pleated trim is a thing of joy . . .

pleat along bottom


I also bought some inexpensive terra cotta pots with plans to paint them ~ those Moroccan style citronella candleholders I found on sale at Kmart.   Bronze is just fine, but I wanted them to be bright colors, so they were all given a coat of spray paint in either RustOleum’s ‘Green Apple’ or ‘Night Tide’ (not the ‘Deep Blue’ shown, I changed my mind cause I’m fickle like that).

terra cotta planters


I love bright colored ceramic pots but they are pricier than terra cotta, so I simply added a dose of spray paint in two colors to the inexpensive terra cotta for personality.  You’ll also spy that little cement planter I made a long time ago . . .

cg painted planters


I’m so loving the citronella candle holder in deep glossy blue!  The cobalt goblets I’ve had for-evah, they were a wedding present.  These melamine plates are from Tar-jay, aren’t they fantastic?  How cool is that geometric pattern especially in the several shades of blue?  And they were $2 ½ buckaroos each, score I say.  You can’t find them online anymore, so if you love them too, hunt them down at your local store!

cg place setting


With the DIY tablecloth and melamine plates, we’re all set for summer nights spent lingering outside . . .

cg outdoor dining table


cg kates summer table

How about you?

Have you planted anything new?  Completed any outdoor improvements?  Got plans for a new garden, potting bench, path or pergola? 

Anything goes, as long as it’s related to outdoor sprucing, so link up a post on your latest outdoor project, or an oldie from the past, I can’t wait to be inspired!

Here’s a handy button if you want to add it to your post!

Home Mayd Kate




  1. Hi Kate –

    Your bright and cheery outdoor table is making me wish I lived out in sunny California. It has been damp and rainy here all week and I have not been able to do anything outdoors. I will link up something I did last summer. I think the sun may come out on Saturday. Love the little ruffle on the cloth.

    My best- Diane

  2. Kate, I love your new tablecloth and what a gorgeous fabric you chose! Your table setting is so beautiful! I love those lanterns and that awesome centerpiece! The flower pots came out so cute…love blue and green together! Happy Outdoor Ideas…looking forward to seeing what everyone’s linked up today.

  3. Love what you’ve done here. The colors are fun and fresh. I especially love the bold tablecloth with the flirty little trim job! Thanks for hosting!

  4. Looks great!! I just purchased that same fabric in red… can’t think of the name, but I purchased it from JoAnn’s and later saw it at Hobby Lobby. Perfect print for summer…

  5. Your outdoor space is just beautiful!! Love all of the colors!! Gorgeous!! Thanks for hosting!

  6. Kate….enough already…I can’t take it anymore. Just come live with me and revamp my entire house. Fabulousness! :)

  7. This is perfect timing! I am planning an outdoor anniversary party and was wondering about adding a ruffle to my tablecloth. Perfection! Thanks, Lisa~

  8. Oh my goodness…your table cloth is so cute!!! I really want to try and make one for our patio. The whole table looks fun & cheerful.

  9. It’s been raining so much here lately–the idea of warm sunny days outside seems so remote now! But I know they’ll come eventually. (Right?)

    We rarely use our backyard & I want to change that this year. I am in love with all that you did, but in particular I would like to steal your idea for spray painting the terra cotta pots. As in, “copy exactly.” Would you mind telling me the precise paint shades you used? I tried to tell from the picture but couldn’t make out all the information. Thanks!

  10. Yikes! I just asked for the paint colors but I see you posted them already. (Of course–you always do). Sorry, I had inadvertently skipped that paragraph. Thanks for the inspiration AND information.

  11. Love the colors that you used! We have SO much yard work to work on; but it keeps raining and raining here, we can’t even mow the lawn, it’s a soggy mess! So if it ever stops raining, we have plenty to do.

    Thanks for hosting this party.

  12. What a lovely and inviting place! I love all the bright colors and all the different designs and materials. I am sure that will be the most lived in space in your home soon.

    Thank you for the party!

  13. I LOVE IT! It’s so bright, the colors just sing to me! Wish I could put such beautiful stuff on my porch, the wind would blow it away! :-)

  14. Love your tablecloth! Thanks for sharing how to add a ruffle! How did you measure and cut the fabric for your round tablecloth? I’m at a loss. Thanks, Michelle

  15. OH!!! I love this! I love the table, your painted pots, the painted candle holder, the plates, the napkin rings, the ruffle you added. It’s all just GORGEOUS!!! You seriously NEVER CEASE to WOW me!!! You are such an inspiration!!

    Thanks for hosting this party!! I only have a small patio off of our apartment and I need some great ideas to make it look better! Who says an little upstairs apt patio can’t be TRES CHIC!! lol

    Ami with AliLilly

  16. Hi Michelle, forgot to mention that! I used 3 1/2 yards, cut in half at 1 3/4 yards, then I hemmed them together. I layed the stitched pieces centered on the table, cut it around the sides where it fell (approx 14″ drop) then hemmed it all around. :)

  17. I had to share my pillow covers that I made for the front porch. I used the exact same fabric. I love that outdoor table covering with the striped ruffle. Just beautiful!

  18. Thank you for hosting our links, Kate. I love the flair you added to your table cloth…everything looks like you’re ready for some stylish al fresco dining. :)

  19. I love this! You’ve inspired me to do this on a table (once I find one cheap enough) on our screen porch.

  20. The fabric is called “Richloom Wizzard”… its found in several different colors… love it!

  21. Its been too cold and rainy here to do any spray painting or planting. Boo! :( All these links are great for getting ideas to put into action when the weather finally does cooperate!

  22. i think i looked at almost every link-i love this stuff, and i seriously need outdoor inspiration and ideas, so this was perfect. love the two toned paint job on the terra cotta, definitely a great idea. thanks for hosting this!

  23. Amazing tablecloth with perfect plates and accessories! You never cease to amaze me.

    I do have a question for you, though… Would you recommend a camera, since your photos are great. Loved seeing the pictures of New York and all of your projects. My old point and shoot just isn’t cutting it anymore, however, I’m not a photo junky. I’d love to get a digital SLR, but am at a loss as to what to get, without spending too much. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for inspiring in so many ways!

  24. Love the tablecloth. I think it would be a great idea to sew some kind of weights into the ruffle/pleat at intervals so that it wouldn’t blow around.

  25. Ahh!! I LOVE it! So fun and inviting… seriously looks straight out of a magazine. I’ll come over and bring mimosas!

  26. Your table looks straight out of a magazine! So pretty, I just love it. We are starting on our backyard this weekend. It’s just dirt right now. It’s been super overwhelming for me…mostly because of the cost though. I cannot wait to get to the eating off a pretty table stage!

  27. Kate, I actually like your table cloth better then the Anthropologie one. LOVE IT!!!! What a gorgeous outdoor space you have. I have to get my butt outside and do something special with my outdoor space. You have inspired me. Hopefully the weekend will be rain free so I can get out there and clean things up. This rain in NY is driving me crazy already. ;-)

  28. Oh my…GORGEOUS!!!

    I like yours better than the Anthro one Kate.

    You have a fireplace on your patio? NICE!

  29. This is just a lovely scene! Those blues and greens are so fresh and I love the cobalt candle holders. I can’t wait to get outside more to eat. Thanks for getting me excited!

    And thanks for hosting this link party! I need some outdoor inspiration.

  30. I love–absolutely love–blue and green, and these photos just have me salivating! You were so clever to make your own tablecloth–the ruffle adds such a fun touch. And I love all the cobalt and green accessories you added. I’d love to come sit at your table and sip a glass of wine made from your grapes.

    Or perhaps you could come here and sit with me on my front porch. I’m still making do with the red-and-gold colors in my porch furniture. . . new cushion covers for my Lane furniture are a little too pricey for me right now. I wrote out a tutorial for how I created a DIY ottoman from an Omaha Steaks cooler. I first made this two years ago, so I can say with great certainty that it’s good and sturdy and perfect for a covered outdoor space! So you could come here and sip a glass of store-bought wine–or iced tea, the house wine of the South! :)

    Thanks for a wonderful party, Kate!

  31. Thanks for hosting a very fun linky party! I am in love with your tablecloth – with pleats, no less! – is a gorgeous color, and your lanterns and flower pots – wow! It looks like a lot of great links which I’m excited to visit – and to leave some comment love!

    Mary @ Redo 101

  32. The fabric is gorgeous and the ruffled edge just makes it that much prettier. I love all your accessories, but especially the spray painted pots and the way you reversed the colours. Thanks for hosting such a fun link party.

  33. Oh my goodness!
    Too much awesomeness!! I don’t even know where to start!
    Thanks so much for the link party and the opportunity to SEE all of these amazing ideas!!!
    I linked up my TURQUOISE raised beds! :)~

  34. Love your tablecloth! And the blue and green together are fantastic – swoon! I’m hoping to start some spraypainting projects soon…

  35. Okay, that tablecloth you made is inspiring! I wish I knew how to sew. I have great ideas, but I have to pay to have them implemented! You have a great eye! Now, here’s to al fresco dining.

  36. Gorgeous fabric! This makes a lovely table for alfresco dining. Fun idea for a party. Thanks for hosting. ~ Sarah

  37. Perfection, Kate! Very, very pretty. I think I’d be dining out there every evening.

  38. FYI just bought some cobalt blue goblets at the 99 cent store for – 99 cents! And, as an added bonus they were made in the good ol’ US of A by Libby.

  39. You’ve inspired me! It has to warm up soon and I want to be ready and have our dining area ready to go. Off to see what I can find.

  40. Simple ideas…love them. I am off to the fabric store for tablecloth materials.

  41. I love the colors you chose. I’m a sucker for anything green and blue. Don’t you love Joann’s outdoor fabric choices!?

  42. what can you tell me about your outdoor fireplace? did you guys do it yourself? hire someone?? we’ve been considering something like that for a while now….

  43. Hi Rachel, we built the outdoor fireplace years ago, but it was completed by a subcontractor. We framed it, inserted the firebox. then covered it with stucco. Such an amazing focal point, and especially nice on crisp cool summer evenings, we get a lot of those in Northern Cali.

  44. OMG I really really can’t wait for summer. I’m excited to go to different beaches, have an outdoor party, and redecorate my house with summer-themed accessories.

    Your bright floral tablecloth is perfect Kate. You’re a great and practical DIY maker.

    I purchased several planters, pots, and garden decors just last week. I’m planning to improve the looks and aesthetics of my front lawn. I hope it will work just in time for summer.

  45. Was the fabric wide enough that you didn’t have to sew two pieces together? or did you do two halves? I haven’t made a big round cloth before but I think I know what to do (pencil and chalk). Your outdoor set is gorgeous!

  46. Oh boy, those pots are wonderful — love the color combo! Your eye for adding charming details is perfect.

  47. Beautiful table scape….love the colors! Thanks for hosting the link party, the traffic coming from your site has been amazing!!

  48. Hey there~ Your table looks so pretty- I love the tablecloth~ such great colors! I am soo late to your party- but joined in! Thanks for hosting! :)

  49. Hi Kate! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous outdoor tablescape. I love all the patterns and how they work together to create something fun and festive, but not too overwhelming. I just put together my first outdoor tablescape (okay, my first tablescape period!) and used your post as a reference. You can check it out here, if you want: http://heartmainehome.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-patio-set-and-memorial-day-bbq.html

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas!

  50. I think I’m gonna try to make an outdoor tablecloth w/trim. You are an inspiration. I love the gorgeous hurricane in the center, also. Very pulled together, as always :)

  51. Hi Kate,
    Thanks for sharing just amazing ideas to organize wonderful party at home with some simple and yet amazing home made ideas. The patterns are just great!!

  52. Love your summer table. Can you tell me where you get your outdoor dining set from? Thanks!! You are amazing!!

    • Hi Frances, we got that years and years ago at a local Orchard Supply sale, and I spray painted it oil rubbed bronze, still looks great!

  53. So many great ideas I find on your site. Now, if I’d only do some of them. The table you show this time is a delight.

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