How To Host An Easy Backyard Summer Picnic

This months dinner club tablescape was so fun to create! Every month 4 other blogger friends and I host a virtual dinner party. This month we decided on a picnic theme, and I can’t wait to share with you how to host an easy backyard summer picnic.

If you are joining me from Simply 2 Moms, welcome! I am so glad you are here!

If you have missed our previous tablescapes you can see a few of them by clicking on the links below.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

My inspiration for the backyard summer picnic came from some cute lemon print dishtowels I found a few months ago. Then I stumbled across some lemon wedge paper napkins and decided my theme would be a citrus inspired picnic.

my inspiration

Don’t you just love how bright and fresh lemons and the color yellow are??

Me too!! So, I was so excited to create this backyard summer picnic using lemons.

I wanted to keep my picnic simple and casual. So, instead of setting the table with place settings, I decided to use a smaller table and gather everything we would need for our picnic.

This way, everyone can grab a small plate, bamboo utensils and a drink.

And gathering chairs around in the backyard or sitting on a blanket would feel more like a traditional picnic.

outdoor string lights hung in front of a beautiful trumpet vine

I also wanted some lighting over my table to add a bit of ambiance in the evening hours, so I was thrilled to partner with AQ Lighting and hang some beautiful string lights over my table.

outdoor summer picnic set up, with sting light overhead and a white adirondack chair beside table.  A vintage picnic baskets sits on the table along with white plates, white flowers in a white vintage flower vase, 4 bottles of Topo Chico and bamboo utensils and lemon print napkins

I just love how the lights look over my outdoor picnic table! It added such a magical feel to the space.

outdoor picnic tablescape in front of a wall of trumpet vine.  white picnic table has white plates, lemon print napkins, white flowers in a white vintage vase, a vintage picnic basket and bamboo utensils and 4 bottles of Topo Chico

lemon inspired picnic table

I started with a small white vintage table that I recently did a makeover on. It was just the right size for my picnic essentials.

Since the picnic is in my backyard, I can set the food table up on my patio, which is nearby.

I purchased two of the lemon print dishcloths that were my inspiration pieces. I laid one of the towels across the top of the table on the diagonal, in place of a tablecloth or runner. Since my table is small, one cloth was plenty.

The other dishcloth is used to help carry out my theme, and draped over my vintage picnic basket. A dear friend recently gave me the picnic basket for my birthday. It was perfect timing for my backyard picnic!

aerial view of a summer picnic tablescape.  A white table with white plates, white flowers in a vintage white vase, bamboo utensils, lemon print napkins, and 4 bottles of Topo Chico

In addition to the dish towels, I used whole lemons and a few daisies in a bowl and some pieces of greenery from my hydrangea bush for decoration.

The finishing touch was a bundle of grocery store daisies in a white vintage flower vase. I added a few Queen Anne’s Lace flowers and Limelight Hydrangeas from my garden, as well. The white flowers blend nicely with my table decor, and the yellow centers are a nice pop of color to go along with my theme.

a cute DIY citrus inspired table runner

If you are a DIY’er, check out my friend Rachel’s citrus print table runner. It is super cute and would be perfect for a summer tablescape.

plates, napkins and utensils for the picnic

white plates standing in a vintage hay fork

I used a vintage hay fork to hold a few plates on the table, and the extra white plates are stacked on top of the picnic basket.

bamboo utensils served inside brown sandwich bags and tied with a ribbon

I ordered bamboo utensils which helps with clean up and also adds a nice touch of a natural element to my picnic table. The utensils are placed inside a brown paper sandwich bag, then I folded it in half and tied with a cute ribbon.

lemon print dishtowel, lemon wedge paper napkins and a bowl full of lemons

These super cute lemon wedge napkins were a dollar store find! I haven’t been able to find them recently, but I have linked similar ones at the bottom of the post.

vintage picnic basket, with a stack of white plates on top and 4 bottles of Topo Chico.  A lemon print dishtowel is draped over the picnic basket

And I love Topo Chico and thought the colors of the bottle worked nicely with my theme. I will also be serving a Citrus Rosemary cocktail that I will be sharing with you on Saturday. In addition to our tablescapes, our dinner club shares the entire menu for our themed parties every month.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how to host an easy backyard summer picnic and I would love to hear if you have plans for a summer picnic.

a tip for hosting a picnic or barbeque

If you host an outdoor picnic or barbeque, you might like to add these lemon finger towels. They smell divine and are great for a messy barbeque or crab boil dinner. And they are so refreshing in the heat of the summer.

Be sure and pop over to Stacy at Bricks N Blooms next, and see her amazing picnic ideas. Then follow along with the links to the other ladies for lots more inspiration!

blessings and happy picnicing,

If you like this post, be sure and Pin It to remember it…..

Pinterest Pin for A Citrus Inspired Outdoor Summer Picnic

shop the post

Be sure and subscribe to the blog, so you don’t miss a thing! You can also follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.


  1. Michele this is so pretty! I love the citrus inspired picnic date idea! xo

    1. Thanks so much Stacy! I loved this theme!

  2. Michele,
    I love your creativity and the lights look great. Your table is just like one I’ve had for years. Even the before looks the same. I painted mine white a few years ago. I’d love to see them side by side.

    1. Oh, thats funny! Mine has been sitting in our garage for years!

      1. This is the best! I really loved your lemon ginger towels. We serve crab a lot in the summer so this was such a great idea. Beautiful!

        1. Oh, good! So glad you enjoyed it Kim!

  3. Love your little white table. Great transformation and the lemon theme is so bright and cheerful.

    1. Thank you! We have had that table forever. It has lived in the garage under lots of junk, so I decided to pull it out and give it a facelift.

  4. A vintage hay fork and lemon finger towels?! OH MY GOLLY I LOVE THAT! And you made even brown lunch sacks look adorable. Wish I could spend a day with you just to pick your brain for creativity! Loved it all and I know it smelled so good out there. On my way to find a vintage hay fork now!

    1. Oh, thanks so much Cindy! I would love for us to get together and spend the day sometime!!

  5. Such a darling tablescape! It’s so happy. I love that you used a hay fork for the plates. Adorable!

    1. Thanks so much Renae! This was a fun theme to do.

  6. I love all of the lemons and citrus theme you used for your picnic, Michele. It’s giving me all of the summertime vibes!

    1. Thanks Jen! It was a fun table to set up!

  7. Michele,
    I love this picnic post. The lemon theme is adorable. My favorite part is how you used the hay fork for the plates. Brilliant! Have a great week.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you found some inspiration here, and I really appreciate the kind words! Have a wonderful weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *