Picnic and Barbecue Crafts

Summer spells swimming, ice cream, parties and – crafts? Yes, crafts. There are several crafts that will make your summer events, like parties, barbecues and picnics, much better. One craft that’ll be very helpful is a tablecloth craft for umbrella tables.

We’ve all seen the round tables accompanied by four chairs and an umbrella. These are great for outdoor gatherings, but when it comes to changing the tablecloth, what a hassle! You have to remove the umbrella and pole, set it aside or have someone hold it while you replace the old cloth, then try to position the umbrella pole back into the hole. It’s a lot of trouble to say the least.

Instead of putting yourself through all that work, make a zipper tablecloth, which will be so much easier. Use tablecloths you already have, or make your own. Cut a slit from the umbrella pole hole over to the edge of the cloth. Sew in a zipper and you’ve lessened the hassle already. Now when you want to change the table cloth, simply unzip the old one and remove, then zip the new one into place. The tablecloth wraps around the pole then has the zipper that runs from the center hole to the edge. The same thing can be done with a square or rectangular table, too. Use a nylon zipper instead of metal one to prevent rusting.

Don’t you hate it when bees, flies and gnats dive into your drink? Nothing ruins a nice cold drink like a dead bug floating on top. Prevent that by making some quick and easy drink umbrellas. They’re reusable if you make them from plastic pieces. Cut milk jugs or other plastics into circles slightly larger than your drinking glasses. Fold the disks, first one way, then the opposite way, to leave an “x” shape on the plastic. This will make the plastic become more umbrella-shaped. Paint or decorate if desired. Cut a hole in the center and slip in a bendable straw. Fill the glass, put the straw with plastic into the cup, slip the plastic piece into place, and you won’t worry about bugs again.

Speaking of bugs, who wants ’em in the slaw or potato salad? Keep bugs out of any dish by making a netted cover. Purchase two large craft rings to begin. The rings are generally used for making dream catchers and other crafts. Get the large ones to allow plenty of room to cover a tray or plate.

Cut a piece of white netting that’s long enough to be wrapped all the way around one ring, with several inches to spare. Cut the width about 18″. Start by sewing the first ring into place, about six inches below the edge. When you get to the place you started, overlap the excess fabric. Sew the second ring to the very bottom edge of the netting.

You should now have a cannister-type arrangement with both ends open. On the opposite end of the second ring, gather all the fabric together and tie a rubber band tightly around it. This will bring the raw edges close together temporarily. Cut four pieces of stiff crafting wire, or even a coat hanger. The wire should be long enough to reach between the two wire rings, but no longer than that. Use contact cement to attach the wires – one end to each ring – and space evenly apart.

Paint a 3-liter bottle lid and fill it about a third of the way full of glue. Position the lid onto the gathered fabric, at the top. Wipe away any glue that drips and allow the glue lid to sit in place until dry. The lid will serve as a handle for the plate cover. When dry, simply clip the rubber band and use the lid as a handle to lift the cover up and place it over a plate of food.

For rectangular shaped dishes, a similar project can be made from craft wire or even lightweight picture frames. These crafts will make outdoor meals much more pleasant and are items you can use year after year.

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