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Smarter Home: How Do You Keep Things From Blowing Away?

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Did anyone have a BBQ or outdoor gathering this past weekend? Are you planning one in the weeks ahead, since the weather is gorgeous and Mr. Sun stays out longer? Well, today's Ask Heather question is a must-read for anyone doing some outdoor entertaining!

Mapsipee909 asks: "We love to throw parties in the backyard, everything from BBQs to sit-down dinners, but where we live, it is kind of windy. Do you have any cool ideas to keep thing from blowing away?"

Dining al fresco! Is there nothing better than sipping some vino and sitting outside with loved ones? Well if George Clooney was there, yes, perfection...but that can all go kaput faster than you can say garden gnome (and I can say that pretty fast) if the elements start affecting your ability to munch on those hot dogs. A storm can literally rain on your picnic parade, but you don't want to have everyone head inside just if it's a little breezy.

How to keep napkins, plates and the like from blowing about during your star-lit soiree? Sure, you can just plonk the tub of ketchup onto the pile of napkins, but there are some super-cute alternatives.

-- Rock garden. Get your kids into the mix and have them paint and decorate some hefty rocks (wash them first). Place them in the center, and folks can grab them as needed to keep tablecloth corners at bay.

-- If you have a lovely tablecloth you use, grab that sewing kit and attach some little weights at each end. Easy and rather hidden, no one will know they are even there. If you do want some pizzazz, weight the corners with little bells - your own built-in wind chime.

-- Gather up empty wine bottles and wash them, remove the labels and fill with sand. Line them along the table as a perfect weigh to keep things grounded. Very chic, very cool. You can use large temple bells or even old coffee canisters for a vintage look.

-- Make your own felt weights. This is such a cool craft idea, and there are plenty of patterns out there. You just need felt, weights or sand in a pouch, stuffing and some basic sewing skills - check out the turtle, the whale and the owl. I know, amazing, right? You can even make these as gifts for teachers or friends who you know entertain outside.

Do you have BBQs or outdoor parties? How do you stop stuff from blowing off of the tables? What is your best hint for outdoor entertaining?

 © rjmiz

by on Jul. 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-29):
by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM
I love the wine bottle idea! I think I will do some for MIL! She will love it!! We've usually just put ketchup bottles, etc on the napkins too. I cant wait to try this idea!
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by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM

 We do this too.

Quoting charlene_kyle:

 We usually just sit our drinks on napkins and plates.


by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 5:39 PM
We only have a small deck :(. (small as in room for a small grill & a bench, that's about it)

So we don't have outdoor parties :(
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by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I would love the old temple bells. It might be enough to make me eat outside.

by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 9:48 PM

 I don't have this problem, but using weights sounds good.

by on Jul. 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM
great tips
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by Silver Member on Jul. 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I always have a fresh trash container handy so it's just use and dispose' Then I have a 6ft. fence that catches any strays. lol

by Ruby Member on Jul. 18, 2012 at 9:49 AM

We don't have many out door bbqs but those are great ideas

by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 9:52 AM
Lol the wind can be so bad here I'm worried about my house blowing away not my napkin :)
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