Outdoor Living

Contributor post by Catherine from DesignsbyCnC

With spring finally starting to arrive, we are beginning our preparations for the warm summer days ahead.  For my family this means cleaning the patio and getting the barbecue grill, smoker and patio furniture set up.  During the summer we cook and eat most of our meals outdoors on the patio.  I particularly enjoy breakfast cooked on the grill and sipping my morning coffee while watching the sunrise.

A few years ago, a quiet revolution started in the backyard. Homeowners discovered that they could transform their outdoor spaces into something more than an afterthought by simply bringing the same types of amenities they enjoyed inside the home to the outside.

An outdoor room can be anything that you imagine from a simple chair placed in a secluded spot in your back yard to an elaborate outdoor kitchen and patio installed by a professional landscaping company.  Whether attached to the house or freestanding, sheltered or open to the elements, these rooms are extensions of a homeowner’s personality and style.  Our outdoor living spaces are quickly becoming the place where family and friends prefer to gather for conversation and good times.

The members of the Etsy Christmas In July team share their ideas for outdoor living along with items from their shops that will enhance your outdoor space.


Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns shared this idea:

For me outdoor living is about BBQs and picnics with family and friends – but I am not into throwaway plates and cutlery and cups. I like to bring the inside outside for these events and have nice plates, salad bowls, mugs and knifes and forks and, of course, also include the gorgeous handmade picnic blanket!

Dark Blue Ceramic Oval Bowl


Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique had this reply:

I find outdoor living peaceful and about bringing nature into the home. I love nothing better than to sit in the warm breeze while I work on my crafts and new items for my shop. One of my favorite new items that I love to create while sitting on my porch is my yarn wrapped wreaths with handmade felt flowers.

Felt Flower Wreath


Evelyn and Lucy from artsyEVE responded:

One of my favorite things to do is to spread a big quilt out on the lawn in the backyard and have a picnic! A basket filled with sandwiches, fruit and bottled juice or water makes for a great summertime picnic!

Tumbling Blocks Patchwork Quilt


Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop answered:

What you need is a big squishy cushion for your favourite garden chair.

Pink Shetland Chunky Cushion



Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls shared:

Everyone loves to entertain in the Summer – BBQ’s, Picnics, Outdoor Cookoffs! So, clear off the picnic table and set it with a fun and cheerful tablecloth that’s sure to get the party going!

Vintage BBQ Theme Tablecloth



Fun In The Sun From Team CIJ

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Summer is fast approaching.  Kids will be home from school with extra time on their hands.  Why not take some tips from the Christmas in July tips for picnicking and family fun!  This post is full of great ideas for outdoor eating and for entertaining the kiddos this summer.

1) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios

Well, we’re heading into Autumn here, but the thing I found most fun with my daughter over Spring and Summer was baking! At Christmas we make cookies, and I plan on doing it again for Easter to take to our family get together!

Here’s the recipe:

185g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups plain flour (the cake/biscuit/pastry version if you have that available)

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan-forced. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.
3. Add egg. Beat until combined.
4. Sift flour over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine.
5. Cut cookies.
6. Place cookies 4cm apart on prepared trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden.

I then let her loose with a couple of different coloured icings, and some icing gel pens to decorate with. I think she enjoys that part the best!

2) Becky from LollysCubbyHole says

The calendar says it is SPRING, and I certainly could feel the change; however for the last few days, we have been in the low 40’s here in N. Florida, making for some very chilly nights.

Since you might be peeling potatoes anyway, here is a way to keep little hands busy and out of the way while you cook. I would put a big plastic table cloth down , loads of scrap paper destined for the shredder and some potatoes with paint! Have fun making stamps!  We use them for Easter Eggs, but they are great any time of year!

3) Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

A great way to keep the boys active is to get them involved with the Boy Scouts! Kids learn many ways to survive in the wilderness and they learn about the Native American Indians and their skills. This book is all about the different tribes, with amazing pictures of how to do things such as build a tepee, tie knots and build a fire!

4) Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says

 How about for the girls (and boys can do this to… just use a PJ pant pattern for the boys) to learn to sew! A great little PJ set pattern for kids!
5) currynpepper from CurrynPepper says
A fun activity with kids – make a doggie treat with your kids for happy kids and happy paws!



3-4 pieces Curry n Pepper Veggie Paw-paddum (any flavor)
2-3 tsp canned organic black/red kidney beans (no salt added)
1-2 organic curly kale leaves finely chopped and lightly steamed
2 tsp organic diced carrots
1-2 pieces organic finely chopped strawberries
1 tsp organic, non fat plain yogurt or cottage cheese
1 tsp Curry n Pepper immunity boosting oil (optional)


1. Lay 4-5 pieces of paw-paddums flat on a plate
2. In a bowl mix rinsed beans and immunity boosting oil well
3. Top each paw-paddum with beans
4. Garnish with steamed kale, diced carrots, strawberries and a tiny dollop of yogurt/cheese

Serve and watch your pooch gobble it up!

(Tip: Substitute beans with any meat.)

Remember always serve with a bowl of fresh water.

6) Carolyn Eady from SproutsPressDesigns says

What about Journal Adventure Kits?! As a kid I was always making little books and filling them with my ‘adventures’ over summer break! Great for summer camp, vacations, road trips and time spent at the cottage!

7) Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations says

Well, I’m not quite sure if anyone would actually purchase a new quilt to lay down for a picnic lunch, but this one has a nice dark colored back that would help hide the dirt and would fit nicely in the car.

Picnics almost seem like they have gone by the wayside these days with everyone’s busy schedules and fast food at every corner. Actually taking time to pack up some lunch and go to a park is good for the soul and a great chance to take a break and unwind.

My family used to carry a blanket in the car at all times just in case we made it to the park. This could become a new tradition with your family too.

8) Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio

Keep cutlery protected from your heavy containers and food items with these washable pouches. Great for holding small jars of condiments or even first aid supplies.

Also great for holding a deck of cards and pencil and paper for playing games while you watch the birds.

9) Sally Manke from SallyManke says

 My picnic tip is to be as green as you possibly can. Pick up all your trash and put reusable packaging to use. These sandwich bags can be used over and over without contributing to the landfill!

10) Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls

Your outdoor picnic or sea side clam bake is sure to be a hit with a brightly colored vinyl tablecloth which features a convenient zipper and a round hole in the middle for a round patio table and umbrella!

11) Becky from LollysCubbyHole says

With Independence Day just around the corner, I think my patriotic candles might look good on that picnic table!
Just click on the pic to be taken to this lovely collection shared by CIJ members.

Just click on the pic to be taken to this lovely collection shared by CIJ members.