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S知ore Fun

Put together an easy evening get-together that serves up camaraderie and conversation along with a gooey summer staple -- s知ores. Here are some inexpensive and easy decor ideas that set a festive scene and make you look like a party planner extraordinaire:

1. Piney Perch
Put tree stumps to good use as small seats or side tables. Choose stumps that are about 12 to 14 inches in diameter and trim the top and bottom of each so that they sit evenly on the ground. For a clean surface on which to sit or place dishes, drape a bandanna over the top of each stump. Hold the bandanna in place with a length of jute rope wrapped around the stump several inches down from the top, securing the rope with an overhand knot.

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2. Home Slice
Welcome and direct guests with chalkboard tabletop signs made from wood slices purchased at a crafts store. Using a circular or oval template or stencil to suit your slice, paint the center of each slice with chalkboard paint. Leave a few inches of space around the painted area to serve as a frame. For a no-paint alternative, cut a shape from black scrapbook paper and adhere it to the wood slice with double-sided tape. Write your message on the paint or paper with white or colored chalk.

Tip: Paint bottle caps and add initial stickers to the front and magnets to the back to allow guests to temporarily personalize metal mugs. Select stickers or a permanent marker to decorate disposable drinkware.
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3. Twinkling Tins
Dress up strands of plain outdoor lights with painted pie tin 都hades that amplify the glow and introduce more color into the area around your campfire. You will need a mini pie tin for each light on your strand. Spray the outside of each pan with one color of paint, planning the colors to alternate along the light strand. When the paint is dry, use pointed craft snips to clip a star-shaped hole at the center of each tin. Fold the points to the inside of the tin. Remove the first bulb on your strand, and slide the socket through the hole in the pan from the outside. Crimp the metal points around the top of the plastic barrel of the socket. Wrap a small strip of electrical tape around the points to safely secure. Replace the bulb and repeat the process to add a painted tin to each bulb on your strand.
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4. Bucket Brigade
To corral pointy marshmallow forks, provide a bold container that can hold them after you are done toasting for the day. Paint a metal bucket red and embellish it with painted or vinyl lettering to resemble an old fire bucket. Fill the bucket with enough sand that the forks stand up securely. Purchase forks with colorful wood handles or spray paint the plain handles to match your party palette.
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These projects originally appeared in the 2016 edition of Country Sampler痴 Autumn Decorating. Back issues are still available.

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