‘Indigo Island’ Summer Party – A boho-chic beach vibe for cocktails & apps!

‘Indigo Island’ summer cocktail party is more of a vibe than a theme which is all that’s really needed to set a casual tone for your guests. A summery-feeling invitation preps guests for a relaxed evening of cocktails and apps (ask your guests to bring an appetizer to share) and lets them know dress is ‘outdoor casual’.

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As you can see, this party’s decor focuses on a relaxed boho-beachy feel, highlighted indigo-Shibori dyed linens and mainly works with shades of blue and white. Miss Party is all about blue and white this year and couldn’t get enough of that combination. A few months before the party date, Miss Party prepped the indigo-dyed Shibori table linens you see throughout the party pics. It was a fun DIY project (see DIY post) that was well worth the time and effort as the linens have been used multiple times after the party.

Gather shells of all sizes from your own personal collection or buy bags of shells in home good stores. Shells, obviously are needed in a fair quantity to suggest the beachy feel of this theme. Also look for oversized resin shells to get the look of real ‘trophy’ shells for less. Sandblasted glass candleholders and votives in soft blues and greens suggest a beautiful beach glass look which adds to your party theme’s decor but also double for mood-setting ambient light. Don’t forget to collect lots of pretty pillar candles for outdoor lanterns and citronella candles, too. Cafe lights strung over the patio space is a real bang for your buck that you can enjoy all season. Can’t have too much ambient light sources for an outdoor evening party.

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Miss Party really wanted to emphasize the summery blue and white color scheme with a few shots of green here and there so she pulled out blue and white china, cut blue hydrangeas for vases, used hand-dyed blue and white linens (see DIY posts on dying Shibori-style linens), used handmade denim flowers (see DIY posts) and lots of accent pillows on outdoor furniture.

DIY Indigo Shibori Table Linens – Modern to boho-chic summertime!

Miss Party is in indigo heaven and mesmerized by shibori fabrics! The ancient Japanese method of making indigo-dyed prints that are perfectly imperfect called “shibori”, has made a renewed round on the runway and interior design world. Summertime, is the perfect time to jump on board and try this fun DIY trend yourself.

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So what does “shibori” mean? It’s a traditional Japanese fabric handling method of folding and binding. The fabric is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching or twisting the cloth. The fabric is secured in a number of ways, such as binding and knotting and then dyed in an indigo-dye bath. It yields beautiful results even for a first-timer. The indigo color and patterns feel fresh and beautiful for summer whether you lean towards modern or boho decor –or if you’re just crazy about the blue and white home decor trends!

You’ll need:
-white 100% cotton fabric, tablecloths, table runner, napkins, tablecloths, sheets or white clothing to dye (look through old white linens, too, to give them a new life!)
-Indigo Dye Kit (Miss Party purchased a kit from Jacquard Products)

Additional items needed that are not in your kit:
-(2) 5 gal buckets one with lid (easy to find at a hardware store)
-paint stir sticks or dowels
-small plastic container that can be disposed of after using
-extra pair of plastic gloves for a helper (recommend getting Playtex gloves that cover the forearm further than what comes in the kit)
-apron (also wear old clothes)
-tarp or drop cloth
-scissors
-bag of rubber bands in various sizes
-additional wood squares (kit only comes with 2)

This post is not a step-by-step DIY (because the kit’s directions will do a great job) but more of a behind-the-scenes view of the general process and how the linens turned out. Miss Party recommends you carve out an afternoon to go through the various steps of dyeing your fabric, ending with a quick machine wash and dry.

1) First, you’ll follow your kit’s directions for getting the dye bath ready. Allow the WARM WATER dye bath to sit for 1/2 hour before dyeing your fabrics. Work outdoors, over a tarp or drop cloth.

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2) Next, you’ll fold and bind your fabric pieces with rubber bands and wood squares. Try a variety of folding methods for which you’ll find directions in your Indigo Dye Kit. You really can’t do it ‘wrong’, nothing we tried came out badly. Miss Party wanted her large tablecloths and runner in the classic geometric pattern made using a traditional accordion-fold, bound and sandwiched between wood squares. She also wanted each napkin in a set of four to have a different pattern.

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3) From here on, you should closely follow the Indigo Dye Kit’s directions for dyeing the fabric and rinsing the pieces in cold water in your second bucket. Rinse each fabric piece until the water is relatively clear, it will take 2-3 buckets of water for a large tablecloth. Remember the indigo color will be considerably lighter when it is dry. Leave the fabric to hang dry, laid out on your drop cloth or even just on the grass.

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Don’t worry when you take your fabric bundles out of the dye bath and they are bright green instead of blue, the green areas will oxidize in the air and turn blue in a few minutes. Turn the pieces periodically to let air get to all sides. The same thing will occur later when you remove the rubber bands. Enjoy the moment of how pretty the two colors look together, the moment is fleeting and will soon all be blue.

Depending on how light or dark a shade of indigo you are going for, you might want to let the fabric oxidize in the air for 20 minutes and repeat the dyeing process once more. The linens in all of these pictures were dyed twice for about 5 minutes each time. As you can see the shade is significantly darker when the fabric is wet. Below you can see the final indigo shade once the fabrics were washed and dried.

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4) Miss Party suggests one final step. Throw everything in together for a quick wash and dry to set your dyes. Your linens may additionally need pressing.

Enjoy all the indigo loveliness for years to come!

Original Mojito (By the glass or for a crowd) – Delightfully refreshing!

Las Casitas, Puerto Rico - Mojitos

The Mojito has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and Miss Party acquired quite an affection for that mouthwatering sweet and sour flavor on a trip to Puerto Rico. She even came home and planted mint in the herb garden just to be able to make a pitcher of Mojitos over the summer at a moment’s […]

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5 Secrets to Planning the BEST EVER High School Graduation Party!

Grad Party Set Up

This is one of those milestone parties that is planned with excitement and anticipation, but also anxiety and exhaustion from everything else swirling around senior activities. No matter what everyone’s individual drama is, Miss Party encourages you to mark this happy occasion with a celebratory party. So, just how does one plan the ‘Best Ever’ […]

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‘MAD MEN’-inspired 60s Theme Party – The final season to indulge!

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If you’re a ‘MAD MEN’ devotee and have secretly wanted to throw a 60s themed party (not of the hippee variety) but never got around to it all these years the show has been rocking it –now is the perfect time to do it! It’s the final season of ‘MAD MEN’ and there’s no time […]

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Canadian Clubhouse Punch – Fruity and delicious!

Don Draper would have appreciated this delicious whiskey-based punch recipe taken from a 1961 advertisement for Canadian Clubhouse Whisky. Your guests certainly will! Yield: About 2 quarts (which is approximately 12 punch glass-sized servings). The vintage atomic-shaped punch bowl pictured holds 4 quarts of liquid, so Miss Party doubled the recipe to have 1 quart […]

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3 outstanding reasons to throw a BIG pre-summer party this year!

Summer Party

1. “…I like large parties. Large parties are so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” —The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Miss Party loves this quote. The first time she read it, it took a few moments to realize the truth hiding amongst the paradoxical words. Miss Party, herself, has always preferred […]

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DIY Guest of Honor Memory Board – A quick and easy way to display pictures!

Bright and beautiful graduation party

Lots of parties honor a particular guest –grad parties, birthday parties, engagement and baby showers or retirement parties. A ‘through-the-years’ homage to the guest of honor is always a nice and thoughtful touch. If you have access to lots of good pictures showcasing the guest of honor, make a low-tech, montage memory board and/or table […]

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DIY to Living a Beautiful Life – Could it really be that simple?

Cafe in Paris

A DIY to living a beautiful life? Sounds cute, but can there really be something as simple as a DIY tutorial to teach someone how to live a beautiful life? Well, in a nutshell, that’s pretty much what I’m proposing. Years and years ago, I made it a priority to live a beautiful life in […]

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Miss Party’s misadventures in entertaining overnight guests – Part 5, Decorating

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Thought those of you who’ve followed this thread of posts on updating Miss Party’s guest room, might like a peek into the room to see how it’s starting to shape up. Miss Party’s younger daughter is home from college for spring break week so this corner is about the only spot in the room fit […]

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