We get some glorious Summer days here in Melbourne, where it’s not too hot and not too cold and it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside for a picnic. Today I wanted to share with you an affordable way that you can create your own picnic set that is more kid friendly and wouldn’t be a tragedy if a piece or two accidentally got left behind. Those fine china ones look lovely, but I’d be too scared that I’d break something or would feel terrible if it got lost.
What you’ll need:
- An Esky/Cooler/Chilly Bin (or whatever name you have for it) This was my Mum’s from the 80s. The colours are finally coming back in! They are sold in Supermarkets and places like Target and Big W or outdoors/adventure stores.
- A Carry Bag (for your Picnic Crockery and Cutlery) This tote was a gift with purchase from Dymocks. I like it because it has a flat base and it doesn’t feel that heavy even when full. You might have something similar lying around at home, or look for a comfortable bag that will keep the weight even. Old Hamper baskets can work well too!
- Colourful Plastic Cutlery and Crockery These are from Ikea. Cups: $1.99/6pack, Bowls: $1.99/6pack, Plates: $1.99/6pack, Cutlery: $1.99/6pack (I got all of this for $8 so it doesn’t worry me if some of it goes missing and the plastic is quite thick and sturdy). I’ve seen similar in places like K-Mart if you’re not an ikea shopper.
- Picnic Blanket This was a hand-me-down from a friend of my Grandmother’s. Check out the op-shops/thrift stores if you don’t have one at home, before looking for a new one.
Picnics can be as basic or as fancy as you’d like them to be. That’s what I love about them! You can grab some bags of potato chips and a soft drink of your choice, pick up some pizza (or make your own), or some fish & chips and head to the park or foreshore and enjoy some time sitting on the picnic blanket and having some fun food and some quality time.
I couldn’t find a Picnic set that really met what I was looking for. Porcelain plates and champagne flutes with gingham are just not who I am or how I like to spend my time, so I wanted something that was much more me! The beauty of those ikea sets is that they are replaceable and are easy to mark the bottoms with your name should they go astray. They would also work well for school camps, and all those times you have to send a plate that you’re not sure will ever return. To me, they feel stress free. The colours make them fun too! Each person could have their own colour to look after, or you can mix and match like I did here. They’re dishwasher safe too (if I remember correctly).
Not everything has to be new either. Quite a bit of my kit is from hand-me-downs and I love that it’s getting a second life. I think they give you the chance to relax a bit more than new sometimes allows. It doesn’t matter if something gets spilled on the blanket because it didn’t cost a small fortune and it wasn’t purchased to be picture perfect. It would be great to use to rug up at a moonlight cinema or at a summer fireworks display too. We keep ours in the car because you never know when you might need to sit on the grass for a while or need to rug up if you get caught in a sudden downpour.
Picnics are a great way for making some fun memories and they’re worth bringing the camera along too. Even if they’re low key time with friends and family, sometimes they are the best for capturing the moments that matter and the memories that can last a lifetime. Even if you make one in your back yard and have your dinner al fresco and just enjoy something a little bit different. Sometimes I need to remind myself not to get caught in the picture of the perfect picnic in my head, and just remember to enjoy the happy moments that I’m making space for. This is one way I can do that.
The most important thing is that it’s fun. If you’re not feeling it, then that’s okay. Maybe it’s goes on your list for another day. Learning not to force the happy moments (that rarely turn out to be that happy at all) is something that I’m working on. I try to remember that contentment comes when we just enjoy a good moment rather than stage-manage the outcome. I feel like having something that’s low maintenance, simple and cheerful like this kit is a good reminder when we’re setting up the picnic that those are the three outcomes that we might just get: low maintenance, simple and cheerful. I can’t promise that anyone under 5 might not derail these outcomes, but maybe they will surprise us all and make for a glorious outing. ;)
Do you have a picnic set? Is it something you’d like to do more of, like me? Come tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear!