12 Ideas for the Prettiest Picnic Ever

Adriana Velez | Jul 30, 2014 Food & Party
12 Ideas for the Prettiest Picnic Ever

picnicEvery once in a while, you may want to go beyond your ordinary picnic. You want to pack a gorgeous picnic -- the kind you see in magazine spreads. A picnic so ingenious and pretty, total strangers will pin photos of it to Pinterest. (Because you Instagrammed it, shamelessly.) Not that that's the main purpose for this meal! Of course you're doing it for your own enjoyment and the pleasure of your picnic companions. But you know what I mean. You open that basket and everyone gasps: Ooh! Ahh!

Here are 12 ideas for a beautiful, Pinterest-worthy picnic. They're not all the most practical tips -- that's not what this is about. For once, we're putting form just a wee bit ahead of function. But at least these are do-able ideas.

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More from The Stir: 10 Picnic Hacks That Make Eating Outside Super Easy

What's a picnic idea you've always wanted to try out?


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  • Wicker Picnic Basket



    A real wicker picnic basket isn't a must-have, but they do look beautiful. Some come lined with holders for your cutlery (notice it's real cutlery and not plastic -- pin-worthy!). But you can find older, less fancy baskets at tag sales. For that matter, try packing in any large basket: Line with your picnic blanket, fill with your lunch, and then cover with the rest of your blanket. Can I point out one more thing? Juice in glass bottles with stoppers looks lovely.

  • Cardboard Takeout Boxes



    You can find these cardboard takeout boxes in craft stores and baking supply shops. Line with some colorful tissue paper that matches your tablecloth and then pack food inside. You'll have to be careful to pack these upright and away from anything cold and/or wet. But they look great, and you can write on them in white colored pencil.

  • Chocolate-Filled Strawberries



    Instead of messy, melting chocolate-covered strawberries, try chocolate-filled strawberries. Simply remove the tops, scoop out the insides, fill with melted chocolate, and pack inside an empty egg carton.

  • Clam Shell Plates



    I'm not saying you should pack brass tiffin and your largest silver platter (the hell?!?), but check out those little plates made of clam or oyster shells. Love that!

  • Pack in Tiffin



    Maybe brass tiffins are a little too luxurious for most of us. But regular tiffins are still a great idea for salads, and they're easy to stack as well.

  • Everything in Mason Jars



    There's a reason why packing picnic food in mason jars has become such a cliche -- it's because it's a brilliant idea. Not only do the jars make excellent containers for salads, desserts, dips, and anything else, practically, they also make your meal look beautiful, especially if you can layer your ingredients just so.

  • Wooden Boards



    True, they're a pain to lug around. But a wooden cheese board looks great and is a convenient way to set out your food. Especially if your picnic is just cheese, salami, baguette, and fruit, that board (over a colorful tablecloth) will give you a surface for slicing everything and will tie the whole look together well.

  • Sandwiches in Paper



    I love how this looks -- sandwiches wrapped in paper, whether it's butcher's, deli, craft, or even newspaper. Here's a tutorial on how to wrap a sandwich. Once you do that, you can slide that sandwich crosswise, and ooh la la, so pretty! Or, if you're packing baguette-bread sandwiches, all you have to do is wrap partially with a strip of craft paper and tie with twine. I love this look so much, it's embarrassing.

  • No Plastic



    It's a supreme pain, I know. But a picnic with ceramic plates, glass goblets, and real cutlery just looks a million times more sophisticated than plastic. And obviously a bottle of wine makes the picture and the picnic-goers happier.

  • Watermelon on a Stick



    Now they're popsicles! What really makes this photo pop is the blue plate underneath. Think about color when you pack your plates -- white, solids, or stripes.

  • Chalkboard Signs



    Do you really need a chalkboard sign telling you what everything is? Do you really need those mini-chalkboard labels on everything? For that matter, do you need old-fashioned striped paper straws that contrast with your sandwich wrappers? The answer is yes, of course you do. Off you go to the craft store.

  • American Flag Fruit



    Oh say can you see this clever way to pack fruit? You'll have to squirt some lemon juice over those banana slices.

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