WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson
Happy Australia Day everyone! To get into the spirit of the day and to celebrate who we are, where we've all come from and where we're all going, I have created my own outdoor Aussie setting.
I am a proud Aussie, but another reason Australia Day it is very special to me is that it’s Chyka.com’s second birthday! I am so excited that from what started as a way to share my love for all things home, food and the outdoors has transformed into this fabulous site full of all you lovely readers. It makes perfect sense that our birthday falls on Australia Day as I feel that my site has a definite Australian feel; be it in the recipes I share, or the table settings and the crafts that I create. So let’s start off year three of Chyka.com with a fun Australia Day table setting - perfect for an outdoor get together to celebrate this wonderful country of ours.
Creating an Australia Day table like this is so easy. Keep it simple by using the colours of red, white, and blue to reflect the Australian flag as your colour theme. If there is one store that I love, it’s a bargain shop! These stores are a goldmine when it comes dressing up a table, especially for themed events like this.
A navy tablecloth is perfect as the blank canvas for a layered themed table setting. Mine is simply a couple of metres of fabric from Spotlight - if you don't want to use a flat colour then there are so many printed options to choose from in their fabric selection. A white-corded placement, with a vibrant red plate sitting atop, creates a pedestal to place an iconic Aussie item – and what’s more Aussie than a thong! Having a bright thong (Aussie slang for ‘flip flop’) on the table creates a fun talking point, and you could even take it one step further and guess your guest's feet size so they can take a pair home as a gift. The thong can also be used as a place card or for the menu of the day. The thongs are the feature of the table, so I kept the glasses simple and added a little fun with the flowers and tins. Everyday tins covered in an Australian flag sticker hold bright red leafy geraniums. Plants or flowers always brighten up a table, and these colours just pop against the navy cloth.
Don’t leave the fun just for the table; decorate the garden with strings of flags for a fun backdrop. Filling a small side table with a collection of silly props also makes for some fun photo moments on this special day. I found my props of classic Australian items via Pinterest and printed out my favourites - a simple thing to do to make your day a little more fun. And best of all, free! So start decorating, it’s time to celebrate!
Navy fabric tablecloth from Spotlight, plates from Pottery Barn, and you can find various Australian decorative items and props at local bargain stores.