backyard movie night

Pool Party Movie Night

Epson approached me about creating a party with their PowerLite Home Cinema. My first thought was a party I went to a few summers ago where I went to a movie party in a swimming pool. It was so fun. All you need is a friend with a pool (people with pools tend to make friends easily in the summertime!) and set up a projector. We added a ton of fun floaties and food of course. We also put together a list of the best family movies to watch (download it here!) (PS. Right now, Epson is hosting a giveaway where you could win a projector to host your own movie night this summer! Find out more here.)

How to Host a Pool Party Movie Night | Oh Happy Day! How to Host a Pool Party Movie Night | Oh Happy Day! How to Host a Pool Party Movie Night | Oh Happy Day!

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Summer Inspiration

I know it’s not technically summer yet, but it’s been really warm in San Francisco this week and it’s getting me really excited for a new season! When making my to-do list for the next few months, I’ve felt super inspired by some of our past Oh Happy Day projects. What are you most excited about this summer?

Summer Inspiration | Oh Happy Day!Summer Inspiration | Oh Happy Day!Summer Inspiration | Oh Happy Day!Summer Inspiration | Oh Happy Day!

1. Vintage Marquee DIY | 2. Watermelon Pinata | 3. Surprise Water Balloon Fight | 4. Mini Hot Dogs | 5. Cardboard Lemonade Stand | 6. Mini Kite Cake Toppers | 7. Summer Garden Party | 8. Clip-On Picnic Utensils | 9. Homemade Soda Floats | 10. DIY Drink Umbrellas | 11. Giant Banana Split | 12. DIY S’mores Kit

5 Tips for a Backyard Movie Night

This movie night series is sponsored by Skinny Cow.

This is the last in our summer movie night series. (Here are the other posts: Invitations, Food, and Decor.) Here are 5 tips for planning a movie night.

1. Choosing the Movie. Depending on the crowd, picking a movie can be tricky. In general I try to pick something classic that isn’t too intense. And I consider if kids will be there. Here is a list of movies that might work: Star Wars, Rad, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Indiana Jones, Goonies, Mean Girls, Any Pixar Movie, Real Steel, Nacho Libre, Lord of the Rings, School of Rock, Napoleon Dynamite, Back to the Future, ET.

2. Timing is Everything. Most movies are two hours which if you are socializing before it starts can easily drag into a 3-4 hour event. I start the party 30 minutes before it gets dark to allow for talking and eating. Then I start the movie as soon as it gets dark to get the party going. You have to mindful of the schedule or it can easily tun into a marathon party.

3. Sit on It. In my experience people prefer sitting in chairs. So even if you are doing blankets on a lawn, its nice to have some chairs around.

4. Keep the Food a Coming. It can be awkward to get up during the movie so send someone around with a tray of goodies every so often so they can refill on popcorn!

5. Intermission. I went to a party once where they stopped the movie in the middle and had an intermission so people could talk. If you wanted to go all out it could be funny to do an live intermission show. Have someone play a song or kids perform a dance or something.

Have any of you thrown a movie night party lately? I would love to hear your tips.

I loved this photo from Vogue by Jason Busch that I found on sfgirlbybay.

Vintage Marquee DIY

This series of Movie Night Posts is sponsored by Skinny Cow.

When we were brainstorming ideas for movie night decorations we kept coming back to vintage marquees and movies signs. So we put together this DIY using foam core and poster board. This would be awesome in a driveway or on the front of a house telling people where the movie night is. My friend Brooke told me about these strands of super cheap globe lights from Target, which makes the whole project really affordable. While the materials aren’t too expensive this took us a whole afternoon to make. The most time consuming part is cutting out the letters and then lining them. It took us about 45 minutes per letter. These would also be awesome in a kids room or for any event or party. Find all the instructions and printable template below. ps: See our movie night food ideas right here.

Complete instructions and dowload are after the jump.


Styled Eats: Food for an Outdoor Movie Night

This post is sponsored by Skinny Cow.

It’s summer!! Here is part two of our movie night series. My general philosophy on parties and food presentation is I want it to feel special and fun but not too fussed over. For this post we came up with 3 fresh ways to serve food for an 0utdoor movie night. All of these ideas are very easy but are a fun take on the traditional movie food and will make your guests feel special.

1. Mini Candy Bar. For the candy we set up a snack bar of our favorite mini candy bars. For this we used the Bento rectangular platter from CB2 and laid the candy out all in a row. I tried to let my kids help on this but a large number of the candy bars mysteriously disappeared.

2. Printable Popcorn Bags. To create these popcorn bags all you need is a home printer, this free downloadable popcorn template, and these 5″ x 7.5″ white bags. To print directly on the bags just download the free template here, put the white bags in the paper feed (it depends on your printer but we adjusted our printer setting to “cardstock” to accomodate the thickness of the bag), and then print. We filled the bags with popcorn and then placed them in a few of these modern bowls.

3. Mini Sodas. For the mini sodas we bought these Greenware cups with lids and we filled them with ice and brightly colored sodas. Top them with straws and pass them out right before the movie starts. (This presentation was inspired by my recent trip to Barcelona.)

Concept and Styling by Jordan Ferney + Alexis Birkmeyer. Photography by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day