Build-Your-Own Shortcakes + FREE Printables {Backyard BBQ Inspiration Part 2}

build your own shortcakes bar
Are you ready for part 2 of my backyard bbq inspiration shoot?  Don’t miss Part 1 featuring the seated table and food buffet here.  This display would also be a fantastic 4th of July idea as well.
This post includes the dessert table and welcome table – a great beginning and ending to your party!
  • I thought it would be fun to do a build-your-own-shortcake station and include fresh summer berries and those little sponge cakes that make them so easy to put together.  Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are all delicious and your guests can pick whichever they like. 

  • I love finding unique items and re-purposing them for food service.  Just remember to line them with a napkin, parchment paper, or fabric to insure food safety.  This 3-tiered storage container was found at Hobby Lobby and I love that the chalk board labels are built right in. 

  • A can of whipped cream is wrapped in the same paper that I used for the snack cones (below), which also coordinates with the fabric patterns I used.
  • In order to tie in all the different areas, I used the same fabric over and over in different ways: a rag swag used on the buffet table (2-tiered server), napkin pockets on the tabletop, a fabric flower attached to the box on the dessert table, and another rag swag at the welcome table.
  • I bought the retro-style cracker jack boxes from Cracker Barrel!  I knew I wanted to use them but couldn’t find them anywhere!  Luckily I discovered an article by someone (thanks Google) who found them at Cracker Barrel.  Funny thing is they make only a minor appearance here, but I was obsessed with finding them!  They make great takeaway favors for your guests.  I displayed them in an old wooden crate embellished with a DIY fabric flower using the same fabric found in other areas of the party.
  • I believe in having a “welcome” table at a party, especially when you’re outside and have wide open space.  Bring an indoor table outside and set up a sign and snack cones filled with chips.
  • Pre-made cones make it much easy to have a snack and walk around the party freely.  I used an old soda crate to display the cones and tied a mini fabric swag across the front.
backyard cookout welcome table
  • Use some outdoor game paraphernalia as part of the decor.  Here I just placed a couple of crocket balls in a wire basket.
  • Speaking of games, our favorite thing to do is play bocce ball or corn hole.  You don’t need a lot of space for these, nor will you exert yourself too much while playing.

I hope you’ll get some ideas to try at your next bbq, July 4th cookout or any summer entertaining.  See our coordinating seated table and food buffet in part 1, and don’t forget to download your FREE printables herecourtesy of Paper & PigtailsThey will get you started on a stylish bash!


For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Cheers!


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About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and has contributed to, SheKnows, and countless other websites. Most recently she was featured in Celebrate magazine, and her work has been published in Woman's World, Ocala Style, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.


  1. You saved my party!!! Thanks for the free printables!

  2. Jessi B. says:

    So cute! Where did you get the frame for the welcome table sign? Thanks!

    • Thanks Jessi. The frame is actually just a basic wood frame that I hung on a wreath stand. So simple but adds some needed height to the table.

      • Jessi B. says:

        Wow, great idea. Thanks! Also, I really like the printables, what fonts did you use? Lastly, on the BBQ Inspiration Part 1 post, you have a few dark wooden boxes on the tabletop- where did you get those? Thanks for all the great inspiration!

  3. Love Love Love this!!! Such a good idea and i have never seen it done before! I just had to share with my followers too this amazing idea!


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