Traffic updates: Rush Hour in St. Louis

Martha Stewart editor, crafter talks backyard bbq parties

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. _Do-it-yourself diva Martha Stewart is known for her skills when it comes to cooking, crafting, gardening and more. She has a lot of help behind the scenes to make everything look perfect. One of those people is her editor-at-large, Darcy Miller.

She joined us live from New York with more!

It`s the best time of year for outdoor entertaining, the kids are still out of school, summer is in full swing and you want to create some backyard memories! As a Martha Stewart editor, crafter and all around 'party person,' this is right up my alley and i`d love to show you how to throw together a memorable bbq in a snap!

The best elements of a backyard barbecue are friends and family, good food, refreshing drinks and maybe a couple of fun crafts for the kids and games that everyone can enjoy.

First - make your food and drinks Instagram worthy! Not that anyone will be taking photos, but you want it to look great and taste even better:

• Everyone loves a good burger - whether it is beef or a veggie burger - you can put out a 'burger bar' with assorted toppings like different cheeses, condiments, onion, tomato, lettuce, and whatever else you love on a burger.
• And on a hot summer day, a refreshing drink is always in order! I`ve been partnering with izze fusions and they`ve got some flavorful sparkling beverages in strawberry melon, lemon lime and orange mango. If you`d like to spruce things up for an occasion, we`ve got fun mix-ins like fresh fruit, herbs and even colorful custom straws with clip art that guests will love!
• Add some colorful ice pops and a fresh fruit platter - and your guests will be happy.
Next - if kids are joining, it`s always nice to have a few activities to keep them entertained. Here are some fun ones to consider:
• DIY mosquito repellent bracelets. So simple to make! Keep your friends close—and mosquitos far—with these bracelets that are infused with insect-repelling citronella essential oil.

What you`ll need:
Suede cords
Citronella essential oil
Beads (optional)

How to:
1. Cut cords so that they wrap around your friends` wrists with enough left over to knot at the end. You can also wrap around a few times for a more layered look.
2. Place the cords out (ideally on scrap paper, a picnic table or other outdoor surface so that the scent doesn`t linger inside). Drip 6 to 10 drops of citronella oil along each cord. Let dry for 15 minutes.
3. Once the cords are dry, start making your bracelets! String a bead onto a single cord, wrap it around the wrist and tie with a double knot. Or, knot three strands together (leaving 2 inches above the knot) and braid them.

Note: for extra protection from ankle-biting mosquitos, make the cords longer to wear as an anklet.
• Who doesn`t love throwing around the flying disc? Throw your disc around for a loop. A little paint turns the toy into a slice of your favorite summer treat. You can make them the day before the bash so there`s plenty of time to let the paint dry. And if you personalize them with guests` names, they make fresh favors, too. You can paint to any theme—decorate with patterns, personalize with names, etc.

What you`ll need:
● blank, colored discs (choose pink for watermelons, green for limes, yellow for lemons, orange for tangerines.)
● multi-surface acrylic paint
● paintbrushes of different sizes
● gel medium (optional)

How to:
1. To make a watermelon, start with a pink disc.
2. Paint a green rind all around the outer rim, then use a smaller brush to dot the inner circle with black, teardrop-shaped 'seeds.'
3. Set aside to dry, according to paint directions.
4. Once paint is dry, you can brush over entire surface with gel medium to protect your pattern
Note: the gel medium should protect your design from normal wear-and-tear—you can even go ahead and reinforce with two coats for extra protection!
• toy hoops are another fun one. Toy hoop contests and obstacle courses are even more exciting when your hoop is dressed to thrill. Let kids customize theirs and take them home when the party`s over, or decorate a bunch pre-party and hang them from trees as décor.

What you`ll need:
● solid toy hoops
● colorful tape (washi tape, grip tape, artist`s tape)

How to:
1. Start wrapping tape around the hoop on the diagonal, leaving space in between for a striped effect. Wrap slowly to avoid rippling the tape.
2. Continue wrapping until hoop is done.
3. Overlap the tail end of the tape onto the starting point to complete the design, and let the games begin!
• and finally, once everyone has eaten and the kids have completed some crafts, everyone can join in a game of flamingo ring toss! I`ve taken these lawn ornaments and turned them into a simple game a flock of kitschy pink flamingos, which might already be in your backyard, turns the go-to lawn game up a notch, taking it from fun to fabulous.

What you`ll need:
● plastic rings
● flamingo lawn ornaments (one for every player)

How to:
1. Put the flamingos on their sticks and stake them into the ground, at least a few feet apart from each other.
2. Play on! Each player has their own flamingo and tosses the rings, trying to loop them around their bird`s neck. The person whose flamingo ends up wearing the most necklaces wins.
Bonus: you can even toss rings around a garden gnome or any other statues that lives in your yard, keeping count to see who hits the mark most often—you can even personalize each player`s rings with leftover tape from your toy hoops!