Monday, June 13

DIY Picnic Supply Kit

My husband and I love to picnic. Around here, our favorite place to picnic is Duke Gardens on the campus of Duke University. But we like to picnic wherever we are. When we travel, we always have at least one meal in the form of a picnic in the park. We simply visit a grocery or gourmet shop, buy some food, and walk to the nearest park.

I especially remember one gorgeous Saturday when we picnicked under some trees in New York's Central Park. We picked up some food at Dean and Deluca and enjoyed a beautiful day. Unbeknownst to me, a tick fell onto my arm. It wasn't much fun back at the hotel to discover that little souvenir. But aside from the natural hazards, picnicking makes for an inexpensive and fun date.

Our anniversary is coming up this month, and I wanted a gift for Jack that wouldn't cost much. I was glad I remembered this cool picnic blanket I'd picked up on clearance at the end of summer last year and stashed away in the gift closet:

Aside from the cool fact that it rolls into this nifty, easy-to-carry little package, I liked it because it's soft and thick and the back of it is waterproof:

So I decided to make a picnic supply kit to go along with the blanket.

Now, when I picnic, there are a few things I really want to have in the basket:
  • good bread
  • good cheese
  • good beverage
If I can nosh on good bread and cheese and wash it all down with something yummy to drink, I'm a happy girl. But more than once Jack and I have arrived at our picnic destination only to say, "Did we remember a knife?" or "This cap doesn't screw off; do we have a bottle opener?" Well, with our new picnic supply kit, that'll never happen again!

First I bought a zippered book case to serve as the holder. You've probably seen these at Bible bookstores:

Here's how it looks inside:

I distinctly remember giving a couple of these to Goodwill a few years ago. Oh, well. This brown one matched my blanket and only cost $10.

Then I gathered some essential supplies:

a small cutting board, a small sharp knife, a bottle opener/corkscrew, and two sets of silverware. Most of these things I had in my kitchen stash already. The brown-handled flatware I bought on super-clearance at a department store. If I hadn't found flatware on sale, I would have picked some up at Goodwill; they always have a large bin of utensils. Or I might have just taken a couple of place settings from my everyday flatware.

The cutting board and bottle opener fit neatly on one side of the Bible case; I simply slid them in. I taped together a cardstock sheath for the knife and slipped it into the pen holder.

On the other side, I laid out my flatware, then simply glued 1/2" elastic snugly around the utensil handles to hold the pieces in place.

Voila! A picnic supply kit, ready and waiting for a pretty day!

I think I'll fold a couple of fabric napkins and tuck them into the kit, too. Then we can just throw our bread and cheese and drinks into a basket or cooler and set off for the park. Who knows? Maybe I'll even tuck the kit into my luggage the next time Jack and I go on a trip.

What's your favorite picnic food? What would go in your picnic essentials kit?


  1. What a clever idea! I never would have thought of this.

  2. Hi there, visiting from Centsational Girl. I love this idea...very unique.

    I also have a redhead little guy and he is such a joy!



  3. What a great idea Richella! :-)

  4. What a super idea!!!! I hope you have a wonderful anniversary picnic!

    We used to picnic all the time at the Botanical Gardens at Clemson when we lived there.

  5. That is so cute and a great DIY project. We were given a picnic back pack years ago as a gift that has a
    Title cheese board and knife in it plus plastic wine glasses, even a bottle carrier for the wine that attaches to the side of the bag. I love it, we've only used it a few times though, it's way too hot here now, so I'd have to thi k about a Fall picnic when the days get cooler.

  6. That is such a cute idea, Richella!! I love bread and cheese. Way to be creative. :)

  7. What a really, really great idea! Never would have thought of that. Too cute and too clever! Wish I could take lessons in person. :) Perfect timing for us too. Our 17th anniversary is on Saturday so I'd best be coming up with an idea or two myself. So thankful that the Lord has blessed Jack with good health these days...and the rest of you also. Happy Anniversary!!

    Blessings ~

  8. I love the idea of a picnic kit! Using the bible case to hold your essentials is such a good idea. Hope you have many fun times using the new one you created.

    We picnic on the boat often in the summer. A kit like yours would be handy to keep on the boat.

  9. That's a great idea! Very clever. I think that would even make a great wedding gift! I got a picnic basket filled with goodies at my wedding and it was one of my favorite gifts!


  10. Wow, that's a really creative idea! I can't wait to hear what your hubby thinks of such an awesome anniversary gift - thanks for sharing this. I found you over at Amanda's Blogging Tips and from the sound of your comment, I came to visit. Honestly. So I guess that proves that comments are Really Big Items, right :) Oh and while here, I "followed" your blog.

  11. Brilliant! I wish we picnicked more. I was given a cool picnic basket with a blanket (not waterproof, though), plastic plates, and plastic flatware. We never used it! The blanket became a dog blanket, and the plastic stuff disappeared into the depths of the pantry, never to be seen again. : ) But the dual-lidded basket is sitting in my dining room filled with pine cones. It was too cool to get rid of!

  12. Brilliant!!! I love this idea. As usual, I am amazed by your creativity.

  13. Friend, you are so savvy. I bet you were a swell girl scout. : ) This post gives me a sudden craving for bread, cheese and wine.

    Bon Appetit!

  14. Richella, that is BRILLIANT! What a fabulous idea and how romantic that y'all picnic. I don't think we've ever had a picnic. Sad.

    I'm sure Jack will love it!!!

  15. This is a super clever idea! Hope you don't mind, but I am going to borrow this for my hubby's Father's Day gift.

    Enjoy your picnic! :)

  16. What kind of glue did you use? Think I'll try that for MY anniversary too!! Hopefully we will get to pic-nic as couples someday.

  17. OK that is clever. And I can so relate with giving something away then deciding on a new use for it so you go buy another one. My husband squirms every time I do that. Lisa~


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