The idea of throwing a blanket down over bright green grass and opening a cute picnic basket full of nosh is pretty dreamy. But take it from us: If you’re ill-prepared, a picnic is *no* walk in the park. Between spilled drinks, busted sandwiches, and crushed cookies, you’ll likely be tempted to throw your hat in and order parkside delivery (that’s a thing, right?). Luckily, the chaos is easy to prevent. By making note of these 14 tips and tricks, you’ll be dubbed the picnic maven in your social circle.

1. Summertime Sun Tea: Lugging a heavy pitcher of iced tea or flavored water around sounds like a pain in the butt, amirite? Instead, fill glass jars with your fave fruits, your cooling beverage of choice, and handy lids to avoid spills. (via Thirsty for Tea)

2. Tied Sandwiches: Nobody wants their sandwiches toppling over and falling apart en route. Keep them in mint condition by wrapping them with deli paper and tying them with string. (via Host the Toast)

3. Egg Carton Mini Cupcakes: Transporting frilly cupcakes to a picnic always sounds great in theory, but in practice it can often lead to a forehead-slapping mess. Luckily, egg cartons create a safe and secure space for such an occasion, so bake away. (via Baked by Rachel)

4. Drinking Glass Speakers: A sunny afternoon in the park begs for a good soundtrack. If you can sneak an extra drinking glass into your picnic basket, you’re set. The concave shape of the glass amplifies the tunes so you can jam out and enjoy. (via Seventh House on the Left)

5. A Makeshift Basket: No fancy basket, no problem. You don’t need a pricey box with umpteen compartments to successfully transport your goodies. Anything with a sturdy handle that’s easy to carry will work: think wired basket or a canvas tote. (via Minted)

6. BBQ Condiments: If you’re firing up the grill at your picnic in the park, you can set out your condiments in an easy-to-grab fashion by using a muffin tin. Genius. (via Yesterday on Tuesday)

7. Antipasto Skewers: Everyone *loves* a charcuterie and cheese spread, but hauling a bunch of jars and meats around is a whole lot of NOPE. You can, however, turn this romantic idea into a manageable one by making antipasto skewers. (via Honey and Birch)

8. Individual Seven-Layer Dips: Let’s be real: Diving into a seven-layer taco dip is one of the highlights of a cookout. With small plastic cups, you can create handy little individual portions to tag along to your modest park lunch. (via The Girl Who Ate Everything)

9. Perler Bead Cup Covers: If you need a use for that bag of leftover perler beads sitting in your craft closet, here you go. Not only are they super cute, but they’ll keep bugs and debris out of your drinks. (via Makezine)

10. No-Bake Mason Jar Cheesecakes: Cheesecake for dessert is always a hit, and these individual no-bake servings are picnic perfection. (via Brit + Co)

11. Grill Food in Foil Packets: If you want to maximize on grilling space and minimize clean-up, foil packets are the way to go. Easy and tasty, this recipe brings chicken and veggies together for a satisfying al fresco meal. (via Diethood)

12. Muffin Tin Drink Holder: Sitting or laying on a blanket with beverages is just asking for a spill. Don’t get your blanket wet; muffin tins work amazingly as drink holders and will keep your beverages secure. (via Forkful)

13. Avoid Discolored Apples With Rubber Bands: Preppin’ in advance? If you’re pre-slicing fruit, keep your apple slices together with rubber bands to prevent them from browning and drying out. (via Seventeen)

14. The Condiment Caddy: This smart and crafty idea is LIFE. All you need is a six-pack case, oil cloth, craft glue, and rope to create these charming little condiment caddies. (via Clinton Kelly)

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