Delicious and delightful little touches, like these sweet cupcakes, help to add interest and make your holiday dessert table feel especially seasonal. Top your favorite cupcakes with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with coconut "snow." Adding printable cupcake toppers and mini printable cutout Rudolph toppers onto tall straws makes them look like flying reindeer. Finish the look with a printable buffet card.
"We had been using our garage as a dumping ground for tools, lawn equipment, toys and discarded furniture for years," says designer Suzanne Dingley of Suzanne Dingley Interiors. But when her husband started his own business, the couple realized they had the perfect spot for a home office. They installed new windows, doors, floors, drywall, lights and insulation. "The garage had a peaked ceiling with rafters, which we chose to make a feature to bring some character to an otherwise rectangular box." Replacing the overhead garage door with two sets of French doors brought in light and charm.
Encourage conversation and mingling by setting up an activity for your guests. This New Year's resolution game is inspired by the holiday "white elephant" gift exchange. To set up, create a backdrop using foam or cork boards and pin up instructions. Make note cards using silver cardstock and snowflake cutouts. The striped envelopes are an easy cut-and-fold DIY using leftover holiday wrapping paper.
For Christmas dessert parties, place several mini fondue pots throughout a table rather than one large one to ensure everyone gets served without too much fuss or mess! It also gives you a chance to vary the fondue flavors by serving both white and dark chocolate fondue, or even cold dips like yogurt or peanut-butter. Label each fondue pot with a printable buffet card.
To create this look, search your favorite vintage stores for glassware and dessert plates with pink or gold detailing. Use a basic white dinner plate on the bottom of every place setting. Top it with a geometric napkin (these are made from fabric purchased from Quadrille, Inc.) and the vintage plates. Repurpose the printable invitations as menu cards to top off each place setting.
Construct a mini gingerbread house for each guest, attached to a cardboard base with icing. Make it the centerpiece of each place setting. Then, just add a beverage, a personalized name card and a few decorations. For a simple, disposable place mat, use a 12x12 piece of decorative paper. To continue the theme, you can also add a gingerbread man or woman for each guest to eat or use for decorating.
Not sure what to showcase on shelves? First, consider what you love. Your interests and hobbies should come through in your accessory choices, says Debbie Wiener, an interior designer in Silver Spring, Md., who helps homeowners create spaces reflective of their everyday lives. "Kids' framed artwork, books, decorative plates, baseball cards or boomerang collections. Your home should look like you," Debbie says. Take stock of vacation mementos, crafts and items you're drawn to time and again when assembling accessories for a shelf arrangement. Design by Emily Henderson.
Save your old mailbox, even if it has a bit of rust. Designer Janna Allbritton reused a discarded mailbox and crate to fill out a mantel and to display dried flowers, a Bible and a small succulent in a pot. "Use the unexpected to create levels and keep the eye moving for a great eye-catching vignette. Old books, a chippy step-stool, an antique box, or a child's chair are great items to start with ... this will give you a great framework from which to build," she says.
Create tabletop trees from newspaper and cardboard boxes. To make these, you’ll need discarded cardboard, a utility knife, scissors, hot glue sticks and glue gun. Cut the cardboard boxes down into flat sheets and then roll each sheet into a conical. Next, cut the uneven cardboard along the bottom of the conical and keep both ends of the cardboard fastened together with hot glue. Next, cut newspaper into 4-inch strips and then fray the newspaper with scissors. Wrap each conical with the layers of frayed newspaper and then secure them in place with hot glue.
Once you’ve laid the foundation, create a festive place setting. Jenny’s seven-layer place setting formula works for “any occasion this summer,” she says.
To recreate her seven-layer place setting, start with one or two chargers as anchors. Then layer in a large hobnail plate with a melamine or ceramic plate on top. Then Jenny suggests layering in a seasonal dish towel in place of a napkin. “I consistently use dish towels as napkins…layering [them] in between dishware so it drapes off the center of the setting,” she explains. Finally, add a coordinating salad plate and a small dish, bowl or bread plate and a name card or seasonal accessory.