Posts Tagged ‘decoration’

nov16Just last week, the leaves that were golden yellows, vibrant oranges and eye-popping reds. A sprinkling of leaves woud slowly dift to the ground with the slightest breeze. With every step, the leaves would crunch under my shoes. The last of the leaves are holding on with all their strength and soon will be gone. Thanksgiving must be coming. I am beyond excited for the holidays! Feast your eyes on this moodboard that will inspire a DIY budget friendly tablescape.


Dried Goods: In one of my posts, “DIY Projects :: Seasonal Centerpieces“, I featured non-floral centerpieces from Nettleton Hollow. This is a seasonal project that will highlight your Thanksgiving table and help celebrate a bountiful celebration.

In A Nutshell: Faux acorns make an easy and affordable way to dress up your dinner’s surroundings. Fill apothecary jars with seasonal fillers with nuts, cranberries, dried leaves and branches for a striking arrangement. (Pottery Barn; $14)

Perfect Pear: Use seasonal fruit to help guide your guests to their seat. Make sure to wash the pears, in case your guests munch on the place card. 

Spilled Beans: An easy DIY project that will have your guests asking you to share your secret. Incorporate the colors of fall when you pair pumpkins with lentils and other dried beans. Candles will also warm the gathering space, so be sure to keep plenty around.

Glorious Gourds: As farmers markets close up shop, be sure to grab some lovely squashes. Place in a neutral bowl to allow the colors of the bounty to pop. Martha also suggests adding kumquats for a splash of citrus color.


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may22When you think of the word budget, what do you think of? Cheap? Plastic? Generic? For example, when I see carnations, I gag. Well, not really, but I do think of cheap. But there are ways to rework the overused carnations and other elements such as tissue paper and doilies into easy and impressive accents. What do carnations, tissue papers and doilies have in common? They are all cheap, overworked and unappreciated. There are ways to trim the budget by using these overused and stale decoration ideas in a new and chic manner.

Carnation Overkill

Carnations are grown all over the world, including counties such as “The Iraq”, Kenya, India, Turkey and  China. Being available year round and coming in a variety of shades (about 10,000 different varieties) makes this a commonly filler flower in bouquets. If it is kept properly hydrated, it will remain fresh and fragrant for about three weeks. The key to carnations: use in bulk.


Whimsical Centerpieces: Carnations are bunched together in a vase wrapped in aspidistra leaves. Silver wire is tied to give it a modern feel.

Bed of Roses Carnations: Carnations are always better in masses. This is a great way to display your escort cards, a aisle runner or a centerpiece. Floral foam are found in a variety of shapes and sizes. This project can be made weeks in advance, just remember to follow the last step.

  • Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water, and mix with floral food, following label instructions. Submerge the foam water for 1 hour, then place on a tray.
  • Cut flower stems about 1 inch from the head. Starting from the middle of the foam, insert the cut stems into the form, clustering the blooms close together.
  • To use this arrangement as a centerpiece, set it on a tray or plate. Every 4 days, place your arrangement in a sink and water it from above; let it drain. Your arrangement should last for up to 2 weeks in a cool, humid location.

Kiss me Carnation: Pomander or “kissing ball” are an easy way to add elevation and excitement to a table urchase floral foam balls in the size of your choice (available at any floral supply store or online), flowers (sturdy flowers so they don’t get crushed) and wire.

  • To prepare the ball for hanging, wrap wire around the diameter of the ball, then wrap it again but in the opposite direction to divide the ball into quarters. Twist the ends of the wire into a small loop (you’ll slip the ribbon through this loop later to hang the ball).
  • Soak the foam in water.
  • Trim the stems of the flowers at an angle, leaving an inch or so beneath the head. Insert flowers. If the stems of your chosen flowers are strong enough, you can insert them into the ball as is. Insert the flowers in a straight line, creating a ring around the ball. Then cover each half of the ball with flowers, overlapping the petals slightly and making sure to fill in all the gaps.
  • Slip ribbon through the loop you created at the top of the ball.

Tissue Paper Tension

The gift bag stuffed with tissue paper is ever present at every birthday, wedding or any event that has presents. Tissue paper is the go-to when you are in a rush or don’t want to wrap a present. The key to tissue paper: using non-standard colors and creating texture.


Cute as a Button: With a little creativity, wrapping up favors can look cute and fresh. Pair tissue paper with parchment paper and tie ribbon. This person used personalized buttons to top each gift, a gift within a gift. Cute! Tissue paper comes in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. Find one that fits your budget and needs. Don’t forget to price compare! (Indigo Bunting)

Ring around the Paper: Similar to the bed of carnations or kissing ball, tightly packing tissue paper creates a huge impact when bunched in masses. Elizabeth’s simple directions will show you the steps in creating this gorgeous wreath you can use year round. (Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Gorgeous Garland: Need something to drape down the aisle or hang from the trees? Try this simple project that is easy to create but has a huge wow factor without being pretentious. Who would have thought they are made out of coffee filters and tissue paper. Both items are recyclable and are whisper thin, allowing light trickle through. Perfect for an outdoor garden party or indoor shower. (Pam Garrison)

  • Gather tissue paper, coffee filters, fabric and other paper materials and cut into similar sizes.
  • Tie a knot about 6 inches from the one end of the string.
  • Punch a hole in the middle of the circles or use a needle to feed the string through the whole. For each section, be sure to tie off with a knot so the paper packets are held in the same area.
  • Repeat

Dated Doilies

Doilies are reminiscent of a age gone by. Dust would collect as they were used to protect the furniture. If you reuse your grandmother’s doilies for these projects, she might get offended. The key to doilies: using them in alternative methods will break the stuffy/dusty doily stereotype.


High Flyin’ Flags: To incorporate a non-grandmaesque doily decoration, just colored doilies to create a stringed garland. This project is super easy and will bring you back to your drink in no time. Fold doilies of various sizes and colors in half. Use twine, ribbon or string and glue the doilies. Hang and drink. (Martha Stewart)

Illuminate Me: Using luminaries automatically adds romance and creates an intimate space. The candlelight really adds depth to the party. Follow these simple instructions to add doilies to the paper lanterns to create a display worth gushing about. (Martha Stewart)

Paper Runner: This project calls for cloth doilies, but paper doilies are fine as well. The openwork and spaces of the doilies allow the table cloth underneath to shine through. Adding different textures (unlike the picture) will help mix it up. Use metal chargers or burlap runners to help contrast with the traditionally feminine doilies. (Martha Stewart).

What do you think? Do you still hate carnations? Or will you give them a chance?

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apr14For large parties, an organized way to notify your guests the location of their seat by having name cards. There are two types of name cards. Decide which one fits your party best: 1) Escort cards: cards organized in alphabetical order in one spot and the guest grabs his/her card and move to the designated table or 2) Place cards: already placed at your guest’s seat. Here are some fresh ideas on unique name cards that won’t eat your budget.


1) Let it Rock: Smooth river rocks placed in a galvanized tub layered with wheat grass, moss or sod, can create a summery and eco-friendly feel to any setting. This is perfect for an outdoor summer party. Recruit friends and family with nice handwriting and use a metallic permanent marker. Sharpie has several color options that won’t smear. (Project Wedding)

2) Au Natural: Using dried mini wreaths will help tie in the season for a fall or winter event. If you are having an event near the holidays, using mini ornaments is also another way to incorporate the season. Be sure to stalk all the stores after the holidays/start of a new season to score seasonal items for 75% off or more. (Faye and Greer)

3) Spin me Right Round: This is an easy DIY project and anyone can do it. The pinwheel name cards are prefect for the young at heart. If you use double sided design scrapbook paper, you will have a much better result, as the paper is folded and you see both designs. (Faye and Greer)

4) Star Bright: Using a cookie cutter, cardboard star stencil or die-cuts, you can make sure all your stars look the same. Punch a hole at the top and add some ribbon for easy hanging. Use small leafy trees for displaying your cards. Once the vent is over, plant the trees in your yard for a year round reminder of the day. (Laura Hooper Calligraphy)

5) Under my Umbrella: No longer just used for tropical drinks, this little umbrellas will bring the tropics to you. Buy a box of paper drink umbrellas from Ebay, Oriental Trading Co etc or make you own. Use a flag to write the guest’s name and fold over a bit of the edge to glue.

6) Tree Hugger: By using what is available at your venue, you can save money by not buying more decor to display your cards. In addition, by incorporating the landscape you are not introducing contrasting decor items that may not fit with the natural surrounding (ie fake plastic trees in a lush outdoor forest location). (Project Wedding)

7) Sweet Treat: Ferrero Rocher is a roasted hazelnut enrobed in a creamy chocolate filling, then a crispy wafer and milk chocolate and hazelnut pieces cover the decadent morsel. Each is individually wrapped in gold foil and paper cup, so it will reduce the risk of bacteria adhering to the chocolate when you assemble and transport to the reception site. Print customized flags or cupcake picks and use toothpicks for your guests’ names. It will also add as a favor. Yum! (Teness Herman)

8) O Tannenbaum: Using dried branches placed in a coordinating pot with color coordinated ribbon is a great way to create dimension and height to a room. Hang your name cards on a piece of thin ribbon to finish the look. To keep the branch from falling, use sand or rocks for weight at the bottom of the pot, then use a block of florist foam or pour concrete to anchor the branch. Cover the foam with reindeer moss or wheat grass to finish the look. (Anne K posted in Project Wedding)

9) Apple of My Eye: The bright green Granny Smith apples with a paper leaf are a snappy way to use fresh fruit as part of the décor. If you have apples leftover from the party, you can donate them or send them with your family. An rustic apple tart is a simple and easy way to use up lots of apples. (Anne Winchenbaugh Photography)

What do you think? Have you used a creative idea in the past? Please share your thoughs by commenting below.

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feb28 Typical story: You are hosting a party at night and you are not allowed to use candles in the venue. Or you don’t want 800 feet of extension cord looped around the ceiling to get the paper lantern effect. Another option is using the battery operated tealights and candles. However, they are too expensive and quickly die before the event has even startd. What is the answer? LED throwies. Invented by Graffitti Research Lab, this simple DIY project cost pennies to make but will have a huge impact on your event. Originally, the throwies were used to create a non-invasive (and removable) way to add creativity and art to a dull metal space. Now, they are going to be the next big thing in event planning.

Check out this website for easy step by step instructions. You don’t need to use the magnet if you are tying the light to the lanterns or paper luminaries. If you do make them, email me the pictures of your work and I will post them here.

There are other forms of floaties:

You can use these throwies in the water (aka floaties). Just replace the magnets with a small piece of styrofoam and seal with wax. Toss the floaties into a balloon, then blow it up. Toss the floaties into pools, bathtubs, or other enclosed water areas and enjoy the light show.  Make sure to blow these up by mouth (or hand pump), helium will make these floatings into “flyies”. DO NOT use floaties in lakes, streams or oceans or open bodies of water. Lithium batteries can leak and cause environmental damage. In addition, floaties are harder to collect when it is time for clean up AND marine animals may eat the floaties. As Martha Stewart would say, “not a good thing”. So keep it safe and earth friendly.

Lastly, you can freeze the throwies in water. Seal up as you would a floatie, place in a balloon with water and freeze overnight. Place the block of ice wherever you need extra lighting (did someone say custom ice luge?)

What ever form you choose to use for your next event, it will definitely be a conversation starter. Enjoy!

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