DIY Fall Table Runners and Placemats

It's easier to make than you think: A Fall table runner and placemats. Image courtesy of shopfonsandporter.com

It’s easier to make than you think: A Fall table runner and placemats. Image courtesy of shopfonsandporter.com

Adding to our Goal: Bringing a Fall Table Setting Together

We started with Fall Centerpieces to Fall in Love With, followed by Fall DIY Napkin Rings and now we move on how to make your own table runners and placemats.

Budget Decorating, by Tonya Lee has a great tutorial on making a basic runner. Although they use fusing bond in their directions, using a Hi/Lo glue gun can help create a runner even faster and let’s not forget the old stand by: sewing(the most time-consuming).

My suggestion is to put some thought into the time and energy you will have as well as the durability from possible years of use.

With that in mind, check out some of these beautiful runners and placemats that can wow a crowd. Most will have a link to the original site tutorials – so you can make your own! Continue reading

Fall DIY Napkin Rings

Burlap makes a great fabric base to embellishments for Fall napkin rings.  Image courtesy of Tater Tots and Jello, where they offer a tutorial at; http://tatertotsandjello.com/2010/02/burlap-napkin-rings-tutorial-dollar.html

Burlap makes a great fabric base to embellishments for Fall napkin rings. Image courtesy of Tater Tots and Jello, where they offer a tutorial at: http://tatertotsandjello.com/2010/02/burlap-napkin-rings-tutorial-dollar.html

 

Since we covered Fall Centerpieces to Fall in Love With, it couldn’t hurt to add a few posts on how to bring your table settings together.

How to Make a Napkin Ring

Sure, you can buy plain ones at the dollar store, but this frugal gal likes to use and recycle. By making the ring yourself, you can have the control of the width – which allows for more embellishment space.

Start with the base: Save cardboard paper towel, gift wrap or toilet paper tubes. Sometimes you may even be lucky to get a tube with your last fabric purchase. Continue reading

Fall Centerpieces to Fall in Love With

Simplicity at its best: Nature, harvest, and candles come together with a log with holes drilled for candles and accented with leaves, gourds, and mini pumpkins. Image courtesy of The Berry and SAS Interiors.

Simplicity at its best: Nature, harvest, and candles come together with a log leftover from pruning. Image courtesy of http://www.theberry.com and SAS Interiors.

Now with Halloween behind us, it’s time to begin planning our Fall or Thanksgiving centerpieces. These ideas below can work with a dining room table, mantle, or accent pieces. Best of all, not only are they charming, they are quick to craft and easy on the pocketbook. Click on each image for more info.

 

When making a dining table decoration, keep in mind the size of your table and the amount of space that will be needed for a Thanksgiving meal. But most importantly, keep it simple to save you time for other – more important things: enjoying time with friends and family. Now THAT is something we can be truly grateful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Classy Halloween Party Idea

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Although I am one of the biggest fans of gory foods and props, I cannot deny the love I have for Halloween weddings or parties that can be pulled off in a more subtle, classy manner.

The idea for these silver fang place cards comes from Doodlecraft, a blog that has a plethora of beautifully crafty ideas.You can find the tutorial to make them at Instructables. 

Along with this theme, I could see tables including homemade bell jar dioramas and other Victorian-themed Halloween props/food, such as:

A Dark Raven Wreath
Victorian Halloween Invitations
Spiderweb Eggs
Styrofoam Grandfather Clock

Not all of us are crafty or have the time to make some of these ideas. This is where the VictorianTradingCo.com. can help. They have some inspirational items that can give the final touch to a prop, costume, or event.

DIY Halloween Invitations You’d Die For

With just over two months before Halloween, party planners have already started contemplating invitations, decorations, and more. Here are a few over-the-top invite ideas that can kick-start enthusiasm in any invitee.

Many of the sites listed have tutorials and it would be interesting to know which one is your favorite.

If you have an idea to add to the gallery, shoot me a message so I can share your creativity. Happy Halloween Planning!

Quick Food and Drink Ideas for the Fourth of July

Skewers of food can make party planning easy and visually appealing. Image courtesy of Pinterest via Martha McCall.

Skewers of food can make party planning easy and visually appealing. Image courtesy of Pinterest via Martha McCall.

In order for party planners to have enough energy to stay awake for the fireworks, the execution of creating great foods should be simple, visually appealing, and of course, crowd-pleasing.

Here are a few quick and easy energy-saving recipe ideas:

Love the Skewers:

This can be skewers of meat and veggies for the grill, appetizers of fruit and cheese, or anything else that can be jabbed with a stick.They can be laid upon a tray, poked into a cabbage head that has been leveled by slicing a piece off the bottom, Styrofoam, or in tumblers or glasses. For more info on skewer recipes see 50 skewer recipes by The Food Network.

Arrangement of Foods

Continue reading

Easy Last Minute Grad Party Favors and Snacks

Guest couldn't resist the grad party hats that can be made in a variety of ways without any cooking involved. Photo courtesy of Mark Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Guests couldn’t resist the party hats made from a variety of possible edibles. Photo courtesy of Mark Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

With the onslaught of graduation parties within the next few months, people are now scouring for party ideas more than ever.
Since I had the opportunity to just throw one of my own, I can offer some helpful tips that will save time, aggravation, and money.

Graduation Party Hats

These hats can be made with a variety of pre-made cookies, candies, and Fruit Roll Ups. You – the maker decides which is the easiest and most cost effective.

You’ll Need:
Chocolate-covered graham cracker squares
Choice of cap bottoms:
Mini brownies – premade as in mini brownies snacks or you can make your own brownie mix and use a mini muffin pan.
Mini muffin liners (if making own brownies)
OR  Peanut butter cups OR Round Chocolate Cookies – The choice is yours.
Choice of Tassel Tops:
Black or red string licorice OR Fruit Roll Ups (any color)
Candy buttons OR mini M & M’s OR other small round candies
Choice of frosting that hardens quickly:
Royal recipe, or my plain 10x frosting recipe: 1 cup 10x sugar, a tsp. of vanilla and enough water(add tbsp at a time) to make a very thick frosting. Mix well until smooth. Cover if not using right away or it will harden quickly.
To seal tassel top:
You can either add chocolate flavoring/cocoa to darken a bit of frosting to the side (1/8 cup) OR  melt choc. chips, melts, Kisses, or plain bar – you’ll need no more than 8-10 kisses for 40.

Before going into the directions, let me go over the most inexpensive options and my own mishaps during the process:

Continue reading

Inexpensive Balloon or Decoration Party Weights

Make your own table decoration weights. Image courtesy of http://www.awesomeevent.com/blog/category/cheap-balloon-weight-centerpieces/

Make your own table decoration weights. Image courtesy of http://www.awesomeevent.com/blog/category/cheap-balloon-weight-centerpieces/

With every party, aesthetics is important.Yet, paramount to most party planning – is cost. Each table should be decorated with a theme of colors and/or genre.Whether it is a Hawaiian Luau or a graduation party – an overall theme should exist.

Part of each table decoration often includes balloons or other lightweight decorations that need some kind of weight to keep them in place. Sure, you can purchase those balloon weights at your dollar store. But as the table count goes up, so does the cost.

Being the frugal gal, I thought of several ways to hold down the graduation caps for an upcoming graduation party. With 10+ tables to dress, I needed to consider what would travel easy and look good – even if the caps were lifted by curious guests.

Light Bulb Moment

For previous parties I’ve made my own weights using Plaster of Paris in a variety of containers: decorative Chinese food boxes, decorator cups, mini flower pots, etc. For this event, having to deal with the mess of preparing the mix along with the added drying time, just didn’t appeal to me.

This is when it struck – why not fill balloons with play sand or better yet – the more inexpensive counterpart – salt? It worked like a charm. It cost only $1.50 per 11 weights and it took less than an hour of working the salt into the balloons.

Since these were not going to be seen in generally, it was the easiest and most inexpensive solution.

Three items are needed to make balloon or table decoration weights. The cost for 11 weights: $1.50. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

Three items are needed to make balloon or table decoration weights. The cost for 11 weights: $1.50. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

Here’s what you’ll need: Continue reading

Last Minute, Quick New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

A quick last minute appetizer. Image courtesy of Weezerthewonderful at FlickrCC.

A quick last minute appetizer. Image courtesy of Weezerthewonderful at FlickrCC.

Not all of us are great planners. So  for those of us who decided to throw a last minute impromptu party, here are a few suggestions:

Keep It Simple Appetizers

  • Cheese/Crackers/Pepperoni Trays
  • Fruit trays – Grapes, Orange Slices, Melons, Kiwi, Strawberries
  • Cheese Ball and Crackers, Bagel Chips or Baguette Slices
  • Veggie Trays – Celery, Baby Carrots, Pepper and Cucumber Slices, and Broccoli or Cauliflower Crowns
  • Rye Bread Bowl – Dig out “bowl” in rye round bread. Break apart bread pieces and scatter around the bowl. Mix 16 oz. sour cream, 1-2 tsp. powdered beef bouillon and 1-2 Tbsp. dill weed for dip center.

Easy Oven Appetizers:

  • Bruschetta
  • Easy Potato Skins
  • Oven BBQ Chicken Wings – In a large foil turkey pan, place 5 pounds of frozen wings to 3 bottles of your favorite sauce and bake between an hour and an hour and a half covered in foil. Remove foil last 10-15 min. for crispier wings.

It doesn’t hurt to ask people to bring their own bottle, dish, dessert, or appetizer to pass.

For quick decorating tips, check out Easy Decorating Ideas for New Year’s Eve by Jan Peterson.

One more thing: Have the Happiest New Year Ever!

Twas the Night After Halloween…

Twas the night after Halloween and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…Because we were all so tired from celebrating! Here was the yard this year and a highlight of costumes at the Halloween Bash.

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Below are a few memorable costumes from our annual Morrow Halloween Bash. I’m sorry for so few. My photographer aka my husband was having such a great time he forgot his job for the night.

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