Jan 16, 2007
This time of year, most of us are just "partied out" and the last thing we want to do is to attend yet another party or much less host a party! However, all because we just finished with the holidays, that does not mean birthdays, anniversaries, or special events do not happen in January.
So, if you are like me, you are now paying for your holiday bills, glad that the tree is put away, and cookies don't even tempt me right now. But, what if you must host a dinner party? It needs to be inexpensive, quick, easy, and special.
I did this "paper" table theme for less than $40 and it took about 45 minutes from scratch to finish - really! Old books, paper, clear vases, and burlap and you have one festive gathering. I use old books as plate chargers - in this case, my friend who is a lawyer, made partner, so I am using old law books.
If the guest of honor were to be an artist - then art books. A chef? Cookbooks. A teacher? Dictionaries. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure the books lie very flat. Your plates should not "rock" while cutting food on them.
I used burlap as runners (about $2.99 per yard) and lined the edges with torn pages from the books. I rolled a page out of the book for the napkin ring and tore a page and taped to wire for the place settings.
The center pieces are just crushed up paper pages that are shoved into clear vessels. I made some paper flowers out of pages by simply taking a page, and twisting the center until it flares out to make a flower and tie wire to the end and just shove the wire into the vases. When guests arrive, just remove the tall center piece and place it on the dessert table (yes, you should always have a dessert table). I use old books with the covers torn off in the center to give height and interest. Move the candles to the center when you remove the tall center piece.
Votive candles with paper and fire? Are you crazy? Well, maybe a little. But really, just use common sense. The "votive" holders are just glasses I took out of my cabinet and I took a page and smashed it inside all around the edges. I then burned down the little candle half way before I used it inside the glass. Light the candle while it is OUTSIDE the glass. Once lit, then carefully place inside the glass. If this makes you nervous, then just simply tape the old paper around the outside of the glass and trim the edges. But I prefer to live on the "edge." :-)
I have many more photos, but they didn't load up for some reasons. I did this in my dining room and will be creating an artist guest of honor table top design next. I will use the same venue so you can really see that the same place can really be designed differently.
I hope your new year is off to a great start and may the next dinner party you host be a party that the guests will be talking about for weeks to come. I live by one main rule when entertaining: I NEVER set out to impress my guests...I set out to make them feel super special. I want them to know that I think they are worth the effort. Making a guest feel special, rather than impressed is the only way to truly make your guests feel welcomed.
I hope you feel welcomed to my blog - because I find you very special.
From my house to your house,