Saturday, December 15, 2012 9:00 AM EDT
There is no better way to spend an evening during the holidays then sharing a meal with your nearest and dearest. If you are hosting a dinner party in the coming weeks, the following three projects can be combined to create a festive rustic themed table setting.
Dried Orange and Cinnamon Stick Place Settings
Nothing will make your guests feel more special than with personalized place settings.
- Knife (to slice the orange)
- Oven (to dry the orange slices)
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Cinnamon sticks
- Fimo clay
- Alphabet stamps
- Hot glue gun
STEP 1: Slice not dice
Although this step is very simple it is the most time consuming. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees. Slice your orange so that each piece is approximately .25” wide. Lay a sheet of parchment paper onto the baking tray and lay your orange slices on top. Bake your orange slices for 2 hours turning them over a few times. Remove them from the oven and allow them to sit for another hour or so. Your oranges might not feel completely dry but you can go ahead and start using them. They will continue to dry over time.
STEP 2: Name game
Using a white sculpting clay such as FIMO (found at your local craft store) create a ball that is about the size of a large marble then flatten it into a round disc. Use your alphabet stamps and imprint your guests name into the clay. This might take some practise to get used to how much pressure to apply but you’ll get the hang of it! Use a needle to make a hole at the top of the disc. Follow the steps on the fimo clay package to bake your tags properly.
STEP 3: It all comes together
Once your name tags are done baking thread a piece of raffia through the hole at the top of the name tag by threading the two ends through the hole from back to front creating a loop in the back. Stick two cinnamon sticks through the loop and pull the two ends to tighten the name tag and raffia securely around the cinnamon sticks. Apply hot glue to the orange slice and adhere the cinnamon sticks to the orange. WIth the two strands of raffia coming out of the hole in the name tag wrap the strands in opposite directions around the orange slice and tie a bow on top of the name tag.
Encourage your guests to take these home with them!
Polka Dot Wrapping Paper
Treat your guests to a little something wrapped in homemade wrapping paper using all of those empty paper shopping bags we all have especially during this time of year.
- Paper shopping bags
- White ink stamp pad
- Wine cork
STEP 1: That’s a wrap
Carefully undo the bottom of your paper shopping bag. Use your scissors to cut the length of the bag to create one long flat piece of kraft paper.
STEP 2: Stamp away
Dab your cork into the inkpad and start stamping! Continue stamping until you are happy with your polka dot pattern.
Have fun playing with different colour bags and ink colours! To tie all of your centerpiece elements together use the raffia from the place setting project as an alternative to ribbon when wrapping your presents.
Rustic Wooden Box Centerpiece
This rustic wooden box will steal the show at dinnertime. Your guests won’t believe that it can be made in an afternoon. This finished box is 14.5” Long X 7” Wide X 5.5” Tall
- 1 pine board: 6’ L X 5.5” W X .75” D
- Table Saw (or ask your local hardware store to cut the board for you)
- Nails (at least a dozen)
- Safety glasses
- Wood stain
- Soft paint brush
- 2 Decorative label pulls (most come with miniature nails)
STEP 1: These four walls
You will need to cut your pine board into 5 pieces. They dimensions are as follows: 3 pieces that are 13” long X 5.5” wide (these are the base and long walls of the box) and 2 pieces that are 7” long X 5.5” wide (these are the two ends). Use the proper safety equipment if you are cutting your board at home! Most home and building supply stores will be happy to cut the pieces for you just make sure you bring your dimensions along!
Put your box together starting with the longer pieces. I used two nails, one for each end to secure the two long walls to the base. Use 4 nails for each of the end pieces. Be careful while you hammer!
STEP 2: Stain game
When your box is complete apply the stain using a soft brush. Make sure to do this in a well ventilated area. Following the directions on the can of stain I applied one coat with my brush and used a cloth to lighten the tone. Allow your box to dry overnight.
STEP 3: Final touches
Attach the decorative label pulls to each end of the box. They should come with mini nails or you could use the small nails that come with picture hanging kits.
Fill your box with pine bows, clementines and other festive items. Lay your place settings on neutral linen napkins and wrap a few gifts in your homemade wrapping paper and your table is ready for the party!