Monday, November 2, 2009

Entertaining On A Budget

November you ever wonder where the time goes? I can't believe that we are now in "the holiday season." two favorites; but, also the two busiest! Getting ready for them can be quite stressful and rather expensive too. While perusing old blog entries from The Hostess With The Mostess (who is absolutely fabulous), I came across this entry about entertaining on a budget (which was written by Real Simple magazine) and thought that it would be most useful for you & I to read and ponder as we start thinking about & getting ready for the holidays.

**Remember organized, start now and get as much done beforehand and you will be able to enjoy so much more!!**

Entertaining on a Budget
Posted on Mar 25, 2008 12:31:58 PM | By JenniferSbranti

Between the tableware, linens, flowers, lighting, and so on, it's easy to let your budget fly out the window when planning a get together, but you don't have to spend a fortune to throw an impressive soirée! Here are a few tips to help trim down your decorating costs without sacrificing style:


1. To dress up plain white table linens, use stylish, high quality gift wrap to create a decorative table runner or table topper, as shown in the Love in Paradise tabletop pictured above.

2. Patterned scrapbook paper or pre-cut paper placemats are fantastic, inexpensive alternatives to traditional linen placemats. (Whimsy Press and Paper Table are wonderful resources for paper placemats.)

3. Instead of pricey fresh flower arrangements, try filling large glass vases or bowls with inexpensive, yet interesting filler elements, such as colorful glass ornaments, fresh cranberries, feathers, or modern potpourri/decorative ball mixes like this fantastic Jasmine Potpourri set from Target.

4. When you're in a time crunch, look around your home and use what you have. Decorative vases from other rooms, small house plants or flower pots, and even unique sculptures or other decorative accessories can double as fantastic table centerpieces or party decór.

5. To add height to centerpieces or food tables, flip small bowls upside down and use them as pedestals for larger bowls. This will eliminate the need to buy brand-new pedestal bowls or cake stands.

6. Wrap vases with decorative scrapbook paper to create unique decór that perfectly matches your party theme.


7. Use decorative paper, patterned ribbon, or botanical elements such as holiday berry spray for quick and easy napkin "rings".

Budget_entertaining_48. Patterned notecards or scrapbook papers and embellishments can also be used to create festive place cards and signs for the food and beverage tables.

9. Garnish water glasses at each place setting with a flower or wedge of lemon and lime. Though they may seem small, little details like this can actually play a huge role in the overall look of your table!

10. Use the "layer rule" to add interest to your place settings, but opt for budget-friendly elements. Set patterned or contrast-color salad plates on top of neutral dinner plates (or vice versa), then top salad plates with napkins and a decorative element such as a large flower bloom, cinnamon stick, party favor, or unique place card. No need to splurge on expensive dishware and linens if you don't already own them! In the Love in Paradise image pictured at top, both sets of plates were purchased at IKEA, inexpensive paper napkins were folded into squares for a dressier look, and the orchid blooms that top each napkin were pulled from inexpensive faux stems purchased at Target.


Weren't these great ideas?? I loved the wrapping paper as a table topper. There is an Entertaining on a budget part 2 that I will share with you as well...Have a wonderful Monday!

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