Christmas 101: A twist on a classic

Well kids, we’re getting down to the wire. Relatives are bound to start showing up any minute now, and—oh what’s that? You’re still not ready? Here are a few last minute ideas to get your home in the holiday spirit! The best part? You already have a materials and can pull them off in 10 minutes or less. Enjoy!

This first one is pretty darn brilliant, even if it does come from Rachel Ray Magazine. Take any piece of clear stemware—wine or martini glass, even a champagne flute—and invert it over some festive foliage: Holly branches, a poinsettia, even a bough from your Christmas tree, whatever you’ve got around. Place a small votive on the base (which is now the top) or each one and voila! A perfectly modern centerpiece.

You’ve got an extra strand of lights or two, right? Why not bring them inside, wrap them around… anything really (seriously: A spray-painted hula hoop, an old frame, a large embroidery hoop… the list goes on) and you’ve got a fancy festive chandelier that easily comes down when your guests go home—or you could definitely leave it up year round!

Thanksgiving 101: Décor

It probably seems a little much to totally transform your home for Thanksgiving. You’ve got some serious cooking to do, right? On the other hand, a few simple touches can go a long way and elevate an everyday family dinner to a special event.

Infuse your table with the colors (and scent!) of fall with this ombre apple centerpiece found in styled. magazine. I love the beautiful array of tones of apples available this time of year and the way they mixed and matched the napkins on this table as well—no need to go out an buy three new sets just so everyone’s is the same! (By the way—I love fabric napkins. A) They’re much prettier than paper ones. B) They make even a Tuesday night dinner feel special, restaurant-worthy even. C) That whole eco-friendly thing. Wash and re-use, people!)

Speaking of mixing and matching, are you lacking enough flatware for all your guests? Take this idea from Creature Comforts: Buy a cheap assortment of forks, spoons and knives from your local resale shop, spray paint the ends with colors that match the rest of your table and you have a funky set of silverware for any guest who comes along! I might add looking into some sort of varnish that will stick to both the paint and metal to seal the handles, as spray paint will sometimes flake off onto your hands. Best yet, send your guests home with a little something special (caramel corn perhaps?) in these easy-to-make favor bags. Simply make a tube out of paper and sew the ends in perpendicular directions. If you plan ahead and print your guests’ names on each bag, you can place one at each setting and they’ll do double duty as place cards as well!