3 Ways to Use Corn Husks in your Holiday Entertaining

Corn husks bring a harvest touch to your cheese plate. I love corn husks. I’m not really sure why. But I do know I love the color, I love the texture and they instantly make me think of fall. They are pretty dang versatile and can be used in tons of ways. Today I have 3 ways to use corn husks in your holiday entertaining.

3 ways to use corn husks in your holiday entertaining.You can find corn husks at your local supermarket in the Mexican foods aisle. They are usually by where the packaged spices are. There are a bunch in the bag, enough for several crafts.  They come stuck together so you have to pull them apart once you take them out of the package. They can be a bit gritty and dusty so give them a good shake over the trash before using. You can also quickly run them under water. If you soak them, they just become more pliable so you won’t damage them.

Tuck corn husks on to your serving platters. 1.  you are most likely going to have a cheese platter at your holiday parties. I mean, it’s cheese. People like cheese. You don’t want to disappoint the people, do you?  Sure you could just plop the cheese on a plate or platter but what is the fun in that. For this cheese plate I laid down some corn husks and then some leafy greens to add more color. By tucking them in the corner it also added a little bit more height which pleases the eye. And it kind of looks like this cheese plate is wearing a crown, doesn’t it? Crowns are fun.

Corn husk wrapped candles create a warm glow for your holiday entertaining. 2.  Candles provide great ambiance when you have people over. To make the candles more seasonal, just wrap the glass container with corn husks and trim them. I imagine these are highly flammable so make sure that the flame is not coming to the top of the vessel. I used kitchen twine to tie on the corn husks but you could use just about anything. How cool would a leather cord look? The answer is cool.

Use corn husks to wrap a candleholder to add a festive fall touch.And when the candle is lit, a glow shines through the corn husks and is super warm and inviting. Wrap all different sized candle holders and place them all down the center of the table. Super cheap, super simple and totally classy and holiday inspired.

Corn husk feathers add a lightened up fall element to a place setting. 3.  Corn husks can be easily cut and shaped so you can really do just about anything you want with them. I have even used a curling iron on them to curl them when making corn husk flowers…Here I made a feather for a place setting add-on. Since the corn husks have little ridges, writing on them didn’t really work but you could still use them as part of your place setting. I’ll be sharing this tutorial over on Babyshower.com later this month!

Corn Husk feathers for holiday place settings.You could even make these feathers in to a garland and hang it on your wall or from your mantle. Have you used corn husks before? How do you use them?

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DIY Etched Glass Vase and Bespoke Global Giveaway

Sea inspired girl's night in.I’m partnering with Bespoke Global for this post with entertaining inspiration, a glass etched vase DIY and giveaway. This sea inspired girl’s night set up was inspired by some of the fantastic entertaining items available on the Bespoke Global site. Listen and read on to see how I used their rad items to be the catalyst to create a cool night of hanging out with your friends. *Giveaway is now closed*.

Bespoke Global entertaining pieces and giveaway! Press play: This song fits perfectly for the feel and look of the party.


When I was perusing the Bespoke Global catalog several items jumped out at me and they all happened to be things that were modeled after things found in and around the ocean. Immediately I started creating a cool girl’s night in party in my head. I am in love with the gorgeous deep mints and blues in the centers of these dishes and the urchin inspired bowls are both quirky and awesome looking. I loved that these items don’t give off a girly vibe, per se, but are organic and natural in their design with just a touch of color. And these delicate glass tumblers inspired me to create a centerpiece for my get together, a DIY etched glass vase.

Items: Kimura Glass, Urchin Bowl, Nesting Bowls

 

Etched vase for an easy DIY centerpiece.This simple DIY can be used to create custom glassware, including drinking glasses, vases, candle holders, and mirrors. And because you can choose the pattern, you can match them to any look you want to.

Glass etching DIY.I grabbed an inexpensive glass vase from the craft store along with some glass etching solution. They sell stencils that you can use right along with the etching solution but I opted to do a custom pattern. I brought out my painter’s tape just in case, but didn’t end up needing to use it for my design.

Glass etching is super easy and fun!I used a small paint brush and dabbed the etching solution on to the vase in a pattern similar to the one found on the Kimura glass from the Bespoke Global website.

Sea inspired girl's night.I think the addition of the etching really added to the visual interest of the vase and reminds me of bubbles making their way to the ocean surface. It totally fits the look of the rest of my under water inspired girl’s night set up.

DIY etched vase.The etching solution was pretty easy to use and I can’t wait to make more things with it. While the instructions said to leave the solution on the glass for 15 minutes, I left it on for about an hour. I found with doing hand drawn patterns, where it isn’t possible to get a super thick layer of the goop, you need to leave it on for much longer. Also I had to go pick up my son and that added on a half an hour that was unavoidable, but was helpful in the long run.

DIY vase for sea inspired girl's night in party.So you should totally make this vase. But you should also enter my giveaway for a $200 gift card for Bespoke Global. Use it to buy Christmas gifts for yourself or others! They have tons of AMAZING entertaining pieces but also great gift ideas for the men in your life and lovers of fine things. Their selection is totally unique and are real works of art. While I can’t afford everything on the site, I still couldn’t help myself but browse every single section to see all the amazing finds they’ve curated.

Here are some of my other favorites from the site:
Kimura Glass with Stem, Wee Bit Candle Holder, Heather Knight Shell inspired art piece, Anna Karlin Decanter, Heather Knight Geode Bowl, Gold Zag Tray, Tiny Gold Lip Dish, Honeycomb Faceted Bottle with Gold,

Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Lori Suvalle! Winner Winner Winner!

Contest ends November 12, 2014. Contest is open to legal residents of the lower 48 states and the District of Columbia who are 18 years old at the time of entry. One grand prize winner will be awarded a  $200 coupon code for redemption at BespokeGlobal.com. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Items purchased in conjunction with this contest must be shipped to a valid physical address (no P.O. Boxes) in the lower 48 states or the District of Columbia.  For complete rules, visit the contest landing page and click on “Read the full rules.”

Babies Have Great Parties : BabyShower.com

Use plastic animal cocktail charms as decor for food at a baby shower. I feel bad for babies. They get great parties and they aren’t even really there. I mean, they are there, in belly, but they don’t get to eat the yummy food or see how great the decor is. Baby showers are awesome. I contribute to Babyshower.com and while I won’t be having any more baby showers thrown for me (I have two wonderful boys but this bakery is closed) there is nothing more fun to plan than a baby shower. Next time you have to plan one you should definitely check out the site. You’ll find awesome content on there, and yeah, some of it is mine. ;) Some of the stuff pertains to non-baby entertaining as well. Like the cabbage salad recipe I shared. How stinking cute are those cocktail charms? While the mermaid might not be appropriate, these cute little animals could certainly enhance a baby shower theme.

DIY twist ties for party favors.And these DIY fabric twist ties are super simple and really great looking. I’m a big fan of candy or food as favors and simple packaging. You can find fabric to match any color scheme. And people love candy. Babyshower.com just released some great printable sheets to help you in your planning, so be sure to check them out! They include everything from budget worksheets to one to organizing invitation information. It’s a great resource!

And since it is that time of year, check out my inspiration for a Halloween themed baby shower.

Upcycled Milk Jug Planters

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DIY milk jug planters. Every time my kids finish a container of milk my head spins. Those containers have got to be good for other things. I know they can be recycled but they can be so much more useful than that. So I decided to make some of the plastic milk jugs in to planters. And I decided to take my older son with me when I went to the master, his grandfather, to learn the best way to replant plants, since I have the blackest thumb possible. I figured we could keep at least a few of these containers out of a landfill and teach myself and my son something that could come in handy later. Both of my kids have expressed an interest in planting our own food, so this lesson will surely come in to play again. got milk? asked me if I could come up with a craft that would share how milk and healthy habits can be worked in to your everyday living. And I really think these planters do that.

Milk is full of things that growing bodies need to help them in the future. But first we needed a few empty milk jugs. Luckily, this kid LOVES his milk. If he could, he would drink milk for all of his meals instead of eat. I don’t hate that. Milk is full of good stuff that his body needs so he gets it for each meal and one snack a day. And before we knew it, we had 3 empty jugs for us to upcycle in to planters.

Making planters out of empty plastic milk jugs. Grandpa Al runs a nursery out of his back yard and sells cottage garden plants to mom and pop nurseries in and around Orange County (read this great article the Register wrote about him). So when it comes to anything with plants, he is the man. We brought over our plastic milk jugs and he and my son got to work turning what would have been trash in to something useful.  I had wanted to plant some herbs, as I really enjoy using them in cooking, but Grandpa Al doesn’t grow herbs. And while he used to grow heirloom vegetables, he has since changed his focus to cottage flowers. I decided that since I’m such a gardening novice, I would let him show us with his regular plants and then my son and I will be able to purchase some herbs and create an herb garden together. [Read more…]

Fun Party Decor Idea : Carved Watermelons

Talking watermelons. Carve them to create awesome party decor and signage. Carved watermelon. I bet that wasn’t the first thing to pop in to your head when you were planning your last party, was it? But it totally should have been. Pumpkins aren’t the only things that you can carve. And carved watermelons make really great party decor and signage. These can be made ahead of time, really they SHOULD be made ahead of time.  But they are quite easy and will be the star of the show. 

Put your message on a watermelon. Super fun for parties! I asked my friend Carole to create one for our pajama party in Palm Springs. And then, of course, I forgot to print out the phrasing before I left for the trip. But that really didn’t matter. Carole was still able to carve the watermelon.  You will need a watermelon, some simple carving tools – her’s were for carving or cutting clay and purchased from the local art supply store, and the image or words that you want to carve. If you want a specific font, you can easily just print out the words on standard computer paper, just try to make sure that the words will fit on the size watermelon you bought. 

Trace your design on a watermelon to create jaw dropping party signs! Using the straight tool, (I’m going to be honest, I have no idea what any of the tools are called. This one is sharp on the end but straight, sort of like a straight pin but a little bit thicker) begin to poke holes in the watermelon all around the outline of the words. Many pumpkin carving books use a similar technique. 

Carving watermelons is easy to do with the dot method.So here you can see the dots that you can then connect to shape the letters and words. 

Watermelon Carving is pretty easy and creates totally fantastic party signage! Total crowd pleaser! I really love this idea for signage at parties. You can use them on buffet tables, as centerpieces, just about anywhere.  And it works not only with words but also with images.  Carole has carved some pretty amazing things in watermelons. 

Carve watermelons for fun party decor. Next, you will use the tool that looks a little bit like a tunnel or a “u”. With it, you will follow along your dotted line scooping out the speckled green skin. You do not need to go very deep in to the watermelon.  You just want to remove the hard outer skin. 

Fun party sign idea! While it might take a few minutes to do, it is really easy. Once you are done, you want it to have a chance to dry out a bit. We left this one out overnight and by the next morning, it looked like the first image in this post. The carved out portion turns a little bit lighter and it makes the words pop. Aren’t they fantastic!

Carved watermelon for fall decor.  // cupcakesandcutlery.comThis carved watermelon above was the first one Carole carved for me for an outdoor movie photo shoot I did a really long time ago. It shows perfectly how watermelons can live on past summer and slide right in to fall. (this last image is by Sadie James Photography). I feel like this is how I want to carve my pumpkins this year too. Just think of all the creative designs you could do! I’m so grateful to have creative friends who are willing to share their talents with me! Thank you, Carole!