That time of wonderful year is almost here when the holidays arrive that inspire the most parties and gatherings. I personally LOVE this time of year for a host of reasons, mainly because it is a time when family and friends come together to simply celebrate what we have and being together. It’s also so much fun to decorate the house for the season and put on my creative hostess hat to plan some fun parties that everyone can enjoy.
To kick off this season, I’ve gathered five easy and beautiful DIY projects for the dining room to set the festive mood as you dine with your nearest and dearest.
Here’s a very simple yet chic way to create your own personalized centerpiece. Just find a plain white, retangular serving dish (these are EVERYWHERE right now — you can get them very inexpensively at places such as Ross or HomeGoods) and place three candles (two medium-height, one tall looks best) in a row in the center of the dish. Next, surround the candles with a candy of your choice that will suit your color scheme. For Christmas, Good Housekeeping cleverly chose red and white peppermints, but you could easily use this same concept for other color schemes and seasonal themes. For Halloween, for instance, you could use candycorns or black licorice. You could also substitute the candy for other items such as seashells, sand, marbles, pebbles, flower petals, etc for everyday decorating.
We’ve all seen those little 12×12 tile sets at home improvements stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot that are meant for laying tile in bathrooms and kitchens. But have you ever thought of using them as placemats? They’re the perfect size and shape and add a perfect natural touch to a dining room table. Such an inspired and clever idea!
NapaStyle sells this very cool table runner ($24-$38) that looks like a chalkboard and can be used to display your food and the name of each dish to your guests. You can easily make your own, however, by purchasing black chalk cloth at a fabrics store for a fraction of the cost. The blog Celebrations At Home suggests cutting 1 yard in half lengthwise and then laying the 2 pieces end to end to create your runner. This could even be a fun alternative to placemats that your guests can write on beside their plates. It’s especially perfect for a kid’s party! (Though I don’t doubt that adults would have a blast with it, too.)
Another great and easy centerpiece idea: fill clear, glass vases of varying heights with twigs and water, then place floating candles in them. Such a beautiful effect and so simple to do. Just be sure to use the right kind of candles that are meant to float in water.
You’ve probably seen these DIY plates circulating Pinterest. Why? Because it’s such a fun and easy idea. All you do is get plain oven-safe dinnerware (which you can find at the dollar store, Walmart or IKEA) and draw your illustration of choice on any size plate, bowl or even a mug. Next, you bake them in the oven at 365 degrees for about 30 minutes and then let them cool and voila — you have your own customized plates, bowls, or mugs! It is recommended that you don’t wash them in the dishwasher because it will make the ink come off, so it’s best to use these as part of just the display on a table or only for food such as pastries that won’t get terribly stuck to the ceramic.