Quick Tabletops

Try these decorating ideas for the holiday season.


+ enlarge image Ornament Napkin Ring

Mix and match red and green plates, placemats, and napkins for a festive table setting. Buy inexpensive holiday-motif salad plates to layer over ordinary dinner plates or chargers (extra-large plates that rest under dinner plates). Tie an ornament to the napkin for a party-favor napkin ring.

+ enlarge image New Year Goblets

Toast the New Year with goblets temporarily embellished with self-adhesive gold stars from a stationer's or office-supply store. Simply peel the stars off when the party is over. Make party favors by dipping fortune cookies in melted chocolate. For each place setting, tie one cookie in a clear cellophane corsage bag (ask your florist to sell you a few bags, or check the candy-making section of a crafts store).

+ enlarge image Pear Place Card

Guide guests to their places with fresh-pear place cards. Decorate a blank card with a pear stamp, write each guest's name, and cut a slit in the top of the pear to hold the card.

+ enlarge image Candle Clip

Give each place setting its own cheerful glow with a miniature candle clip. Look for reproduction candle clips, based on Victorian candleholders for trees, in mail order catalogs and Christmas shops. For a napkin ring, thread cranberries onto gold crafts wire and twist the wires together.

+ enlarge image Cranberry Bobeches

String cranberries on fine gold crafts wire to make dainty bobeches for candles. Twist the wire ends together, then wrap the excess wire around a long nail to make fine curls.

+ enlarge image Vintage Ornament

Clip a vintage or reproduction ornament to the handle of each coffee mug or teacup on the table. This unexpected touch will delight guests -- especially if they can take the ornament home!

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