Sparkling New Year's Celebration

Welcome guests to a party that reflects your mood for the season. A New Year's table filled with sparkle, bright colors, and retro decorations leaves no doubt that fun is in store.

Cheers! It's time to pull out all the stops and celebrate. While some may prefer New Year's Eve for looking back on the previous year, we look back even further to a time when silver trees, Miami-bright colors, mirrored balls, and top hats were in vogue. Put some old-fashioned rock and roll on the stereo and party away.

There's no doubt that fun and funky is the theme for a New Year's celebration done up with bright colors and loads of sparkle. A vintage aluminum tree is the inspiration for the mirrored centerpiece and retro-style hat and horn ornaments.

Flamingo-pink linens provide a strong background for all the sparkle and fit well with the rest of the fanciful designs. If bright linens aren't available in the size or color you need, use fabric dye to tint 100-percent-cotton linens the shade you desire. For extra-bold colors, a double dose of dye or more than one trip through the dye bath may be needed.

Candlelight sparkles more magically than ever when surrounded by mirrors. Ornaments made from mirrors or prisms dangle from clear glass cylinder vases or hurricanes to reflect the flames of the candles and lights of the room.

A large pillar candle provides the twinkle in the largest cylinder, while disco-ball-style ornaments offer lots of sparkle in the remainder of the vases. Place each vase on a mirrored candle plate, then add more plates around the table. Top some with votive cups and tea lights and others with ornaments that match those on the tree.

To make the mirrored strands, purchase inexpensive ornaments made up of tiny mirrored pieces or prisms. Cut the ornaments apart to make smaller strands.

Add a spiral-style paper clip to the top of the ornament strand, then clip the strand over the edge of the cylinder. Glue the pieces back-to-back with monofilament sandwiched between the pieces, creating strands of mirrored shapes. Add prisms or clear beads as desired.

Note: If mirrored ornaments are not available, cut pieces of mirror (available at crafts stores) into small shapes using a glass-cutting tool.

Festive Table Settings for New Year's

Write a special wish or New Year's prediction for each guest, tuck it into an envelope, and tie it to the napkin for a combination place card and napkin ring. For fun, add a miniature champagne bottle.

Write your message on a colorful miniature gift card, then place the card in its envelope. Write the guest's name on the envelope. Punch a hole in the upper right corner of the envelope and card.

Weave silver wire-edged ribbon through the hole and around the napkin. Tie the ribbon ends into a bow, catching the neck of the miniature champagne bottle in the knot of the bow.

Turn little bottles into glittery snow globes. The secret is to thicken the water with corn syrup so the glitter and confetti move slowly through the colored liquid.

Mix two parts of light corn syrup with one part of distilled water. Add food coloring to the liquid. Purchase 2-ounce bottles that resemble champagne bottles in shape. Empty out and wash the bottles and remove the labels. Fill each bottle half full. Add glitter and confetti, then fill the bottle to the top with distilled water.

Glue the cap to the bottle with industrial-strength glue. Shake the bottle to completely mix the liquids. Wrap a gold cupcake liner around the top of the bottle and glue it in place.

Print a label for each bottle and cut it out. Attach the label to the bottle with glue or double-sided tape. If desired, place each bottle in a silver votive cup that resembles a champagne bucket.

Miniature top hats and tiny champagne bottles from the wedding and novelty aisles dress the tree for the night's party. Tie shiny metallic wired ribbon around each hat to form a band, shaping it into a bow at the back. Hold the ribbon in place with a dot of hot glue.

Using a paper punch, make a hole in the front and back of each hat brim. Slip fine-gauge wire through the holes and attach the hat to the tree. Tie miniature champagne bottles to the tree with silver cord or ribbon.

Top a tree with a festive hat. Party horns sprouting from the top hat are sure to bring a smile to everyone's face. Once you've topped the tree, tie additional horns to the branches with silver ribbon.

For the Horns: Cut 8-inch lengths of iridescent cellophane and white tissue paper for each horn. Layer the iridescent cellophane and tissue paper together and fold the strips in half crosswise.

Working from the open long edge, cut down toward the fold to form fringe. Cut the fringe into smaller segments and tape the segments inside the horns. Spiral shiny metallic wired ribbon around each horn, spot-gluing it in place as you work. Tie the horns to the branches.

For the Hat: Cut three holes in the top of a large plastic top hat. Cut three sheets of iridescent cellophane the same length as three decorated horns. Wrap the cellophane around the mouthpiece ends of the horns and gather it up into folds.

Slip a horn into each of the hat holes. Working from the inside of the hat, draw the ends of the horns together and join them with a rubber band, angling the horns outward. Perch the hat on the top tree branch.


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