By SARA POTKONJAK
Want your holiday table to look stellar but don’t exactly have the Martha Stewart budget? We hear you – yesterday’s trip to some home decoration stores left us feeling disheartened. Can you believe they tried to charge us $7 for a single napkin holder? And $15 for a pack of wine stem charms? After staring at the sales associate in shock, we blurted out “mama didn’t raise no fool” and booked it out of the store. That’s right: we’ve decided to take holiday decorating into our own hands, and we think you should too.
You can use virtually anything to create your own napkin holders, and a definite plus is that people will be raving about your creativity. What we do is reuse old ribbon from last year’s gifts to tie around the napkins. You can choose a few colours that match your party’s theme, but feel free to mix and match for a funkier and more bohemian feel. You might also score compliments for your environmental friendliness, as most people chuck out their ribbons and gift-wraps. Another idea is to tie an ornament around each napkin, which your guests can take home with them. You can buy some from the dollar store, or reuse some from your childhood.
Candles are great, but the scented ones can be over-rated and over-priced. Instead, we suggest trying cinnamon! Simply simmer a few sticks in water to give your house that holiday feel – you can let it sit for hours, and the smell can last for days. For another comforting holiday smell, collect bits and pieces from pine trees in your front yard or neighbourhood park. In addition, these sprigs make great accents on a dessert or nut tray, or can be used for a budget-friendly centerpiece.
Home-made wine stem charms don’t require much artistic skill, and can be made from virtually anything (like the cute bearded men from Snovita, 10 for under $2 at Ikea). Another tip is buying Mardi Gras beads from the dollar store, cutting the necklace string at one point, and glueing it up the stems of each wine glass for funky reusable party glasses.
Now with all the money you’ve saved, you can afford another present, either for a friend or yourself. We’ll cheers to that!