style sneakers

Ideas for a First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape

Welcome! This first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape is part of the Thanksgiving Blessings Blog Tour. I’m super excited about that because there are some awesome bloggers on the list. In fact, there’s chance you already know that because Tori at Toriorioria sent you over here, but if not, after you check out this post, be sure to click on the links at the bottom of the page and circle all the way back around. You’ll get a ton of fun ideas!

Onto the post. If you didn’t figure it out, my first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape is all about history. Yes, that’s right, I’m going to force you to learn while you decorate your house. Wait, come back! You won’t have to learn that much, I swear. In fact, you can just look at the pictures if that suits you better. Okay, let’s get on with it. The first Thanksgiving happened a super long time ago and doesn’t have a lot to do with what we celebrate today, but sometimes it’s fun to go back to our origins. Now, I’m not trying to make your table look like it belongs in the 1600s. I’m just trying to to take a few pieces of history and throw them into the mix. I have a big table and a small table, so I’ll show you how it looks on both.

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First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape Ideas

1. A Natural Look

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

To be honest, I have no idea what kind of table coverings they used back then, if any, but if you read me regularly you know I think you need something nice for a modern Thanksgiving. In this case, natural seemed to be the way to go. So, of course, I went with burlap. Runners are pretty cheap, but you can’t wash them, so if you want to reuse it be careful with that red wine.  For my small table I borrowed a fall table runner from my mom. it’s a little old so I can’t tell you where to find it, but there are plenty of similar ones out there. I like that the runner still has a natural color scheme, but also adds details for a smaller table because I don’t want to overload it with objects.

2. A Hint of Pilgrim

Ha, the term “a hint of pilgrim” is really amusing me right now. Hopefully it amuses you too. Anyway, I’ve seen plenty of pilgrim hat decor before, but come on. I don’t want a giant hat on my table. So instead, to keep this first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape going, I’ve made candles in the vein of their buckled hats without being a hat. All you need are some black candles, white ribbon, and gold buckles (you can pick the last two up at a crafting store). Cut a ribbon to go around the bottom of the candle, put two buckles on it (so both sides of the table see a buckle) and then tape or glue the ribbon. Super easy crafting.

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

 

3. Cranberries for the Wampanoag

If you don’t already know this, the Wampanoag are the American Indian tribe that joined the pilgrims for the first Thanksgiving. Now, we live in divisive times, and some American Indians actually call Thanksgiving their “Day of Mourning.” Because of that I don’t want to try anything that’s stereotypical American Indian, but I know the Wampanoag celebrate cranberries, so I figured it would be a good idea to have them represented that way. These cranberry decorations are super simple. Cranberries float, so just throw them in something cute with water. Add a tealight. Done.

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

4. First Foods

Unsurprisingly, we don’t eat the same way people ate back at the first Thanksgiving. So, instead of forcing your guests to eat those foods and really sticking to your theme, just add a few odds and ends to your table decor. Walnuts and chestnuts are great and easy. Corn is good too, and wheat adds for a fun centerpiece. I got the fake items from Hobby Lobby and walnuts from the grocery store. I chose not to use any of this on the small table because there just isn’t room. To make a smaller table pop, see the next idea.

 

5. Non-Historical Color

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

Okay, so your table is probably looking like it knows a lot about history now. But it’s probably also missing color. Time to add some place mats, charger plates, napkins, silverware, cups, whatever. I’ve got two different color schemes going on each table, so there’s definitely room to play with your own. The dishes on the big table are my actual good dishes, so I happened to luck into that particular color scheme. You’ll notice a big of alternating colors as well, in these placemats from Target and ribbon napkin rings on the big table, and the napkins on the small. And yes, those are my interchangeable holiday plates on the small table. See? Versatile.

As a time saving tip, I do want to tell you one thing. Once you pick your color scheme, commit. It shouldn’t take that long to set a table, but it can take forever if you second guess yourself. Really, whatever you choose is going to look awesome, because you have  so many options to make a first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape. Take ideas from the big table, small table, or both and see what you can come up with.

Next on the Hop

That’s all I’ve got for you, but there’s so much more to see! The next stop on the blog tour is Marlize Van Rooyen’s South African style Thanksgiving and you have to see that, plus steal a couple of her recipes if you have time to browse. Look at you, learning about history and other cultures all in one day. Or, if you have a more organized mind and need to start back at the beginning go see Kristy Mastradanos at Steeplechase Manor. Either way, you’ll have a ton of great ideas for a happy Thanksgiving!

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

 

how to make a

How to Make a Marine Life Diaper Cake

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Do you need some instructions for a marine life diaper cake? Have you just wandered over from the post on my sister’s baby shower? Either way, I had a fun time making this diaper cake so I’m glad you dropped by. There are plenty of other diaper cake tutorials out there, and obviously I used those ideas. I did run into a little trouble though, in the form of a two-year old, so I had to add a couple layers of protection. Before you roll your eyes and call me an idiot, no, I cannot do things like this while he’s sleeping. I have to do my actual job then. Isn’t working from home grand?

Instructions for a Marine Life Diaper Cake

What you Need

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

70-80 diapers, size is up to you
70-80 small rubber bands
3 large rubber bands
twine or string
Bottle of Champagne (use baby bottles if your recipient doesn’t drink)
ribbons
seashells
baby items

If you plan to move your diaper cake, you also need something to set it up on. I used heavy posterboard.

Steps

1. Prepare the Diapers

Roll up the diapers and put rubber bands around them. You want them to be relatively even, so make sure you start with the opening and roll towards the crease.

2. Build the Cake

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

If you are like me, you didn’t waste time making your diapers perfectly even, so they’re probably not going to stand up perfectly. If you have a toddler wandering around, they will probably also be trying to sabotage you. So, this is where the big rubber bands come in. Set up your first layer on the bottom. They should stay up since this is the sturdiest layer. Secure a big rubber band around it.

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

Then do another layer around your newly secured first layer. You won’t have a rubber band big enough for this one, so tie some yarn around it. Then do a third layer, add yarn. For the middle tier of the cake, you can put a band over the champagne bottle first and then put diapers into it. This level only needs one yarn layer.

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

The top tier only needs one rubber band layer and then you have your whole cake built. Beware of roaming toddlers. They may discover it’s the perfect time to learn about rubber bands and strew them all over your living room.

3. Decorate

Okay, so here is where things are going to differ. If possible, you should be using items on the guest of honor’s registry. If they have receiving blankets or burp cloths (my sister wanted these), wrap those around the cake. I just taped it on there. Who cares if there’s a gap at the back? You’re giving them a whole diaper cake, it’s fine. Then I put dollar store ribbons over that. Since my sister is having a girl, I used headbands as bows, but you can do actual bows or no bows for boys. I threw a couple pacifiers on there, and then dollar store seashells and fishbowl beads to keep it fun. I also added fishing bath toys. Finally, my topper was this cute dolphin toy. Here’s a blue boyish version if you need one.

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
Taping burp cloths so they’re the right size for the diapers.
Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
If you can’t cover the whole thing, put the ugly diaper side towards the back.
Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
Add some ribbon, bows, headbands, whatever.

 

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
Keep decorating until you run out of space and/or energy.

That’s really it. Just have fun with it! Throw things on there that your baby mama needs, or things you think are cute. I know my sister really wanted diapers, so I felt pretty good about that. But, once she started going through it and realizing almost all the decor was also gifts, it got even better. The real kicker, of course, was pink Prosecco on the inside. Now that’s a marine life diaper cake a mom can enjoy!

How to make a marine life diaper cake for a baby shower. #marinelifeparty #underseapartytheme #marinelifebabyshower #babyshower #diapercake #underseadiapercake
A girly marine life

A Girly Marine Life Baby Shower

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This past weekend I threw my sister a girly marine life baby shower. I wanted it to be classy and pink. She bought Baby Girl marine life bedding, so I also wanted it to go with that. Too many themes? Never! I also had to plan something for a very small crowd. She had a separate baby shower at work and most of our family lives far away, so the guest list was minimal. When you’re having a small shower, you don’t want to go overboard, but then again, babies are fun and you kind of always want to go overboard for them. I have to confess something about this though… This was not my normal frenzied party. I had  a LOT of help.

You see, my grandma and my aunt drove over to Tennessee to attend, and my aunt brought my twelve-year old cousin with her. He entertained my son. My grandma and aunt took turns helping me and watching my daughter. And my mom came by to help with everything else. So, really, this girly marine life baby shower was created in the exact opposite manner of anything else I do. That doesn’t mean it looks perfect – even if I have help, I still don’t care that much about decorations. You’ll see what I mean. I do think this is doable for busy people though, if you start early enough. I actually began decorating a week in advance, little by little, and that definitely helped.

Ideas for a Girly Marine Life Baby Shower

1. Decorations

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

My main goal here was jellyfish. You’ve seen those hanging jellyfish decorations before, right? Well, if not you’re welcome to steal ours, but we got our inspiration from Nathalie at Press Print Party. Mostly it involves hot gluing things to paper lanterns, but you’ll have to ask my mom or Nathalie for specific instructions because I surely didn’t touch those. I can tell you we used this package of lanterns if you like a variety of sizes. They had different colors too. So once I got those made, I wanted a blue background. I picked up a tablecloth roll at Party City to make the background. As you can see, I was too lazy to get a ladder and too short to reach the ceiling, but whatever.

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

My other decor includes some seaweed made out of grapes, an idea I stole from Indulgy. Then I tacked some clear balloons to look like water bubbles on my blue background. The cool opalescent pink tablecloth and table skirt also come from Party City. That’s about it. Not much too it, really, even though it looks like a ton of decorations to me.

2. Food

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

In my mind, I was serving an elegant spread of seafood. I’ll let you be the judge of how it turned out. First I went with actual seafood. Shrimp is easy and relatively inexpensive (for seafood) so I tried this cajun guacamole recipe. I do make my own guac. It’s basically this recipe, but with half a can diced tomatoes instead of roma. I put the extra guacamole out too, because who doesn’t want chips and guac? I also made this crab dip, which I’d never done before but was delicious.

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

For my other food, I wanted to make some non-seafood items that still fit in, so I did cucumber sandwiches and cut a few of them in the shape of starfish with this cookie cutter.  If you use soft bread, it will go through just fine, but I suggest separating it before you lift the cutter. Then I made some chicken club bacon sushi rolls. I got the idea from Delish, but that’s not the recipe I followed. I swear I’ll get around to posting my version one day. The punch was this super easy pink recipe, but I made seashell ice cubes. Then my mom and I made these cute “pearl in oyster” cookies. So, not all exactly seafood, but it all fit together in the end.

3. Cake

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

If you are a regular reader, you may remember I learned about pull-apart cakes from my friend who created this potty training cake. I decided to implement my own version for this girly marine life baby shower. There are other versions of octopus cakes out there, but my problem with them is that they’re all gigantic. I had eight people at this shower, myself included. I didn’t need the twenty-four cupcakes that come in a box, let alone a whole other set. So I made a smaller version. I do have specific directions for that, but I don’t want this post taking eight years to read, so head over here to check that out.

4. Diaper Cake

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

This was my first time making a diaper cake, and I like having visuals. The tutorials I looked at didn’t really have a lot, so again I have a separate post if you want step-by-step instructions. But, I’m glad I made it because the height certainly added something to the visuals of the party backdrop. Plus it was fun to have a little surprise in the middle. 🙂

5. Games & Party Favors

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

I’m actually not a fan of baby shower games, so I didn’t put much effort into these. We played the regular can’t say “baby” game, Baby Price is Right, and guess the number of candies. That’s it. We’re lame. On a side note, I noticed I have a lot of UK readers, so if you’re looking for your own version of baby games to buy Party Ease can help you out. For party favors, I chose to make chocolates. I’d never done that before, but it was pretty easy. I bought this mold for the ice cubes and I figured I might as well use it! We put the chocolates in some pink candles and everything looked lovely.

Well friends, what do you think? Would you consider this a girly marine life baby shower a success?

This is the girly marine life baby shower I threw for my sister. Lots of undersea fun! #babyshower #marinelifebabyshower #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty #underseapartyideas #girlbabyshower

 

potty training cake

How to Make a Potty Training Party Cake

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I’ll be honest, I don’t need a potty training party cake right now.  My son likes to tell me his toys are pooping and put them in his potty, but heaven forbid he sit on it himself. But, my best friend’s daughter recently potty trained, so of course they had to celebrate. When she was looking for cake ideas, she couldn’t find what she wanted, so she created one herself. I, being the good friend I am, saw the picture and immediately decided to steal it for the blog. Her response? Let me know how it does on Pinterest. Lol. So, people, pin away!

Now, my friend called her party a “panty party,” and the cake she did is for girls. For some reason she didn’t take pictures of the entire process (what a slacker, right?), so I had to make my own. Since my son’s older than my daughter, I figured it made sense to do one for boys. I’ll just leave the potty training party cake on my counter until he potty trains in a few months or so and then we’ll eat it. Kidding, you guys.  We’ll eat it all in one sitting like healthy people. This looks like it’s going to be pretty complicated, but it actually isn’t. The secret? Cupcakes and a willingness to be a little messy. It’s called a pull-apart cake, which I’ve never heard of before, but is apparently a thing.

Instructions for Making a Potty Training Party Cake

How to make a potty training party cake
The perfect cake for a panty party.

What You Need

24 unfrosted cupcakes in wrappers
2 batches buttercream icing (the thicker the better here – I like this recipe)
Food coloring
Fondant & Edible Spray Color (optional)
Other cake decorating items, like candies or ready made decorating icing (optional)

What to Do

No, I did not mean to have two types of cupcakes. My dog enjoyed 11 chocolate ones so I had to make more (he’s fine).
First frost. Is anyone else reminded of Mrs. Doubtfire?
Second round. So much frosting! The kids will love it.
  1. After you’ve baked your cupcakes (it is totally acceptable that they come out of a box), it’s time to set them up. First prepare a surface for  your cake. It needs to be quite big, so you might have to make one out of cardboard. I used my pizza pan. Cover it with aluminum foil. This is where the cupcakes will go.
  2.  Start with 2 rows of 6 cupcakes, then a row of 5, then 4, then 3, then 2. You may have less at the end depending on how big the tops of your cupcakes are.
  3. Push the cupcakes as close together as possible. This will help prevent frosting falling through the holes, although it’s probably going to fall through at least a little. That’s why you covered your cake tray in foil. 🙂
  4.  Smear your first batch of buttercream frosting all over those cupcakes. Have fun with it, no one’s going to see this part! In fact, this frosting doesn’t even have to be colored. You might still have some gaps in frosting here but that’s fine; just make sure they’re not too big.
  5. Put the cupcakes in the fridge to chill the frosting for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Decide what colors you want your underwear. I’m lazy and decided to opt with white for the main part, but my friend used a couple of colors for hers.
  7. Once your cupcakes have chilled, get them back out and frost all of them again with your main color. There should be no gaps this time.
  8. Add your lines. You can do this with cake decorating tips, or you can do it the real frenzied way and draw them with tube frosting. Start the top of the underwear line under the second row of 6 and the bottom of the line above the row of 2.
  9. Decorate however you see fit. The girl’s potty training party cake has stars made of fondant and colored by edible spray. I can’t tell you how to do that as I would never be bothered to use fondant, but I’m sure there are 8 million tutorials online.
  10. Put it back in the fridge until it’s time to eat. Serving is easy – just pull off a cupcake! I would note that they come off a lot cleaner if you let the cake sit out a bit beforehand. If you do it when they’re still cold the frosting will break in weird places.
Making some lines (don’t mind my terrible attempt at stars).
First we had a panty cake, now we have a tighty whitey cake.
A little mess when you pull apart, but that’s alright. Toddlers don’t judge your cake skills.

Bonus Decoration Idea

I may have mentioned over and over again that I hate decorating, but I have an idea for this one that won’t take much time. Besides balloons (because every kid party really does need balloons), why not string some underwear up and hang it someplace? It’s the same basic concept that these baby showers use with baby clothes. Just get yourself a couple packs of underwear, which you’re going to need anyway unless you’re also making this potty training party cake for giggles, and either hang them on a string or clothespin them right side up. Alright, moms and dads! Go convince your kids to use the potty so they can get this awesome cake!

A potty training party is the perfect way to celebrate your little one. #kidparty
ideas for a (1)

Ideas for a Star Wars Themed Nursery

Considering a Star Wars themed nursery? Or just wondering why a blog about entertaining would be talking about nurseries? Well, friends, I’m sitting here on my due date for baby #2 very aware I’m not going on time, and I haven’t thought of a single thing to write about this week. So nursery it is! My daughter’s isn’t done yet, but I always planned on sharing that one. It’s a Harry Potter theme for girls and I couldn’t find anything with the vibe I wanted when I searched, so I figured I’d help other people out. Of course it’s not done yet – they don’t call me the Frenzied Hostess because of all the spare time I have for DIY projects, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I know plenty of people have done the Star Wars themed nursery thing before, so this isn’t as original as the Harry Potter one will be. But, guess what I have over those other people? I’ve done the whole dang thing twice. Yep, we designed my son’s room when we lived in North Carolina, then did it all again when we bought our house in Tennessee. Fun, right? So, enjoy the pictures, and feel free to contact me or comment with any questions you might have while designing your own Star Wars themed nursery.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them I will receive compensation at no additional cost to you.**

The Walls

Tennessee Walls – a little brighter, a little less wacky ceilings

This is the only reason doing the nursery twice gave us a headache. We decided on sky blue walls with a dark blue border. Fun, right? Not if you’re the one measuring it! Actually, it really wasn’t that bad. We used a paint stirrer stick for the length. First we did the light blue, not bothering to get up to the ceiling since we’d just be painting over it anyway. Then we used the stick and a level to go around. It’s actually not that even of a line – the ceilings in both houses seemed to slant a little. I don’t think you can tell.

North Carolina walls – If only I’d known they would like kind of like R2D2

Now, you’ll see the North Carolina house had some funky walls (sorry about the picture quality, by the way – these were not taken with the intent of publication). We looked for picture example but couldn’t find any. So, we went with what we thought was best. It was a little bit more of a hassle, but I love how it turned out. We also had Star Wars fighter ship decals I found on Etsy on only one wall. I loved those too, and I might order them and put some up here too eventually. Baby girl needs a put together room first.

The Furniture

The crib and dresser were Amazon purchases, and they have been great. We chose white since it went with the trim, but we also considered black. My son has his own little Darth Vader chair, as all evil toddlers should. It’s not where it’s supposed to be right now, but it exists I swear. As for the grown-up chair, I don’t know if you really need one or not. My  husband refused a glider so we got a super comfy recliner instead.  It never made it upstairs in the NC house, but I love having it now that he’s old enough to play in his room. We got it at Haverty’s if you want one like it.

The DIYs

Not to toot my own horn, but I did most of this stuff myself.  If I got directions from somewhere else I’ll link to them.

The Name Sign

This I did see online, but it didn’t come with any instructions. It’s pretty easy. Get a sheet of balsa wood from Hobby Lobby. Your size might for either the wood or the font might vary with name length, but the type of wood is easy to hang. Paint it your background color first. Then download a Star Wars font (I used this one), print your baby’s name (I did print out 2 Ds instead of reusing one to make sure the spacing was correct), and then tape the letters on and trace them. Make a 1-2 inch border and paint that and your letters with some leftover wall paint. Then I used a paintbrush to give the letters some depth and flick paint all over.

The Wampa Rug

You can see the details here. It was pretty easy, though time consuming, but it has been beaten up since I made it. My dogs are apparently Wampa hunters.

The Mobile

I ordered this plain mobile on Amazon, along with some Star Wars Itty Bittys from Hallmark. They had both old school and new school Star Wars, and I wanted a combo so I got new since I already had a lot of old. I went with a black and white Force Awakens fabric and used a scrunchie tutorial to make a cover for the arm. To put it all together you should sew some ribbons to the characters’ heads and then do some serious knotting through the mobile holes to get them to stay. My son pulls at them all the time, and they haven’t fallen, though I have had to adjust a few times.

The Pillow & Blanket

Not much to say here. I sewed the Force Awakens fabric around an old throw pillow. Done. My aunt made the blanket out of a no-sew fleece kit.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

I found a cute, small version of this on Etsy but I really wanted something to fill this frame I had lying around, so I bought a Death Star poster and drew on the frame’s plastic cover with a chalk marker. Doing it on the frame instead of the poster means he can keep the poster if he likes it when he grows up because the chalk marker will wipe off. There are a lot of twinkle stars drawn on the Death Star, but it’s hard to see since it’s reflective. So just go crazy with them.

The Book Shelves

Not Star Wars related, but I painted some Ikea spice racks white and used them for books. They’re cute but they don’t fit enough for my book-loving child, so I am putting a full bookcase in my daughter’s room for the overflow.

Other Star Wars Themed Nursery Items

There’s honestly a lot more Star Wars themed nursery stuff in my son’s room than I thought. It doesn’t feel overwhelmingly Star Wars when I’m in it, which is something I was afraid of. There are so many good ideas online it’s hard to tell yourself to stop! But a lot of these other little details came as gifts so I threw them in the mix too. We’ve got the tin art, a Build-A-Bear Chewbacca, a talking R2-D2, some Star Wars books, and a tiny little Star Wars toy box that has always come in handy for quick cleanup. If there’s no link, I’m sorry – I really don’t know where they came from!

 

 

 

 

By the way, if you’re wondering… Yes, the Star Wars themed nursery was my idea. I gave my husband the choice between this or lumberjack. Surprisingly, the Star Trek fan went with this. Last week I talked about how hard it is to get along when discussing politics, but friends, if a Star Wars geek and a Star Trek nerd can work it out, perhaps anyone can.

DIY Star Wars themed nursery
style sneakers

How to Make Easy 4th of July Table Decorations

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First, let me say if you want really easy 4th of July table decorations, go buy out the Dollar Store’s patriotic section. It’s there, trust me.  I do acknowledge that pre-made things already exist. But, like I talked about last week with simple red, white and blue foods, sometimes you want to participate in all the crafting fun the world has to offer. In this case, we’re going to go red, white and blue again, but instead of using twenty-five million tiny American flags, we’re going to look at the fastest ways to get junk on your table and make people think you’re creative.

The first rule of easy 4th of July table decorations is to keep it really simple. Why are you decorating your table at all? Probably because it’s going to have food on it, right? That, or you’ll be eating on it. Either way, if you cover the entire thing with decorations, you’re going to run out of room. I love looking at those beautiful tables from professional party planners, but they’re always so crowded. We don’t need a whole garden or miniature Revolutionary Battle field to feel festive. The second rule? Don’t stress too much. My Easter brunch table took me literally five minutes, without thinking, and it got lots of compliments. Sometimes I think busy people get graded on a curve, and I am totally okay with that.

Ideas for Easy 4th of July Table Decorations

The Tablecloth

Real frenzied hostesses don’t care about smoothing it out. 🙂

I’m not really a fan of the flag tablecloths, if I’m being honest. Too busy. You can probably find really nice reusable ones with less busy patterns, and maybe I’ll add that to my future goals, but right now my toddler likes to sit on the table and make a mess after everyone leaves. I’d rather throw said mess away. So, to start your easy 4th of July table decorations, you might as well start with some plastic tablecloths. That’s right, plural. Instead of picking one color and running with it, grab yourself one red, one white, and one blue. This will add a little patriotic splash without going overboard, and then you can use only one color of plates and silverware (or all patriotic ones) without feeling like you’re missing something.

The only issue here might be positioning. In theory, you should be fine to spread the three colors out evenly. That’s the easiest way, of course, and it’ll give you a nice balanced look. But, it is going to look a little like France’s flag if you go with blue, white, red. Okay, not a little. It’s going to look exactly like France’s flag. If your friends no nothing about foreign countries, that won’t matter. If they’re the type to call you out on it, you can point out France was our ally during the Revolutionary War. Or, you could simply put the colors in a different order. You can see from the picture that I did the red and white horizontally and the blue vertically. It took zero extra work. If you’re worried about overhang, just don’t unfold them all the way. Even easier.

Flowers

Fanciest flower arrangement ever, probably.

If I had time and energy, I would scour supermarket flowers until I found red, white and blue bouquets. That might be easy when it’s actually the 4th of July, I don’t know. I’ve never tried it before. I can tell you it’s definitely not easy in the beginning of June. You don’t necessarily need to get only red, white and blue. I mean, you can get a few different bouquets and pull out the ones you want, or just use colors that are close. Red is going to be easy. It’s the other two that are the problem.  There are probably plenty of blue and white flowers at a florist, but I can’t be bothered to go to a florist.

Luckily, there is always another option for flowers. That is, of course, fake flowers. Fake, fake, fake. I don’t even try looking for ones that seem realistic. They’re easy 4th of July tablecloth decorations, not your wedding centerpieces. You can buy a set of white, a set of blue, and a set of red, or you can find those specially made patriotic bunches. Then stuff them in a vase. You don’t need anything in the vase, even if it’s clear glass. But, if you’re scared of people seeing the fake stems, I’ve got one more idea for you.

Red, White and Blue Anything

No need to buy frosted glass vases when you have a paper bag to the rescue!

Great idea, am I right?  You can go to the dollar store and buy some of those balloon weights. They’re fancy. You can get yourself a cupcake stand and put the patriotic cupcakes you made in there, then stand it up like the beautiful centerpiece it deserves to be. Got some red, white and blue socks lying around? Get really crazy (and a little unsanitary) and throw those on there too. Who cares? What’s really important is what food you’re putting on the table, not what you’re decorating it with.

For the record, I don’t actually recommend socks as your easy 4th of July table decorations. I’m going with paper bags, no joke. They’re the kind I’m sure less busy people turn into luminaries or something, but they’ll just be hanging out on my table… with vases of fake flowers in them. Simple, right? It hides the fakeness of the stems while adding a little festiveness. You could also put the bags by themselves, or line them up. I tried all those ideas, but you are going to have to excuse my photography this week. I’m getting ready for maternity leave, so I’m extra swamped right now. I had about five minutes to get good shots, and it turns out I couldn’t do it. But hey, I could get the stuff on the table, so now you know they really are easy 4th of July table decorations.

Final Thoughts

You can wave your flag inside if you want – but please don’t serve food on it.

I know I’m a very busy person, but even if you’re not, don’t feel like you have to design a party people will talk about for years. Let’s face it, the only way you’re going to pull that off is if someone accidentally sets himself on fire. While that is pretty common, it shouldn’t be our goal. Out of my 31 4th of July holidays, I can only remember the decor from one of them, and that is because it was the first time I hosted the barbecue myself.  That doesn’t mean it’s not fun to make a party look good. It just means you don’t have to stress about it. And finally, if you only have time for one decoration, skip the whole table and wave your American flag. Yes, of course they’re available on Amazon.  Plus, it comes with a bonus: You can use it all year!

Easy 4th of July Table Decorations can be both cheap and fast. #FourthofJuly
CASTLE

Plastic Tablecloth Decorations Vs. Streamers

There are some amazing plastic tablecloth decorations out there. Seriously, look at this and this. Who has time to come up with this stuff? Not me! But, I don’t really have time for anything (starting a blog may have been a terrible idea), so maybe I don’t count. Anyway, I know I’ve mentioned this once or twice, but I’m not really a fan of decorating for parties. That’s a terrible thing for a hostess to say, isn’t it? Yet I say it all the time. I decided maybe I need to stop all those traditional decorating ideas, like using streamers at all, ever, and switch it up a little. Honestly, I don’t have time for the fancy stuff, so my mind turned to plastic tablecloth decorations. I could probably do something with those, right?

Well, if you looked at those amazing decorations I pointed out, you might as well just use streamers. It would take just as long to rip up a whole bunch of paper and tape it to your wall as it would to make those tablecloth things. I don’t want to have to cut and snip and tie and then still tape things. I want something that takes twenty seconds and miraculously looks cute. Impossible? Probably. I decided to test out three different types of decorations using both plastic tablecloths and streamers to see which one was more time consuming, which one was more frustrating, and how much I’d need of each.

Plastic Tablecloth Decorations vs. Streamers

Round #1: Photo Backdrop

 

Plastic Tablecloth

Need: 1 tablecloth
Time to Complete in Real Time: 5 minutes
How Long it Felt: 5 minutes
Toddler Interference: Minimal
Frustration Level: Low
Overall Look: Eh. I could probably smooth it out add some other decorations, but it takes up a good amount of space so you could have multiple people there.

Streamers

Need: At least one roll, but probably two.
Time to Complete in Real Time: 10 minutes
How Long it Felt: 8 days
Toddler Interference: Moderate
Frustration Level: High
Overall Look: I only made it through one roll before giving it up. I would definitely want a second roll to both make it wider and help fill in any gaps. The tape is ugly too, so a balloon row on top or something is probably necessary.

The Winner: Plastic Tablecloth Decorations

Hands down, no questions on this one. I don’t have a lot of time. If I need a photo backdrop for something, I’m absolutely going this way. If you have help you can probably get yours up a lot smoother and even faster. By the way, the reason it even took five whole minutes was because it took me forever to get the tablecloth unfolded and I accidentally tacked it unevenly the first time. The streamers went faster than I thought they would, but I still had to deal with all that tape (I tacked the tablecloth) and ripping. Then it still didn’t look that nice. Tablecloths, 1, streamers, 0.

Round #2: Doorway Draping

 

Plastic Tablecloth

Need: 1-2 tablecloths depending on your doorway
Time to Complete in Real Time: 10 minutes
How Long it Felt: 5 hours
Toddler Interference: Minimal
Frustration Level: moderate
Overall Look: I’m not actually having a party, so I didn’t put a lot of effort into this, but the unevenness still bothered me. If you only have a small doorway, this would be an absolute cinch.

Streamers

Need: Depends on the size of your doorway, mine would be about 4
Time to Complete in Real Time: 40 minutes
How Long it Felt: ——-
Toddler Interference: Moderate
Frustration Level: Highest
Overall Look: Okay, I have to confess here. I couldn’t even make myself do this one. Don’t judge me. I’m seven months pregant, I don’t need to be climbing up and down chairs or stools or ladders or a party I’m not having. What I did instead was measure the photo backdrop space and my door opening to see how much I’d need, then figured out the time it’d take per roll. As you can see, my frustration level was off the roof, since I couldn’t be bothered to do it. Would I bother if I was actually throwing a party? Survey says: No.

The Winner: Plastic Tablecloth Decorations

I know it’s not the fanciest of decorations, and for some reason my Dollar Tree purchase makes me look like a Packers fan, but I kind of like this. It gives a little bit of a festive vibe and it really doesn’t require that much work, unless you’re a perfectionist. Perfectionists, you should probably find another blog. I can feel your stress looking at my pictures from here. Tablecloths, 2, streamers, 0.

Round #3: Ceiling Decor

Plastic Tablecloth

Need: 1 tablecloth (and one hula hoop)
Time to Complete in Real Time: 45 minutes
How Long it Felt: 300 years
Toddler Interference: Maximum
Frustration Level: high, but mostly from toddler, not tablecloth
Overall Look: Hahahaha, this would not be a feature at any party of mine. I went with the hula hoop idea instead of streaming from one side to the other because I didn’t have help. I’d have to say nothing is better than this though.

Streamers

Need: Minimum 1.5 rolls
Time to Complete in Real Time: 30 minutes
How Long it Felt: A week
Toddler Interference: Maximum
Frustration Level: Highest -both from the streamers and the toddler. Did you know toddlers like hula hoops? I started tying the streamers, but they kept ripping, so I moved to staples, which actually looked smoother and took less time.
Overall Look: Eh, I’d still probably skip it, but I could see someone with more time on their hands making something out of this. Oh, and I wouldn’t hang it on the chandelier I already have. I just didn’t have time to rig something else up.

The Winner: Streamers

I’m not positive I’d bother with this one. Well, that’s not accurate. I’m positive I wouldn’t bother with this one.  It was frustrating either way, my son just wanted to play with it, and in the end it didn’t look great. If I was basing this on traditional ceiling decorations, though, I still think streamers would win. They’re easier to twist up, you don’t have to worry about folding them or cutting them the right way, and the look is pretty much the same. Tablecloths, 2, streamers, 1.

Conclusion: Plastic Tablecloth Decorations Win

If I’m going to decorate, I want it to be as fast as possible so I don’t waste any time. For the most part, using plastic tablecloths was so much less work than putting up streamer after streamer after streamer. Oh, and if price is a consideration for you,  tablecloths are $1 at the dollar store and about $3.50 at Target. Getting them at the dollar store is obviously cheaper, but you can get more decorative ones at other stores. Two rolls of streamers are $1 at the dollar store and  between $1 and $3.50 for one roll at Target. I’m probably not going to start enjoying decorating, but at least now I know I have another option besides streamers. The next time you throw a party, think about that and spend more time enjoying and less time decorating!

What's the easiest way to decorate? Streamers or plastic tablecloth decorations? #easydecorations #streamers #tableclothdecorations #decorations #easydecorations #party
diy interchangeable

DIY Interchangeable Holiday Charger Plates

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them I will receive compensation at no additional cost to you.

I’ve been working on an idea for interchangeable holiday charger plates. My mom used to do a lot of tole painting when I was younger. That’s painting on wood, if you aren’t familiar. She doesn’t anymore, but a good portion of her holiday decorations are homemade. She has one that stays out all year. It’s a bear that hangs on the wall, and he changes his clothes for the holidays and different seasons. That’s my inspiration. A plate that changes clothes. This is not necessarily related, but my neighbor does this with pallets. Where does she put them?! I honestly don’t know, but luckily charger plates are much easier to store.

How to Make Interchangeable Holiday Charger Plates

What You Need

Interchangeable holiday charger plates

Charger Plates (As many as you want for your table, or just one for decor)
Fabric Quarters
Stapler
Scissors
A pen or marker
Clear Velcro dots
Fabric glue

For my charger plates, I went gold, but obviously you can pick whatever you want.  As for the fabric, you can order giant bundles on Amazon, but I just went to JoAnn when they had a sale and found ones that seemed in season.

What to Do

I would love to tell you this is quick and you’ll be done in ten minutes, but you probably won’t unless you’re only doing one interchangeable holiday charger plate. It’s not difficult, but I had to do this while my son ran around with my fabric on his head. Plus I had to take pictures for you lovely folks.  Then I had a call with a client.You see? I really am always in a frenzy. Anyway…

Step 1

Choose some shapes for each holiday. I did four: a pumpkin for Halloween, a leaf for Thanksgiving, a tree for Christmas, and a heart for Valentine’s Day. You can find some images on your computer or pick up die-cuts or something. I free-handed them though, because, you know, time. To make sure they’re all similar sizes, draw them on the cardboard in the center of the fat quarters.

Step 2

Cut out your cardboard shapes. Your fabric is going to come in little squares, and if you unfold it you should be able to see if your drawings will fit on the squares or not (All my pictures are below so you can see what I mean). If they do, you can cut off a strip and fold it up into fours. If they don’t, you’ll want to cut the fabric into four different squares and staple them together. Then you’re going to staple your shape onto the fabric and cut around it. It will give you four shapes at once. It’s really easy, I swear, but if you’re uncomfortable with that, just use the cardboard as a stencil and trace the image onto the fabric. Then you can cut them individually. Do this for each shape. You do need them all done before you go to the Velcro.

Step 3

Now you have a whole bunch of little shapes, right? From here it’s time to figure out where to put the Velcro. Go ahead and put either the hook or loop (the sharp or the soft if you’re not familiar with the term – I had to look it up) of a Velcro dot in the center of one plate. Then put the opposite side onto the center of one of your shapes. Then do one for each holiday. So, for my four choices, that meant starting with one hook dot on the plate, followed by one loop dot on the tree, then one on the pumpkin, one on the heart, and one on the leaf. Yes, you will be using a lot more of one side of Velcro than another.

Step 4

Right now you technically have interchangeable holiday charger plates, but they’re kind of floppy, right? So you’ll need to add a second Velcro dot, which is why it was important for you to do one of each shape instead of all of one shape. To add the second dot to the plate, pick your skinniest shape (the tree in my case) and find the furthest spot from the center where you could put the dot without making it visible. Then put the dot on there. Don’t let the placement stress you out; they’re pretty moveable in the beginning. Now you’ll want to go through and attach each shape to the center part and see where the dot lines up. Some of the shapes will be upside down from others for best placement, FYI.

Step 5

Put Velcro and each and every fabric shape. Then do the other plates by simply putting the opposite Velcro on one shape and then sticking it to the plate. This is the most time consuming part, but after the first two it’s pretty mindless.  Also, unless you are a really careful Velcro remover, you’ll probably want to use a bit of fabric glue to make sure the Velcro stays on the fabric for a long time. It should stay on the plate without anything else, but if you’re worried use some super glue. Then you’re done! Nice, not really that fancy, interchangeable holiday charger plates.

Basically the Same Instructions, only Visual

 

Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Check that the cardboard in your fabric quarters fits on the plate.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Draw yourself some pictures. If you’re me, mess up multiple times.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Cut out your shapes. Let your son color the heart blue if he feels like it.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
If you’re lucky, you can just cut off a sliver and be done. Or you will have to resize them, like in the case of that giant heart and poorly folded red fabric.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Staple everywhere! Staple the corners of your four pieces together. Then staple the cutout.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Cut around the cutout and you get four shapes.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Do the rest of your shapes and get ready to Velcro!
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Loop Velcro in the middle of the plate, hook Velcro in the middle of the shapes. Or vice versa. Your Velcro, your call.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Pick a spot for a second Velcro dot on your skinniest shape.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Now take turn attaching the other shapes to the first dot and see where the second dot will fit best.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Be aware that some of the shapes will seem upside down from the others, but that’s fine. The plate is round. No one will ever know.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Time for the rest of the plates! Grab a shape. Attach the other side of the Velcro to the Velcro already on the fabric, sticky side up.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Turn the fabric over, stick the Velcro to the plate. Repeat with all plates. Now all your shapes should fit on all plates. Use fabric glue on the Velcros if they aren’t attaching well.
Interchangeable holiday charger plates
Wah lah! Interchangeable holiday charger plates.

 

All done! Now Display your Interchangeable Holiday Charger Plates.

You can put them out on the table. Regular plates fit on them just fine. The Velcro isn’t thick enough to make it weird. You can also use just one plate and display it in a plate stand. That’s what I’ve been doing; normally I have a wedding plate displayed, but I’ve been mixing it up for the holidays. If you’ve read my work, you know I prefer simple decorations, and even though this could potentially take a little longer than most of my ideas, I like it because you can use it every year multiple times. Let me know in the comments if these instructions aren’t clear – I wrote Velcro too many times and now everything sounds crazy. Anyway, enjoy your holidays!

Interchangeable holiday charger plates

Interchangeable holiday charger plates

DIY interchangeable charger plates are pretty fast and easy, and you don't have to store eight different sets of plates! #holidays #holidaydecorations #chargerplates #christmasdecorations #thanksgivingdecorations #tablesettings #halloweendecorations #valentinesdaydecorations DIY interchangeable charger plates are pretty fast and easy, and you don't have to store eight different sets of plates! #holidays #holidaydecorations #chargerplates #christmasdecorations #thanksgivingdecorations #tablesettings #halloweendecorations #valentinesdaydecorations

 

Other holiday decor ideas