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PARTY ideas + decor

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

A Round-Up of Oscar Party Ideas

Oscar nominee envelope napkin for a red and gold tabletop

Oscar nominee envelope napkin for a red and gold tabletop

If you are hosting an Oscar Party this year, here are some ideas that will make your event more special. You could start the night with your own version of the red carpet.

Ask for a volunteer to arrive early and be the official photographer for the photo shoot. Hang a backdrop screen near the entrance to photograph every guest in their glamorous outfit. Or you can supply props for a movie-inspired photo booth. You could decorate the floor with Hollywood stars or hang your own Hollywood sign in your living room.

Oscar Ballots

Ask your guests to vote, ideally before the party, for the winner for each category. They can simply fill up the Oscar ballot available at The Academy Web site. If you can, compile the results in advance.

Movie-Inspired Menus

Several sites propose a menu for food and drinks that referenced to the best moving pictures nominees. Check out the recipes on CTV.ca or the Oscar menus on Epicurious.

Tabletop

You could fold the napkins like a nominee envelop and dress your table in gold and red as they did on Food Network magazine.

Oscar nominee label wrapped on an envelope napkin

Or you can head to the Hostess with the Mostess blog to download her yellow and black Oscar party theme templates that include “envelope” napkin wraps, drink tags, popcorn bag labels, place cards and more.

Lastly, you can revisit the Oscar Party ideas post I wrote last year. I am still a fan of the Statuette cookies.

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

The 2011 Edition of Oscar Bingo by How About Orange

how about orange oscar bingo

how about orange oscar bingo

With the Academy Awards just over a week away, another award’s season is winding down. Whether you’re planning a full-on bash to rival Oscar after-parties or just hosting a few film fanatic friends, be sure to include this free, printable Oscar Bingo card designed by Jessica Jones of How About Orange.

This classic game gets a hilarious upgrade with categories like “Orchestra cuts off winner’s speech” and “Winner attempts to exit stage in wrong direction”. It’s sure to keep your guests entertained through the show’s less-than-award-worthy segments.

For other Oscar party ideas, including food and favor suggestions, check out Kim’s round-up.

SOURCING:
+ Printable Oscar Bingo card from How About Orange

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Two DIY Party Projects

cookies in sewed glassine bags :: party favors

cookies in sewed glassine bags :: party favors

I saw those two DIY projects created by Jessica from Modern Moments. They are easy and would definitely make a statement. The best part is that these DIY projects can be adapted to fit many occasions.

First, take this idea from a first birthday’s party for a little boy. The mother sewed a cookie in a glassine bag for serving. It makes an awesome presentation and your guests can easily take home a few cookies at the end of the party.

diy mini cupcake stand

For the same party, this mom made these single cupcake stands for roughly $1 each. It’s an idea I bookmarked for my next tea party.

SOURCING:
+ Your not so typical Office Party First Birthday by Modern Moments
+ Mini Cupcake Stand DIY Tutorial by Modern Moments
+ Glassine bag at Garnish, from $0.10 to $0.20 each, depending of the size

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Adorable Party Supplies at Shop Sweet Lulu

8 oz, round bottles for milk, limonade or other beverages

8 oz. round bottles for milk, chocolate milk lemonade or other beverages

If you wonder where to get these adorable small bottles that are so popular at baby showers and weddings, have a look at Shop Sweet Lulu on Etsy. They also carry the traditional French square bottles.

french square glass bottles and wooden taster spoons for ice cream

Shop Sweet Lulu also sells wooden ice cream spoons, dots and stripes birthday candles, nice striped straws, polka dot party cones and baking cups with cute festive patterns that you can use to serve candies, ice cream as well as cupcakes.

polka dot candy cups

If you need a large number, you may be better to buy your beverage bottles in bulk. I found the square bottles in different formats at SKS Bottle & Packaging.

SOURCING:
+ 8 oz. Round Bottles, $12 USD for 4 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ 8 oz. French Square Bottles with a black plastic cap, $16 USD for 4 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ 8 oz. French Square Bottles without caps, $66.36 USD for 84 at SKS Bottle  & Packaging
+ Flat Wooden Ice Cream Taster Spoons $2 for 20 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ Polka Dot Candy Cups $4 for 20 at Shop Sweet Lulu

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Carnation Cones

carnation cones

carnation cones

I usually dislike carnations. But I have to admit that Martha Stewart Living craft editor Marcie McGoldrich impressed me with this easy to do DIY carnation cones.

You could either print your own pattern on heavyweight paper or buy a thick patterned paper at a local art & craft store to make your own cones. Secure the cone with double-sided tape. And do not forget to bind the stems with floral tape.

SOURCING:
+ Martha Stewart Living, February 2011 issue – photo by Con Poulus

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Soup Swap

Soup Swap :: soupe au pistou

Soup Swap :: soupe au pistou

If you’ve ever participated in a holiday cookie swap, you’ll love this healthier alternative made for chilly winter months. Mark January 22nd on your calendar: that’s the date of the 5th National Soup Swap.

What began in Seattle in 2006, has since spread through the power of the Internet and social media sites. While others host awards show soirées and Superbowl parties during the month of January, you and your friends can top up each other’s freezers by exchanging containers of homemade soup.

Not only is this an economical way to socialize (especially after the costly holiday season) and share your favorite recipe, it’s an awesome way to escape eating the same leftover soup for multiple meals.

Find tips and how-tos for hosting a soup swap at soupswap.com.

SOURCING:
+ 5th National Soup Swap
+ Soup Swap on Twitter
+ Photo: Soupe au pistou from The Galley Gourmet

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Three Simple Ways to Set Up a Beverage Station

handy bar cart that you can customize

My top three finds from the December 2010 issue of Canadian House & Home allow me to discuss three simple and effective way to set up a beverage station this Holiday season. These ideas can work with any types of party and at any time of the year.

First, all you need to transform a side table is a cork sheet, 8 eye hooks, a brass ball chain, 4 casters and contact cement. A good choice is VEJMON side table because it has a middle shelf. (page 70)

chest with styrofoam coolers

If you prefer a solution that is not permanent, you will love this one. You can hide two styrofoam coolers inside an IKEA BYHOLMA chest. This affordable idea offers plenty of room to keep your bottles cold. After the party, you can use the chest to store occasional bedding, linens or throws. (page 78)

beverage stations

The simplest form is when the beverage station is a part of your appetizer table or is next to the dinnerware and flatware. Just make sure to separate the bottles from the food with trays or platters. There is a purpose besides the good look; your drink station will stay cleaner if you contain the bottles and the glasses. (page 138)

You will find many more great entertaining ideas on that issue. I encourage you to get a copy.

SOURCING:
+ Canadian House & Home – December 2010

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Citrus Centerpieces by O.XIDE Design

citrus centerpieces by o.xide design

citrus centerpieces by o.xide design

For this event, O.XIDE Design gave a modern twist to fruit and floral arrangements. They feel fresh and inviting. I like them a lot! They used white vases as pedestals. Look for casual chic centerpieces like those whenever you are planning a special brunch or dinner party.

citrus centerpieces with a tall arrangement for a drink station

I am taking notes for designing my drink station. If you plan to make your own, you will need a tall glass cylinder vase to execute it. Aim for vases that are 2 feet or more. Your local florists are a good place to start shopping for tall glass vases.

SOURCING:
+ O.XIDE Design’s portfolio – photos by Amélie Cousineau
+ 23″ tall Clear Glass Cylinder Vase $22 at Save on Crafts

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Party Idea

Gruyere grilled cheese with Prosciutto, Arugula and Tomato

Gruyere grilled cheese with Prosciutto, Arugula and Tomato

If you are looking for alternatives to the Make Your Own Pizza party, Martha Stewart suggested on Oprah that you throw a Grilled Cheese party for grown ups. I think it is a great idea! Everybody loves grilled cheese sandwiches.

Like most comfort food, the grilled cheese sandwiches has raised to new heights lately. The key is to upgrade the basic ingredients. I prepare my upscale grilled cheese with a port wine infused aged cheddar and a French baguette. It’s divine! I adapted the recipe from Pullman, an excellent wine and tapas restaurant in Montreal. Other recipes that are worth a try are:

How to Throw a Grilled Cheese Party

idea for a grilled cheese station for a casual party

The preparation is easy. Make sure to get a nice cheese selection, bake or buy at your local bakery several bread types, and serve many condiments from charcuterie to cut vegetables, cut fruits, fresh herbs and green leaves. Beside aged cheddar, look for delicious Gruyère, Emmental, Fontina and Jarlsberg cheeses. If you host a party for a large group, set up two stations. This way, everyone has easy access to the food.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are best cooked at low heat since it gives time for the cheese to melt. Therefore, you can use table burners to provide a cooking surface to more people. The idea is to allow your guests to eat together.

One last thing, prepare in advance a soup and a couple of salads to be your side dishes. Tell me, what is your favorite grilled cheese sandwich recipe?

SOURCING:
+ How to Make Your Own Grilled Cheese Bar by Martha Stewart on Oprah

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Evian Bottle by Issey Miyake

issey miyake evian bottles

issey miyake evian bottles

After Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Paul Smith, it’s the turn of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake to design a beautiful, limited-edition bottle for Evian. His design is Sprung from Pleats Please and was inspired by Pleats Please, his innovative pleated cloth technique with multiple collections.

Where to Find the Bottle?

Aubut Alimentation in Montreal carried last year boxes of the Paul Smith’s Evian bottles. I do not know if they will have the Issey Miyake version this year. From their Web site, I know that it will be able in the United States at Issey Miyake’s stores.

If you wish to get those, know that the designer bottles cost more than the original bottles. Budget at least 5 times more, if my memory served me right. But I think the Issey Miyake’s Evian bottles would make a stunning table decor addition to a party. Just make sure that nobody puts them in the recycling bins since you probably want to keep them and reuse them over and over.

SOURCING:
+ Evian by Issey Miyake