I don’t know if it’s moving into a new place or just the fact that it’s the holidays, but I’ve really been on an entertaining kick lately.
So, I partnered with Air Wick to put together a DIY idea that will take you from entertaining during the holidays to hanging out at home in the new year.
But first, I wanted to share a handful of tips and tricks that I always try to remember when throwing a casual (but cool) dinner party. Just some entertaining tips that I’ve picked up along the way…
1. Add something unexpected. A giant holiday garland, hung on the wall, will add a pop of color and an unexpected detail. You could also use the garland as a photo booth backdrop, in a pinch.
2. Evoke the senses. Burn scented candles in holiday scents, like Mrs. Claus Apple Pie and Evergreen Adventure from The Enchanted Holiday collection, to draw guests in as they sit down at the dinner table. Play a little music to entertain everyone during lulls in conversation and get everyone feeling comfy. And (of course) be sure to serve great food too.
3. Use what you have. Instead of rushing out to buy a new tablecloth, table settings, or the perfect set of vases, use what you already have and spend the extra time you saved on creating something special, like a pretty flower arrangement or favors for guests to take home.
*I’ll be sharing a DIY for candle party favors tomorrow. So, be sure to check back for that.
4. Incorporate DIY elements that you can repurpose after the party is over. One of my favorite centerpieces ideas recently is for these DIY cement votive holders. They’re great for holiday parties, but can be used year round, as mantle decor, etc.
Want to make your own? Here’s how…
Air Wick candles (they have easy peel labels that come right off, which make them perfect for craft projects) // plastic bucket // container for pouring and scooping (that is okay to get messed up) // decorative boxes in various shapes and sizes (I found that boxes and lids that have a waxy coating are the best to use for this particular project) // rapid setting cement mix // water // trowel for mixing
1. Start by adding the cement mix to a bucket, then add water. You’ll need 4 parts cement to 1 part water. Mix well with a trowel.
2. Next, peel off the labels from your candle and set aside.
3. Pour the cement mixture into each container, filling about 3/4 of the way full.
4. Then, place your candle into the center of the container with the cement. For short lids and containers like the red one, your candle will just sit inside without any issue. For a taller container, like the brown square one in the photo, you’ll need to use a long piece of tape to keep the votive in place while the cement sets.
5. Wait for the cement to dry according to the instructions on the packaging (each one is a little different). With rapid set cement though, it should be completely dry in 3-5 hours (depending on the temperature, etc).
6. Once the cement is completely dry, rip the container away to reveal your cement votive. If you have any trouble pulling the container away from the cement, use a knife, or soak the entire container in a bowl of water to soften it before removing. Sandpaper may be helpful for removing extra pieces of cardboard that are stuck to the concrete as well.
Here are a few more photos to get you in the mood to party…
Photography by Kimberly Murray // Assisted by Linda Jednaszewski // Concept and Styling Brittni Mehlhoff
For more DIY holiday inspiration and beyond, be sure to check out my Deck the Halls holiday board on Pinterest.
Think you’ll give the cement votive holders a try before the holidays roll around?
This post is in partnership with Air Wick. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.
9 comments | Click here to reply
I must admit I’m slightly daunted by this project, but definitely intrigued. There are so many neat projects I’ve seen done with cement and this is beautiful but also seems like a good intro project!Kathryn
Love these! And the whole table set up is just delightful.Malissa
I completely agree, Ann.Brittni
Cement- such a great way to add more textures without overwhelming visually!
Thanks Kelly. You should definitely try a cement DIY…you can dip it in a bright color after it’s dry too to Studio DIY it up a bit more. 🙂Brittni
I love those pom pom garlands and the candle holders! I’ve never worked with cement but may need to try. Also, I’m pretty sure I need that “Mrs. Claus’ Apple Pie” in my life!!Kelly @ Studio DIY
I love your garland. The pompoms are super cute.Liza N.