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Merry Christmas Eve, friends! Are you prepping for a holiday party? Whether you’re hosting a casual Christmas brunch or an evening cocktail gathering, we have plenty of recipes and decorating ideas to guide your holiday entertaining. Inspired by all the seasonal festivities, here’s a mood board that will leave you ready to celebrate.

Mood Board Monday: Holiday EntertainingCocktail Party :: Open House :: Ornament-Making Party :: Hotel Recipes :: Crafty Kids’ Holiday Party :: Hanukkah Decor

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

The holidays are sneaking up on us fast! Hanukkah began this weekend and Christmas will be here in less than 2 weeks. If you’re like me, you’re in gift wrapping crunch mode.

Honestly, wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays but wrapping guys’ gifts can be tough — the trick is to keep them seasonal and masculine. For my mens’ gifts this year, that means this awesome blue plaid ribbon (love!) and handy-dandy, works-with-anything Kraft paper.

Another Kraft paper bonus: Thanks to its thickness, you can paint it without rippling the paper. So for Grant’s gift, I painted on a chalkboard gift tag then topped it with a blue plaid ribbon rose (in honor of his bowtie obsession) and a sparkly snowflake ornament.Chalkboard Gift Wrap With Handmade Ribbon Rose

Step 1: I planned to add the ribbon rose on one side and have the chalkboard tag take up most of the remaining space so I first taped on a band of ribbon to determine the tag’s placement. Next I used a ruler to mark out a rectangle, leaving the corners unmarked. To round the tag’s corners, I sketched around a small tin then erased any pencil marks that wouldn’t be covered by the chalkboard paint. chalkboard gift wrap


We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

So, you have your holiday party all lined up, decorations are coming into place, cocktails are being tested (!!!) and now you just need to find the perfect favors to send off partygoers. Coordinate favors with the theme of the party, and give them a handmade touch for an ultra-memorable sendoff.

Countdown to Christmas: DIY Holiday Party Favors

What’s your theme? If you plan on hosting an ornament-making party, let their new, handmade ornaments double as party favors. But if you’re just having a small holiday get-together with friends, you may just want to go with something charming and seasonal. Try this gold and burlap basket (left) or these custom-mixed tea favors (right). And we didn’t forget the packaging, either. We have printables, tips and wrapping ideas to give your gifts pro presentation. Check out our favorite DIY holiday party favor ideas >>


The first night of Hanukkah is this Saturday, so you have just a couple of days to prepare for guests. If you’re scrambling to create the perfect dinner table setting, then look no further. Former Design Star contestant Britany Simon styled this haute table setting that keeps tradition alive, while bringing in a few contemporary touches to the mix.

Haute Hanukkah Table Setting

Britany added a twist to the traditional blue and white colors with plenty of hanging paper lanterns and a no-sew table runner.

See More Hanukkah Table Setting Ideas

We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

You’ve probably been tossing around idea after idea for this year’s holiday party. Steer away from the cliche “tacky Christmas sweater” theme and try something entirely new. Your friends will love it, and it will be the perfect way to end the year.

Host a Crafty Kids' Holiday Party

Try party themes that require more guest interactivity, like fondue or holiday crafts. It’s a great way for different groups of friends to meet and mingle, plus it puts less pressure on the host/hostess to ensure everyone is occupied or entertained.

I’ve listed 10 of our favorite holiday party themes below. The best part? They’re SO easy to pull together because we have the (free!) printables and decorating how-tos right there for you. Party on!



This evening at sunset marks the start of Hanukkah. People all over the world will be celebrating this eight-night holiday by exchanging gifts with friends and family, spinning the dreidel, lighting the menorah and eating traditional Hanukkah foods, like latkes and sufganiyot.

Host a Sparkling Hanukkah Celebration

Festivities may only be hours away, but I couldn’t help myself. I scoured the net in search of creative Hanukkah-inspired decor and hit the jackpot in the “awesome” department. Look at these:

handmade hannukah dreidel pouchEmbroidered Dreidel Game Pouch :: The Purl Bee

handmade hanukkah wreathsYarn Hanukkah Wreaths From Etsy :: theberkleybungalow / ItzFitz

industrial menorah hannukahMan-orah :: notschlock (Doesn’t it remind you of Erin Loechner’s industrial pipe candelabra?)

modern hannukah garlandModern Hanukkah Garland :: ModernTribe

Don’t you just love them all?! Happy Hanukkah, friends!

(Looking for something last minute? Take a peek around our Hanukkah page for decorations, crafts and recipes.)

Tomorrow marks the first night of Hanukkah (Did you see Kayla’s table setting and recipe ideas?). Before the latkes and sufganiyot hit the table, jazz up each guest’s seat with these sparkling Star of David place cards.

Sparkling Hanukkah Place Cards
To make, combine two Star of David cutouts to form a three-dimensional place card.  Fold the bottom of each side out to make the card stand up. Outline the star with glue and glitter and write each guest’s name in the center using a metallic gold paint pen. Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

Get even more handmade ideas from our 12 Days of Handmade series and our Handmade Holidays feature. Check back tomorrow for another great DIY project!

Hanukkah begins on December 20, which means you have just eight days to prepare for the all the exciting festivities ahead. Are you hosting a Hanukkah celebration with friends and family this year? We have a sparkling blue and white tablescape that’s easy to put together and will dazzle guests with an unconventional menorah centerpiece, Hanukkah gelt and elegant place settings.

hanukkah table setting hanukkah celebration hanukkah 2012 festival of lights

Use mismatched blue and white plates to tie in the traditional colors of the holiday.

hanukkah table setting hanukkah 2012 hanukkah celebration festival of lights

Make your table unique by using a glass cake pedestal to hold the Shamash. Create glittery, three-dimensional Star of David place cards and send your guests home with gelt party favors to end the evening.

hanukkah centerpiece hanukkah celebration festival of lights hanukkah gelt hanukkah candles

Don’t forget the food! Get recipes for potato latkes and braised Coca-Cola beef brisket.

If you’re looking for more Hanukkah inspiration, these quick and easy decorating ideas can be done in a snap, just in time for the Festival of Lights.

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