Direct guests to their seats with name cards topped by leaves that look like they just blew in. To make each card, fold a piece of brown cover-weight card stock in half. Write guest's name with a white gel pen. Cut 1 or 2 notches (about 1 inch wide) in card, at an angle. Slide fallen leaves -- fresh or dried and pressed -- into each notch.
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It's hard to keep track of small hardware such as washers, grommets, and nuts. Here's a handy way to organize them by size and type: String them on shower curtain rings. Hang the metal rings on a board above your workbench so the loose hardware will be even easier to spot.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2006
Cast a sinister glow over any setting with a cluster of white tapers dripping with "blood" (actually red candle wax). Fill a cup or a small pail with sand, and plant white candles inside so they stand upright. Light a red candle and tip it over the white candles so the wax drips down the tops and sides, being careful not to burn yourself. Let wax cool completely before removing candles from sand.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October 2007
From the Sunflower State of Kansas, here's a way to welcome guests to the table with a great big hello. Trim sunflower stems short, so they fit into juice glasses. Cut paper into petal shapes and write guests' names on them. Then add the extra petal to the flowers with dots of tacky white glue.
Marguerite plate, $71, johnderian.com
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2010
Assembled from yarn, rope, and foam balls, these homespun pumpkin decorations are simple to make. For each, gently press top and bottom of a Styrofoam ball against a work surface to flatten ends (so ball doesn't roll). Wrap orange roving around ball. Insert a T pin into top. Tie cream or orange mohair yarn to pin and cover ball. Cut a length of rope; place over pin, and attach with a hot-glue gun, pressing to secure.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2008
Evoke a Victorian Christmas with place cards that resemble elegant paper scrolls. To make them, cut a 1-by-8-inch strip from heavyweight paper, and trim the ends at a 45-degree angle. Write a guest's name on top, centering it on the strip. To curl the ends, as shown, wrap them around a smooth-sided pen or pencil. At every place setting, lay a scroll atop a sprig of holly.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, December 2007
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