Bring the lush greenery of the 50th state to your own backyard: Party snacks plain or exotic get an upgrade when served in cones fashioned from banana leaves (which are available at Asian and Latin food markets). Cut them into six-inch squares, roll each into a cone, and fasten at the seam with a bamboo skewer.
More Bright Ideas
A bright sheet or piece of fabric makes a lively backdrop for a professional-style photo shoot. Try hanging it at parties, and give guests a chance to strike a chic pose for the camera.
Make your photos even more festive by adding seasonal or occasion-appropriate embellishments. For slumber parties, try our Glittered "Candy" Garland.
SourceThe Martha Stewart Show, October 2010
Here's a fresh idea for the season's abundant Forelles and Anjous: Use them to make a friendly, fragrant greeting.
Line up seven pears (in the same color or a mix) on a mantel. Then, with a fine-tipped washable marker, write letters on the front of each pear. Press whole cloves into the flesh along the lines; using a pushpin or a tack first can ease their entry. Make the letters no earlier than the day your guests arrive -- the sweet and spicy aroma will be as welcoming as the message itself.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2010
This display is a centerpiece, a stack of party favors, and a table-number indicator all in one.
Fill small cardboard boxes with cookies or candies, wrap them with bands of paper and slender ribbon, and stack them on a silver compote in the shape of a pyramid. Attach a table number to the topmost box.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, 2004
Guests prone to waterworks at weddings could use one of these: a ceremony program that doubles as a tissue cache.
To make the petite pocket, tuck a tissue or two inside a piece of paper that folds over twice to become a small, sideless envelope. (Use decorative scissors to trim the edges of the flap.) Then, glue or tape the envelope to the program. True, not everyone is going to cry during the vows, but it's a charming way to dry the joyful tears of those who do.
Scalloped "z-card" in lavelite, Envelopments.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
Cool down a room-temperature bottle of wine in record time with this handy tip.
Wet and wring out a linen dish towel, wrap it around a bottle, and place the wine in the refrigerator for half an hour. Can't wait that long? Try the freezer for 15 minutes.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2011
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