Create an hors d'oeuvre centerpiece that recalls a vegetable patch. Buy a large, deep galvanized-metal planter from a garden-supply center, line the bottom with sprouts, and pour in enough water to moisten them. Arrange vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, asparagus, and cauliflower, in sections inside the container, varying the colors. Serve immediately with herb dip, or cover with moist paper towels and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
More Bright Ideas
A handful or two of freshly cut flowers embody the laid-back spirit of outdoor entertaining, especially when the blooms are slipped into a mismatched assortment of clear glass bottles, jars, and carafes. The containers go with any color scheme and offer a way to pair unlikely garden mates. At this dinner party, sun-craving cosmos meet shade-friendly astilbes. And the mingling of starburst scabiosa seed heads with the fireworks of astrantia makes the tabletop conversation sparkle.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Guests will go dotty for confetti decorated with their own smiling faces. Use a photo-editing program to give digital pictures of family and friends a sepia tint; print onto matte photo paper. Use 1/2-inch to 1-inch circle punches to cut out faces, as well as extra circles from colored paper and vellum. Package the confetti in envelopes, and hand them out to guests for a celebratory toss at midnight.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January
Keep bugs, leaves, and other unwelcome guests from joining you for drinks by topping glasses with these jaunty little hats (otherwise known as baking cups). Cut a small X into the center of each liner, poke a straw through the hole, and enjoy your beverage worry- (and pest-) free.
Paper cups, fancyflours.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2010
Give a glimpse of the favors inside with monogram-punched boxes. They make an impression and won't burn a hole in your pocket.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
What You'll Need
CB2 "Modern" salad plate and dip dish
Three large peonies
Floating Flowers How-To
1. For the runner, cut floral foam, a spongelike anchor used by florists, to fit a 7-inch-wide shallow dish, and add water. Stick the stems of gaylax leaves into the foam (shown at left). Then insert two or three large peonies, with stems trimmed, on top.
2. For the place-card holder, cut floral foam to fit a 3 1/2-inch-wide shallow dish, and follow the directions above, except use only one peony. Tuck a place card inside the flower.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2010
More Entertaining Ideas