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A Ballet-Inspired Bash
For Martha Stewart Weddings editorial director Darcy Miller, nothing says the holidays like "The Nutcracker." "I remember seeing the ballet as a little girl, and have loved taking my daughters," she says. "The New York City Ballet's 2012 production inspired me to create these dreamy party decorations."
Darcy's holiday spread (left) re-creates the "Land of Sweets."
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Choir of Angels
Paper angels made of glitter paper, doilies, and pipe cleaners are an affordable DIY decoration for centerpieces, mantle decor, or cake toppers. Draw your own faces (especially fun for kids) or print these templates on circle labels.
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Paper Angel How-To
1. Cut doily in half to form semicircles.
2. Cut slits for wings.
3. Join edges of doily semicircle to form cone (you can use double-stick tape or staples but a dot of hot glue is best.)
1. Set circle cutter to size 6 and cut a circle.
2. Cut circle in quarters (each wing is one quarter of the circle).
3. Slide wings into slits on angel body.
1. Use our face template and cut out faces with your circle punch (large: 1 3/8” or small: 1”).
2. Cut corresponding size circle from glitter paper (Darcy used gold and white from Paper Presentation).
3. Attach glitter circle behind face, positioned slightly higher so it frames the angel's face.
4. For halo: Form circle out of pipe-cleaner, leaving an extra bit to glue onto back of the head.
5. Attach head onto angel body with a glue dot or hot glue.
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Parade of Cookies
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For easy DIY projects, Darcy uses Martha Stewart Crafts punches to decorate desserts and cake stands. Here, she used the snowflake punch to make snowflakes attached to toothpicks in the canelles.
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Faux FruitDarcy played up the "Nutcracker" theme by displaying marzipan fruits on tiered cake stands. Marzipan lasts, so the decoration can be left out long after the party.Photography: Charlotte Jenks Lewis
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Darcy's sketches of nutcrackers, ballerinas, and soldiers hang on Martha Stewart Crafts gold glitter eyelash yarn with gold tinsel, paper stars, candy canes, and peppermints. A strand of twinkle lights makes the garland glow.
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A display inspired by the show: delicate white cupcake liners evoke tutus, sugar walnuts nod to the Nutcracker himself, and the cake stand's scallop conjures the snowy scenes.
Wilton White Baking Cups, NY Cake
Andie's Specialty Sweets Sugar Walnuts, Etsy
Martha Stewart Scalloped Cake Stand and Small White Cake Stand, Macy's
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Fit for a King
Inspired by the Mouse King’s crown, this cake topper is made from gold paper, a gold doily, and rhinestone gems. Darcy sprinkled edible gold sparkle dust over top.
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Inspired by the Hot Chocolate dancers, marshmallow stars accompany mini cups of hot chocolate.
Star-Shaped Marshmallows, One Girl Cookies
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A Cupcake Under the Tree
Decorative mini gifts on toothpicks are an easy and festive way to decorate cupcakes.
Mini Presents, Oriental Trading
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A Festive Forest
Darcy loves Confetti System's garlands and decor. The company's paper metallic trees (a collaboration with West Elm) are graphic and fun for holiday decorating.
Twist Open Trees, West Elm