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Party decorations

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Oversize Botanical Decoupage Easter Eggs

Selected flower- and bird-themed artwork can transform a variety of eggs -- from naturally ...
Selected flower- and bird-themed artwork can transform a variety of eggs -- from naturally deep-green emu eggs to tinted and undyed ostrich eggs to painted wooden orbs -- into instant collectibles. These illustrations are cut from decorative papers and clip-art printouts, but color photocopies of other vintage imagery can serve equally well. The finished eggs sit atop silver-leafed wooden candlesticks.
Source:Martha Stewart Living, April 2009

Terrifying Topiary

Topiary, the art of creating sculptures using clipped trees and shrubs, is an old art form seen even in the tomb paintings of early Egyptians.
  • Saw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Four 1 1/4-inch wood screws for arms and four 3 1/2-inch wood screws for head spikes
  • Nails
  • Eight 1-inch L-brackets
  • Two 2-by-4s for torso, base, and top
  • Two 1-by-2s for arms
  • Urn
  • Rocks
  • Sheet moss
  • Spanish moss
  • Western cedar
  • Floral pins
  • Carved pumpkin head

Yuletide Topiary

Using carnations to evoke a snow-covered tree, this centerpiece transforms the tabletop into a fanciful winter garden. Moistened floral foam supplies hidden support for fluffy white blossoms, their stems cut short so they form an uninterrupted mass of petals.
  • One block of floral foam (or one block for the cone and another for the base)
  • Floral adhesive
  • Serrated knife
  • Cachepot or urn
  • Basin or tub
  • Florist's cutters
  • Carnations
  • Small Christmas balls with wire hangers

Head-Waiter Tray


Toadstool Pumpkins

Nestle the toadstools among rocks and trees, and add a jack-o'-lantern and snail. Your yard will be set for Halloween visitors.
  • Keyhole saw (
  • Variety of pumpkins and winter squashes, both tall and round (available at farmers' markets and Whole Foods)
  • Fleshing tool (
  • Wooden skewers
  • Linoleum cutter (

Antiquing Glass Ornaments

This simple technique lends new, shiny glass ornaments the muted, authentic appearance of antique mercury glass in just minutes. (As mercury glass ages, it loses some of its luster and tends to darken in spots.) All you need is a little paint and small sponges with which to apply it.
  • 1 small tube of white gouache paint
  • 1 small tube of black gouache paint
  • 2 small bowls
  • Silver-ball ornaments
  • 2 small natural sponges
  • Tissues