Going an extra mile

Hi everyone. We got a bit of a break between various occasions and holidays, so this is a perfect time to go crafty and make pretty little things for the upcoming parties or dinners. 

Leather Table Runner Craft

In today's era of consumerism, sometimes, it seems that one can buy everything. But I found out that it  is actually quite difficult to find, for example, a perfect table cloth which, from one side, will be durable and "camouflage" the stains, and, on the other side, will be pretty and suit my lounge colors. So, I had to sew one myself. Or, recently, I started to think about preparing for my twins first birthday and realized that the creativity of party decoration suppliers doesn't go beyond safari and Disney themes. So, it looks like I will have another project on my hands soon. But let's start with something rather simple and generic and talk about table decorations and, in particular, about name place holders or party favors.

One can say that this is one of the least important things when it comes to home entertaining - at the end, we all know the names of our guests and, being adults, they can take care of their seating. But, I believe name place holders serve 3 important purposes:

  •  They set up the mood and help you dress the table for the occasion. A flower composition is not always enough.
  • As I already mentioned in my previous post , it's important to have "Talking points" about your party and they serve this purpose perfectly. And, because some of these placeholders can become party favors or little souvenirs - they will help to remember your hosting skills for longer.
  • Most of the people are shy by nature and tend to keep to the people they know. Name place holders allow you to mix your friends and acquaintances, and ensure that everyone is engaged and not isolated.  

Unfortunately, I have not been able to use placeholders for some time now, because of the configuration of my apartment and number of people invited I had to stick to buffet style parties recently. So, I use different tricks, but name placeholders are a must, in my opinion, for special seated dinners. I really hope that, some day, I will be able to have a table for, at least, 12 guests and let my fantasy run wild with its decorations :)

So, one can buy different ready made name placeholders from the ones in the form of Christmas baubles  to sea shells and so on. But the good ones are usually not cheap and suited only for one type of occasion: wedding placeholders, Easter etc.  So, if you decide to buy those, think about their versatility and how they match the rest of your dinnerware. I recommend buying those that would still allow some sort of customization. Like, for example, those tree shaped ones. They can be "dressed" for any occasion: add some foil lametta and tiny bauble and you have a Christmas one, or put a tiny chocolate egg underneath and funny bunny sticker with your guest name and you have an Easter one.

But, the true host or hostess will go that extra mile and do some from scratch! Trust me many placeholders can be done in a matter of minutes and will not cost more than a postcard. And you can play with whatever skill you have - whether it's baking or making little crafty things with beads and ribbons.  Your local Poundland, 1$ or craft store can supply everything you need. And, at the end, you have Ebay and Amazon which can supply the same without the need for you to leave your home.

So, I think we have St Valentine and Easter approaching. Hence, let's start with something suitable for these occasions. Sometime ago, I found out that you can order small little corked jars from China for as little as £1-2 for 10 bottles of various shapes and colors. I absolutely loved them! They are so versatile - with a bit of creativity they can serve a magnitude of purposes and suit a number of occasions. Today, I am going to show how to make a cute St Valentine themed keepsake which can serve as a name place holder, party favor or your daughter can give those away instead of traditional St Valentine cards. These will also cost less than fancy postcards and are very quick to make.

St Valentine Ideas Recipe Party Keepsake Card

St Valentine Name Placeholder/ Keepsake




Ingredients and tools: 

St Valentine Stickers
St Valentine Bracelet Supplies
  • mini heart shaped glass corked jars (Ebay or Amazon)
  • pink and red tiny beads (50-100 beads for £1)
  • 2 fancy red colored beads/charms for each jar (10-30 beads for £1). I used one leaf and one tiny red heart on each bottle
  • Pink nail holographic glitter
  • Cotton waxed cord (10 meters cost £0.8 and you will need much less) and short piece of tiger tail/thin wire
  • Heart shaped Post-its. You will be amazed with the variety of shapes available now from China. I bought 6 full pads of various designs for £1.
  • Some perfume or EDT
  • Scissors

So, 5 keepsakes will cost you about £5 or £1 each and you will have plenty of crafty things left for your next project.


Add a bit of pink nail glitter to the bottle and then some of red and pink small beads as per you liking. I think glass chips look the best and I put mostly red with just a few of pink ones to highlight the richness of red. 

Add some perfume to the bottle and seal with the cork. Tie a small piece of wire across bottle neck and use it to add two pretty beads. I used one heart and one leaf bead. Tie  your cotton cord on top with a double knot. You will need approximately triple the length of the wrist circumference. Finish the keepsake with two sliding knots as per this video. It's that simple!

To transform the keepsake into a name placeholder just add a heart shaped post-it (stick two together to create a thicker double sided one) with the names of your guests! With a longer cord it might serve as a children necklace too.

Aren't these bottles cute! You can skip the cord making part and use the bottles as fancier versions of fortune cookies for your guests.

Christmas Fortune Cookie Party Idea Recipe Table Decoration

For example, for the Christmas themed party, just choose silver and white beads/glitter and snowflake or traditionally shaped bottles. You can also add some humorous New Year predictions wrapped in foil to the bottle and your guests will have some extra fun with those!


Ok, I think, I promised some Easter ideas too! For these ones you need to do some grocery shopping :) From the grocery department you will need boiled eggs, salad cress and a tube of writing icing. Otherwise, everything else I got from Poundland: chicks, ribbons, funky yellow egg holder etc. I hope you got the general idea from the pictures below and it's not necessary to follow those to the letter - play with whatever you have in hand! 

St Valentine Ideas Table Decorations Name Place Holders
Bread Name Place Holder Party Ideas Table Decoration

Ultimately, not everyone have extra time on their hands or might be not into crafts. How about quick baking then? One just need to bake either muffins or small portioned bread and write the guests names on top.  For an extra touch, buy muffin decoration kits with picks. I hope your guests will appreciate all your efforts and you have some fun while making those! I find crafts to be so rejuvenating and calming!

Next time, it's a recipe dedicate post again! Some suggestions for St Valentine tasty treats!