Last Minute Holiday Party Tips

Last Minute Holiday Party Tips

The holidays are seriously right around the corner and I am a little bit shocked. I still have my stocking stuffer gift guides coming to the blog and lots of holiday shopping that still needs to be done. YIKES! This weekend will likely be a big holiday party weekend and I was thrilled to be asked back to KATU’s Afternoon Live to share my last minute holiday party tips.

Here is my spot! Scroll below to look for links to some of the items discussed on this clip.


Holiday Party Tips

Below are some of the tips I shared in my segment and some great links to more tips, recipes, ideas, and DIYs. I also snapped a few behind the scene photos from yesterdays shoot and have shared them below.

Think of people’s schedules. 

My favorite type of holiday party to host is an Open House style party so that people can come and go as they please and still make it to any other holiday obligations they may have. Brunch time parties, late afternoon, or early evening are great times for an Open House style party. Avoid dinner time as you would want to serve heavier foods and more people have plans during the holidays at dinner time.

Holiday Party Decor Tips - Behind the Scenes at KATU - A Well Crafted Party

The Holiday Party Decor Tips Segment Set-Up before rolling on screen!

Decorate with What You Have 

Use items from your own holiday decor or that will coordinate with your holiday decor to decorate for your holiday party. Use natural elements such as garlands and rosemary Christmas trees as decoration as well. (See the Natural Green & White Holiday Party for more ideas.)


Pick a color scheme and use it throughout the party.

Pick a color scheme that coordinates with the holiday decor items you are using and extend that throughout the party to make everything look like it goes together. (Use balloons on stemless beverage-ware to make your glasses stand out and coordinate. This tip has been on a lot of party blogs, but I think the first place I saw it was over on Hostess with the Mostess – click for her tutorial on balloon dipped glasses!)


Sharing Party Tips with KATU's Afternoon Live - A Well Crafted Party

Create height at the food buffet. 

Use platters and stands to create a food display at various heights. TIP: If you don’t have a lot of stands and platters fill a vase with holiday decor and set your platter on top. You can also make yourself an awesome (and inexpensive) cake stand with a glass, glue, and plate! (Check out my tutorial on EAT DRINK PRETTY for making your own cake stand.)

Serve bite sized appetizers and just refill your platters throughout the party. 

This not only looks better but it is safer than letting food sit for several hours. Keep platters prepped and in the fridge or in the oven on warm setting so that you can easily replenish. If you are worried about spending the afternoon replenishing platters instead of engaging with your guests farm that chore out to family and friends who ask how they may help. (Check out my favorite holiday appetizers .)




Holiday Drink Bar - Behind the Scenes - A Well Crafted Party

The holiday bar set up before its TV debut!

Set up a Beverage Bar! 

Don’t spend the entire party making your guests drinks. Set out a simple beverage bar or batch drink (punch bowls are totally back in style) and let guests serve themselves. For the holidays I recommend creating a Sparkling Wine bar with additions such as pomegranate seeds, sugared rosemary, sugared cranberries, and your favorite liquor. I love the Marrionberry Vodka from Wild Roots as a festive addition to a glass of sparkling wine. Pour 3/4 oz of Marrionberry Vodka into a glass and top (carefully, it will bubble!) with 5 oz of sparkling wine. Garnish with a sprig of sugared rosemary.

Holiday Party Favor Ideas - A Well Crafted Party

Yes, Give Party Favors.

Party favors are a way to extend your party in the memories of your guests. Give them something to enjoy after the party! My favorite holiday party favor ideas:

  1. Set out little holiday bags or boxes for your guests to fill with sweets. BONUS: Now you     won’t have a ton of leftover sweets from the party!
  2. Give your guests a small bag of stocking stuffers. They can use the ones that they want or they can use them in stockings at home so that they don’t have to go out and buy as much. I’d LOVE for someone to do me the favor of getting some of that type of holiday shopping out of the way.
  3. Give an ornament. Beautiful and small ornaments are a really lovely way for a guest to remember the party year after year.

Check out my NYE Ideas for a Holiday Game Night as well.

 What is the best holiday party that you’ve ever attended? Comment below, I’d love to know!

Party Animal Escort Table

Party Animal Escort Table

When planning my 10 Year Anniversary party at a local Peruvian restaurant I knew I wanted to decor to nod to the amazing food that Andina serves. I wanted it to be bright, bold, and a lot of fun. After selecting the color scheme I got completely stuck on what to do for the escort table. In the end, I let my spirit party animal lead the way and I created this fun Party Animal Escort Table as well as some great event table decor.

Read on to see just how I created these elements…


Party Animal Escort Table from A Well Crafted Party with photos by Mary Boyden

Party Animal Escort Table from A Well Crafted Party with photos by Mary Boyden

DIY Party Animal Escort Table

Affiliate links marked with *.

You’ll need:

  • Plain or decorative cards to write the names of your guests
  • Hot glue
  • Plastic animal figurines* – Purchased the set of 60 from the set by Jungle Resources on Amazon.
  • Large animal figurines* – Purchsed the set of Jumbo animals from Jungle Resources on Amazon.
  • Spray Paint in chosen color(s) and a clear coat of polyetherlene
  • Paper, ribbon, glue for making tiny party hats and the like


Party Animal Escort Table from A Well Crafted Party with photos by Mary Boyden


Party Animal Escort Table from A Well Crafted Party with photos by Mary Boyden


Note: I chose to do multi-colored animals matching type of animal and the color. But, you could also do these all the same color. Just make sure your small animals match the animals that you use as your table markers. For instance, everyone at the table with the gorilla got an escort card with a gorilla on it as well.


  1. Spray paint the figurines. I chose have the animals and colors match for each individual table. For instance, all the elephants were painted yellow. This may take several coats and should be done over the course of a few days.
  2. Spray dry figurines with the clear coat spray.
  3. While you are waiting for those to dry, write or type and print your escort cards on decorative card stock.
  4. Hot glue the little figurines to the appropriate escort card. You will need to hold the animal to the card until the glue is dry.
  5. Add hats, bows, and decorations to the larger animals as you see fit. Attached with hot glue. We chose a variety of cut out decorations for our animals. My sister in law created them all on her own with some paper, glue, scissors, and ribbon!


Party Animal Escort Table from A Well Crafted Party with photos by Mary Boyden


Seriously Awesome Vendors and Resources

affiliate links marked *

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  • Party Animal Escort Table from A Well Crafted Party, photo by Mary Boyden
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DIY Mother’s Day Flowers

DIY Mother’s Day Flowers

Mother’s Day is around the corner! Writing about all of these amazing working mothers has certainly got me thinking about Mother’s Day a little more than I normally would. It has made me want to tell my mother and mother-in-law just how much I appreciate them. Makes me want to snuggle up with the two boys who made me a momma. These DIY Mother’s Day Flower Arrangement tips make giving flowers easy and inexpensive.

Flowers are such a beautiful way to say that you are thinking about someone. But, with prices starting at $50 for a nice small Mother’s Day flower arrangement it is fairly cost prohibitive to many. I typically love giving flowers in addition to a small item that will last for some time or be a sweet treat for that person. Often spending $50 or more on flowers is just out of my budget. Thankfully, I know a few tricks to make a DIY Mother’s Day flower arrangement look like a million bucks.

Tips for DIY Mother’s Day Flowers:

Simple Flower Arrangement

Keep it simple!

Use one flower (or one color scheme) in a low vase to make a simple, but beautiful, flower arrangement. It doesn’t take much time to  make an incredibly easy flower arrangement. Your mom will love it, I promise!


Float your flowers for high impact and low cost.

Floating one or two stems or buds of flowers in water is a cost effective way to make a statement. These don’t last as long as some flower arrangements, but they are beautiful! The photo above shows a beautiful black lily floating with the bud of a white rose and some lily grass. If you would like some sparkle, try putting some sequins in your vase as well!



Use unexpected vessels for your DIY flower arrangement instead of vases.


I love using unexpected vessels for flowers. Use bottles, cans, baskets, or boxes to house your arrangement. (You may need to put a small vase or jar in to hold the flowers with water, but the outer vessel can be anything really!) Get a beautiful serving bowl for a gift and put the flowers in it! Two gifts in one. We used picnic boxes for flowers on the tables at my sister’s cheery Summer Wedding. Guests received their lunches in the same boxes so it was a lot of fun seeing them all together.


Sprinkle your tea table with flower buds - A Well Crafted Party


Sprinkle your table with flower buds!


Last year we had a little Mother’s Day tea on the coffee tables in our living room. I simply sprinkled the tables with the buds from a few flowers that I picked up at the store and snipped out of my yard. The table looked festive throughout the entire tea party. The buds do get a bit wilted over a long period of time. But, this was a short tea party so I was able to make a small, low arrangement in a jam jar after the party that I was able to enjoy for a few more days.


Want to make some flowers that will last a little longer? Check out the posts below:


DIY Cherry Blossom Branches - A Well Crafted Party

Photo by Aubrie Legault – First featured on Hostess with the Mostess

DIY Cherry Blossom Branches

These DIY Cherry Blossom Branches will last for years and are so pretty to look at! A large vase with these sticking out would be a stunning gift.

Mix up your Mother's Day Flower Arrangement by adding in some paper flowers and leaves with real, inexpensive blooms. - A Well Crafted Party

Use Paper Leaves and Flowers to Fill in Real Blooms

I love real flowers. Sometimes when wanting to create a fun, whimsical look and to save money I’ll combine paper flowers and leaves along with inexpensive real blooms.

Make Mom a Tissue Paper Flower Arrangement - A Well Crafted Party


Make a Tissue Paper Flower Arrangement for Mom


Tissue paper flowers are easy to make, inexpensive and a lot of fun. Plus, they don’t die!


What do you like giving mom for Mother’s Day?


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