Holiday Party Ideas: An Elegant Table With Handmade Details

Enrich your holiday party with two key ingredients: elegance and ease. Dress your table with handmade decorations and easy recipes that will make holiday guests feel special.
By: Cristina Bird and
Related To:

Be the Hostess With the Mostess

Add a personal touch to your holiday party with handmade details and simple recipes you can create in advance. From the food to the table setting and decor, follow our easy instructions to create an elegant, homey holiday gathering.

Embellished Invites

Get creative from the start with some embellished invitations that will help set the tone for the party to come. Anything goes, from burlap trim to buttons, yarn, sequin and glitter — the idea is to add your own handmade "stamp" to a simple printable invitation. To create a matching envelope liner, trace the shape of a 5-by 7-inch envelope onto scrapbook paper and cut around it, a third of an inch smaller. Then secure it to the inside of the envelopes with double-sided tape. Punch out a 2-inch printable cupcake topper with a 2-inch round paper puncher to use as an envelope seal.

Natural Tones

Take inspiration from nature and the rich colors and scents of the season with luscious cream hues, cinnamon brown and a touch of gold. For a simple DIY table cloth, find a piece of upholstery fabric large enough to fit the length of your table. Iron in about 2 inches off the the edges — no need to hem. Top with a length of burlap as a runner to create a rustic but modern style that oozes handmade elegance. Use matching scrapbook paper to embellish candle holders for a coordinated look.

Framed Menu

By framing and displaying your festive menu, you are sure to delight your guests' tastebuds even before your start serving. Simply print our blank menu cards, add your text by hand or using a digital photo editing software, and display inside a 4- by 6-inch rustic photo frame.

Seasonal Scented Wreath

Welcome guests as they sit down at the table with the aromas of spice and seasonal warmth by hanging a handmade, scented wreath from each chair. Simply wrap some burlap around a polystyrene wreath, hot-glue cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices to the wreath and tie to the chair with a piece of organza ribbon. These wreaths make for beautiful ornaments, but also serve as a great party favors for guests to take home!

Sparkly Centerpiece

Centerpieces don't have to be floral nor complicated. A pared-down display, like this one featuring spray-painted fruit and Christmas tree baubles atop a cake stand, is as chic as it is unexpected. Best of all: Unlike fresh flowers, this display will last all season.

Less is More

You don't need to splash out on new, fancy china just for the occasion; every day white plates can look chic and understated, when paired with your special occasion silverware and some simple linen napkins. Add favor boxes topped with handmade paper rosettes to finish each place setting.

Simple Place Cards

These printable place cards coordinate with the simple, neutral theme of the rest of the table setting. Add guests' names in a photo editing program, or hand-write them using festive script.

Silverware with Flair

Display your silverware with flair by placing them inside a handmade burlap pouch. Simply sew or use fabric glue to secure two rectangles of burlap together around 3 seams, leaving a opening for the cutlery. Finish the pouches with a printable vertical party label decked out with a seasonal message.

Seasonal Scents

A holiday table is never complete without candles! Carry on with the handmade theme by embellishing simple spice-scented candles with yarn, fabric appliques or a rolled rose as displayed.

Beautiful Buffet

During the season of giving, a dessert buffet offers a fuss-free way to serve the last course of a meal. This buffet features a delectable selection of sweets and cheeses to satisfy even the pickiest palate. Handmade paper stars create a backdrop for the buffet and make it as eye-catching as it is delicious.

Embellished Cake

You don't have to be a pastry chef to create a stunning cake. Your favorite everyday cake recipe will look extra-special with some clever little embellishments: a piece of gold-mesh ribbon, some paper roses and a pretty cake banner made using hand-glittered party labels from