Entertain | Articles
Fourth of July celebrations are usually an explosion of red, white and blue — and not just with the fireworks. Go all-out with your decor and drinks with these festive cocktails.
Nicole Weston
Handmade cards are lovely, but why stop there when you can DIY the envelope, too? Fabric envelopes are super cute, resuable and so much more personal than their store-bought cousins. Not to mention they're a genius way to use fabric scraps left over from your latest project. Slip in a small gift, an extra-special photo or, obviously, a card that truly sends a heartfelt message.
A massive ball of cheese on the table makes a big, "welcome to our party! " statement. How could it not? It's lovably retro, easy to make in advance and a cinch to customize. So go on and choose your own cheese ball adventure below — just don't forget the crackers.
Jessie Oleson Moore
It’s gift-giving season, and for all the fellow makers and artists in your life, that means you need to find the perfect present to keep their creative juices flowing. Whether they use it to actually practice their craft or just enjoy a dose of inspiration, these are the gifts they'd love to unwrap this holiday.
Liz Callahan Schnabolk
The best appetizers are finger foods that don't require any plates or utensils. But unfortunately even we get sick of crackers/cheese and chips/dip. Good news, party people: Most every food can be turned into finger food with the help of an easy-to-make pastry called a vol-au-vent.
Nicole Weston
The best themed parties are definitely the ones that don't take themselves too seriously. After all, if your guests are already chuckling before they even arrive, you're well on your way to a great night.
Caitlin Huson
There ain't no party like a craft party. If you're planning to throw a DIY date for your friends, we've got all the inspo you need. Even your non-crafty pals will love rolling up their sleeves for these creations!
Irish coffee was invented in — you guessed it — Ireland nearly 80 years ago, when a local chef decided coffee is even better with a little somethin' somethin' (eh hem, Irish whiskey) thrown in to take the chill off. The drink's popularity soon spread across the pond, and St. Patrick's Day is the perfect time to indulge.
Nicole Weston
Super yummy food? Check. Festive decor? Got it. All your best friends? You bet. But a party’s not really happening until you bump the tunes.
Forget the pressure of decorating a last-minute cake. Instead, play it cool by making a crisp white cake and helping your kids doodle some fun illustrations and heartfelt messages across it!
Felicity and Krystle
Fact: everyone should have a back-pocket guacamole recipe for when guests show up. Ours comes from renowned chef Rick Bayless, who teaches our class, Essentials of Mexican Cooking. So go on and grab those perfect avocados and let's get guac-ing!
This year, why not trade the standard bottle of bubbly for a spirited gift you crafted yourself? Infused vodka is incredibly easy to make, plus it lasts for ages. Which means the party can live on long after the decorations come down.
Nicole Weston
This DIY from Five Course Photo's Brooke Lark is a simple way to create a cute, fun focal point for your holiday party. String it up behind your buffet, or let it stand alone as an awesome backdrop for photos. Let the selfie-fest begin!
Everything tastes better in a fancy glass. So this holiday season, do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of these painted stunners. They're super simple to make, so you can even make a set for yourself, and give 'em as gifts to everyone you know!
Forget about run-of-the-mill bows; tassels are WAY more crafty. We love 'em on gifts, but they're super cute hanging on a wreath, tree or garland too!
We've long been fans of putting a pom-pom on pretty much everything, so it's no surprise that we love this easy technique. All you have to do is wrap that gift in simple paper, then pom it up and — poof! — it's the best-looking present under the tree. If you've got a pom-pom maker, get ready to bust it out — or just use your fingers!
If you've been wanting to get in on the weaving trend, this could be your moment: This yarn design is a cute and unique way to personalize any gift wrap — and you don’t need to be a well-versed weaver to pull it together.
These days, we don’t have too many moments when it feels right to pull out all the stops in table decor. But a holiday dinner definitely calls for all the sparkle and bling — and how fun is that???
Wendy Rose Gould
If you've put cheese and crackers in the "boring" box, we invite you to think again. A big, bold, flavorful display is the smartest shortcut to major wow-factor when the guests walk in.
Thanksgiving dinner can feel a little extra, in the best possible way. There's the turkey, the stuffing, the side dishes and the cranberry sauce — not to mention the dinner rolls, cornbread, appetizers and desserts. With so much food, it's no wonder that choosing the right wine is a little complicated.
Nicole Weston
You gotta love this: DIY wine tags that combine your love of wine with your love of crafting. This project adds a personal, seasonal touch to any bottle of wine, whether it be a gift for a fall b-day or your contribution to the Thanksgiving table.
Maybe the the stars align and all your friends happen to be available on the same night, so you decide to throw a party at the last minute. Or maybe you scheduled a big shindig weeks ago, but didn't exactly jump on the actual preparations. Either way, it's panic time.
Caitlin Huson
A memorable place card is the ultimate way to tell your guests how much they matter — especially when you make it yourself. Go sweet and delicate like the ones pictured here, or bring in a pop of bright color to complement your other party decor. Super easy, totally original and so pretty.
Amy Palanjian
I took myself out to dinner recently while I was in Chicago. It was early, and I was the only one there at first — which was a good thing, because if anyone has been watching I probably would have made a fool of myself. I completely lost it over an order of chorizo-stuffed-bacon-wrapped dates. The perfect combination of smoky, salty and sweet, all on one plate (and blissfully mine-all-mine!). Naturally, I finished every bite. The world can't live without these, so I'm copying the spectacular dish here for you, but adding cheese to the mix because we all know we deserve it.
Ashley Rodriguez
If your picture of paradise includes both crafting and wine, you've come to the right place. After all, everyone knows a little sippy-sip makes things better, and that goes double for creative activities. So we’ve put together a guide that brings two of our favorite things together — read on, get inspired and let the inspo flow.
Everything's better at brunch, right? While mimosas are the meal's classic go-to, there are times when champagne is a no-go. That's when a good mocktail recipe comes in handy. Since champagne has a fairly complex flavor, the key is to bring plenty of flavor with your other ingredients. This means that you can — and should — get creative with fruit juices and not limit yourself to classic orange juice. Say cheers to two of our favorite options.
Nicole Weston
Having friends over for dinner should be something we look forward to, but too often, the pre-party reality feels more like a panic attack. The next time you’re feeling stressed or stretched for time, we give you permission to cut yourself a break by using store-bought ingredients. We promise no one will ever notice.
Caitlin Huson
If you're paired off, you know the drill. Mention the word “wedding” and the price of everything triples. Add “custom” and prepare to hand over you first-born. Sure, we all want a one-of-a-kind wedding that doesn't drain our life savings, and some things are easy to handle on your own — you can DIY your invitations or make rad photo booth props on the cheap. But for a newbie, flower arranging seems like one area where you have to bring in a pro... right? Not quite.
Victoria Barrett
Nachos, wings, chips, dip... we've been there. So we're kicking off football season with a snack play that goes way beyond the expected. Round up your team for a big treat — a stadium-sized treat, inspired by the Faster Craft challenge in last night's episode of Making It. Here's how.
We're always grilling during the summer. It keeps the house cool, there's way less cleanup and that savory grilled flavor just can't be beat. But with summer comes summer entertaining, and we're always on the lookout for easy dishes that'll complement our one true passion: committing to entertaining and then getting really overwhelmed beforehand.
Ashley McLaughlin
They're cute! They're sassy! And they're actually pretty useful for identifying your glass of wine after you've taken some swigs. Make these DIY wine charms to spice up your next party or give as gifts to your favorite wineos.
Karen Roark
No matter how many parties I host, somehow planning the menu still feels so stress every single time. I've learned to conquer that hump by master simplification, like this perfectly easy (but still elegant!) cheese and cracker spread. All you'll need to do is make a quick trip to the store and spend a few minutes arranging.
Erin Alderson
Ever heard of shrubs? We're not talkin' about the bushy plants, but rather the fruity infusions that make for amazing spritzers and cocktails. They've actually been around for hundreds of years, when folks often used vinegar to preserve fresh fruit. And they're super simple to make! All you do is combine fruit, vinegar and sugar and let it sit around for a while. As the mixture sits, the vinegar pulls out the fruits' sweetness, giving you an intense, flavorful liquid you can enjoy without the typical vinegar pucker.
Nicole Weston
There's nothing like a handwritten letter, whether it's a thank-you note, an invitation or a postcard. For me, the best part is that every piece is a blank canvas, and I love embellishing them for my lovely recipients. Being a calligrapher would actually be really handy here, but it's definitely not necessary; in fact, we bet your friends won't even know the difference after you embrace these tips.
Samantha Zabell
The summer cocktail sweetheart of 2017 was obviously frosé, in all its millennial pink glory. But a new year has brought new trends, and we're raising a glass to plenty of inventive cocktail creations in 2018. From juicy cantaloupe martinis to pineapple-doused bourbon to cocktails that put veggies in the spotlight, summer 2018 is all about striking that guilt-free balance between fun and healthy. (Well, fine, as healthy as a cocktail can get.)
Wendy Rose Gould
There are two kinds of people: those who love fresh flowers and those who love them but immediately lament how short-lived they are, and therefore, kind of can't bear to bring them home.
Wendy Rose Gould
If a weekend getaway to Napa Valley isn’t in your plans — and let's be real, that's not realistic for the millions of people who don't live within driving distance — how about bringing a bit of the valley to your zip code by hosting a wine-tasting party at home?
Nicole Weston
It's not a summer party without a pitcher of sangria. If you're new to the sangria scene, it's a refreshing combo of wine and fruit juices, with a bit of extra sweetness to amp up the fruity fun.
Nicole Weston
How can something that's basically fruit rock your taste buds like ice cream? If you haven't met "nice cream," welcome to the party. Dairy-free, gluten-free and added sugar–free, this stuff is pretty much a summertime miracle.
Alexis Methven
Nothing gets your kid’s birthday party started more than an awesome theme — and, of course, all the creative DIYs that go along with it. These five super-fun trends are cause for celebration.
Alexis Methven
For the love of grilled peaches, it’s time to banish the stereotype that meat is the only thing that goes on the barbie. Open up your mind to the bounty of the fruit stand and bring a blast of smoky, caramelized sweetness to your summertime desserts.
Nicole Weston
Producer Adrian Younge lives his passion every hour of the day, and if it were up to him, you would too. The man behind this season's Luke Cage score (with Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest) brings the kind of confidence most of us can only dream of. We caught up with him by phone to find out how.
Elaine Lipson
Chef Rick Bayless knows his way around a margarita. He literally wrote the book on authentic Mexican cooking, hosts the longtime PBS show Mexico: One Plate at a Time, and owns a bunch of bustling Mexican joints around the country. And lucky for us — and our happy hour buddies — he’s here to explain not only how to mix up this classic drink but also how to upgrade it to suit your specific tastes. Cheers to that!
One of my favorite things about paper is how quickly it can turn from a simple flat sheet into a gorgeously festive party statement. And this leaf garland is a great example. You can pull one together in under an hour, then drape it across a wall to make your event feel extra special. It's also completely customizable: Use shades of green for a foliage look, harvest hues for a Halloween party, or even metallics for the new year.Paper GarlandHow to make a homemade garland
Victoria Hudgins
Now Reading