There is no better way to preserve the best of summer fruits, or that bounty of apples and pumpkins that appears in the fall, to enjoy all winter long. Can tomatoes for fresh sauce, or put that bushel of apples you picked to good use and make apple butter.
Get help from a couple of friends who will co-host with you and share responsibility for acquiring the necessary supplies (then split the costs, if need be, with the other guests) — Payne spent around $10 per person. The best part? Each guest will go home with a delicious favor (or six!) to enjoy for weeks to come.
We’re not talking about sewing Halloween costumes here or making clothes for your daughter’s Barbie doll, but relatively simple sewing projects that even those who’ve never picked up a needle and thread can do.
One of Payne’s favorites? Making your own fabric napkins, but adding a simple rickrack trim to plain white dishtowels is easy, too. Have each guest bring his or her own fabric, trim, and sewing supplies. More experienced guests can help aid those with less experience.
According to Payne, making your own soap is actually quite easy, and it costs about seven dollars per person.
Plenty of counter space and two burners are a must for this party. Read these how-tos, and ask each guest to bring their own essential oil, spices for coloring, or herbs for their soap — Payne likes grapefruit-ginger — and then divide up the supplies to purchase equally amongst guests.
In case you get hungry, serve up quick and easy snacks like shrimp wonton cups, cilantro chickpea dip, or cookies and this sweet ricotta dip. At the party, give each guest a task to do, from stirring, to cutting or wrapping, that way even those who are nervous about working with hot glycerin can contribute.
Most people haven’t tried making their own mustard, but it’s one of Payne’s recent favorites. You can supply pretzels and make a variety of mustards to enjoy with your guests — or save what you make and use it as a favor for your next dinner party. Not a fan of mustard? You can also try making ketchup, or sauces like chocolate or caramel, too.
Channel your inner creative soul and pull out all those magazines and catalogs you’ve been holding on to. You’re going to put them to good use with a collage party.
Payne likes to make her own magnets as a decorative addition to her refrigerator, but with a little watered-down Modge Podge and , you can decoupage nearly anything, with these simple how-tos., you can decoupage nearly anything — from wooden jewelry boxes to trays like you'd find at John Derian. Have guests bring their own tray or box, and set up a spread of tea and sandwiches to enjoy while you work.
This is one of the easiest, crafty parties out there. Visit your local stamping store or art supply shop and pick out pretty papers, stamps, ink pads, and crafting edgers that you and your guests can share.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, check out these tips for learning how to emboss your own designs (here are some simple tips to get you started). Then set out a spread of nibbles like a hearty cheese plate and a choice of refreshing drinks for snacking as you work.
Learning how to make the perfect piecrust is challenging — my own mother won’t even let me do it, as hers will always reign supreme. With different recipes out there for both traditional and not-so-traditional crusts, like those made with graham crackers or rice and millet flours, the options are nearly endless when you factor in fillings. Have each guest make their own, following these foolproof steps, and then enjoy your creations together once they’re finished.