A Wintery Tablescape for Holiday Parties

An easy-to-make, snow-covered, tree-like centerpiece for winter dinner parties

This is a very glamorous and economical look that can be used for dinner parties and celebrations all winter long. It uses a lot of natural elements that you can find outside, but it feels very festive with all of the silver paint. My favorite part is the tree, which really creates a canopy above the table. Here’s what you need to do:

For the branches, I cut out limbs from the dogwood tree in my back yard (It was time for some thinning anyway!), but any kind of tree will work. I then spray-painted them silver and arranged the limbs in a tall clear cylinder vase. Decorate the branches by hanging Christmas ornaments on some limbs and perching little glass birds in the branches.

On the table, I surrounded the tree with glass vases, decorated with sequined appliqués — a pretty crafty trick that you could do for any themed dinner. I filled the vases with water and added floating candles for extra glimmer. You could also stick a pretty arrangement in them, too.

Whole nuts in the shell, which run a couple dollars a pound, look very glam when spray-painted (see below for how-to's) and piled around the rest of the centerpiece. I used about 10 pounds here. As they reflect candlelight, they’re great for making the space seem brighter.

To round out the table, I pulled out my very plain Lenox wedding china that so many people have (plain old white dishware is just as good). I used the creamy silver colors as the foundation for the winter wonderland theme, adding mercury glass candlesticks, silver votives, silver chargers, clear Lucite flatware, and silver-accented glassware. But the fun part here is that anything can be used — regular stainless silverware, white plates, whatever you have as long as it fits into the white, cream, and silver mix. You can even use silver permanent marker to decorate a plain wine glass! 

As no party is complete without a cocktail, I created a signature drink to match the table, inspired by snowballs. All you need to do is rim a martini glass in lemon juice, then dip it into white nonpareils sprinkles. Fill with a tuft of white cotton candy. Fill a shaker with ice, two shots of whipped cream-flavored vodka, one shot of lemon juice, and shake well. Strain over the candy, melting the snowball and infusing the cocktail with sweetness.


How to Make the Baby’s Breath:

What you need: Two large bunches of baby’s breath (about $10 dollars’ worth), silver spray-paint, and silver glitter spray-paint.

1. Spray-paint them with a thin coat of silver spray-paint.

2. Follow that up with a coat of silver glitter spray-paint for a frozen effect.

3. Let the baby’s breath dry overnight and then arrange in a bowl or vases to show off how puffy and glittery they are.


How to Make the Walnuts:

What you need: 10-pound bag whole nuts, plastic gloves, double-thick paper bag.

1. Fill bag with a couple of pounds of nuts.

2. Wearing gloves, spray silver spray-paint into the bag, and shake the nuts to coat. Repeat this over and over again until the nuts are covered in paint. Spread them on paper to dry.

3. Repeat until all the nuts are painted.


How to Make the Sequined Vases:

What you need: Sequined appliqués, glass vases or votive holders (drinking glasses work, too), craft glue, X-Acto knife for trimming extra glue, white candles for floating.

1. Paint a bit of craft glue onto the back of the appliqué (there are a ton available at sewing and craft stores, and online). Be sure to only use a bit so that glue doesn't ooze out when stuck to the vase.

2. Adhere appliqué onto the vase, pressing well to ensure it sticks.

3. Let the appliqué dry, then carefully trim any excess glue with an X-Acto.