Spark joy with a sun­set soirée

Wel­come loved ones to a re­laxed out­door party filled with fresh flow­ers and ef­fort­less ex­tras

First For Women - - Feel-Good File -

Make serv­ing a breeze

with cut­lery con­tain­ers

All it takes is two cof­fee cans and pretty pa­per to cre­ate these clever uten­sil cad­dies. To do: For each, rinse out a cof­fee can and cut a piece of scrap­book pa­per to fit around it; set aside. Use a paint­brush to ap­ply de­coupage paste to the can; press pa­per around can. While it dries, use a white paint pen to jot a la­bel onto a leaf and glue to the can, then pop in uten­sils and flow­ers.

Light up smiles

with DIY cork twin­klers

Re­cy­cled jars or vases filled with corks and a can­dle add piz­zazz! To do: Drop 8 corks into a glass jar and nes­tle a vo­tive can­dle in­side. Twist a craft­store hook into the base of an­other cork; thread it onto a piece of rib­bon and tie around the jar. SE­CRET SOURCE: No corks on hand? Try Dec­o­ra­tive Wine Corks, $7 for 30, Save-On-Crafts.com

Set the mood for fun

with a vi­brant pal­ette

The key to a ca­su­ally chic gath­er­ing that’s ideal for sa­vor­ing the last warm days of the sea­son: pair­ing soft tex­tures and fresh blooms in vivid hues rem­i­nis­cent of a Septem­ber sun­set. Here, a pa­tio table is topped with a bright patch­work-style cloth (in a range of shades from yel­low to ma­genta) and a vase full of roses in the same col­ors. Adding match­ing din­ner­ware con­tin­ues the sun­set-in­spired style. The fin­ish­ing touch: trays of fresh fruit and gob­lets filled with red wine. Such a lovely and laid-back spot for re­lax­ing with friends!

Say “you’re so spe­cial”

with pretty place cards

Sweet and sim­ple place cards of­fer guests a happy hello as they take their seats. To do: For each, cut a piece of white card­stock into a 4" square; fold in half. Punch a hole in the top right cor­ner and loop an 8" piece of rib­bon through; tie a bow. Next, pluck the petals off 18 flow­ers with but­ton cen­ters (like daisies). Glue but­tons in a heart shape on the card and jot down a guest’s name.

En­chant them

with flo­ral plate top­pers

“Bloom­ing” nap­kin rolls add a fresh-picked touch to place set­tings in sec­onds! To do: For each, cut 6 dahlias to 1 inch. Pierce a 10" length of flo­ral wire through the base of each bloom, then twist the wire ends to form a cir­clet. Snip any ex­cess wire and slip a rolled nap­kin through, then tuck 4 rose hips and a few leaves be­hind the dahlias.

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