Host a holiday painting night!
Invite friends over to enjoy wine and treats and leave with their own work of art!
Sip, savor— and create a masterpiece!
The secret to making painting fun and easy even for non-crafty guests? Use a template, says Michelle Stewart (Michellespartyplanit. com). This “Merry Christmas Car” ($ 5, Social-artworking.com) comes with a blackand-white pattern, tracing paper to transfer the image to canvases and instructions. One stop at the crafts store for acrylic paint, brushes, palettes and canvases, and you’re all set! Tip: Use the site’s party planner tool to determine how much paint you’ll need.
Sweeten the day
Give cupcakes (made from a mix!) a holiday twist with Stewart’s easy decorating tip: “Simply add vanilla frosting, a peppermint stick and cherry sour candy on top.” Piping the frosting on using a star-shaped icing tip will create a light, fluffy cloud of frosting.
Refresh guests with a snow-kissed cocktail
Fruity, festive sangria is the ultimate makeahead drink! The day before your party, combine a bottle of your favorite red wine with 3 cups of cranberry juice, 1⁄ cup of 4 orange liqueur, 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 1 Tbs. of vanilla extract and 2 cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher. Add 2 sliced oranges and 2– 4 whole cloves; refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, pour the sangria into cocktail glasses rimmed with white sugar.
Serve up smiles with snack platters
Bite-sized appetizers are easier to eat while working on a masterpiece, and guests are sure to love these sweet and savory mini crostinis! To make, slice a baguette and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes, then stack slices of Brie and folded salami on top. Spoon 1 tsp. of cranberry sauce on top, skewer together with a toothpick and garnish with mint. Pop on platters with other finger foods like crudités, olives and small pickles.
Beautify any spot with an easy candy cane vase
It’s a cinch to give a plain vase a holiday makeover with candy canes! To do: Stretch a rubber band around a glass jar and tuck candy canes into the band until the vase is covered. Hide the rubber band with a pretty ribbon and fill the vase with red blooms.