Easy Party Place Settings
Mix and match red and green plates, placemats, and napkins for a festive table setting. Buy inexpensive holiday-motif salad plates to layer over ordinary dinner plates or chargers (extra-large plates that rest under dinner plates). Tie an ornament to the napkin for a party-favor napkin ring.
Toast the New Year with goblets temporarily embellished with self-adhesive gold stars from a stationer's or office-supply store. Simply peel the stars off when the party is over. Make party favors by dipping fortune cookies in melted chocolate. For each place setting, tie one cookie in a clear cellophane corsage bag (ask your florist to sell you a few bags, or check the candy-making section of a crafts store).
Guide guests to their places with fresh-pear place cards. Decorate a blank card with a pear stamp, write each guest's name, and cut a slit in the top of the pear to hold the card.
Give each place setting its own cheerful glow with a miniature candle clip. Look for reproduction candle clips, based on Victorian candleholders for trees, in mail order catalogs and Christmas shops. For a napkin ring, thread cranberries onto gold crafts wire and twist the wires together.
String cranberries on fine gold crafts wire to make dainty bobeches for candles. Twist the wire ends together, then wrap the excess wire around a long nail to make fine curls.
Clip a vintage or reproduction ornament to the handle of each coffee mug or teacup on the table. This unexpected touch will delight guests -- especially if they can take the ornament home!