Category Archives: DIY Decor

Black & White Birthday Party



Contrasting fabrics and china patterns adds a bit of pretty interest, I think!






4th of July!

The 4th of July is coming up pretty darn quick, so all entertainers listen up!

Very easy and fun 4th of July centerpiece alert…..July 4 #8

Here is what you will need to make this centerpiece for your 4th of July celebration:

  • One brick of floral foam (the kind for wet flowers) – you can use a used one if you have it, because it will not get wet! I used only half of the floral foam brick, but you can use the whole brick if you want to make it larger.
  • Tissue paper to make tissue paper flowers. To make one flower I used 2 sheets of red, 2 sheets of white and 2 sheets of blue tissue paper. I cut the tissue paper in half because I did not want huge flowers. These flowers are super easy to make. Go to You Tube – there are several tutorials. Easy-Peasy!
  • Small table top American flags
  • Patriotic Horns or other patriotic stuff you may have
  • Ribbon
  • Centerpiece Insert that looks like fireworks….they are at party stores in every color (see picture)
  • Dried flowers (optional)  July 4 #2

Start with the floral foam and cut a round circle with a spoon.The foam cuts very easily so this is not hard. This is where you you place your fireworks centerpiece.July 4 #3 This the center of your centerpiece. You start layering in your  patriotic items, horns and flags anywhere you wish. Then add the tissue paper flowers. They should be big enough to cover the floral foam, so you will not need anything else to sit it on. It goes right on the table.

I also made a few coffee filter roses for interest, but you really don’t need them for this project.

The final step in this centerpiece was to insert some dried flowers and some ribbon. I made a bow, of course! There should not be any empty spots.

“D” for done! The best part is that this idea can be used for other occasions. Customize this for a baby shower in blue or pink, a birthday party in many colors or even a budget wedding.You can make these ahead of time and not stress about fresh flowers on a hot day.

This is Fast, Fun & best of all….. Simple, Stunning & Stylish!

Have a wonderful 4th of July in this wonderful country, the United States of America! Land of the Free because of the Brave.

Be safe.


Pool Party Fun

I had the pleasure of working on a delightful party this past week. It was a birthday party for a wonderful young lady who was turning 12. She had a pool party with 9 of her BFF’s in attendance . They spent a great Saturday afternoon celebrating together laughing and enjoying a great day.

 When I was hired  for this event, I was told that the only thing that the birthday girl requested  was big “Happy Birthday” banner in the back yard. Her favorite colors are blue and green, so I went to work .

I purchased some blue, green, white and black card stock at a local craft store. I printed out individual letters on  the white card stock on my laser printer in a large font. I cut out each letter with an X-Acto knife. I used these letters as a template for each letter that I then cut out from blue card stock. It was time consuming, but rather easy to do.

Next, I cut out the triangle banner pennants out of the other card stock (12″ x 12″). This needed to be a rather large banner, so I used one sheet of card stock for each triangle that would each hold a letter. I cut the triangle out with the X-Acto knife, then layered the papers with hot glue to spell out “Happy Birthday Paige”. I punched holes in each corner of the pennant triangle stringing each one together with a ropelike straw to hang the completed banner.  Since I am height challenged, the hardest part was actually hanging the banner!

Paige Birthday Banner

The cake was fabulous. It was actually designed by the “girl of the day”, who clearly has a very creative spirit! I will say that it was the most delicious cake I have ever eaten – and that is saying something! It was made by Fantasy Frostings in South Pasadena. Delicious. It was such a fun cake, it needed to be displayed properly. I pulled out my Oilcloth fabric in the “Forever” pattern and it set the cake off perfectly. Best of all….easy clean up!

Paige Birthday Cake

This was a pool party, so the favors had to reflect our pool theme! Each girl received drawstring bag filled with an inflatable blue and green swimming tube and a pair of colorful flip flops! . If I have to say so myself, they were darling!

Paige Party favors 2

This party started out as a small party for 10 girls and turned out to be quite the event – complete with a celebrity chef on hand to cook a marvelous meal for everyone. This clearly was a happy and fun-filled birthday celebration for everyone involved. I am sure that this is a day that will be remembered for years to come!

Flower Pot with Dots

I am a collector of Milk Glass, specifically the Milk Glass that was manufactured by the Westmoreland Company in the 1950’s. The “Grapevine” motif  and the  “Hob Nail” patterns are my favorite. The Grapevine motif is just beautiful and the Hob Nail is cheerful. It looks like white polka dots on white glass. The best part, is that it goes with everything in my house.

So in the spirit of the Hob Nail pattern and all things polka dot, I experimented with a painting technique on a terracotta flower pot. I needed to create a gift for someone, and I wanted the flower pot to look fun & special.

Supplies for this project:hob nail pot 2resized

  • Terracotta flower pot
  • White puffy paint – from a craft store
  • Outdoor patio paint, white  – from a craft store
  • Sponge paint brush – from a craft store
  • Drop cloth or newspaper to protect surfaces
  • Plastic cup  for the patio paint
  • Clear gloss spray paint or sealer

First, soak the terracotta pot in water for about an hour and scrub any debris away. Let the pot dry completely.  When it is dry, place the pot on your newspaper. This part of the project you can do inside the house. It won’t stink up the place! Next, take the puffy paint and just start adding the dots to the pot. Practice a bit to get the size dots that you like uniform. Let the puffy paint dry completely. hob nail pot_resized

When the dots are dry, take the Outdoor Patio Paint and pour it into your plastic cup. Dip your sponge paint brush into the paint and apply it to the pot. I painted most of the inside of the pot, too. You will need two coats. When this is dry take your pot outside and spray it with the clear gloss paint or whatever sealer you purchased to seal the paint.hob nail pot 4_resized

This fast a very fast project. I did not have the time to plant my newly painted pot with flowers, so I went to the local nursery and purchased a beautiful plant to put inside, added a bow…..and there you go! One beautiful gift!

This would translate to a table centerpiece very easily, or a cluster of pots outside your front door in varying sizes. Lots of possibilities for this project.!

Try it one day for yourself!

hob nail pot 3_resized


Mother’s Day Table

Mother’s Day is Sunday! I am not a mother, but I have a spectacular mother who will be 91 this year. She is still as perky as ever, and has always been a great source of fun, beauty and laughter in the Vital household. She taught me about entertaining and making a house a home. She still has her golden touch – making the world a happier place. I guess that is why she and my dad have had such a happy life together. After 68 years they are still holding hands and going on dates. Forget about Ron and Nancy, my family has its own great love story!

In her honor, I hosted a table at a Mother’s Day luncheon at a local Catholic charity. A spring green garden themed table setting. This was a garden themed table that had a biblical bent. The biblical theme is optional, but for this table, it was an absolute must! It can be altered to suit your own garden theme.

I started out at the local home center and purchased 4 small ivy plants with long tails. I like ivy because it is a good filler of empty places on a table. I purchased asparagus fern. It is whispy and gorgeous as a filler. Best of all it  adds texture. For flowers, I picked up 2 miniature rose pots and 2  small pots of violets. Lastly, I picked up some moss. All the different greens added depth and drama. mothers day

I purchased a ready made spring green table cloth, and several yards (about 4) of green and white buffalo check cotton fabric for the napkins and table topper. I purchased it  at one of my favorite haunts downtown, LA Alex. A great place to get fabric and ready made table cloths (so many colors!), chair sashes, cloth napkins and fabric. The green and white fabric was $2.50 per yard. The  120 inch round table cloth was under $11! I don’t  think you can rent them that inexpensively! Really, if you entertain and don’t know about LA Alex – check them out. 418 E. 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 . 213-489-3010.

For the center of the table, I wrapped a few books for height in a green fabric and placed a potted plant on top. Once that was done I started placing my ferns and ivy twisting my tails of ivy around until the wrapped books were covered. In order to get the random placement of “blooming roses” I used water tubes for flowers. You can find these at any craft store and they are reusable. If you don’t want to use them, just place your small pots of roses and place them around the table, hiding the pots as best as you can with the ivy , fern or moss.

The settings on the table were pretty. I used gold chargers and cutlery. I think gold adds richness to the colors on a table….and it blends beautifully with green. I cut the green and white checked fabric into 14 inch squares for the napkins. I did not used napkin rings. I just tied them with a green stripe ribbon. Here’s a trick….I like my napkins to look “full”. For some reason, they never do. So before I gather up the napkins, I lay the square out and place a large unfolded paper napkin on top of the fabric napkin. then I gather both pieces together, with the paper napkin inside. If you used a napkin ring, the napkins would actually fill the napkin ring. The paper adds sturdiness and makes the napkin fuller.

mothers day 2

I cut 2 yards of the green and white check fabric for a table topper. It does not have to be square. Since I hem everything later…..I used pinking shears to have the decorative edge. I hem things later, because I never know if I will used the fabric the same way again. If I like the idea, then I hem it…..I figure, why waste time on something I may never use again?

For the favors, I purchased some packets of drawer sachets. You can find them anywhere – 3 to a pack. I chose Lily of the Valley. Tie them up in cellophane and a pretty ribbon. Very pretty. My mom adored the scent.

A lovely afternoon!

Happy Mother’s Day!







Impromptu Pirate Tablescape

Here I go again with the “Impromptu” birthday party, but it happened again!

My niece had her birthday dinner at a restaurant last weekend. It was a family dinner that was planned by her parents and they asked me to put something quick and simple together for the table.

Since Johnny Depp put on his “Jack Sparrow” costume, this birthday girl has been “all in” for pirates….So, you guessed it. I put together a very quick pirate themed party. It was 95% done from stuff I found at the 99 Cent Only Store. The rest came from Trader Joes.

The inspiration for this table was a great pirate birthday banner that I had seen on one of my previous trips to the 99 Cent Only store. The colors were great: turquoise and red, with black and white stripes. How fun! I think I mentioned that I am a sucker for stripes….especially black and white stripes! My plan was to just drape it across the length of the table. The table cloth at the restaurant was white, so this banner really “popped”.20160304_190322

I purchased large turquoise paper plates to act as added color contrast against the stark white table cloth. I made favors out of red and white striped paper bags. They were filled with trail mix bars from Trader Joes, fruit stripe gum, assorted chocolate and Jolly Roger candy. I folded the top of the paper bags and sealed the bags with Life Saver candy. Add matching pirate (Argh!) napkins and we had a fun little table!

I bought a ready made cake at Trader Joes. Add the presents and we had all the makings of a great birthday party!

We rang in her 28th birthday with a bang!

Michelle bday table




Complete with “Pirate Booty”





Impromptu Birthday Party!

I was invited to a restaurant to have lunch with a few girlfriends. Here’s the thing….I knew this was a birthday lunch. We weren’t supposed to make this a “birthday party” but……come on…. its someone’s birthday! It’s the one day a year that it’s absolutely ok to celebrate our friend’s special day! In this day and age, I say, we need to do as much celebrating as we can!

So I went to work. If I do say so myself, I was able to pull off a semi-spectacular birthday table in very short order….

Luckily, I have lots of fabric that I keep on hand for quick table covers. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s my thing. A while ago, I found this celebratory fabric and just had to get it. I usually purchase 2 yards for a table cover and cut the edges with pinking shears to create a decorative finish. Sometimes I hem the fabric, but I didn’t have the time. I’ll hem it later.

You can see for yourself that this fabric is colorful and fun. We were on the patio at a Mexican restaurant, so it was perfect for this birthday table. All I had to do is drape it over the table and it was ready to go!

The centerpiece was our dessert. A cake was too much for our little group, so I went to Trader Joes and purchased the carrot cake cupcakes. They are a scrumptious treat. I had some candy hearts in my baking bin, so I decorated each cupcake with the candy hearts, set them in cupcake liners and put them on a cake stand and brought them to the restaurant. There were paper horns and curling ribbon to complete the look. Simple centerpiece. tcn bday

We had to have little party favors….I went to a grocery store and purchased 4 large cookies with sprinkles. The sprinkles looked like polka dots! I put the cookies in plastic food bags, folded at the top and closed the bags with some cute stickers. I added a happy birthday message that I printed from my computer. Party favors….check!tcn bday 2

I got to the restaurant a few minutes early to set the table. I used a large round doily as I would a place mat and for extra contrast I set the cookie on a red and white polka dot napkin.

It was a delightful and delicious lunch. Best of all the birthday girl was happy that we made her day memorable. A win win situation.

She is a very special person and absolutely worth the extra effort!