I entertain a lot during the holidays and I want every one of my guests to feel special when I do. That is why individualized touches are important to me, even for a simple holiday meal.
In previous articles I covered “How to Make Cup & Saucer Table Arrangements For a Dinner Party” as well as “How to Make Individual Wineglass Table Arrangements.” Here I will provide ideas for mini basket arrangements that can be set at each table place setting.
To use one or more of these ideas, you will need the following:
Flowers and/or greenery (e.g., silk, ribbon, dried or porcelain, etc.),
Ribbon or lace,
Beads, pearls, glass or jewels,
Potpourri (in dried or bead form),
Fake tea lights,
Glue sticks and
Step 1. Purchase enough mini baskets for each guest. You can use wicker or opt for plastic. Choose the same design and color or use different shapes and colors. However, keep the size about the same for each basket and don’t mix wicker and plastic together.
Tip: Mini baskets usually come in packages of 6 to 12 and are relatively inexpensive at arts and crafts stores. After certain holidays like Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter, such baskets can be picked up for a heavily discounted price. White ones are always available for weddings and showers at party supply shops or even places like Dollar Tree.
Step 2. Decide on a color scheme. Baskets can match the china, other table decor or even bring additional color onto the table.
Step 3. Decide how you want to use the baskets.
Tip: I love using small ribbon, silk or dried flowers; potpourri options; beads, crystals or jewels and candies like dinner mints, M&M’s or Hershey’s kisses.
Individual bouquets of ribbon or silk flowers are usually about the right size for a mini basket and are cheap at around $1 or less per bunch. Dried flowers are a bit more expensive and you may have to arrange them from scratch since they traditionally come on stems and not in bunches.
Individual beads like pearls, crystal or jewels are great for picking up candlelight and reflecting it around the table. These can be mixed or used individually. All are available in package form at most arts and crafts stores, averaging between $3 and $5.
Small candies bring additional color into the mix and can serve as dessert if a formal coarse is not planned.
Step 4. Purchase the needed supplies. Most everything you will need can be purchased at an arts and crafts store. Some, if not all of it, may also be available at a local dollar store.
Step 5. Prepare your baskets for filling. If you are going to use flowers, you may need to attach a small piece of floral foam to the basket bottom with floral stick or wire. Leave it as is or cover the top with moss or excelsior. The latter also provides good filler underneath beads, crystal or jewels.
Step 6. Decorate the mini baskets with one of the following ideas:
Idea #1. Arrange a tiny bouquet of silk, ribbon or dried flowers and greenery within the basket. You can choose to simple glue a pre-made nosegay into place or you create your own floral design from scratch using floral foam and wire.
Mix and match a combination of two or three different flower options to add more interest and good texture. Think about adding a unique glow to the overall design by spraying it lightly with glitter or pearl accent.
Add extra touches of beads or jewels by gluing them randomly on top of some of the flowers within the basket. Finish off by wrapping the basket handle with ribbon and tying a tiny bow on one or both sides for a completely polished look.
Idea #2. Fill the basket with potpourri in dried flower or dried bead form. Do not use gel beads as they will seep through.
Add a few dried flower heads into the mix by poking them into dry potpourri. Glue beads, pearls or porcelain flowers on top of potpourri beads, around the basket handle or on the outside of the basket.
Consider wrapping the basket handle with lace for a vintage feel or glue pearl beading around the rim of the basket with hot glue.
Idea #3. Attach a fake tea light candle inside the basket with floral stick or glue. Arrange other items (e.g., flowers, beading, candy, etc.) around the tea light.
Make a cute bow for the top of the basket handle. Add streamers that flow around the outside of the basket in the same or coordinating colors.
Idea #4. Fill the basket with jewels. Place a piece of jewelry like a broach, pendant or earrings on top of baskets for women or cufflinks, a tie tack or tie clip on those for men. Another option is to put a larger jewel paperweight on top or to the side of the finished piece.
Glue additional jewels on the basket handle or even outside the basket to complete the overall theme.
Idea #5. Fill the baskets with candy like dinner mints, M&M’s or Hershey Kisses. Use the same candy for each basket or mix it up, using different candies for several different baskets. You can also mix candies within the same basket if you so desire.
If you choose to use Hershey Kisses, consider adding your own paper message to the kiss. It can be a holiday wish, a message meant especially for that person or a prediction for their future.
Step 6. Let the basket double as a place card by doing one of the following:
Idea #1. Write the guest’s name on a small cardboard tag. Wrap a piece of ribbon or lace around the basket handle and pin the tag to it.
Idea #2. Glue a small picture of the guest to the side of the basket.
Idea #3. Write the guest’s name on a ribbon streamer and attach it to the basket.
Idea #4. Put the guest’s name on a place card and slide it partway underneath the basket.
Idea #5. Glue the guest’s name to one or both sides of the basket.
This type of arrangement is great for any kind of dinner party and is equally good in many forms for both children and adults.
Have fun coming up with your own unique mini basket ideas. The possibilities are nearly endless.