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I love celebrating the holidays surrounded by friends & family, and look for any excuse to have friends over for a delicious home-cooked meal. In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we had a few dear friends over recently and celebrated with a Rustic & Gold Friends-Giving!
I’m at my happiest when my house is full of people I love, and while I love decorating for get-togethers, I don’t love spending a ton of money on those decorations. We decided to have a few friends over for what I’m calling a Friends-Giving dinner, so I spent a little time DIYing some inexpensive but beautiful decor to set a festive table.
A fall decor trend I’ve noticed lately is decorating with cotton bolls. Being a Southern girl, I was ready to bring this trend into my own home, but didn’t have a cotton field to visit to pick some.
So what’s a DIY-er to do? Make ’em! To make your own, you’ll need an egg carton, hot glue gun, cotton balls, some brown paint (not pictured), and a few sticks.
To make the boll part, (1) cut off the egg carton that holds the egg, (2) trim a triangle from each corner, then (3) cut each of the four edges to a point.
Paint each of the bolls dark brown and allow to dry. Then glue a cotton ball to the boll with your hot glue gun.
To make them look more authentic, I fluffed each cotton ball after gluing to the boll so they didn’t look so perfect.
Finally, glue the cotton boll to the stick.
Aren’t they cute? I love how my little cotton bolls turned out!
After DIYing my cotton bolls, it was time to set the table, complete with a few other DIY touches.
I started by clearing the table completely, pulling out the leaf to expand the table, and giving it a good cleaning. We rarely eat meals in here so it had been covered up for a while.
Then, I added a kraft paper runner with a roll of polka dotted kraft wrapping paper I had on hand. I simply cut it to the proper length, then taped it down on the underside of the table.
I set the table with my gold chargers, white dishes, and brown and gold bowls. Then I rolled the silverware in napkins and added a strip of brown kraft paper to each silverware roll.
To serve as a place holder, I added each person’s name to the kraft paper silverware roll, then laid one stem of cotton next to each bowl on top of the white plate.
To dress up the chairs, I draped a piece of burlap ribbon to the chair backs, then secured with white lace ribbon.
No table setting of mine would be complete without sunflowers, which also happen to be perfectly fall, so I created a simple sunflower and baby’s breath bouquet and put it in my white ceramic pitcher for a centerpiece.
Now that the table was all set, it was time to take care of the food! I headed to my go-to grocery store to pick up all of the food for our Friends-Giving dinner: Wal-Mart!
I can get so much bang for my buck at Wal-Mart, so it’s where I go when I need to feed a crowd.
The first item on my list was the main dish: Hormel 81 bone-in Cherrywood Ham. (Seriously, who doesn’t love ham? With that delicious glaze dribbling through the spiral cut slices!)
The Hormel 81 bone-in ham wasn’t in the cooler with all of the other holiday hams. I found mine with the other pork products.
I also picked up some dinner rolls, stuffing, broccoli (with cheese, of course!), and cranberry sauce. Marley likes the canned jelly kind that comes out in the shape of the can. 🙂
Once I got home and started cooking, I was instantly in the holiday spirit! My home was filled with the delicious smells of Cherrywood ham, and oh my goodness was it ever delicious! (I may or may not have snagged a couple small bites before it made it to the table.)
When our friends arrived, I was in heaven. The sounds of laughter and storytelling filled our home, just as the smells of scrumptious food filled the air.
Oh yea, I can’t forget about this: My mom made her famous buttermilk pound cake. As our friend Curtis said at dinner, you know it’s gonna be good when you have an accent like my momma does!
Our Friends-Giving was so much fun! Have you ever had a Friends-Giving? What’s your favorite way to celebrate the holidays with friends & family?