Tag Archives: Plan

Elegant Chinese New Year of the Monkey Dinner Party Décor Tablescape Ideas


This Chinese New Year of the monkey dinner party contains many ideas for elegant tablescape décor with which to inspire your own celebration. As this is a time for provoking good fortune, customary New Year colors where replaced with those which are luckiest for the monkey sign. Favorable shades are white, gold, and blue while the traditional red is regarded as inauspicious. The typically shunned white funerary color is actually a propitious one for the primate, so it is utilized in the dishware. There are touches of blue in the ceramic vessels, and many shades of gold are included in the setting. Further yellow toned gold cording was selected for the napkin rings, as yellow is also regarded as a lucky royal color as it was once reserved only for use by the emperor. The handcrafted napkin rings were fashioned with traditional Chinese good luck knots, each with 8 petal-like loops. This is auspicious as the numbers 1, 7, and 8 are also providential for the monkey. There are 8 chairs in room, though some are off camera. 7 brass candle holders elevate candles with 7 lit wicks, and there are actually 7 good luck knots when the 6 rings are added to the one looped onto a ceramic lid. Of course, the table, table runner, tablecloth, and wall vase are each numbered as one. The Asian wall vase contains blossoming branches which are a prosperous theme repeated in the ceramics. Additionally, little lotus bowls bloom with blessings. Only chopsticks and ceramic spoons are included for dining, because knives unfortunately represent the cutting of relationship ties… and this is a holiday for flourishing connections in the burgeoning of a thriving new year! “Gung Hay Fat Choy, Gung Hay Fat Choy. Sing Happy New Year, Gung Hay Fat Choy.”


“The new moon tells us, exactly when to celebrate with family and friends.” Gold leaf chargers shine as the full moon beneath gold edged plates and propitious lotus blossom bowls. Delicate teacups accompany vintage ceramic spoons bordered also with gold. Bamboo chopsticks display adornment with patterned paper washi tape.


“Clean up the house and get out the broom. Sweep out the old year, bring in the new.” A pristine new tablecloth of muted gold matches cloth napkins encircled by plaited rings embellished with opportune good luck knots.


“Bring out the apples, the oranges too. Their colors bring us joy and good luck too.” Auspicious branches bloom from an Asian wall-mounted vase. Trees neighboring the tablescape are echoed by the table-runner embroidered with leaf filled branches.


“The dragon dances, the lanterns light. The firecrackers light up the night.” Illuminating pillar candles stand eminently upon vintage scrolled brass candle holders embossed with tiny lotus blossoms. Traditionally made Chinese ceramic vessels lavishly depict scenes of lush bird filled paradises, which are decorated further by dimensional gold paint.


Gung Hay Fat Choy… Best wishes & congratulations! Have a prosperous and good year!

Faithfully Yours,


P.S. The quoted Gung Hay Fat Choy children’s song lyrics are by Nancy Stewart.


P.P.S. Learn how to make the traditional Chinese Good Luck knots seen here and how to turn them into napkin rings as well as decorating chopsticks with washi tape in my crafting article by clicking HERE!


P.P.P.S. Read more about traditional Chinese New Year celebrations in my article from last year by clicking HERE!

Candyland Themed Party Décor Ideas (for Baby Showers, Children’s Birthdays, or Christmas Decorating)


This Candyland theme was inspired by Mary, a dear lady who passed on long ago, but left her inimitable words of wisdom with me, “life is uncertain, eat dessert first,”…and she always did! So it is with her spirit of joie de vivre, that I unbound that creative kid within me that clamored for a sensory sugar high. To release your inner child, follow my 3 part DIY party decorating series (with easy project tutorials and free printables) as it’s a sure path to crafting your way to classic Candyland cuteness! Using some or all of the décor ideas (befitting kid’s birthdays, baby showers, and Christmas parties), you’ll be sure to delight the inner-child in your guests as well! While you’re at it, use my allergy friendly recipes and serving suggestions to fill your candy buffet quickly and easily. For now, let us escape to Candyland…


A Candyland village of (glittered) gingerbread houses sits nestled atop an icing laden hillside (of buffalo snow batting) dotted with (pom-pom) sprinkles.


(Faux) lollipop trees spring forth from gumball forest floors (in speckled metal pails) and (real) candy-cane thickets abound.


Gingerbread people (treat boxes) populate the village, travelling amongst the wellsprings of jellybean pools (in pink plastic pails).


A few “gingies” guard a fenced supply of the village’s juice-milk stores.


Gingerbread (banner) clouds float high amid skyscraping treat towers holding abundant soirees offering peppermint candied almonds, twisty marshmallows, pastel taffy, and (healthy) spicy guacamole shooters with pink pomegranate potato chips.

317 (2)Leigh

The towers’ penthouse floors encircle trios of cotton candy “cream” sodas with peppermint striped straws.


Round rainbow swirled plates and napkins stand by to serve Candyland visitors.

318 (2)Leigh

Boxed and wrapped candies sit ready for shipment to their final destinations.


Gingerbread peep billboards pop up to signal the way to gastronomical paradise.


Gingerbread (cookie) ladies and gentlemen hold snowball (cookie) fights in the village round, whist the tiniest of “gingie” tots toddle home with gumball treats over candy-cane cobblestones lain over pink velvet (cupcake) roads.


A low gingerbread fog sinks below the sugary iced hills perched above a pink (cloth) cliffside.


Around the bend, pink hard candy (lanterns) shine high above big rock candy mountains.


Glowing with hard candy (ornaments), they burst forth with pyroclastic explosions of candy treats spilling over pillowy white icing.


Hard candy (ornament) boulders tumble amid (faux) ribbon candy bushes and flowing streams of (real mega) candy buttons.

395 (2)Leigh

(LED) peppermint light posts illuminate the scene.

370Leigh(Real) candy-cane thickets and (faux) cupcake bushes dot the camping site where gingerbread residents roast marshmallows in the midst of the pink (tablecloth) countryside.


A rainbow lollipop (lantern) arcs above the distant rock candy mountain (tree).


A lone home defiantly stands amidst the candy (ornament) strewn mountainside adjacent to a fallen (faux) ice cream cone log.


Waterfall (faux mega) candy buttons stream down the embankments whose vistas shout, “Welcome to Candyland!”


Wishing you a sweet life of seized moments in eating desserts first!

Faithfully Yours,


P.S. Learn how easy it is to construct your very own Candyland village in these 5 articles:


DIY Candyland Party Themed Craft Tutorial: Gingerbread People Banner, Treat Gifts Boxes, & Printable


DIY Candyland Party Themed Craft Tutorial: Hard Candy Lanterns, Candy Ornaments, & Conversation Heart Garland


DIY Candyland Party Themed Craft Tutorial: Game Board Treat Tower & Easy Buffet Display


Quick & Easy Candyland Confection Ideas: Pink Almond Milk Juice “Recipe”, Cotton Candy “Cream” Sodas, & Gingerbread Peep Pops


Spicy Guacamole Shooters / Avocado Appetizers Recipe (Allergy-Friendly & Nightshade Free = No Red Pepper or Tomatoes)

DIY Candyland Party Themed Craft Tutorial: Game Board Treat Tower & Easy Buffet Display


Craft your way to classic Candyland cuteness befitting birthdays, baby showers, and Christmas décor.  This tutorial for a game board treat tower and easy buffet display are part three of a DIY party decorating series with easy projects and free printables. Using some or all of the ideas, you’ll be sure to delight the inner-child in all of your guests. Sweet!


These simple crafts all utilize the same teacher’s bulletin board banner strips in a licensed Candyland board-game pattern. I made two towers, wrapped six pots, covered two milk corrals and a bunch of food picks… and I still have many strips left over! All of this is from one package of super-cute and inexpensive banners that could not fit my theme more perfectly.


To cover food crates, all you need to do is measure the front width and cut a length off. Double a piece of tape onto itself to hold the cardstock in place during the party. Remove it to reuse later for another craft. One idea is to let the kiddos make thank you cards out of it.


Wrap a length of the banner to coordinate a plain metal bucket to your theme. Simply cut and tape the ends together.


These can be used to hold candy and prop up Gingerbread Peep Pops (see the Candyland Confections article here).


Make food picks by simply cutting the leftover banner end bits into colored squares.


Tape toothpicks or popsicle sticks behind them. These can also be used for place-cards if you like.


My treat towers begin with ordinary cupcake stands that are transformed into darling 3-D gaming creations.


To make your own, first find a commercially packaged stand in a matching color palette.


Cut the teacher’s border into two sections (so that they’re small enough to allow food to be placed once it’s completed).


I just followed the natural curve of the game path pattern.


Put the stand together as per the package instructions.


Hot glue the underside if you really want it to be super-sturdy.


Hot glue a strip to the outside rim of each level. Cut off the excess length.


If your ends don’t match up perfectly, just trim off the top edge to make them appear seamlessly adjoined.


These are what the towering creations look like when laden with sweet treats galore! (See my allergy-friendly Spicy Guacamole Shooters Recipe here.)

317 (2)Leigh

Check out the rest of my Candyland craft series: Gingerbread People Banner, Treat Gift Boxes, & Printables and Hard Candy Lanterns, Candy Ornaments, & Conversation Heart Garland as well as the final party post on Candyland Themed Party Décor Ideas.


Faithfully Yours,


DIY Candyland Party Themed Craft Tutorial: Hard Candy Lanterns, Candy Ornaments, & Conversation Heart Garlands


Craft your way to classic Candyland cuteness befitting birthdays, baby showers, and Christmas décor.  This tutorial for hard candy lanterns, candy ornaments, and conversation heart garlands are part two of a DIY party decorating series with easy projects and free printables. Using some or all of the ideas, you’ll be sure to delight the inner-child in all of your guests. Sweet!


Old-school paper lanterns may easily evolve into supersized hard candy confections with a few simple steps. Begin with any variety of sizes and colors (but choose lighter versions if you wish to light them). You can even find some in a candy swirl pattern like these red and white striped kinds in graduated sizes… or just start with white and add your own stripes. Craft paint is quicker, but marker works as well. Tie a loop of twine, ribbon, or fishing line to the top of each lantern to hang them by later.


Use a theme coordinating color of gift basket cellophane to wrap around each lantern. Be sure the ends overlap before cutting. I used opalescent pink so that the red stripes would show through as hot pink. This way I can reuse the lanterns later with a clear wrap as peppermint candies or without wrapping as striped beach balls in summer.


Tie a length of twine or ribbon to gather the cellophane at the lantern’s base. I actually used a pink and white yarn that mimics baker’s twine but is less expensive.


Pull the hanging cord straight out from the top of the lantern, and gather the cellophane around it. Pull the wrap taut around the sphere (like you would make a ponytail). Tie another bow around this end to secure it. (Note that you can now throw in some lit LED tea-light candles before closing it, but read on to find an easier way to light them.)


Cut off the excess cellophane from the “candy” ends so that it appears to be the right proportion.


You can set these on a table, integrate them into a display, or hang a grouping of various sizes to make a hanging centerpiece. I opted to hike up the chain of my chandelier with an S-hook to shorten it. (See a picture of how to do this here: Frozen Winter Wonderland Themed Christmas & New Year’s Eve Dinner Parties.) Then I attached the twine loops with a couple inches of wire to the chandelier at different levels. I turned the light on, and was immediately awash in a pink candy glow as the light filtered through the lanterns and cellophane. A plug-in up-light aimed squared at the lanterns will also cause them to glow in any location of your choosing. It’s much easier to do this rather than wait to light, close, and then hang your lanterns at the last minute. Of course, another option would be to purchase a light kit for each lantern then plug all those cords in… but who needs more trouble and expense?


The exact same method was employed to craft the hard candy ornaments using, well… ball ornaments.


The only difference was that I didn’t tie on twine hangers, because I elected to use them for table display instead. They would have been lovely hanging though. I can always add twine to string them on a tree or centerpiece later, because I intentionally left the round hanging eye stick out of the gathered wrap. It’s visually concealed by the cellophane.


I made “big rock candy mountains” out of lit white Christmas trees that appeared to glow from within. I then placed the “candy”ornaments on and around them.


Ribbon candy ornaments are another simple décor craft that can utilize bits of leftover ribbon or even old package wrapping for an eclectic mix. I used a portion of a giant roll from Costco that is actually reserved for another project. Real ribbon candy doesn’t have glitter and has stripes facing the other way, but I thought they were adorable anyway.


To make these, just hot glue a line onto the ribbon’s end, and tap it down to form a loop.


Keep repeating this action, forming more and more loops, until you reach a size that seems proportionate to a candy dimension.


Cut off the end, and glue it down to form the last loop.


Next, add a hanger if you’d like to. I used the same thin ribbon as the banner in part one of the Candyland craft series. Make a loop through one loop end of the “candy” and tie a knot. (This seems to be a much safer option, than metal hooks, around small children and pets.)


Hang these from Christmas trees, add them to a candy lantern display, or set them around a centerpiece like my “big rock candy mountains”. The “icing” bases in the picture were comprised of blankets of buffalo snow batting.


The last craft for the tree is a conversation heart garland that would serve equally as well as a banner for a Valentine’s celebration.


It’s so simple and inexpensive because it utilizes foam craft hearts and yarn (or thin ribbon, or baker’s twine if you like).


Begin by simply setting out your hearts according to color, so that you can string them in a pleasing order.


Use a ruler (or just “eyeball” it) in order to hot glue them back to back spaced 3 inches apart, sandwiching the yarn in-between.


Cut the yarn after the last “foamie”, and knot the ends to prevent fraying. (Click here to see the same method used on my kid-friendly “Glitter-ween” garland.)

395 (2)Leigh

Check out the rest of my Candyland craft series: Gingerbread People Banner, Treat Gift Boxes, & Printables and Game Board Treat Tower & Easy Buffet Display as well as the final party post on Candyland Themed Party Décor Ideas.

Faithfully Yours,


DIY Candyland Party Themed Craft Tutorial: Gingerbread People Banner, Treat Gift Boxes, & Printables


Craft your way to classic Candyland cuteness befitting birthdays, baby showers, and Christmas décor.  This tutorial for gingerbread people banners and treat gift boxes are part one of a DIY party decorating series with easy projects and free printables. Using some or all of the ideas, you’ll be sure to delight the inner-child in all of your guests. Sweet!


Every Candyland village needs to be populated with gingerbread people, and it can be accomplished by more than just the menu. Gift your guests with take-home treat boxes that also serve to decorate your buffet.


Begin with readymade gingerbread people shaped paper maché boxes. These are widely available in stores beginning in the fall, and may be purchased online the remainder of the year. (Find discounts for online craft merchants in the side bar from Le fidèLe Design’s affiliates.) I found mine on sale at half off, making them 50 cents each. Use an acrylic paint color in a shimmery brown so that a top coat is unnecessary. (I used DecoArt’s elegant finish espresso metallic paint, because I already owned it, and it coordinated with my banner.)


Separate the tops from the bases, and paint the little guys. I set them rim side down onto a plastic bag, so that I could just peel them off when they dried. (On other surfaces, the paint sometimes acts as glue.)


Allow them to dry overnight, then use hot glue to adhere tiny pom-poms. They make the cutest dimensional eyes, nose, and buttons! I chose colors that would coordinate with my other décor elements, and tried to intentionally randomize the combinations on each “gingie”.


Fill your goodie boxes with candy, tiny toys, or even candy flavored lip gloss and intersperse them in your treat town.182Leigh

Another idea is to fill them with numbered papers that correspond to larger gifts or game elements.


Make a banner of gingerbread people adjoined in jubilant Candyland solidarity, using one of the two following methods.


Foam gingerbread people shapes may be located at just about every craft store in the fall and winter, and may be purchased online the rest of the year. You can choose from many sizes in matte and glitter. I wanted to use the glitter guys to match my houses.


Glue on tiny pom-poms that coordinate with your décor. Use hot glue in the same eyes, nose, and button pattern with which you made the treat boxes.


Punch a hole in each hand of the “gingies” in order to string it into a banner.


Make a loop of thin ribbon through holes in two “gingies”, and tie a knot to connect them. I alternated between three different colors from the same spool of clearance ribbon.



The second method is to right click on my printable image above (free for noncommercial use), and select print. Then print them in color and photo settings on sturdy cardstock (so that they don’t curl when strung). Cut them out, and punch holes into the white circles in the arms. Choose to leave them as is, or add more glitter to the images. Then tie on ribbons to join them (as in the previous method). You can also glue pom-poms over the images in the prints to add dimension to your project.



Use the gingerbread person image without white holes for other décor or signage. Simply adjust your printing sizes to make smaller “gingies”. Do this by printing at a smaller percentage (i.e. at 50%) or by printing them as photos (i.e. wallet size). Or… you can get Kinko’s to do it for you! These little guys also make cute kid’s craft puppets when taped to a popsicle stick, so you can utilize them as a party activity for the little ones.


Check out the rest of my Candyland craft series: Hard Candy Lanterns, Candy Ornaments, & Conversation Heart Garlands and Game Board Treat Tower & Easy Buffet Display as well as the final party post on Candyland Themed Party Décor Ideas.


Faithfully Yours,