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Talk Takeaway: Entertaining with Kristan Cunninham

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 10:45am

Lifestyle expert Kristan Cunningham returns to "The Talk" to show us how to throw a fabulous Oscar party.  She will teach us how to create a grand entrance and discuss the significance of themes, foods, and gold décor for celebrating Hollywood's biggest night.  Apart from her style of do-it-yourself designs, Kristan is also known for hosting the TV shows "Super Saver Showdown" and "Design on a Dime."


Kristan Cunningham's Tips for a Fabulous Oscar Party

Dress for a themed party
Dressing up brings a fun vibe to any gathering and allows us to be a kid again, as well as enabling us to show our creativity and sense of humor.  It will relax people's comfort zones and help them not take life so seriously. Even a shy person can really come out of their shell at a themed party because they feel that they fit in to the environment.  When thinking about your Oscar themed party, make sure you encourage guests ahead of time to come dressed in the style of their favorite past or present nominee. They can dress up as their favorite character from "Lincoln," "The Hobbit," or even from the movie "Les Miserables."

Design a grand entrance

Wall backdrop:  Avoid cliché designs and corny Hollywood symbols that would make the event downright cheesy.   Create a grand entrance to the party that is visually impactful, yet inexpensive and practical.  Use gold lame drapery as a backdrop for this event because it will create an elegant entrance. The yardage is cheap if you decide to get it at a fabric store.  If you have a gold curtain, use that and hang on existing curtain rods.

Wardrobe accessories: If your guests forget to dress up or if they want to enhance their wardrobe, you can have them pick out their favorite accessories that will be displayed on this table.  You can include white feather boas, fedoras, jewels, tiaras, and much more for them to choose from. This will ensure that everyone looks glamorous at your Oscar party.

Photos: Set up a digital camera on a tripod centered in front of this area.   This promotes a red carpet vibe where guests could imagine photographers lining up to take their picture.  

Lighting: Place an inexpensive photographer's light on either side of the entrance.  You can get this at any home store and they are extremely popular nowadays.  After the party, you can use this lighting piece in your living room or office.  It makes a great conversation piece too.

Favorite soundtrack: Music is an important part of any party, especially an Oscar party.  Use your CD player or an iPod like this one for the party!  You can download songs of your favorite Oscar nominated albums or you can simply burn CD's.  Make a playlist with songs such as "I Will Always Love You" from "The Bodyguard" or "(I've Had) The Time of My life" from the "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack.

Ballot Box: As soon as you start preparing for your party, you should make a spreadsheet of who is nominated in what category.  At the end of your party entrance, offer each guest the ballot (you made) of nominees to select their bet for winner. Use an old jewelry box for guests to cast their Oscar predictions. This must be completed before your guests watch the Oscars that night.  The person with the most correct Oscar predictions wins a prize at the end of the party.

Incorporate shiny elements

Gold sequined tablecloth:  Gold is the color of the Oscars and we should keep that color throughout the theme of the party.  The foundation to every table is a table cloth.  Add a gold sequined table cloth like this one to make a fabulous piece for a table.  The sequins will sparkle making the table look like a million bucks.  

"Bracelet" napkin holder: This is easy to make.  Get your old gold bracelets and use them as napkin holders.  They will add glamour to any table napkin!  

Gold and silver trays: Trays are a great way to showcase your items.  They look elegant too!  Place gold colored alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at your Oscar Party.  For non-alcoholic drinks, use ginger ale or apple cider.  If you're providing alcohol, stay with the gold theme as well.  Use gold champagne, yellow colored wine, or light beer.  Pour every drink you serve into a glass, it will make any drink look sophisticated and elegant.  Avoid using paper cups!

Create an elegant food presentation

Hot dogs on skewers: Hot dogs are a staple when going to the movies.  At your Oscar party, you should make it more elegant.  Put hot dogs on silver skewers and wrap it with crescent dough.  Display gourmet mustard dipping next to this dish.  It's a treat for all ages.  

Candy: Use candy favorites such as chocolate and movie candies and display them in glass vessels of varying styles and heights. Candy is inexpensive but you can make them look grand.  Putting similar candies in glass vessels makes a great presentation for your guests.

Gourmet popcorn balls: They look more elegant than popcorn.  Incorporate flavors like rosemary, caramel and sea salt, etc.

Fondue: Get white cheese fondue and display it on the table.  You can dip your pita chips and crostini in the cheese fondue.  It's much more elegant than your old chips and salsa.  

Gold glitter: Put edible gold glitter on your food because it's awesome and will add a touch of sparkle. You can get this glitter anywhere.  Sprinkle it on your fondue or any other foods for the complete Oscar glitz.

End the festivities with party favors

Gold Trophy:  Have gold trophy cups lined up on the final table with popcorn inside of them. These trophies can be bought at party stores and are available with a label for everything from "best girlfriend" to "best dressed".

Oscar gift package: This Oscar gift package is for the guest who predicted the most winners at the Oscars!  You can put so much in this bag like movie DVDs, a wine bottle, wine glasses, a wine opener, an ice bucket, movie tickets, movie soundtracks, entertainment magazines, popcorn, a trophy, and movie candy.

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