Redo You: Entertaining with Kristan Cunningham

Posted on Aug 8, 2012 10:45am

Here are Kristan Cunningham's tips from today's show!

Focus on one design element.  
My overall tip for people who take on theme parties is that it should mean something special to whomever the party is for. A theme should be something that reflects your personality or your home. Since its summer, I thought of a fun theme party and that's camping.  I'm also going to show you how to do this affordably.  A lot of the pieces we're going to see today can be purchased super cheap at your local hardware store or they're pieces you can incorporate from your own home.

When it comes to your party, it's important to have one design element that is impactful and has a presence. Since the theme for this party is camping, we're going with a tent because when you think of camping, that's one of the first things that come to mind. If you want to throw a party that's both adult and kid friendly, a tent is a great destination for kids to play. Here we used a drop cloth because it's a classic fabric that can be purchased in bulk for under $50.00.

Reinforce theme with small decorations.
When decorating, you want to use authentic items that contribute to the overall theme and experience of your party. Hosts need to decorate to create an experience.  You want to use things around your house that you already have.  Since we're going with camping, we have a canteen. It's authentic to the camping experience and it's also something the kids can keep with them throughout the day. For under $10.00, you can buy in bulk and have enough for each kid at your party. We have a cot in here and one of the great things about this is they can be versatile. I own a pair of these and I use them at the dining table in my home. You can buy a pair for $8.00 and use them for another party. The artwork here can be purchased at thrift stores for only a few dollars. We have these bunting flags because bunting is so popular and affordable. There also great because they double as a net to play badminton.  

Reinforce theme with small decorations.
When looking for décor, you can always use things you already have at home... Use multipurpose items. I really like using a drop cloth because it's something most people already own and if you don't, you can get them for fewer than ten dollars. Drop cloths are reusable and they are versatile. You can bleach them a different color or decorate them. Also, here we have mason jars which are classy and you can get them for super cheap. They can be used for many things...They're great for everything from serving drinks to beans and they are a wonderful source for tea lights, if you want to use them for your table.  I also love these birch plates and silverware because they look great and you get them in packages of 100 for $10.00.  

Put new spin on classic dishes.
When taking on a party, food and cocktails can be the most expensive. The great thing about a camping theme is that you present them in a new and fresh way. Put a new spin on classic dishes!  When it comes to camping, people expect hamburgers, hot dogs and beans in a can. But it's important to remember, it's not how much money you spend, it's how you present it. Instead of regular hamburgers, make it fun!  I got these delicious bacon wrapped sliders that are great for kids and adults. Instead of hot dogs in a bun, we're presenting it as a different kind of pigs in a blanket (Sliced bread with melted cheese and hot dog.  Toothpick will hold it together). We're also serving inexpensive potato chips and tartar tots but we're presenting the theme in these fun metal canisters that were once soup cans.

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