*Acorn Candle Hurricanes: This works with any clear vase, pitcher or hurricane you have, just place a fat cream pillar candle in the glass container and surround the base of the candle, about 4" up, with acorns. If the squirrels have already gotten all the acorns this works with a few brightly colored fall leaves
* Twig Hurricanes: Find delicate brown twigs in your yard, attach the twigs to the outside of a cylindrical vase or hurricane using a small amount of hot glue to temporarily hold them in place. Attach them so the thicker part of the twig is at the base and the smaller finer top of the branch goes up to the top of the cylinder. Put them sparingly around the entire cylinder then secure them by tying twine around them at the base of the cylinder and another tie about halfway up. You can use the hot glue again to secure the twine to the twigs and when the season changes just pull them off (the hot glue will come right off the glass).
* Wine Crate Cheese Platter: Use an old wooden wine crate as a cheese platter and wine holder. Angle the top of the crate over the crate box, so there's about a 7" space open down to the bottom of the box. Lay down some fall leaves on the top of the box and place the cheese on top of the leaves. In the open area inside the box below place an open bottle of wine so guests can refill their glasses as they enjoy the cheese!
* "Thankful" Stone Place Cards and Centerpiece
Gather smooth creamy river rocks from a lake, pond or beach or you can buy a big bag of them local garden center or home improvement store. Write each guests name with a black sharpie pen on a stone and rest them on napkins at each place setting on the table. Fill a large glass bowl or vase with the remaining river stones and a glass of black sharpie pens on a buffet. When guests arrive ask them to write what they are thankful for in one word on a stone (they can do as many as they like)…have the table set with a bamboo or cork runner (or any runner you have) down the center and set patches of moss on top of the runner. Ask guests to place their "Thankful stones" down the center of the tables in and around the moss and then complete the table setting by adding loads of little white votive candles in clear glass holders to create a warn glow. This is a fun idea because the stones double as place cards and it's also a conversation starter that gets people talking at the table about what they are thankful for.
* Bobbing Apple Votives – Fill large earthenware bowls or galvanized buckets with water and float a bunch of apples to see how they balance in water (each one will float differently), mark their topsides with a dot. Place a tea light over the dot and trace around the tea light with a pen. Using a good utility knife or pairing knife, cut into the apple vertically as deep as the tea light is tall. Insert the tea light and float bunches of apples in the bowl or bucket. These are a wonderful way to greet your guests as they enter your house for the holidays!
· Bittersweet Berry Votives - Tie a couple of small twigs of bittersweet berries around clear glass votives with twine or narrow rust colored satin ribbon. This is so fast and easy and it's little touches like this that take your table from ordinary to extraordinary.
· Artichoke Candles:
Snip off an 1 ½" of the top of a green or purple artichoke, trim the sharp pointed edges of the outer leaves and cut the base stem so the artichoke will sit on the table. Push open the leaves at the top with a fork and nestle in a votive candle with about ¾" of the candle sticking out on top of the artichoke. Place several of them down the center of the table for a centerpiece or incorporate them with another centerpiece. The next day you can cook the artichokes so they don't go to waste!
* Pinecone Place card Holders:
Simply collect pinecones from your yard (or your neighbor's yard) and place a single small card with each guests name on it at their place resting on a folded napkin. It's so simple but still adds a special touch.
For more quick, easy and inexpensive decorating ideas, visit Libby Langdon's website, www.libbylangdon.com
About Libby Landon (www.libbylangdon.com)
Libby Langdon is an interior designer and expert commentator on HGTV's hit show "Small Space, Big Style." She offers insights, techniques and tips to help viewers make the most of their own small space. Previously, Libby hosted and was the lead designer on the FOX makeover TV show, "Design Invasion."
Libby founded "Libby Interiors" in 2003 and has completed numerous commercial and residential design projects all over the country.
She designed the New York City restaurant, La Masseria, which was voted as one of the top ten new restaurants in the United States by Esquire. She also designed the flagship store for Italian designer Massimo Bizzocchi in New York's Meatpacking District.
Libby has designed private residences in New York's Sagaponack and Southampton as well as apartments in New York City and the Rhode Island oceanfront home of PGA golfer Brad Faxon. This summer she designed a home in Austin, Texas and a loft apartment in Providence, RI.. She recently designed a residence in Dallas, Texas as well as the pro shop of the exclusive Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, NY. Libby is currently designing homes in East Hampton, NY and Jupiter, Florida.
Libby just designed the Living Green exhibit for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine that showcases her design ideas and tips on Eco friendly and stylish interiors. The 2500sq foot home exhibit will travel to home shows in15 cities across the country during 2008. She regularly shoots segments for the Better Homes and Gardens syndicated TV show, BetterTV about her experience discovering Green design as well as general interior design tips. Her four part feature series on her experience learning about green design runs in Better Homes and Gardens issues from June-September.
Libby recently filmed a series of commercials for Domino Magazine in conjunction with Sherwin Williams, Ann Sacks Tile and The Merchandise Mart for HGTV. She is also a regular on WCBS radio as an Interior Design/ Lifestyle expert.
Libby's designs have been featured in numerous national shelter magazines and on the covers of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens and Decorating Spaces. She is a small space expert to Decorating with Style, and Budget Decorating and several other design magazines. Libby regularly gives seminars about design in small spaces to furniture retailers and manufacturers, offering ways to court the small space consumer.
Libby is a regular contributor to the nation's top daily papers with design, food and entertaining ideas and has written her first book, Libby Langdon's Small Space Solutions, to be published by Globe Pequot Press next year.
For design tips, food and entertaining ideas and all things "Libby" go to www.libbylangdon.com