Pier-fect: Pier 1 Holiday Decorating

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

I should start off by saying that I was thrilled when I was contacted by Pier 1 to write a post about holiday decorating featuring items from their stores. I initially thought I would peruse the Pier 1 Website, pick out my favorite holiday items and that would be all. Later, I was informed I would receive a gift card to do a little shopping. Then, the bad news came; I wouldn’t be getting the $50.00 gift card after all. The good news? I would get a $100.00 gift card instead! Holy cow! Almost immediately, I decided to focus my holiday entertaining primarily on Christmas decorating.

My requirements: 1. Get the best deals possible. Hello, clearance! 2. Buy items that flow seamlessly from Christmas to year round decor. You know that I hate storing unnecessary stuff, so I tried to keep Christmas specific items to a minimum. 3. Try to get decorations for the most-visible-by-guests-areas: outside, living room, dining room and guest room. 4. Stick to my color scheme of silver, white, blue and green. With my goals in mind and gift card in hand, Everett and I took a little (2 hour) shopping trip to our local Pier 1. Before I show you what we returned home with, I’ll show you some items I loved that didn’t fit all requirements. First up, these cute owl and bird salt and pepper shakers. Cheap? Yes. Cute? Check, but my other requirements weren’t there. I also loved so many of the Pier 1 dishes and drinkware, like these beautiful silver stemware glasses. I don’t have much in the way of kitchen storage, nor do we do much fancy entertaining, so I took only a few items home with me from that department. If you didn’t know this already, Pier 1 has such a fantastic candle and candle holder selection. This angel tealight holder is beautiful, but doesn’t transition easily from Christmas to year-round. These ornament candle holders are really cute, but red wasn’t in my palette. I know I’m really picky, but are you ready to see what did make the cut? I’m sure you are, I won’t keep you waiting any longer.  Yep, all of this for $101.98! Sa-weet! I decided to splurge on two items because they were perfect for Christmas, but also year round. Splurge number 1: this mercury glass pillar holder. It was $22.00, but it’s timeless and says, “Look at me. Here I am, love me.” You CARS fans should know that one. Splurge number 2: the beautiful silver leaf bird tray for $29.95  Ain’t she a beaut? (as the Australians would say). It spoke to me: “Take me home! I fit ALL of your requirements!” So, I listened. I love the generous size, bird design and the splash of silver. Perfect for Christmas and beyond. Here’s a breakdown of everything else I walked out of Pier 1 with:

6 metallic gold place mats for $.98 each

1 metallic silver charger for $4.00

1 glittered golden Christmas tree decoration for $4.95

1 small silver candle lantern $4.98

1 large silver candle lantern for $10.48

1 short glass pillar candle holder for $3.88

1 golden bird ornament for $4.95

1 nest ornament for $2.95

2 small leaf bowls for $.98 each

2 golden star ornaments for $1.00 each

4 jingle bell ornaments for $1.00 each

Now, let’s continue to the decorating, shall we. First, let’s visit our doorstep.  My one-heck-of-a-deal clearance candle lanterns are accompanied by a few evergreen branches, faux snow (Epsom salt, a trick I learned from Better Homes and Gardens) filled drinking glasses turned tea lights. Yes, I know my candle lanterns are missing the candles. Forgive me. A silver ball ornament wreath, inspired by this one from Pier 1, hangs on our door to greet guests. Nothing says “Christmas” like silver glitter. We don’t have a mantle to decorate, so I treated our entertainment center as if it were. Here’s what it looked like BCD (Before Christmas Decorations): And here is our entertainment center now, decked out in glitz and glitter: The books, picture frames, magazine file, monogram ceramic balls (from a previous Pier 1 trip) and some candle holders stayed. To infuse Christmas cheer, more glass and silver candle holders, including the Pier 1 mercury glass pillar holder, were added along with glittered snowflakes, my Pier 1 glittered Christmas tree and silhouette ornaments. Don’t fret, I’ll provide more details in later posts. Along with our Christmas tree, decorating the entertainment center completed the holiday decorating in our living room. To decorate another guest visible room, our dining room, I hung our stockings from hooks hidden behind the quarter round moulding. The silver charger and golden star ornament turned napkin ring add some sparkle to our everyday dinnerware.  The mercury glass candle holder, glittered Christmas tree and apothecary jar filled with monogram ceramic balls at the center of the table add height, texture, and Christmas cheer to the tablescape. This centerpiece arrangement is rounded out by the golden bird and nest, to add layers of height.  Here’s another tablescape option I whipped up using assorted silver toned candle holders, my Pier 1 clearance gold metallic placemats and jingle bell ornaments as napkin rings. Two things that could make this setting better? Metallic gold salad plates, like these, to replace the blue ones and a few brass or gold candle holders to bring the gold throughout the arrangement. I kept the decorations in the guest room simple and functional with the pretty silver leaf tray topped with a few guest essentials and a special treat.  A white IKEA planter contains travel-sized guest essentials such as toothpaste, soap, and a washcloth. A Christmas-y reindeer print in a silver frame and votive holder turned vase add sparkle without competing with the silver leaf pattern. Another faux snow filled candle and the Pier 1 small leaf dish filled with M&Ms round out the tray. The items are strategically placed to show off the most of the beautiful pattern possible. Want to know what else is on my Pier 1 wish list? Here are a few more of my favorites:

Silver Paper Star Lantern

White Snowflake Pillow

Short Gold Tumblers

Silver Mosaic Reindeer Decor

Green Bird Plate

Circles Citron Pillow

Ruffle Pillow

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How To: Cloth Napkins

This is a very simple, eco-friendly project.  Cloth napkins would make a great addition to a kitchen and dining inspired gift.  Add a set of napkins to a set of pretty dishes and it’s a great, usable gift. 

To make a set of napkins, pick a pretty quilting or linen type fabric.  To get 4 napkins, buy 1 square yard of fabric.  Cut into 18 inch squares.  Fold opposite sides in about 1/2 inch.  Iron to make a nice crease.  Then, fold the other sides in 1/2 inch or so, ironing to crease. 

Fold opposites over again and press to crease.  Pin in place to hold the shape.  Iron opposite sides again and pin.

Set your sewing machine to a close straight stitch.  Allign the edge of your presser foot with the edge of the napkin and sew.  When you reach a corner, keep the needle down, raise the presser foot and turn 90°.  Continue sewing until each napkin is complete.

Thanksgiving Table Settings

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I decided today would be the perfect day to show you fine folks a few table settings I whipped up.  Most of the items used I had lying around the house. 

First up, we have a turkey day snack setting featuring an abundance of leaf bowls.  I like to call this one “Just Leaf It.”

This is a really simple setting complete with all sorts of snacks, napkins and a sparkling drink.  Of course the main part to this setting are assorted leaf bowls.  To duplicate this look, you can buy various leaf bowls to fill with snacky goodness.  I have two sets in my Etsy shop and saw ceramic versions recently at Pier 1 and TJ Maxx.

For the main show, I kept everything simple.  I used our everyday plain white dishes and splashed Thanksgiving color in the form of place mats, napkins, place cards, nuts and a pine cone wreath.

Here’s a closer look:

I scored the metallic gold place mats for $.98 each on a recent Pier 1 trip.  I love the bit of sparkle they add to the setting.  Brown floral napkins that I sewed rest on each plate while a walnut turkey place card watches nearby.  A few leaf-shaped bowls are also nearby for any individual portions.  I think it would be cute to have salt and pepper in the small leaf bowl, also from Pier 1 clearance.

The centerpiece is super simple, consisting of a silver Pier 1 charger, though I should have gotten a gold one, too.  On top of the charger, a bird and branch candle holder rests, surrounded by nuts. 

What are your plans for the big day?  Hosting Thanksgiving or traveling?  We’re feasting on Sunday, not Thursday because my sister will be here.  Any favorite Thanksgiving traditions?  Funny thoughts about turkey day?  My favorite comes from a Friends episode where Joey wears Phoebe’s maternity pants to accommodate his huge stomach because he eats so much.

Winner, Winner!

The CSI Project is a cool blog that hosts weekly link party contests.  This week’s challenge was Before and After: Your Favorite Room, so I entered our dining room.


Well, guess what?  It placed in the top ten out of 108 entries!  Woo to the hoo!  I’ve never really won anything, so I’m pretty excited.  Go over and check it out.  There are a ton of cool rooms and ideas posted each week; you won’t be disappointed.

We’re Nutty for Fall

A few days ago, the weather in Montana changed and we finally got a touch of fall.  So I sprang (get it, spring is the opposite of fall, yes, I’m that lame) into action and whipped up three fall inspired table scapes. 

Cocktail Hour Centerpiece:  This table setting, complete with snacks, is geared toward a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, rather than a sit down meal.  

Here we have a few thrift store flower bowls, both white porcelain and patina brass, holding almonds, peanuts and shells.  I happened to have almonds and in shell peanuts, but any nuts would work great, or candy, too!  See that set of pillar candle holders?  Those came from Goodwill for only $0.49 each!  The wooden wine holder was a gift that a relative made(!) and it holds a bottle of sparkling apple cider, my fav.  I scored the large vase from TJ Maxx for $5.99 and filled it with a pillar candle and free nuts I gathered from my parent’s yard while in Minnesota. 

Here’s a tip:  If you don’t have a tall pillar candle, give it a boost with an upside down glass. 

The wood slice was something I’ve had lying around for a long time, but you can pick up something similar at a craft store or make one for yourself. 

Brighter Cocktail Hour:  Here we have another cocktail hour table scape, but with a little twist. 

We’ve kept the wooden wine holder around, but we’ve added fall flowers for a nice pop of color.  A wooden clearance tissue cover is turned upside down to disguise the clear glass vase, adding another natural element.  Nuts fill hand stitched felt and tweed leaf bowls (more on those next week).  Mustard yellow napkins round out the centerpiece.

Dinner Party:  We’ve finally gotten around to dinner and incorporated a bird theme.

This is a simple setting using basic white dinner plates and everyday silverware, so we’ve added a pop of yellow with the napkins.  Fancier glasses dress things up a bit.  A TJ Maxx bird and nest candle holder serves as a simple, low profile centerpiece filled in with white ceramic bird salt and pepper shakers and a few bowls of nuts. 

Here’s a tip:  If you have small, rambunctious children (like we do), forgo a tablecloth or runner to prevent a catastrophe.   Instead, add color and texture through cloth napkins.

Most items used were already on hand, but the great outdoors are wonderful ways to add natural elements, without costing you a penny!  Do you have any tried and true thrifty ways to decorate for fall?  Please do share.