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9 Clever ways to upcycle your dinner party

Bethany Ramos is an editor, blogger, and chick lit author. Bethany works as Editor in Chief for Naturally Healthy Publications.

How to decorate for a dinner party with stuff lying around the house

Put me in a design store, and I could stand there slack-jawed for hours. I'm not very good at coming up with my own home decor ideas, but give me a few moments on Pinterest, and suddenly, I'm a genius. I can pin DIY design ideas like it should be on my resume.

One of my favorite things about Pinterest is the latest "upcycling" trend. On most Pinterest boards, you'll find that upcycling is just a fancy new word for DIY — it means you turn some trash lying around your house into a treasure you can brag to your friends about. And I'm all about that.

Pinterest, and really any social media sharing site, is a goldmine for upcycling ideas. The next time you entertain, try your hand at one of these inventive dinner party hacks (and Pinterest favorites) — dreamt up by creative hosts just like you:

1. Blue jean placemats

How to decorate for a dinner party with stuff lying around the house

Image: Living Well Spending Less

This very well may be the coolest thing I have seen on Pinterest, especially considering that I live in Texas (yee-haw). Ruth of Living Well Spending Less, mom and DIY maven, says that this project is incredibly easy if you have a few pairs of old jeans lying around and can sew a straight line. If you don't want to or know how to sew, you can leave the placemat edges raw to add a rustic touch to your dinner decor.

2. Coffee can floral arrangement

How to decorate for a dinner party with stuff lying around the house

Image: The Purple Martin

Hang on to that old coffee can before you toss it in the recycling bin. Then, take a few moments to traipse through your backyard and see what nature has to offer. Wrap sticks around the base of the coffee can with burlap or twine and fill with fresh flowers to create an innovative and eye-catching table centerpiece in under five minutes flat.

3. Lightbulb vase

Surely, you have a lightbulb lying around the house. Once you get dinner in the oven, pop over to your local craft store to buy a strand of pearl beads and a fake flower, and you have yourself a custom DIY centerpiece. Instagram blogger Someday Shabby calls this her "Light Bulb Moment."

4. Lime place card holders

How to decorate for a dinner party with stuff lying around the house

Image: Life Design Events

This fruit-infused upcycle idea is almost too easy. Pin handwritten place cards into any type of citrus fruit to place at table settings. Or, if you are serving dinner buffet style, use lime place cards as decorative and unique labels for each dish.

5. Mason jar candleholders

Tonight's #Pinterest project: #DIY #glitter #masonjar #candles. Seriously sooo easy and cute. #weddingplanning

A photo posted by Jessica Lauren •• (@jfleeve) on

Great news, everybody. I have at least two dozen Mason jars collecting dust underneath my kitchen sink. According to Jfleeve of Instagram, all I have to do is add a little glitter and insert candles to craft one of the easiest and most beautiful centerpieces known to man.

6. Napkin ring cuffs

How to decorate for a dinner party with stuff lying around the house

Image: Family Chic

If your significant other has dress shirts to spare, then you've just scored yourself a set of adorable napkin rings for your next dinner party. Camilla Fabbri of Family Chic recommends using shirt cuffs for "simple and instant" napkin rings or even as a cute, decorative sleeve for table wine.

7. Record cake stand

How to decorate for a dinner party with stuff lying around the house

Image: Sassy Scarlet

Use this fantastic idea to put those old records and candlestick holders to use (or hit up your local thrift store). Hot glue records to candlestick holders to create an unexpected dessert serving platter that your friends will still be talking about weeks later.

8. Wine bottle candleholders

If you're anything like me, then your recycling bin is absolutely brimming with old wine bottles. Cut one of those babies down (safely), place it atop a tea light candle and set the mood for your intimate five-course dinner. Bagpuss123 of Instagram cautions that practice makes perfect, "It took a lot of trial and error! We used a bottle cutter and then hot and cold water, but it depends on temp of water; many didn't work out."

9. Wine bottle cheese tray

How to decorate for a dinner party with stuff lying around the house

Image: foodchronicles, Flickr

This dinner party upcycle hack is my favorite of all. Granted, upcycling a wine bottle will require some skill, safety precautions and the use of a kiln. But when you are done, you will have a professional-quality appetizer tray that you can use for delightful dinner parties until the end of time.

More home decor

Anthro hack: DIY patchwork pillow
Spring cleaning: What to toss and what to upcycle
Infographic: The ultimate guide to organizing your garage

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