Everyone loves the dream of an Italian meal, while sitting in a street cafe in Tuscany. Plane tickets aren’t exactly cheap, but the good news is you can bring the spirit of Italy home with a little bit of craftiness and a few key 3P tips. Affordable faux table “linens” done on the fly, centerpieces that scream “Viva Italia”, noodles turned napkin rings and even a DIY Italian soda bar can be crafted for a large crowd or a small gathering. See how we traveled our way to Tuscany for a night, without ever leaving our home turf.
Throwing a “grandisimo” grad party, gathering your entire church for a hospitality night (this event was dreamed up by Joseph the youth pastor as a fundraiser for summer programs + decorated by our craft queen frieder: Cheri!), or even getting the family together for home cooked Italian meal can be done with these few simple steps:
1. That old 3P stand by: choose and run with your theme! Gather everything you can from home, round up a few missing pieces on a dime from the Dollar Store or Walmart and you’re in business. We laid the foundation for each table with white plastic disposable cloths, topped with sturdier and re-usable red checkered rounds all found for a steal.
2. Centerpieces made from home: our uber-crafty pal Cheri used recycled pasta sauce tins and filled them with red paper napkins, faux florals, fresh herbs, and raw pasta. The rustic look rallied our theme throughout the venue without costing a fortune. Grounding each arrangement with a placemat anchored our pieces, flameless candles gave us a touch of light, and condiments for our meal even added to the flavor of each table in matching berry baskets filled with tissue. Pro-Tip: follow the 3P guidelines of 3’s, 5’s, and 7’s for balance and table-beauty!
3. Noodles turned napkin rings: who doesn’t adore a delicious manicotti? (We’ll have a recipe for you come Monday)….but have you ever turned a noodle into a napkin ring? Gently pulling a folded paper napkin through a raw manicotti noodle gives a seriously Italian feel to your table, and also provides a vivid and fun vessel for cutlery.
4. DIY Drink Stations! Italian sodas are a tasty and creamy treat that can be made in minutes. They’re the perfect non-alcoholic refreshment for any summer party. Cheri was inspired by Pinterest to create a chalkboard sign to guide guests to our Italian Soda bar, and by now you know” chalkboards are all the rave these days. Torani syrups were provided to pick your own flavor (a little goes a long way and bottle will last you a while!), and once guests chose their flavor…a few of our younger attendees mixed up and handed out flavorful masterpieces in minutes!
5. A FUN element: most of us love a little moment in the spotlight…so a simple photo-op, much like our photo booth at the tea…gives guests a reason to smile + provides an instant momento. We created a little cafe-style stand and gave guests the option to choose props or simply pose. SO much fun!
With these tips in your toolbox, what dream-night can you create? Are you planning a grad party, birthday bash, or dinner for DAD that could benefit from a Bellisimo Italian vibe? Let us know how you get creative and bring the flavors and colors of afar into your hometown!