Calling All Creative Holiday Decorators!! Can You Help a M. Out?!!

Updated on December 12, 2011
M.W. asks from Fremont, CA
9 answers

I am putting on a holiday luncheon for the teachers and staff at my kids' school next week. I am trying to get my creative juices flowing. Any creative, cheap and simple decorating tips you can pass on?? Parents are bringing in appetizers and desserts and I am having a Hot Chocolate bar along with hot cider...but with whipped cream, crushed mints and marshmallows for the chocolate.

I want to make the boring staff room transform into a winter wonderland...ok..not really but just bedazzle it a bit. I do have a very large budget for the school year but don't want to waste it on decorations. I will pull from my own garlands, lights, trees, wreaths etc. I would like to do a beautiful "runner" down the middle of 4 long tables...any suggestions???

Please pass on any suggestions that maybe you have used to decorate and it turned out simple and nice. Or something you made or did with your kiddos.

Thanks for all your input. You ladies have helped me so much in my PTA responsibilities. You are my creative team that I pull out of my back pocket when I am having a creative block.

Thank you for the leads. I didn't know we had some "experts" on here. Good to know.

Ooohh...a tissue paper snowflake wonderland...I can enlist my kids and their friends on that task. Keep the ideas coming...thanks!!

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answers from San Diego on

Don't know if you have a Dollar Tree around but they have some cute stuff for a buck. Or, how about asking some of the classrooms to make snow flakes ?

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Austin on

Why Thank you Dawn..

Different things to consider.
Wrapping paper makes a great table cloth.. Make the table look like a giant present. Wrap the top of the table with solid red paper.

You can even take wide ribbon and make it look like it is the ribbon on the package and make take 2 or 3 Potted Poinsettia plants and place them in the center of the table and make giant loops of ribbon and place them around the pots.. It will look like a live package topper on top of a huge present. Wrap empty boxes and place them stacked around the room. If you wrap just tops of boxes.. You will them be able to actually use them for this Christmas.

You can either hang tinsel garland, or stands of lights and "hang" notes with ribbons from the children and parents of the school.. Thanking the teachers and staff. Wishing them a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas.. etc..

Or if you and some other parents have a small tree, garlands, a wreath and nice cloth.. just "loan" them to the school for this event. Decorate the room with garlands, lights, bows, etc..

Be sure to play some nice Holiday Music. Josh Groban, Mariah Carey, Perry Como...
Or do a Candy Cane type theme with lots of red and white stripes.. Ribbons on Wreaths, on a small tree, candy canes and starlight mints. all attached to the wreath and tree.. White twinkle lights.

I always loved doing a "Winter Wonderland". White lights, children making tons of snow flakes out of folded paper, sprayed with glue and glitter, White cloths, with Icicles attaches to the edges.

sounds like fun../ Make sure the parents helping are wearing fun Christmas type hats and head bands. You all are part of the decorations too!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Medford on

Buy as many yards as you need of shimmery tulle' (netting) at the fabric store. Twist it slightly with a strand of tiny white lights and put them the lenght of the tables as a runner. Add clear glass dishes or fish bowls filled with gold and sliver ornaments. Pine cones, candles if allowed. fake ones if you can. white table cloths, and napkins. Use paper placemats in Christmas prints or cloth ones if you can find them. Or.,.You can pick up a few yards of Christmas fabric and with pinking shears just cut rectangles for placemats. No sewing needed. A grouping of fake trees in a corner with lots of lights. I like the idea of kids making tissue paper snowflakes to hang from clear thread from the ceiling.Dont forget to bring a Christmas CD to play in the background. Hot cider will smell great! Makes me want to throw a party now.. Have fun and Merry Christmas.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Just two things I can think off the top of my head....a wreath made out of plastic bags. Get a wire hanger and make it into a circle. Keep the curve at the top so it can easily be hung up. Then start tying bags around the hanger...push them close together, and at the end, it will look like a white wreath. You can use any grocery bags, and it won't matter if they have holes, because it will either add to the wreath, or won't be noticeable. Another is a magazine tree. You take a magazine and fold the pages from the top outside corner, down. Eventually, you will have a Christmas tree made out of a magazine! Let me know if you need clarification on these, as I may not have explained them well enough.

Also, instead of spending a lot of money on a table runner, get tablecloths from the dollar store and fold them in thirds so you can't tell it was a tablecloth. Also, wrap the table in wrapping paper instead of a table cloth, also from the dollar store.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

you might want to try surfing around on, but it can be very overwhelming as there isn't a great search feature, or atleast it doesn't work well when i am on late at night. Martha is kind of fun to look at for inspiration too.

White felt, or white batting with spray glitter. Don't forget about pretty shiney christmas bulbs in a dish.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hang white lights (from your stash if you don't want to waste the $) from
ceiling & against back wall.

Have a tree or two (neat if you can borrow several fake trees from ppl &
decorate w/white lights and all the same color ornaments (silver & blue
for example)

Or buy a couple of snow flocked trees (mid-size) & decorate w/same color

I buy my table runners at Ross or Wal-Mart (get the cheapest one & buy
several in the same color (ex. red)

Maybe a few poinsettas

A tall clear vase filled w/the same colored ornaments

Red charger plates w/a white plate on top (get both at the Dollar store)

Cloth napkins (borrow, buy cheap in bulk)

Buy a few inexpensive serving trays AND platters (white or silver) from
Ross to "showcase" your food and/or desserts. You can even buy a box
of chocolates & take them out of the box to serve on these double
decker fancy platters.

Set out glass dishes w/same colored ornaments for table decorations.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

That would be cute to do a winter wonderland. many people may be able to help you by donating decorations from their light displays . All white table cloths with blue center pieces of snowflakes and snow globes and glitter with candles.

Our school went over board for Teacher app week last year. Turned the a facility on campus into Italy and it was amazing. I think the moms just got together and donated all the paintings, decor, linen and got it put together in 8 hours. Just way too much. But your theme seems very do-able

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Hi there...
If you want to make really pretty runners for the table for cheap and easy, you can buy any fabric you love at a craft store and then use steam a seam2 on the edges and iron! A simple rectangle is easy and with the steam a seam it makes nice edges! Also, I saw this really neat idea the other day where you buy cups and plates at a thrift store, buy metallic spray paint and liquid nails. Then you spray all the items, all one color or multiple colors, whichever you choose, then glue a cup the center of the largest plate, then glue a smaller plate to the top of the cup, a cup on top of that, and a small plate on top... it makes a really neat upcycled serving platter!

1 mom found this helpful
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