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I remember the very first time I was introduced to the idea of “Friendsgiving.” During my senior year of college, a sorority sister of mine invited me to a Friendsgiving dinner she was hosting at her house. Without even being entirely sure of what it was, I told her to count me in! When I asked what all a Friendsgiving dinner entailed, she quickly explained that it was a time of fellowship with friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving season before we all parted ways during the break to head back home to visit with our families. Since then, I’ve seen many of those same people that attended keep the tradition alive by hosting a gathering in their homes filled with good food, good fiends and good times!
We moved into our brand new home just 2 days before Thanksgiving last year. It was always my dream to have a space large enough to host friends and family in my home during the holidays, and I’ve always been tickled at the thought of being able to break out my china and table decor so that others can enjoy it, too. I was so thrilled to host my family last year around my dining room table, and I’m looking forward to sharing many a smile with friends and family this year as we gather around the same table again!
When thinking about how I wanted to style each place setting for when company arrived, I knew I wanted something that was simple, yet charming. I love to use my fine china any chance I get, but I wanted the general vibe to feel a little more relaxed. I used a lot of earthy element in my tablescape this year, such as cotton bolls, painted acorns, burlap, wood chips and flour sack place mats and napkins.
When setting the table for Friendsgiving and/or Thanksgiving, there’s no need to over-complicate the look! If you can stack plates on top of each other, you can achieve this same exact look, guaranteed!
I started with a place mat, followed with a neutral colored charger with metallic tones that will match almost everything. I then placed a dinner plate, followed by a tri-folded napkin and a salad plate on top of each other. I placed the silverware in a simple burlap utensil holder and “garnished” with a little acorn trinket on the side.
I’ve always loved to incorporate a few handmade touches into my decor when I can, though now that I have two little ones under my wing, I prefer to keep the DIY elements as simple as possible. You can scroll down to find the tutorial for these DIY No-Sew burlap utensil holders if you like adding a personal touch to your table, too!
One element that must be on the table when friends come over is my beloved Coca-Cola® and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar! It’s the perfect way to serve up a few smiles before, during and after the Friendsgiving feast!
Every year when I’m making out my holiday menus, I make sure to stock up on Coca-Cola® at my local Walmart for everyone in my home to enjoy. I also picked up a bottle of Simply® Cranberry Cocktail to whip of a fruity and fun drink to share, too!
While you just can’t beat the taste of an ice cold classic Coca-Cola, it is fun to mix things up from time to time. One of my favorite drink recipes to make this time of year is a simple Cranberry Vanilla Coke-tail, and they’re not only fun to sip on, but they’re crazy simple to make!
Want to whip up your own Cranberry Vanilla Coke-tail to share with your friends?
Here’s what you’ll need:
Simply® Cranberry Cocktail (found in the refrigerated section at Walmart)
2-3 drops Imitation Vanilla Flavoring
Directions: Over ice, fill a glass 3/4 of the way with Coca-Cola® or Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar. Add 2 or 3 drops of imitation vanilla flavoring and top it off with Simply® Cranberry Cocktail juice. Stir it around and serve with a smile!
I opted to use a mason jar glass to serve the Cranberry Coke-tails in just to keep things feeling a little more casual. I tied a little twine around each glass to match with the twine bow around the burlap utensil holders to really tie the look together.
And speaking of those utensil holders, here’s the tutorial I promised! These are quite simple to make, and require absolutely no sewing whatsoever. I don’t know about you, but that’s my kind of DIY project! I’ve also included a free printable version of the hang tags that are tied onto each holder. There are 4 different sayings included, and you can easily print them onto your favorite color card stock!
If you’re a seasoned DIY’er, you probably have a lot of the supplies needed to make these laying around. If not, the supplies are very inexpensive and can all be found at Walmart!
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
Burlap fabric, low-temp hot glue gun with plenty of extra glue sticks, ruler, tape measure, lace ribbon, twine, sturdy scissors, card stock for the free printable found here and a marker.
Step 1: Using the ruler, measure out burlap fabric 12 inches long and 5 1/2 inches wide and cut the fabric according to those lengths. You can use the marker to make ticks on the fabric to help you know where to cut.
Step 2: Get your low temp hot glue gun ready. (Make sure your glue gun is low temp, because you’re probably going to get a little glue on your hands!) Starting with the top of the fabric (5 1/2 inch side) fold the burlap over about 1/2 inch and glue to make a seam. Do the short sides first.
Step 3: Once you’ve made a seam on both short sides, repeat step 2 on the long sides of the fabric, until your fabric looks like what’s pictured above.
Step 4: Fold the burlap from top to bottom and put a dab of glue in the top corners. Press and hold to make sure fabric holds tight. This will create the top opening.
Step 5: Glue the two long sides together to create an envelope. Make sure you leave the top opening unglued!
Step 6: Cut a small piece of lace ribbon and glue across the top where the opening is. Tie a piece of twine around the utensil holder to create a little bow. I secured my bow with a small dab of glue to keep it in place. Don’t forget to attach the tag to the twine before securing!
This burlap utensil holder is such a fun and personal way to dress up a tablescape, and it can even be reused all throughout the year by switching out the hang tags to reflect the different seasons! If you really want to step things up a bit during your Friendsgiving festivities, let each guest dining with you take a utensil holder home with them as a small gift! They can easily be repurposed to hold personal items such as coins, lipstick, jewelry, etc!
Are you hosting a gathering with friends and family during this holiday season? What things do you like to incorporate into your decor to give it a personal touch? When company is coming over, make sure you’re stocked with plenty of Coca-Cola® and/or Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar from Walmart to bring the magic of the season to life!