Maybe Matilda: Dare to Entertain Link Party (and Simple Painted Table Runner)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dare to Entertain Link Party (and Simple Painted Table Runner)

Welcome to week 2 of Dare to DIY! This week’s theme is Dare to Entertain, a chance for us to make something to use while throwing a holiday dinner or party. Make sure to check out all my co-hosts’ projects for great inspiration, and add your entertaining DIY project to the link party at the end of this post!

Dare to Entertain

(Festive VW bus place cards via Decor and the Dog, Kraft paper runner and table via Maybe Matilda (TODAY'S HOSTESS), Blue Ball jar snowscapes via NewlyWoodwards, Gilded animal place cards via Primitive and Proper)

I’m keeping things low-key this year. Veeeery low-key. Between a busy 3-year old, a new baby in the house, and a big new business venture (I’ll have a post all about that later this week), I’m definitely feeling very limited in what I can handle these days in terms of both time and energy/sanity. So instead of big grand Pinterest-y projects, I’m keeping things simple and manageable this time around, and it’s suiting me just fine. My goal for this week’s Dare to DIY theme was pretty simple: don’t spend a dime. I thought this theme was a great chance to shop around my house and use things I already have to create a table for a theoretical dinner party. Except I only had two clean plates (ha!) so it’s more of a table for a theoretical . . . Christmas dinner date for two? (ha!) Like I said, time is not on my side these days. Simple it is!

Simple Christmas Table with DIY Painted Runner

Although just about everything I used to put the table together was a DIY project, my real project for this post was the runner. I don’t own a tablecloth or any table runners (except for the Thanksgiving runner I sewed for last year’s Dare to Entertain challenge!), and almost no other ‘entertaining’ type accessories (like pretty napkins or centerpieces, etc.). As previously mentioned, this table does not see many dinner parties. Lots of Ramen and peanut butter sandwiches. No parties. So I wanted to be realistic (and low-key! and free!) and use things I had to create something festive and fun that I can use this year and not worry about. I got out a roll of Kraft paper and got to work painting a simple table runner.

2013-11-26 13.50.48

I just cut a piece of Kraft paper slightly longer than my table and trimmed it to a width that I thought looked about right. Then I found some red paint (Forrest’s red finger paint, actually) and painted polka dots over the whole thing. Forrest wanted in on the action, so we had fun painting together—until he tried to taste the paint. That child is nuts. I like the end result with the runner—it’s simple, it has a bit of a rustic ‘homespun’ look, and it perks up the table a bit without me having to worry about spills or stains on it. It’s just paper, and it’ll get thrown away in a while anyway, so I’ve enjoyed having a bit of a Christmas-y look with no maintenance stress. Not to mention it was free and only took a few minutes to pull together!

DIY Simple Painted Table Runner

I tossed on some fabric-covered posterboard ‘trees’ that I made last year, as well as some ornaments I already had. For the place settings, I dug a few candy canes out of the pantry and added a star ornament. If I were more ambitious, I’d have added a cute name card and tied it all together with some twine or something. Just add that mentally to the picture below. The centerpiece is a favorite of mine—I found that planter box thing at a thrift store years ago, repainted it white, and tossed in some cleaned-out IBC root beer bottles and berry sprigs. It seems to look good no matter where I put it in my house, so it was certainly a few dollars well spent.

Simple Rustic Christmas Table Setting

I’m happy with how my little table came out. It was simple and quick to pull together, and it was kind of fun to peek through my Christmas decorations and see what could work. And the best part is, I didn’t spend any money. I always like not spending money.

Now we want to see YOUR Dare to Entertain projects! One of the links from the link party will be randomly chosen to win this week’s giveaway—50 free Christmas cards from our friends at Tiny Prints! They have so many gorgeous card designs this year, you will LOVE them. Guaranteed!

Here are a few party rules:
1. Up to two links per person.
2. Your post must be ‘entertaining’ related.
3. Please link back to one of the hosts of Dare to DIY.
4. Hop around and visit other links and leave some comment love.

Can’t wait to see what you worked on!



  1. I think this is the first I've gotten up this early to link to a party...I was kind of excited to participate so thanks for the party!! :)

  2. Simple is definitely best with a baby and toddler around! Super cute idea + no worries about stains=win :). Thanks so much for hosting!

  3. I think your table looks awesome. Love the dots.

    Thanks again for co hosting. I spy some fun projects already.

  4. I appreciate your thriftiness. After hanging out with 4 toddlers all weekend, the paper runner is the smartest thing in the world!

  5. As a second grade teacher I am all for the brown craft paper. So easy to crumble and toss once you're done and I love the polka dots! What a sweet touch!

  6. Craft paper! Love this. Thanks for hosting can't wait to check out everyone else's stuff and get some more ideas :)

  7. How cute! I love the simplicity of your table. Thanks for hosting! :)

  8. Such a great craft for your table and the possibilities are endless. Love the way it looks. Thanks for hosting today!!!

  9. love this! the simplicity of it is the perfect backdrop for your decor!

  10. Polka dots. Gotta love them! I'm impressed with your crafting and hosting abilities with Darcy. You're my hero!

  11. very cute. and practical and free are always the best!


Thanks for commenting!

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