To get ready for summer entertaining season, this month we're sharing a mini-series of pro tips and projects from our guest blogger, pro party planner extraordinaire and designer David Stark. First up, creating pretty patterned luminaries for your gathering using your computer printer.
On first glance, the events in my new book The Art of the Party are large and extravagant, but the truth is that those events are filled with smart ideas that utilize inexpensive, highly accessible, every day materials that can be lassoed for parties of any scale – even a dinner party for six at home!
Case in point, an evening we designed for New Yorkers for Children required us to be crafty with the budget. An Indian theme of spicy, hot colors and ethnic pattern was carried out with the magic of candles, packages of 11 x 14 inch colored vellum and acetate available from a stationary or office supply store, and a computer printer. That’s it.
We used an array of candles — from votive to pillar candles of varying heights, all encased in straight sided glass holders to create a landscape of multi-height luminaries running down the length of the table. The pattern was created on a computer and then printed onto acetate, run through our office computer printer.
Cut the paper and acetate to be the exact same size, an inch and a half or so taller than your glass cylinder and attach a strip of double stick tape to the length of each end of the acetate.
Carefully affix the sheet of vellum to the sheet of acetate and then turn it over so that the acetate is on the top. Add another length of double stick to one end of the acetate and pinch together with the vellum on the outside to create a paisley shape.
Light your candle and slide you paisley “shade” over the top of the candle and you have instant magic.
Of course, this luminary idea would be amazing with all kinds of patterns and colors. An all-black and frosty white version would be super chic, and I can envision so many patterns looking wonderful — traditional toile, anyone? Have fun with this. The possibilities are limitless.