idea overload & glass glitter banner kits

by | Nov 12, 2015 | All Things Home, Decorating, Dining Room, german glass glitter, Holiday, My House, Secret Weapons, Winter | 33 comments

This weekend, I’m presenting at the Holiday Expo at McLean Bible Church, just outside of DC.  (I shared the details HERE, if you’re interested in attending.)  With a sick kid, I was a little behind with getting my presentation together, but I’m going to the set up and rehearsal tomorrow, so I needed to get myself in gear today!

As I’ve been thinking about what table setting I want to present, I found my head swimming with ideas.  Too many ideas for one table. Idea overload.  I don’t usually feel that way, so I was very indecisive about which direction I would go.

In that moment of feeling overwhelmed with all the possibilities, I realized that a lot of blog readers and Pinterest lovers must feel that way.

This expo is about bringing Pinterest and Etsy to life, so I felt like I should share ideas that are popular on those sites.  I decided, instead, to gear my table setting towards the people who feel overwhelmed by all of the ideas.  I wanted to show how setting a table in a simple way, with beautiful things, will result in a beautiful table.

I didn’t use any crafts or hard-to-find products.  I used things that can easily be found and put together following this simple recipe.  Not over-styled, not overdone, just simple and pretty.


Okay, I actually did do one project, but it’s only because the terra cotta pots were looking too orange and springy to me.


I painted them in a wash of MMS Milk Paint in Grain Sack.


They fit the look I was going for much better.



So, with this table, I started with a piece of fabric to use as the tablecloth.  Just about any textile can be used as a tablecloth, so think outside of the box!  I then layered a runner over it.  Mine is an antique grain sack that had the side seams ripped, but again, you could use any kind of long, narrow piece of fabric.  Maybe a scarf, or a line of tea towels or even a roll of paper.


I used white plates, since that’s an easy thing to find and then topped each one with a white soup bowl and mis-matched tea cups.  The napkins are linen, folded long-ways and tucked under the saucer.  It’s simple, but a little more interesting than just folding it under the silverware.


I tucked moss and a pine cone in each one.  The cups can be removed when it’s time to serve the food and the saucer keeps any little bits of moss or pine cone from littering the plates you’re about the eat off of!



I set up a small plate with a knife at each setting for rolls and butter.  Sometimes I get called out for having my napkin in the wrong place or my knife is facing the wrong way, but I’m really over the idea that there is a right or wrong way to place something on a table.  I know there are rules of etiquette that dictate how a table should be set, but as Kirste put it, “We’re not on Downton Abbey!”

Setting a formal table should be fun and it’s a great way to interact with your guests to tell them your thoughts behind why you put out a certain fork or plate.  So, don’t stress about where to put what.


For the centerpiece, I used two rosemary topiaries.  I ordered mine online (I order everything online from toilets to tile to topiaries), but I have picked them up at the grocery store and Lowe’s or Home Depot before.  You can also use mini evergreens or even a vase, pitcher or canister filled with fresh cut branches from your yard.

Just be mindful of height and scale, so your guests can actually talk to one another across the table!  I liked these because they were thin and petite, but still made a statement and added height.


In the middle of the two topiaries, I put a glass jar with some moss, pinecones and mini LED lights.  I bought a string off Amazon for $7.


They are battery operated, so I just nestled the battery pack in the moss.  They look pretty and festive and it was so simple!



This isn’t a part of the table setting, but did you notice the sweet wool stars hanging along the window?


I saw them in the Restoration Hardware Baby & Kids catalog and bought a few when they were having their 20% sale.  This would be an easy, although time-consuming, DIY project, but I didn’t think I could make them for the price.





I’m not decorating for Christmas, yet, since we use fresh greens and a live tree, but I’m really getting ready to!!

I’m excited to share some of these simple ideas and more with the ladies who come to the Expo this weekend.


And, speaking of Christmas, if you’re a long-time reader, you may remember my “merry & bright” glittered banner that I made years and years ago.  I made one for my tree and sold the rest.  And they were a hit!

The bummer was that I couldn’t find the chipboard letters in the font I liked, with the ampersand any longer.  And trust me, I looked everywhere.

Well, a few weeks ago, I found a supplier for custom-cut chipboard letters.  She was able to cut exactly what I designed.  So, I decided to put a few kits together to sell in my online shop- the letters and the glass glitter, for those who want to make one this year.

This is one Kriste & I made…


If this first round sells well, I’ll order some more.  If you’re interested, you can buy a kit HERE.




And, if you’re local, we are having a glass glitter workshop at the studio on Saturday, November 21, and there are still slots available.  We’ll listen to Christmas music, have yummy snacks and glitter the day away.

The cost includes letters and ornaments to glitter (that you can take home) and one jar of glitter to take home to glitter even more.  You’re also welcome to bring things from home that you would like to glitter.  We might even break out some milk paint.  It should be a lot of fun and I hope it’s a full class!

Miss Mustard Seed-3195


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  1. Becki H.

    Love, love, love your table setting. The little fairy lights will look beautiful at night. Natural and simple wins in my book!

  2. Deanna Rabe

    I found light strings like these at Christmas Tree Shops for $3.99!

    I love what you’ve done with your table. Very pretty, fresh and festive without being “too much.”

    I hope your event this weekend goes well!

  3. Mary Virlee

    Love the table setting but I am so disappointed, I wanted to order a set of letters. It is very difficult to find the right size and style of letter to do glitter banners. `Timing was perfect to be able to complete for holiday decorating. Maybe I will be luckier next time you list them, I can’t wait.

  4. Chris


    I am just finishing Elizabeth Gilbert’s (Eat, Pray Love) newest, “Big Magic”. It is so good, it is motivational/inspirational for living the creative life. While reading I was reminded of your posts about running a creative business. I highly recommend!

  5. Dorene @ Seasonal Chapters

    I love the simple and natural look of your table setting, and the glittered banner is beautiful as well. I’m sure your presentation at the expo will be amazing. I hope your son is feeling much better now that the antibiotics have had time to kick in.

  6. Karen Chaudoin

    I would like to purchase. When will this be back in stock? Thank you.

  7. BrocanteuseRose

    Nooooo you are sold out already. Pretty please order more sets!!! 🙂 So pretty.

  8. Karen Chaudoin

    Terra cotta pot source please?

  9. Hannah Rose

    Ahhh, the glass glitter letter kits are sold out already!!! 🙁 This reader is definitely counting on a restock! Wish I lived closer and could attend your workshop.

  10. Teresa C.

    I hope the kits are back in stock soon! Wish I didn’t live so far from Pennsylvania, I would definitely attend some workshops.

  11. Kristie

    Sorry to see the kits are sold out. I hope you get some more in soon!!

  12. Christine

    Love you table setting. I’m also now a huge fan of your glass glitter. I made some Christmas ornaments with plaid flannel and sprinkled them with the glitter. Gorgeous!!

  13. Libby

    Gorgeous table!!! Thank you so much for also helping my head to stop swimming. I have been thinking about incorporating pinecones this year for our Thanksgiving table, and your lovely table just sealed the deal for me. You are SO VERY gifted and talented and it is such a total JOY that you allow us to peek into your beautiful creativity!!! Thank you!!! Wishing you so much fun at your Holiday Expo this weekend. Wish I wasn’t in Cali… xo

  14. Donna Doble-Brown

    Marian, the glass glitter kits are already sold out! Way to go! How much was the kit and will there be anymore available before Christmas?
    Loved your tablescape . . . . You’ll be great this weekend! XO

  15. Susan

    I love your table, but I have to disagree with the setting for silverware. When I first got married and went to my in laws house for dinner they had the place setting all wrong. I was so confused as to which fork was mine! To this day when we go out to dinner my husband doesn’t know which one is his. Oh and the letter kits are sold out already… ?

  16. debbie

    The table looks lovely and sometimes simple is the best look anyway and much easier and less stressful to decorate.

    Would you be kind enough to share some of your favorite online websites for shopping, if it is not confidential? I love shopping online and love learning about new and economical sites. They are such a time saver.


  17. Camille

    I’m also disappointed you’re already sold out of the kits. How much are they – I didn’t see a price.

    I LOVED the simplicity of the table setting! MY kind of setting! I love elegant, but love to keep it simple.

  18. Alice

    This post is a keeper. I really don’t DO great tablescapes. I think this would “get me thinkin'” as to how to translate it to a good table of my own! Thanks!

  19. Vicki whipple

    I’m bummed they’re all sold out. I hope you get more soon

  20. Irene Peterson

    You always bring a smile to my face when I read your enthusiastic ideas! Thank you for sending
    joy –

  21. Tracy

    Please move to East Tennessee, so I can go to your glass glitter workshop! Please!??! 😉

  22. Laurie

    Bambi wants to be let out of the jar!

    That LED thing is cool!

    I’m glad to see you painted the inside edges of your double hung windows. I was always told not to paint that part and I hate the way it looks!

  23. Heather

    It’s all so gorgeous. Perfect.

  24. Gwen

    Loved the post. Loved seeing an idea for my glitter I ordered. Duh!! Glitter an animal in my waterless snow globes I plan to make!!! I only used your glitter when creating for horseshoes. Just used wire curled and glitter. Much or just tips. I sold all of them to friends and family for my daughter. I’m so glad I had your quality product.
    Tablescape is nice too. Oh I was a glitter queen in my youth so I suppose if it’s a Chrostmas table I’d have to add a touch of your glitter to the pinecones!!

  25. M. G.

    Hello, Your table is very pretty and I would enjoy a meal in that setting. Have to disagree about ignoring the rules of etiquette when setting a table though. The “rules” come from common sense and once learned are very democratic (not snobby, as many feel) because everyone can follow them no matter their social standing. For instance, the dinner knife blade is turned toward the plate to prevent the possibility of grabbing the sharp part of the blade when picking it up. (Very important when the knives were sharp,). You may like the look of the butter knife as you have placed it, but since a majority of us are right handed, it would be hard to pick up and use that knife. Just something to think about.

    • Angela

      M.G. – chill out! Wow

  26. Lisa

    Sold out already…… Can you restock soon?

  27. Nancy

    What a clever girl you are Marin! Love this entire idea….and will work well here in Australia as things are far more casual here at Christmas as it is so hot. This could be a great look for a beach house Christmas lunch! Im in!!!! Thanks!

  28. Linda

    What a gorgeous table setting! Will you make a big announcement when you get more “Merry & Bright” glitter kits in? I would love to get 2 or three to use as gifts.

  29. Donna

    Hope the Merry & Bright kits are back in stock soon- I too have been looking for the letters with an “&” sign and the right font!!

  30. Sandi Magle

    I love your approach. This is my first year blogging, so I’m in awe of the extent some go to —to showcase their homes and ideas. I have always decorated for ourselves…so now I have to realize that it still has to be that way. Love the rosemary plants, I used a sprig to look like greens in my wax ornament post. Thanks for giving me the confidence to just be myself, your words and ideas hit home. Sandi

  31. Lee Anne

    Totally wanted one of those kits – will you let us know when you get them back in stock? Thanks!!!

  32. Denise Viola

    Dear Marion,
    I have never read or responded to a blog before, but yours called to me as I was searching Pinterest.
    I am about to do a couple of renovations and am completely overwhelmed. My kids tell me I have ‘decidiphobia’ (fear of making a decision). I think they are correct! Arghh!!!
    I was impressed recently how gracious and unperturbed you seemed by all the opinions about your new choice of sofa fabric(plaid or green). Funny thing… those are both fabrics I have currently been looking at for reupholstering my sofas and wing chairs. Again, no decision yet.
    Part of the problem is I am a widow trying to do it all alone, the othe dilemma is the permanence of choosing something I will have to live with for a very, very VERY long time.
    I think I am trying to reinvent my style or discover it.!? The sofas are off the soon to be open kitchen which will be off the soon to be renovated bathroom. How do I begin? Do I choose kitchen color first, or sofa fabric. The poor guy picked them up months ago!! I keep telling him to start another customer as my youth group meets at my home and we all sit on the floor!
    Any help or words of experience and wisdom you can impart would be much appreciated!, ( Read desperately grateful for!!!)


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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