Preparing for Impromptu

Hi everyone! I’m excited about this post, as it is the first in my month long series “Summer by the C”. I am finally on school vacation, which means that I will have more time for creating and sharing my paper-crafting adventures. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but school just ended here June 29th, due to all of the snow days we had to take this past winter. It’s strange to think that for some parts of the country July 4th marks the half-way point of  summer vacation, and yet for us, it’s just the beginning.

Enough about winter–I’d rather focus on summer and getting prepared for impromptu. Now I can see you shaking your head, and I can hear you saying “Cyndi, preparing for impromptu is an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. If you prepare for something, then it’s not considered impromptu.” I agree with you 100%, but whether it makes sense or not, I am a person who enjoys impromptu more if I’m somewhat prepared.

And the impromptu occasion I’m talking about today is the spur-of-the-moment meal that happens when friends and/or family just drop in. These casual meals are more apt to happen in the summer, and it’s one of my favorite parts about this season. I’ve learned over the years what foods to keep on hand, so that I’m not caught off guard, but one area I could use improvement in is the last minute dash to find the plastic silverware and get napkins on the table. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to eliminate this stress by making some plastic silverware holders that are stocked and ready to pull out at a moment’s notice.

Early in my search for utensil holder patterns this past weekend, I ran across a video of Stampin’ Up!’s interim CEO, Sara Douglass, on a local morning TV show. She was showcasing coordinated party supplies made with some new products that were released June 1st, and one of the highlighted supplies was a utensil holder.  Sara had some great ideas and instructions, so I am sharing the website and video with you here. The utensil holders are made from paper gift bags and patterned strips of paper. I gathered my supplies, and went to work:Supplies_1

I chose a color scheme of blue and yellow, and these cute polka dot gift bags.  I also had purchased some starfish to use as part of the embellishments. I followed Sara’s directions, and here’s what my utensil holder looked like after cutting the slits, and covering the flap with the decorative paper:

Flap cut with paper_1

Now all that was left was to embellish the bag, and fill it with silverware and a napkin.  That sounds relatively simple and quick, but I really struggled with this step.  I had envisioned using some linen thread and the starfish as the embellishments, but I just couldn’t seem to make them work.  Let me show you what I mean:

Linen thread and shell #1_1

Linen thread and shell #2_1

The linen thread didn’t look right; it just wasn’t ” beefy” enough. The starfish didn’t look right, either, and I was concerned that it was too fragile for this project.  So, I scrapped both of these embellishments, and walked away from the project for awhile.  I was opening up the mail last night after dinner, and, after looking at the envelope flap, it occurred to me that part of my issue with the bags might be the shape of the panel.

I started fresh this morning, and I had so much fun. I changed the shape of the panel, and that made all the difference.  Here is my final design:

Final design_1

I kept the embellishments simple, and yet the button and twine bow add so much charm.  I love the font of the sentiment on the tag. It’s hard to see it clearly in this picture; here’s a close-up:

label close-up

I love the tiny little blue star on the label!

I don’t know what color I like more; the blue or the yellow. Do you have a favorite?

both blue and yellow designs_1

I couldn’t wait to fill the holders with silverware and napkins!

filled with silverware_1

Remember the starfish? I hot glued some twine to a metal bucket, and glued them on top of the twine. It’s a perfect bucket for the silverware holders.

ready in metal bucket_1

side view_1

So bring on the spur-of-the-moment meals, as my silverware holders are stocked and ready. I know these will make a big difference for me. I love being prepared for impromptu!

Be sure to check back for more “Summer by the C” posts, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”



2 thoughts on “Preparing for Impromptu

  1. When asked, ” blue or yellow”, I have to say BOTH are winners! Love that they can be done up and ready to go when needed.

    Another creative, fun project that I will surely try!

    Thanks C….you did it again my friend!


  2. With a tiny house and no formal dining room, I often serve buffet style (from my open concept kitchen-dining-living area) especially at the holidays.! There isn’t one part of this little project that I don’t love! Cheers to being prepared for impromptu! Good job!


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