Miriam Karsten is a crafter, baker and party maker who spends all of her time dreaming up fun things for her online party and paper goods store, missbunting.com.au.
A lover of entertaining and dinner parties, she is on the permanent lookout for the perfect place setting.
We grabbed her for 5 minutes to talk top-tips for creating a special New Years Eve celebration for the whole family.
What do you love about NYE parties?
Aside from loving any excuse for a party, on NYE you really get to go all out and celebrate without being restricted by the usual formalities of other events such as weddings. Fancy a fiesta? I say mojito! Great Gatsby? Go for it! Even if it’s a casual BBQ in the backyard, there are endless possibilities for making sure your night is unique and memorable for guests.
What are some quick and easy ways to make your dining table special for a NYE meal?
The key is to utilise what you already have: start saving your empty tins and small glass jars. Tin cans make perfect vases and cutlery holders – you can leave them plain or dress with strips of washi tape. Candlelight is the quickest way to achieve a special ambience and empty glass jars – like smaller condiment jars – are perfect tealight holders. They look even better when wrapped in doilies and bakers twine. If flowers get expensive, think bunches of herbs from the garden or fill all your vases full of lemons and line them down the centre of the table.
How can a busy mum create an atmosphere of celebration for kids and adults in their backyard this NYE?
Get them involved! Forget a traditional tablecloth, a simple roll of butchers paper makes a great table runner and the perfect canvas for kids to decorate. Get back to basics with some simple potato stamps and neon paint in the morning and by evening, they’ll be itching to help you lay the table on their handiwork. Balloons aren’t just for kids either. A couple of our giant 3’ foot geronimo balloons and tassels down the table create an instant party vibe and of course, nothing says fun more than banners and bunting.
How can I glam up my BBQ?
Like any event, pick a ‘theme’ and carry it through – it can simple as choosing a colour. Use our gorgeous hand-stamped wooden cutlery – not only does it look chic, it means less dishes for you at the end of the night! Use our glassine paper bags to create individual packets of serviettes, tomato sauce and salt and pepper for a grown-up picnic vibe. Have a little fun and create a drinks station – fill an old bath, boat or even a wheelbarrow with ice for bottles of drinks and have jugs of Pimms, our gold foil ‘Cheer’s coasters and some pretty straws so guests can help themselves.
Entertaining can sometimes be overwhelming – what are your tips for making sure holding a NYE dinner party doesn’t become so stressful it’s unenjoyable?
Be realistic about your time – if you know you’re going to be out during the morning or you’re catering for large numbers, keep it simple and have a casual but elegant BBQ. If you really want to have a formal sit down dinner, make sure you plan your menu well. Think large platters, sharing plates and dishes that can be made ahead so all that’s required is to assemble and serve.
What do you love about throwing parties the most?
The best part about entertaining is being able to think creatively – when you create a truly beautiful environment, you can see it immediately on your guest’s faces and they instantly leave their troubles behind for a few hours. Cooking and creating a fun night is the best way of showing your friends and loved ones how much you care!