Outdoor Entertaining Ideas: Votive Place Card Holder, Weight in Tablecloth

Published July 19, 2012

Using an at home printer is fantastic for this idea

Every year I like to pass on some great outdoor entertaining ideas that family and friends have passed on to me. I’ve always found the best ideas come from friends and acquaintances over the years and it’s a good idea to start a file or container to keep these ideas for future use. One of the nicest gifts I ever received was a box full of entertaining ideas and recipes that a friend’s Mom had assembled over the years. I still use these ideas today. Here are a few of my favorites from the past as well as recently.


Votive Place card Holder

How many times have you been to a dinner party with people you did not know and had to rack your brain during the meal to remember their name. Well, the problem is now solved. Simply purchase some inexpensive clear votives at your local dollar store and some parchment paper at the grocery store. Measure the parchment paper to fit around the votive and write the guest’s name on each side of the votive. Attach the parchment paper to the votive with some clear scotch tape and place a tea light inside. During the dinner, the guest’s name will be visible to them for seating purposes as well as across the table for other guests.


Wasp Control

To keep those pesky wasps from ruining your evening meal outside, simply blowup a brown paper bag and tie the top with a string. Hang the bag from your patio umbrella or awning. The premise behind this idea is that the wasps will be fooled into thinking the bag is a nest and will therefore avoid the area.



To prevent your tablecloth from flying around in the wind, simply insert a loonie or toonie into the hem of the four corners. You will need to remove a few stitches in the hem of the tablecloth ahead of time.


Creative Candle Display

Miniature candy sprinkles or tiny beads make great candle displays when used in the bottom of clear hurricanes or vases. Simply fill the lower section of a clear vase with miniature coloured sprinkles and place a votive candle inside. Tin buckets are also available in many sizes and can be used for holding large pillar candles when filled with sand. These buckets are also great for flower displays on the table.


Candle Removal

Speaking of candles, removing them after the party can be difficult. There are two ways that seem to work most of the time. The first is to place the candleholder in the freezer for four hours and then remove the wax candle. There is no mess and you will not scratch the glass. The second way is to warm the candleholder in the microwave for a few seconds. The candle should be warm enough to slide right out.


Salad Keeper

Keep your salad greens fresh on a hot night with this little trick. Place your salad bowl in another bowl of salted ice water and toss the salad occasionally. Cover the salad to prevent unwanted flying visitors.