Throw a Literary-Themed Garden Party

Inspired by the scents and sights of old pages, this erudite event pays homage to the romanticism of the famed French novels of the 19th century and beyond.

Book Pages Table Runner
Use pages from no-longer-needed paperback books to create a table runner. You can embellished it further by painting the pages with fun-colored craft paints, or hot-gluing on faux petals for a formal teatime party.

It’s time for a gathering of girlfriends who enjoy the simple pleasures of reading a great book and having good conversation. Inspired by the scents and sights of old pages, this erudite event pays homage to the romanticism of the famed French novels of the 19th century and beyond.

Set the tone with an easy-to-create table runner fashioned from the pages of no-longer-needed paperback books. The covers were removed and the books were soaked in a tub filled with coffee until the pages were stained. The books were laid out in the sun to dry, and then the pages were carefully torn out and hot-glued by the corners in random fashion to create the long table runner.

Vintage Books
A simple pairing of vintage books and fresh-cut flowers make for a charming centerpiece.

A lush and breezy bouquet of pink roses and softly muted greenery brightens up the table and adds an almost sculptural beauty. At the end of the party, the hostess will dismantle the flower arrangement and each guest will receive a jar to fill and bring home as a memento of the day.

Literary Soiree Buffet Table
Preparing all of the food ahead of time and setting the table in advance of guests arriving allows plenty of talk time!

The French theme carries through to the food, set out buffet style for guests to serve themselves. French Limoges china with a delicate pattern of roses is party perfect and lends itself to accessorizing with antique glassware, vintage monogrammed napkins and silver flatware.

Croque Madame Sandwich
Made from brioche, Gruyere and ham, and topped with a fried egg, Croque Madame sandwiches are a quintessentially French touch to add to your menu.

For the main course, simple bistro fare includes homemade Croque Madame sandwiches that are filling and easy to make. Pâtisserie including macarons and madeleines have been set out on charming plates atop boxes from trips to an iconic French pastry shop in Paris.


Accent Your Home with Rain Gear


Rainy weather brings more than puddles and mud; these gray days also provide myriad adorable accessories you can use to decorate your home. Follow the lead of these homeowners and use rain boots and chicly patterned stick umbrellas to create a stylish and functional vignette in your entryway. Add a little color by hanging brightly hued slickers and hats on coat hooks or lining a hallway with pretty printed boots. Visitors will be ooh and ahh at these fun touches, and be grateful for the loan of one of these accent pieces if they need to make a quick dash out in an unexpected storm.

After the Shopping Trip

Put old things to new uses!

You never know what you’re going to find at the flea market. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt and bringing home treasures you may not have realized you wanted or needed. Rather than just accumulating disparate items, put them to good use!

Here are a few ideas for some objects commonly found at flea markets. It’s fun to think of creative ways to display your finds or repurpose them so they can continue to be useful.

Milk Glass is the perfect beginner's collectible.
Milk glass is perfect for a beginner’s collectible. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, it’s easy to find, available at several price points and quite practical for use or display.

1. Milk Glass

Display: The sculptural milk glass pops against vibrant colors.
Repurpose: Milk glass is sturdy enough for everyday use, but the vast variety of shapes, sizes and patterns make it ideal for mixing and matching pieces while entertaining. The milky-white color allows everything to look cohesive. The best thing about milk glass? You can keep adding interesting new pieces every time you go to the flea market!

key collection

2. Keys

Display: Show off your key collection in a shadow box.
Repurpose: String a vintage key onto a necklace for a unique piece of jewelry.

Lace Garments and Lingerie

3. Lace Garments & Lingerie

Display: Lace looks exquisite with light shining through it, so hang your favorite pieces in a window.
Repurpose: Lace blouses can still be worn today and add a feminine touch to your look.

Cameras and Photos

4. Cameras and Photos

Display: Put old cameras under a cloche for a pretty display that also avoids dust. For a fresh take on photo framing, place vintage photos in upside-down cylindrical vases.
Repurpose: Attach a clock kit or watch face to a retired camera to make an interesting clock.