Three Easy DIY Projects To Glam Up Your Dinner Table This Valentine's Day

February 13, 2018

Add some spice (and a personal touch!) to your dinner table this Valentine's Day.

Ayelet Ronen; photos by Andrea Wolanin
3 Easy DIY Projects for Valentine's Day

These days, you'd be hard pressed to find me out on the town looking fancy on Valentine's Day. And when the holiday falls on a Wednesday? Yeah, not happening.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m a BIG Valentine’s Day fan. I’m quick to dismiss any suggestion of a greeting-card conspiracy in the face of an opportunity to hit life’s pause button and show the people that I love how much I love loving them. And as a card-carrying crafting addict, it’s a perfect excuse to make it look like Pinterest threw up all over my dinner table. 

Whether you’ve been trolling Pinterest for weeks like me, or you’ve found yourself in need of some last-minute inspiration, here are three simple do-it-yourself projects to take your Valentine’s Day dinner table up a notch.


Banner cake topper

Pinterest-worthy cake decor is not only for those with the steadiest of hands. The scissor skills you mastered in kindergarten are all you need to achieve this look.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 wooden skewers (or colorful paper straws)
  • pretty paper scraps
  • string
  • glue
  • scissors
  • pencil or other writing utensil

How to get the look:

1. Draw a diamond shape on one of the paper scraps. Mine is approximately half an inch wide.

2. Cut out the diamond and fold it in half, matching the two farthest points to create a triangle. If the two halves don’t match perfectly, you can trim any edges that are hanging off.

3. Use this template to trace diamonds on the other scraps of paper. I traced 5 for my banner, but you can, of course, make as few or as many as you want.

4. Cut and fold all of the diamonds in half. 

5. Lay out the skewers at the distance that you'll want them on the cake. Cut a piece of string long enough that it hangs a few inches past each skewer.

6. Put a dab of glue inside each of the diamonds. You can use a paintbrush if you want to get an even layer of glue.

7. Place the string across the diamonds in the creases. Fold the diamonds in half, trapping the string inside. Once all of the diamonds are glued closed, you'll have a little time to adjust them so that they're evenly spaced before the glue dries.

8. Tie one end of the string to one of the skewers, then tie the other end to the other skewer. Cut off the excess string (or leave a bit hanging to create a fun effect!). If you’re worried about the string sliding down the skewer, you can add a dab of glue at the top to reinforce it.

9. Position the skewers on the cake and enjoy!


Make it your own! Write a letter on each pendant to spell out a romantic message, or use burlap or linen fabric to give it a rustic look.

(Need a Valentine's Day-worthy chocolate cake recipe? Try this to-die-for chocolate hazelnut cake from Lidia Bastianich.)


Cupid’s arrow martini pick

What's more romantic than a round-faced baby running around striking the hearts of the innocently (and happily) single? Show your loved one how they’ve speared your heart with these adorable (and easy to make!) cocktail picks.

What you’ll need:

  • toothpicks (or wooden skewers that have been trimmed down to about 5 inches)
  • cardstock paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • pencil or other writing utensil

How to get the look:

1. Cut a rectangle of the cardstock about an inch and a half thick.

2. Fold it in half the long way.

3. Draw five diagonal lines from the cut edge down to the fold. Space them evenly and parallel to each other.

4. Cut along the lines, leaving the fold uncut. You'll end up with four shapes that, when open, resemble an open book. These will form the feathers of the arrow.

5. Glue the side of one feather shape to another. (You can use a paintbrush to spread an even layer of glue.)

6. Add glue to one of the two open sides, and glue on a third shape.

7. In the spine that connects all three shapes, put a dab of glue and place the toothpick so that the end is hidden among the feathers. Add glue to the two remaining sides.

8. Add the fourth feather shape, fully covering the end of the toothpick. Let it dry.

9. When the feathers are sufficiently dry, trim any edges that aren't perfectly aligned, then cut three or four small slits in each side to give it a feathery look.

10. Spear an olive (or strawberry!) through the other end of the toothpick, and ta-da! Classy and cute. 


Make it your own! Swap out Cupid’s arrow for Devil's trident or tail. 

(Looking for a Valentine's Day-worthy cocktail? Try this recipe for a pink paloma.)


Wrapped wire napkin ring

I'm partial to cloth napkins, but you can use this look to spruce up even the plainest of paper napkins. Make a whole set of in just minutes!

What you’ll need:

  • wire
  • pliers
  • a tube with your desired diameter for your napkin ring (a paper towel roll might be too big, but you can cut it along the long side and roll it up tighter to make it smaller. The tube from a roll of wrapping paper works great!)

How to get the look:

1. Start by bending the end of the wire into a tiny loop. This will prevent the napkin from getting caught on the wire as you move it in and out of the ring.

2. Wrap the wire around the tube, overlapping the wire as you wrap.

3. After 6-10 wraps, snip the wire so that it overlaps the beginning loop of the wire by about 2 inches.

4. Bend the end of the wire to form a tiny loop (as you did in the beginning), and then bend the wire 90 degrees about 1 1/2 inches from the loop.

5. Remove the tube and wrap the end of the wire around the ring you've created. You'll want to catch the start of the wire in your wrapping so that your wrapping doesn't come undone.

6. End your wrapping with the loop tucked into the inside of the ring.

Repeat these steps to make as many napkin rings as you'd like, then roll up your napkins and slide into the rings to complete the look!


Are you adding DIY touches to your Valentine's Day dinner table? We want to see what you make! Share your photos in the comments below, or tag us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #CravingBoston.

  • February 9, 2018