December 10th, 2012 |

Pottery Barn Mystery Box Challenge

Pottery Barn has been one of my go-to resources for entertaining items since I was in college.  I have always felt that my style paralleled theirs – update classics, a twist to the traditional – so when I was offered the opportunity to be one of five bloggers selected to participate in a Holiday Mystery Box Challenge, I jumped at the chance!

What is a Mystery Box Challenge, you ask?!  Well, it’s actually pretty self-explanatory.  Pottery Barn supplied me with a box of mystery items that I was then asked to incorporate into a holiday design.  What was in this box, you wonder?  Ornaments.  Tons and tons of gorgeous ornaments.  So, what’s a girl to do?!  I didn’t want to hang them on a tree (you all know how to do that), and I didn’t want to fill up a vase with them because that just wouldn’t show off each ornament’s individual beauty.  So, I came up with a DIY backdrop project that is so simple, each one of you will be able to re-create this for your holiday parties (that could then be re-purposed in your home as decor after the party). Would you like to see the simple steps?


oversized picture frame with no backing  |  fiberglass mesh roll (available at your local hardware store)  |  scissors  |  staple gun  |  ornament hooks    |    19 ornaments (to duplicate my design)


Step 1: Flip your open-back picture frame over so the back is facing up.  Roll out the fiberglass mesh and cut to size.  Use your staple gun to attach the mesh to the frame, pulling it taut across the back.

Step 2: Once your mesh is attached to the frame, flip it over and then use the ornaments to lay out your design and get a handle on the spacing prior to hanging. I arranged my ornaments in a tiered stack to look like a Christmas tree.

Step 3: Attach ornament hooks to each of the ornaments.  For my design, I wanted even spacing between the different rows of my Christmas tree pattern.  I hung the top ornament first, followed by the bottom row of 6 – then I was able to space out the middle rows evenly.

Step 4: Continue hanging your ornaments.  Once the design is completed, you could add some ribbon embellishment to it, if you wish. This backdrop could be used for a dessert table, buffet table or bar set-up.

This backdrop set the tone for a sparkly holiday bar, perfect for a cocktail party or festive dinner party. To add dimension to the layout, I used silver cake stands for height, and mixed in a beaded square placemat for a pop of color.  Vintage silver bar accessories, and my basic glassware made for a simple and approachable look….making sure everyone felt comfortable to mix their own drinks to give me more time to socialize and enjoy the party!


Entertaining Tip: Layout your table ahead of time, and then go back and add dimension by raising some elements up on pedestals or cake stands.  Be consistant with symmetry, for example, I raised all of the liqueur and wine bottles up, while the glasses remained on the table.

It was great fun to put together this project, and I do hope you like it!  I would LOVE for you all to vote for me to win this challenge over on Pottery Barn’s facebook page.  You can do so here:

Disclaimer: The ornaments provided for this shoot were provided by Pottery Barn. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pottery Barn.


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