Amy Sedaris on Craft Magazine Cover

Hey crafty people! Amy Sedaris is the cover girl for the next issue of Craft magazine. It goes out tomorrow, and I thought I’d mention it early so you could camp out by your mailbox or get to the bookstore *right* when it opens. Here’s a sneak preview of the cover, and guess what? I’m going to give away a couple of copies.

For a free copy of Craft magazine, please post a hospitality/party tip in the comments section. Deadline is tomorrow at 7:00 AM.  Winners drawn at random.

My tip is “Don’t drop your cake on the floor!” It may not sound like a good tip, but if you’re prone to dropping cakes it’s helpful because you’ll be more careful as you move through space with the cake. With this tip in mind, I haven’t dropped a cake in 4 years…or at least a birthday cake.

So please post a tip. Valentine’s Day party tips are extremely appreciated, but all types party tips are welcome.  Oh, and look for Craft Magazine. 

P.S. If you don’t care for crafts, there’s a cake recipe there too.

Craft Magazine Cover

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  1. says

    My best party tips are “never cook bacon naked” and for Valentine’s Day, don’t buy your spouse the Scrabble Dictionary as a gift to tell her you love her. I’m just saying I’ve heard you shouldn’t do these two things! 😉

  2. Shannon says

    I have noticed that punctuality seems to be…nonexistant. I always list the party’s start time about an hour earlier than I would like it to start, so people are actually there when everything is ready to go!

  3. Dianna says

    Holidays are not meant to be low fat. That means no Splenda, egg whites only, or applesauce used in place of the good stuff. Come on, if it’s a holiday make it special AND full-fat delicious!

  4. LC says

    Leave yourself time to shower and get dressed before the guests arrive. Very embarrasing to answer the door in a towel.

  5. says

    Ohhhh I love Amy Sedaris! My best party tip is to not skimp on the booze… no need to go overboard, but it makes for a lot more mingling and socializing if people can enjoy their favorite wine or cocktail.

  6. says

    My hostess/party tip is to set out all your dishes (baking and serving) the night before to make sure you have everything you need. This also makes the day of the party that much easier because you already have everything out and ready to go.

  7. Carrie says

    My party tip is get the table set ahead of time- like the night before. If you aren’t seating people at the table, get all your serving pieces, including serving spoons/forks out and ready to go.
    For Valentine’s day, I recommend table confetti. Really it works for any celebration, but everyone likes it and it is reusable- just sweep it into a bag at the end of the meal and save it for next year.

  8. charmy says

    Make sure you have a variety of food options; veggies and dip, pretzels, fresh fruit and other healthy options for those watching their weight, and make sure to have the “all-out” options for those looking to splurge! All your guests will be thankful as they will all enjoy the food!!!

  9. Shari says

    Do not, under any circumstances, listen to your husband/significant other when he says he can vacuum, mop, clean the bathroom, bathe the baby, mow the grass, clean the table, AND make the salad all the morning of the (1 PM) party.

  10. Christy says

    My party tip would be to use It’s a great way to get your invites out for free with all your pertitant info on the invite, remind you guests of the party details/items to bring, and also thank your guests after the party is over. I wouldn’t use it for every event, but for low-key, fun bashes, it’s the way to go!

  11. MrsMonkey says

    Oooh, Craft! My tip: don’t try out a new recipe for a party. . .it will always take longer than planned and doesn’t always turn out perfectly. Trial runs are okay!

  12. kelly says

    Certain “party” things are a pain to clean up the next day, eg. silly string shot into the ceiling fan should be avoided at all costs.

  13. Betsy says

    Plan your menu with foods that can be prepared ahead of time so you are not rushed the day of the party.

    Just a little aside…when I was a kid, my Mom would give me a couple of packs of cigarettes (Benson and Hedges!) and have me fill up cigarette boxes around the house for their party guests. At the time it seemed like a very glamorous job! This was the 70’s of course :)

  14. Louise says

    This may sound silly, but don’t run your annoying garbage disposal during the party. And don’t have the sink filled with water and dirty dishes as you may need the sink for something else.

  15. Johanna says

    My tip: If everything’s supposed to go quickly, slow down. Sounds funny, but it’s oh so true :) Just turn the speed down a notch and everything will run more smoothly.

    In case you’d send a copy to Germany, I’m in for the giveaway – I’ve never read the Craft magazine before, so this is exciting!

  16. Kassy says

    I don’t host too many parties…so the only tip I have is to have plenty of food variety. I would rather have too much than not enough!

  17. Martha T. says

    Make sure that the house is the right temperature. You don’t want your guests to freeze or be too warm.

  18. Melanie says

    Don’t use a glass baking dish to hold meat that’s bring grilled. It will fall off the side of the grill, shatter, and ruin all the meat that you’ve grilled, not to mention your favorite glass 9×13 pan that was a wedding gift from a dear friend. 1 word: Tupperware.
    Another word: Pizza.

  19. Jancd says

    Always have plenty of ice. It seems that whenever we are having guests, our ice maker forget to make ice, or one ice cube will get stuck, thus preventing any more ice from being made.

  20. says

    what a great magazine!!!

    Don’t forget to light a smelly candle a couple hours before guests arrive! There is nothing like entering a hosts home that smells GREAT! :)

  21. says

    My perfect party tip?

    Have a drink before your guests arrive. That way, if something burns/goes wrong/spills/breaks, you are much more likely to laugh it off!

  22. christine says

    my party tip is Simplify –I usually try to make too many dishes and offer a full bar, when half the food and a few good drink choices will make everyone happy.

  23. Kat says

    A bottle of wine is always a great gift, but consider pink sparkling wine for extra wow factor. Champagne is not just for special occasions – or, it can make any occasion a little more special.

  24. Anita says

    Make sure that the candles that you are using for your table are unscented; you don’t want the scent competing with the good food that you’ve prepared.

  25. says

    Plan to serve SIMPLE food items and if you have to make something complicated pick just one item. I always stress myself out trying to make everything gourmet when really what is important is making the environment conducive to people having a good time with each other.

    Fingers crossed! Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. NancyH says

    Serve appetizers that people can eat with one or two bites. Try to pick recipes that are freezable – that way you don’t have so much to cook the day of the party.

  27. says

    My party tip:

    As SOON AS your guests walk in the door, offer them a glass of bubbly! It doesn’t have to be expensive: there is a great Spanish Cava that is about $10 a bottle. Nothing says “I’m glad you’re here” more than a glass of sparkling wine. Sets the tone of the evening.

  28. says

    My Valentine’s Day tip is, as a single gal–please don’t assume that because someone is single they don’t like Valentine’s Day. I love giving cards and treats to all of my friends, and I hate it when someone who doesn’t know me says something like ‘bummer, tomorrow is V-day,’ or ‘are you wearing black tomorrow.’ No, damn it! And even if you’re old, you know that your heart just smiles when you see those cute little cards that kids give out in their classrooms!

  29. Rachel B says

    When you’re baking multiple things for a party, remember to take the previous baked good out before you preheat the oven for the next . . . I made some very crispy bars once.

  30. Jannine says

    My party tip is to use your bathtub to chill extra bottles of soda, wine and beer. You can fill it with cold water and a few bags of ice, place the beverages inside and pull the curtains or close the shower doors. Your guests will not notice it and you can replenish your bar with cold beverages as needed. Saves on refrigerator space, which is usually hard to come by when you are planning a party!

  31. Pam says

    Have more than one bar set up, including one outside–either staffed or self-serve–with a stationary tray or two of easy to pick up food at each. This way there’s no congestion in one area of the home and guests can mingle more easily.

  32. Chris C-L says

    I always like to give folks a little treat to take home with them. The item that is requested over and over again is frosted popcorn (natural popcorn with almond bark on it).

  33. Laura says

    Don’t forget to ask about any food allergies and have at least one dish that is vegan or at least vegetarian.

  34. Jasmine says

    My party tip is to maybe have some mellow soft music playing in the background instead of a tv or awkward silence?

  35. Rina says

    Here are a few tips that come to mind:

    1. Appoint a ‘photographer’ to catch the action shots, as the host will likely be too busy attending to other matters (i.e. prepping dessert in the kitchen). =)
    2. Party favors, no matter how small and inexpensive, make a party memorable.
    3. Let your pet partake in the festivities (our bunny was the star of our holiday party).
    4. If using disposable plates/bowls/cups, create a stacking system to minimize waste.
    5. Have fun and be sure to thank everyone that helped (including the person on vaccuum duty). =)

  36. Britta says

    My tip is to use real china plates and silverware no matter how big your party. You can always go out and buy inexpensive plates if you don’t have enough or borrow some from your friends and neighbors. Plastic cutlery and paper plates are not very nice and, I think, they cheapen all the effort you’ve put into planning and preparing.

    And don’t worry about the extra effort of having to do the “real” dishes. It’s a small price.

  37. says

    Here’s a very late comment, but always make sure you have plenty of food. The last thing you want is to run out of food, especially the desserts!

  38. Muffy says

    Always cook/prepare more than you need, so that there is take-home for those who missed the event, and for those who just want more.

    When having a casual party (as most of mine are) and a guest asks “Can I help with something?” Reply, “YES!” and let them help.

  39. says

    I know I am too late to enter but I love entertaining and sharing tips (all the entries are such great suggestions) Here’s a few I’ll add:
    1. Put bowls of candy and nuts around your house. It’s sweet, welcoming, and a great way to add a festive touch. I love colored M & M’s, and you can buy specific colors to match your party theme.
    2. Pretty hand napkins in the guest bathroom. I like one’s with my initial on it. Inexpensive, disposable and elegant. Just make sure you have a garbage pail nearby to dispose of used towels.
    3. A great mix of music playing all night. I copy the night’s music onto CD’s for each guest to take home as their favor. I make fun labels for the CD cover with the name of the party and the date. It costs only a few dollars and it’s memorable.
    Great Contest Anna!Thanks

  40. Denise says

    My tip is “don’t ever point out your flaws!” People aren’t going to realize your brownies don’t look as pretty as usual or that you didn’t have time to make the beds etc etc… unless you point it out!

  41. Gwendolyn says

    Be calm. It’s kind of my mantra for everything, but it’s easy to forget when you’re the host. Every doily does not need to be in place for your party to still be awesome.

  42. says

    Amy Sedaris is HILARIOUS!! I’m a big fan. And if you’re interested, I’ve heard Joe’s Bakery in nyc sometimes sells her cupcakes.

  43. Catherine says

    I know I’m too late, but my Mom always used to lay out all of the plates and bowls and serving utensils — cleaned and polished — the night before with little notes next to them for what food was going to go where. It not only helped you organize your mind regarding everything that needed to get done, but also took care of one big task the night before, and made it easier for any girlfriends who arrived early to help to actually BE helpful without being underfoot!

    This is definitely one I have adopted!!

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