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  • Writer's pictureLinda Thomson

A Home To Keep: DIY! A Warm Welcome and a FriendsKeeping Brunch

6 Steps to Hostess with Ease


A Gift to Make

Sometimes when you consider having a crowd over all the details can be daunting and it's easy to have second thoughts about reaching out. Instead try this fun and easy plan. Have everyone bring a picnic basket for their family and a dessert to share.

That's exactly my plan for a gathering of 22 in early November. Everyone will be bringing their own picnic basket for their family with a dessert to share. It can't get any simpler. And just to amp up the stakes we're having a Chili Cook Off! My husband, Mr. Keeper, is already fine tuning his Chili recipe!

You could add a gift exchange. My dear girlfriend Linda J. suggested this gift exchange: a useful holiday item like a set of gift bags, notepad and pen -for all those lists you'll be making, some gift wrapping items such as gift wrap, ribbon, bows, tags or twine. Here are some other ideas I've used before, a devotional, a cook book, apron, tea towel, kitchen utensil or coffee mug exchange too.

1. A Warm Invitation: Invite, Place, Date & Time: You could group text but wouldn't it be a great mail day to receive a handwritten invitation? Make one or try these fun postcard ideas -

  • A recipe or picture copied on cardstock then handwrite your invite on the flip side.

  • Take a picture of a map with your address circled on the front, invite details on back.

2. Welcomed & Wanted: Everyone Has a Story: One of my most memorable gatherings was a holiday dinner we had been invited to years ago. In the invite was a little note that said, "We are going to be sharing or reading favorite holiday stories, please bring one to share." This was so much fun as many participated! This might be something you'd like to include with your invite.

3. Welcomed Organization: Make a menu, include beverages, decorative napkins and flowers:

  • Determine your theme then decide if it will be casual, potluck, formal.

  • Make a grocery list, shop days ahead.

  • Prepare ahead what you can. Begin placing anything that has to do with the party in one "staging" area. The day of you'll be glad you've done this.

  • Clean the house a few days ahead, touching up the bathroom the day of.

  • Just before guests arrive I like to light a candle and turn on a playlist that best accompanies the occasion.

4. A Welcoming Table:

  • Loved this idea to use brown Kraft paper for a table cloth. How cute to handwrite each guests name on the paper.

  • Handmade cutlery pockets are fun, you can write a Bible verse on them or a matching themed quote.

  • You could also use a plaid throw for a tablecloth and miss-matched vintage dinnerware.

  • Candles, lanterns & twinkly lights add warmth.

5. A Welcoming Word:

Gift a word of affirmation by using snippets of greenery from the yard. Use decorative tape/washi tape to attach them to a tag. Put at each place settings or hand out to your guests, your recipients will be blessed.

(dish from Anthology in Templeton CA)

6. A Welcoming Conversation: Once everyone is seated it's great to provide a place for meaningful conversation and prayer together.

  • To help get this going have a bowl filled with fun questions that you can pass around.

  • You can look up online "Would You Rather" questions, they are fun.

  • Take Home A Memory...

  • Enjoy!

Personalized Apron or Clay Pot

"You are the friend who feels like home."


  1. White apron

  2. Cardboard

  3. Fabric Markers


  • I like to go to Pinterest and look up handwriting fonts before I start, this gives me lettering ideas.

  • If you make a mistake, no worries, a flower, butterfly or heart covers just about any mistake.

  • I used this adorable vintage towel for my house design.


  1. Protect your work surface. I like to use a white plastic tablecloth from the Dollar Store.

  2. Place your cardboard underneath your apron to prevent bleeding.

  3. Write out your quote then draw the charming little house. You can hand draw the lettering and house before using your markers if that's more comfortable for you..


  1. Clay pot

  2. White Multi Surface Craft Paint

  3. Sponge

  4. Sharpie Permanent Marker

  5. Large towel


  1. Stabilize your clay pot on a towel

  2. Paint clay pot - you can paint the entire pot white or whitewash part of it as I have done. If you want to whitewash it put 2-3 tablespoons of white craft paint on a paper plate and add water a little at a time. Dip your sponge in the paint and wash over area you'd like to write on (See picture).

  3. Let dry completely. (Using a hair dryer speeds this step up.)

  4. Write your quote.

Personalize any apron/clay pot with these endearing quotes -

"You are the friend who

feels like home."

Perfect for a Grand darling project -

"Thank you Momma for

holding my heart."

"Thank you Grammy, you

make me smile."

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you." John 13:34

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Linda Thomson
Linda Thomson
Oct 13, 2023

Thank you Marney. We all are so longing for fellowship and connecting aren't we? Isn't the clay pot cute and so easy to make. If you make a mistake all you have to do is paint over it! Sweet blessings!


Marney Hamilton
Marney Hamilton
Oct 13, 2023

Linda, your lovely heart shines brightly in your ideas for a sweet gathering!! I have done a Friendsgiving brunch and this inspires me to do it again!! I love the clay pot idea!!!

I miss you, friend…HUGS

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