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How To: Summer Celebration

Wed, June 10, 2020

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Whether you're celebrating a birthday, enjoying the company of friends, or simply warmer weather, nothing quite says summer like a low country boil. This nautical tablescape and DIY décor elements mix to create a playful look for your main event, the food! 

From the table to the menu to the décor and the playlist, this guide provides you with the steps and tips to host this quintessential summer celebration – guaranteed to leave no guests crabby!

TABLE

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This nautical tablescape incorporates our Crab Collection and Signature White Collection. The ruffle edges on these pieces keep foods from slipping off, plus this elegant design brings forth a casual elegance to any table. 

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Set the scene for this celebration with the handsome silhouette of the Crab Ruffle Salad Plate. From hors d'oeuvres to salad to entrees to desserts, this dish can be used for casual dining and formal gatherings alike.

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Pair the Crab Ruffle Salad Plate with the Signature White Ruffle Dinner Plate to complete this table setting. The salad plate acts as a pop of color against the white and light cream handpainted brushstrokes of the dinner plate. Our signature ruffle design on these plates go together to create one cohesive look. 

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If you're hosting a gathering of four or more, we recommend purchasing a set of the dinnerware of your choice so you receive four matching pieces {and save over 10%}.

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The rich blue backdrop of the Crab Oval Ruffle Platter makes it the ideal serving dish for the main course. Its classic and polished design creates a stunning presentation to display meals. 

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Complete this look with the Crab Square Trinket Bowl. Not only does it complement these dishes, but it's also the perfect size for sauces or dips. Plus, when not used for entertaining it doubles as a decorative vessel to hold small accessories, house keys, and other personal items. 

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Lastly, don't forget to lay down newspaper on the table to make cleanup easier! P.S. The Crab Melamine Dinner Plate {pictured at the bottom left} is sold out online, but available in our Flagship Stores while supplies last.


MENU

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One of our favorite summer dishes is a low country boil. It's perfect for entertaining large gatherings since it serves itself. Guests can choose what foods they want and plate it themselves.

Ingredients 

  • 2 quarts water 
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 medium red potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 medium ears sweet corn, cut in half
  • 1/3 pound smoked chorizo or kielbasa, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, deveined
  • 1 pound uncooked snow crab legs
  • Optional condiments: seafood cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, and melted butter


Directions 

  1. Grab your trusty stockpot and put the water, beer, seafood seasoning, and salt inside. Then, add potatoes and onion. Bring it all to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. 
  2. Add corn and chorizo. Simmer 10-12 minutes longer or until potatoes and corn are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil. Add the garlic, cumin, cilantro, paprika, and pepper. Simply, cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.
  4. Stir the shrimp, crab legs, and garlic mixture into the stockpot. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until shrimp and crab turn pink. 
  5. After draining, transfer it to the Crab Oval Ruffle Platter.


DÉCOR

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Our photographer, Inga, was inspired to bring the icon of our Crab Collection to life for our displays at wholesale markets we attend with our retailers across the country. This adorable paper mache project was not only fun to make, but also an eye-catching décor piece that tied the whole look together. 

This fun addition has now also been incorporated into the window displays of our Flagship Stores! Our Flagship Store teams followed Inga's instructions to create this playful décor item that would look great on any table and make for a fun at-home summer activity.

Materials

  • Paint, we used Rustoleum's "Fire Orange" 
  • Newspaper 
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape 
  • Paper mache paste 
  • Optional: A reference photo of a crab to use as inspiration

Directions

1. Create 8 legs for each crab. We suggest creating only one section instead of multiple segments for each leg. Using paper, twist into narrow sections about a 1/4 inch in width and 3-3.5 inches long.

2. While wrapping with tape, giving the leg a bend or curve. This doesn't need to be perfect, crab legs are not straight.

3. To create the crab's claws, follow the same procedure for the legs except make the sections fatter with more paper and tape.

4. Then to create the actual claw on top, twist the paper and taper it to a point.

5. Twist another small section to be the other side of the claw. Place the tiny claw section against the leg with the tapered point. The points should be about even.

6. Then apply tape at the base of the small claw section to attach it to the leg.

7. This is where it gets a little messy! Wrap all crab parts with your newspaper and paper mache paste mixture. Drag a piece of newspaper through your paste and then wipe excess paper mache paste off with your fingers or by dragging along the edge of the bowl.

8. Then apply the wet strip to the crab body you built and smooth it down as much as possible.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have the entire body covered with newspaper and paper mache paste and the body looks the way you like. If it’s not perfectly smooth, that’s ok.

10. Later you can trim pieces that are poking up and/or sand them.

11. Now it's time to wrap the legs with newspaper. We'll admit this is a little trickier so use smaller pieces and take your time. 

12. Try to keep a bend in the leg as you add the paper mache paste and newspaper around it. Mold and form it until you feel it resembles the legs in the above image. For the claws, be certain to wrap each pointy section individually. Sometimes using a small paintbrush can help you smooth everything down and help you apply the paper and paper mache paste into crevices and tight spots.

13. Once everything is wrapped, place on a non-stick surface such as wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil. 

14. Allow to dry overnight.

15. Once all your crab parts are dry, you can trim away little corners of paper that may not have dried flat. Sanding is also possible but for our crabs, we like the handcrafted look and did not mind them looking a little rough. {After all, nobody is perfect!}

16. Next, you will begin to assemble your handsome crabs! Flip your crab body over and poke holes with a scissor or knife around the bottom periphery of the body. Reference the drawing below for help. Reminder: Be sure to attach at the bottom. You do not want the legs coming from the side of the crab’s body.

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17. Place legs into holes paying special attention to which way the curves are bending. You will want the legs to point down-ish to help the crab stand high. We curved the very back legs back and down, the middle legs down and the front legs forward and down.

18. After you’ve put legs in holes, apply tape to hold in place.

19. Attach claws in a similar fashion on the front underside. You can reference the drawing again or your inspiration image to ensure proper location.

20. To finish up, apply more newsprint and paper mache paste to areas where you attached legs to cover tape and also to secure legs in place.

21. Add more paper mache in areas you think could look fuller or need more body.

22. Allow to dry.

23. Once again, consider trimming pieces that are not laying flat and sand if you desire.

     

24. We then painted our crabs in an orangey-red color to complete the look. We used Rustoleum's "Fire Orange".


PLAYLIST

Quite possibly the most important accessory for any celebration is the music. Songs not only allow you to relive the memories attached to them, but also make new ones. Complete with the Coton Colors seal of approval, these tunes are just some of our favorites with their catchy melodies and fun beats. View our Spotify playlist here.


VISIT US

Experience this celebration in person and shop the look at any of our Coton Colors Flagship Stores. Take a pinch out of our Crab Collection and Signature White Collection as well as coordinating accessories and décor to complete your look. Visit a store or contact them to learn about curbside pickup, delivery, and shipping services. 

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