Dec 31, 201410:20 AMThe Girl in the Jean Jacket

A Very DIY New Year's Eve

Dec 31, 2014 - 10:20 AM
A Very DIY New Year's Eve

Photos of the bar by Britany Ziegenhagen

Over the years we accumulate large amounts of festive décor. We spend hours untangling our twinkling lights froprevious years, replacing the burned out bulbs that we can’t seem to find. We throw New Year's Eve parties in hopes to rekindle friendships, see family members that we haven’t seen in a while and looking forward to the year ahead.

However, throwing a New Year's Eve party can be a lot like cutting a hole in your pocket. The alcohol alone will consume a huge percentile of your budget and with all those snacks and beverages who really has an extra few hundred bucks to throw at a professional bartender? However, what is a New Year's party without perfectly defined festive cocktails?

DIY Bartender 

Get a friend to devote an hour working your bar at the party and create customized drinks. You could either Pinterest your way to finding creative recipes or take a nod from Daniel Frizell, bartender at The Millworks, and create a fun signature cocktail for your event. 


Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer

Recipe from Daniel Frizell of The Millworks

1 oz of Pimms

1 bar spoon of sweet vermouth

2 dashes of cherry bitters (You can substitute the homemade bitters with purchased Angostura bitters)

Shake and pour into a coupe glass then top with home-brewed organic cherry brown ale. (If you want to use a local beer, use Erie Brewing Company’s Derailed Black Cherry Ale). Garnish with bittered cherries and a lemon twist.



The Decorative Bar

This year I’ve become infatuated with vintage bar accessories, so I’ve come up with the perfect semi-homemade DIY project that you can share with the party host or easily create yourself.

First, I went and found a piece of plywood from Home Depot. I placed the plywood between my center island in the kitchen and the opposite counter top making a sturdy bar base. If you don’t have this kind of set up in your kitchen, use two-step ladders of equal height. Get creative. Use things that are around the house. Just make sure that the bar is sturdy! The image shown above shows the bar on top of a love seat in my house. We had to use this in order to get a good lighting shot, but for your party do what works for you. 

Next, I covered the ugly piece of wood with some fabric I found laying around the house. Obviously mine was from the Nate Berkus Collection available at JoAnn Fabrics. This was fabric I already had, but JoAnn’s has a great assortment for muchcheaper than this. Also, the Lemoyne Fabric Outlet has some great remnants you could use as well.

You will also notice that some of the glasses rims' are covered in a sprinkle garnish. Sprinkles are the new salt, people! Use lemon juice to create a sticky glue type of texture and dip in multi colored sprinkles. I have also seen this done with gold sprinkles which is perfect for bringing in the new year.

Finally, I added all the necessary glassware and decorations to make the look complete. I purchased these vintage 1920s-style glasses for fewer than $.50 each at my local Goodwill. 8 glasses for the price of $4.00 -- what a steal!

Gab’s Shopping Cart:

Vintage Glasses: $.50 x 8 = $4.00 

Plywood from Home Depot (4ft x 8ft) = $11.97

1 yard of Nate Berkus fabric= $14.99

Paper that I used to cut out my heart confetti = $.50

Total- $31.46


These prices do not include the ingredients for the cocktails. I obviously threw in a couple more little decorations that I had lying around the house. Feel free to go with your creative intuition and use what you've got!

Send pictures of your bar cart to! We would love to see your interpretations.

About This Blog











The Girl in the Jean Jacket is based off of Gabrielle Santiago’s personal experiences and trend-setting style as a writer, designer of all things fashion, extrovert, stylist and poster child for walking into things. Gabrielle, a graduate from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, spent her college years styling for several popular children’s television shows, designing clothing for companies and department stores and surfing the waves of Southern California. A Central Pa. native, she moved back to the East Coast to be closer to her family and to bring West Coast style back to her hometown. Keep up on all things Gabrielle via Instagram @gabtrongabtron.


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