The Swanky ladle floats effortlessly atop your soup or punch bowl for mess-free holiday serving. The Swanky ladle floats effortlessly atop your soup or punch bowl for mess-free holiday serving. The Swanky ladle floats effortlessly atop your soup or punch bowl for mess-free holiday serving. (Photo: OTOTO Design)

A swan-shaped ladle and 4 other ways to liven up your party table

These cute kitchen products add fun to any meal and make great holiday gifts, too.

At holiday parties around the world in the next few weeks, thousands of ladles will drown, and only you can save them.

Well, you and your trusty swan sidekick.

No, this is not the premise of some quirky home-decor-themed comic book. It's our latest discovery of Clever Kitchen Tools We Love: a self-balancing, gravity-defying, swan-shaped ladle that won't sink or get lost in your soup, gravy or punch.

This sophisticated spin on serveware was invented by Ori Saidi and Daniel Gassner, two design school graduates from Tel Aviv, Israel, who own a studio called OTOTO Design. The Swanky ladle is currently on Kickstarter obliterating its fundraising goal, and it could be gracefully floating into a soup or punch bowl in your kitchen very soon.

If any of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, it's probably because you've seen this duo's brilliance in action before – with Nessie, a ladle they designed to resemble the Loch Ness Monster. It was actually the top-selling item in Amazon's kitchen section in 2015.

OTOTO's adorably ingenious designs are among a few hot knickknacks we came across as we scoured the Internet for the perfect holiday table accessories. So on the off chance that spiffy swans and mythical monsters aren't your jam, here are four others you're sure to love.


Hot dog slicers

hot dog slicerThis would make a real wiener of a gift. Buy on Kitchen Collection. (Photo: Amazon)

If you're still stuck performing the menial, thankless task of cutting up your kids' food, why not make it fun – or make them do it for you? With these dog-gone-cute slicers, the little ones get to feel like they're playing with their food, and you get to spend a couple more minutes enjoying the aforementioned punch bowl.


Bread & Butter(fly) serving board

Bread & Butter(fly) serving board. Bread & Butter(fly) serving board. Buy on Uncommon Goods. (Photo: Uncommon Goods)

Is this not the prettiest use of wordplay you've ever seen? The Bread & Butter(fly) Serving Board, made in Vermont for Uncommon Goods, has an insert that fits a standard stick of butter. And we promise it won't fly away – at least until everyone's gotten a slice.


The Dipr (Oreo cookie dipper)

cookie dipping spoonLet the mess-free dunking commence. Buy on The Grommet. (Photo: Amazon)

Now no one will know which little rascal had his hand in the cookie jar. This is a spoon made especially for cookie dipping, to avoid the two devastating pitfalls that often occur when cookies and milk converge: losing the cookie in the milk, and ending up with sticky, messing fingers from all that fruitless dunking. Something to think about when it's time to leave an overnight treat for Santa!


Hedgehog toothpick holder

toothpick holderLet your guests do the poking. Buy at MoMA Design Store. (Photo: Kipik)

For hors d'oeuvres and finger foods that require toothpicks (because your grubby hands are not acceptable transportation!), we suggest this charming hedgehog (or is it a porcupine?) toothpick holder from Kipik. It even comes with a starter pack of toothpicks, in case you've run out of the ones you "borrowed" from the hostess station at the diner.

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