Party Table Basics

Whether you’re talking kitchen, folding, banquet or picnic, tables that reflect your event with distinction are a breeze with just a few fundamental decorating steps.

After you’ve chosen your theme, select a color scheme and work from there. Typically you’ll be working with a two- or three-color palette. Other times you may want to go monochromatic, and one way to do it is to work with two or three shades of the same color. Another is to select a single dominating color and choose an accent hue or two. You can create an especially dramatic effect by accenting one color with black, white, gold or silver. Think: navy with white, red with black, white with gold, etc.

Once the basic color scheme is worked out, you’ll be choosing materials based on theme, effects you want to achieve, ages of the partygoers and level of formality. For informal tables, bright gingham oilcloth, plastic table rolls, burlap or a patterned seamless or flat paper might fill the bill. More formal events might call for adding a matching or metallic skirting to a plastic or linen tablecloth, and/or use of taffeta, tulle, or fabrics that glimmer and shimmer.

If you are using a plain tablecloth, why not decorate it with fabric paint? Use a color to complement your theme to leave a special message at different angles all over the tablecloth. The same concept will also work with a plastic tablecover. As an alternative, stamp a fancy design onto the tablecloth with a pre-cut kitchen sponge.

Add table squares cut from colored cellophane for a whimsical look. Squares or other geometric shapes will add texture and depth to the appearance of the table.

If you have not had the pleasure of decorating with gossamer in the past, you are in for a treat. Gossamer is a wonderful, lightweight nonwoven material that creates fabulous decorating touches at a very reasonable price. It drapes, hangs and holds its shape beautifully. Ideas:

  • Swag gossamer on the edges of table skirting. Try twisting or braiding two colors together for a stunning look.
  • Cut gossamer into tabletop squares to place on the top of a plastic tablecover or cover the entire tablecover with an overlay of shimmery, sheer gossamer.

  • Gather the gossamer at the corners of the table, and tie with gossamer streamers, tassels, or satin ribbon.

  • One of the hottest trends today is to cover banquet or reception chairs with chair bows…and the trend tends to be quite costly! Do it yourself with gossamer! You can drape a piece of 19″ gossamer across the top of each chair back, and then tie a gossamer streamer bow around the back of the chair. The bows can be cut to any length, and even look lovely with tails trailing on the floor. The bows hold their shape just fine, and at a fraction of the cost of wired ribbon.

    For more decorating ideas using this wonderful material, see our video presentation of “How to Use Gossamer” — and we hope you’ll check out our other selections of decorating fabrics, too!

    One comment

    • I never thought of stamping a design onto the gossamer or linen. So easy! That opens up the door for so many more possibilities and prom themes. Thanks!

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