Food from the Hart

Tricks of the Trade: Master the Art of Recycling Everyday Items

In Features on March 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

There’s not a host out there who wouldn’t love to have a pantry fully stocked with every entertaining item under the sun.  With so many beautiful and fun vases, candle holders, plates and trays available you could set a different kind of table each day.  However, the reality is most of us don’t have the space or budget to fulfill that pipe dream.  But, you can still create wonderful and whimsical tablescapes using items you already have in your cupboards. Here are just a few tricks I love to use, but try to think outside the champagne flute and I’m sure the recycling ideas will start flowing.  Leave a comment if you have any ideas to share.  Happy Partying!

Wine, Champagne & Martini Glasses 

  • Use a large wine glass and add a floating candle or single flower bloom
  • Flip wine, champagne and martini glasses over, place flowers, nuts, or fruit underneath and a votive candle on top
  • Instead of a small bowl serving nuts or olives in one of these long-stemmed glasses
  • Spice up your appetizer plating and serve a summery ceviche in a martini glass
  • Desserts (berry trifles, mousse). A layered mousse or trifle looks delicate and sophisticated served in a tall champagne flute

Votive Candle Holders

  • Clean out small candle holders and serve salt and pepper at the table
  • Use votive holders on your bar to serve garnishes like lemons, limes, olives, and cherries
  • At the end of dinner serve individual ice cream scoops to your guests – maybe even vary the flavors so everyone gets on tastes (assuming the groups is close)
  • Use holders to serve individual hors d’oeuvres like bacon wrapped scallops or mini caesar salads on parmesan crisps

Egg Cups

  • Use egg cups to hold a single flower blooms  and place one at each table setting or down the center of the table
  • Pedestals for tarts, quiches, mini cakes
  • Palate cleanser of melon balls or sorbet between courses
  • Ice cream sampler – serve on a tiered serving tray and let guests take their favorite flavor
  • Votive candle holders

Glass Plates

  • Affix fabric, decorative paper, or wallpaper to the underside of the plate with Mod Podge or tape for a less permanent approach. Each plate then has its own look and you can change to match the theme of your table.  These also make great chargers to serve other plates on top of.

Dish towels

  • For a casual or down home dinner use clean white dish towels instead of linen napkins.  They look great on a table and also give your guests the cue it’s ok to get their hands dirty!

Want More?:

If you are lacking any of these basic cupboard items, check out my earlier post Kitchen Therapy: Spring Cleaning for the low down on budget friendly ways to build your dishware arsenal.

Also stay tuned from more easy ways to recycle everyday items!


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