I have a special treat for you today! I have decorated your next dinner party for you. Yup, I am going to decorate your table for your summer dinner party.
I have designed a creative way to decorate your next gathering, from the dinner party invitation, menu cards, and everything you need to create a beautiful table for the perfect dinner party.
I went the extra mile and designed nine printables instead of seven for an added touch to your dinner table.
So let’s get started! I am joining several other bloggers in a red, white and blue decor inspiration tour hosted by Pasha @pashaishome. So be sure to check out all of the links at the end of my post.
If you are coming over from my friend Tammy’s @whitellicacfarmhouse, welcome. I have no doubt you loved her adorable wreath.
What Are Dinner Party Printables
This concept may be new to you. The idea was developed by me and designed just for you.
And the good news is that I will have a new one for you each season, so that is four times a year that you will not have to think about your table theme. So sit back, relax, and let me do the work for you.
I have created eight digital files that are free to my blog subscribers. You will be given a password in an e-mail and and you can then download the art and print the pieces you want for your place settings and table decorations.
Three of these files are in an editable PDF template, this way you can customize them exactly like you want them. You will need to create a free account at Canva.com and then in my directions you will be given a link to the file that you can edit. (Canva is a an online design and publishing tool).
You can print them at home or send them out to be printed at Office Max, FedEx, or Staples.
The eight elements included are:
- Menu Card
- Party Planning Sheet
- Game Card
- Place Mats
- Name Cards
- Napkin Rings
- Silverware Holder
- Chinoiserie Topiary Trees
Shop Craft Supplies
Creative Ideas for A Dinner Party
What type of party are you going to have? An elegant dinner party, a beach party, or a backyard dinner party?. You can use my Chinoiserie topiary theme and change it up in many ways to customize it to your party style. For instance I added a few flags for a more patriotic table, or you can use the printables just as they are for a lovely summertime dinner party.
Here are a few suggestions of ways you can change it up for the party you want to host.
- 1. The linens- Choose fancy silks and organza fabric for an elegant dinner party hosted in the dining room. Maybe a checkered picnic tablecloth on the beach would be fun or a simple chambray tablecloth for a backyard dinner party.
- 2. The dishes- Use many layers, starting with a gold charger and fine china for an elegant party, paper plates and wicker chargers on the beach, and simple layers of everyday dishes for the backyard BBQ.
- 3. Decorations- You can use extravagant flowers, simple buckets with sand and sea shells, Chinoiserie pottery or plain white pottery. Use bright colors, or keep it muted depending on the vibe you want to create.
- 4. Dress Code- Host a black tie event if you want to celebrate in style. Everyone loves to get dressed up for a special occasion. The beach calls for no more than a bathing suit, cover-ups, and a sweatshirt for a fun night on the sand. However, casual attire for the pool or backyard party is my favorite. Wear your favorite jeans and a white shirt, and you are ready to go.
Easy Dinner Party Ideas
My goal was to make this as easy for you as possible. Here are a few suggestions to make party planning even easier.
- Have all of your printables printed at a print shop.
- Bring food in from a restaurant, hire a caterer, or make your party a potluck.
- Serve appetizer and desserts only, this simplifies the menu and allows for people to mingle.
- Have a wine tasting and ask your guests to bring a bottle of wine.
- Create a grazing table with charcuterie. My guests always enjoy this and have a great time just grazing and sipping their wine.
- Make your own pizza party.
Watch the full tutorial Here
Party Planning and Decorating
Using the party planner printout to make your “to do” list and supply list for your event. Plan out what you need to do and when you need to do it. Be sure to check it off the list when you have finished a task. There is nothing more satisfying then crossing off the “to do” list.
Here is a suggestion of what my list might look like.
- Download dinner party printables.
- Decide on the guest list.
- Decide on the main course, side dishes, appetizers and signature cocktail.
- Customize the menu card.
- Customize the Invitation and name cards.
- Have printables printed.
- Invite guests by mailing or e-mailing the invitations.
- Put napkin rings, place mats, silverware holders and topiary trees together (for a full tutorial, you can see my Youtube video)
- Decide on the centerpieces and any other decorations you want to use.
- Shop for any needed supplies.
- Make a grocery list, or order food.
- Clean the house.
- Set the table.
- Prepare the food.
Centerpiece Ideas for Dinner Parties
I have created a number of center pieces over the years.
My go-to is typically flowers. But depending on the theme, there are so many options.
You can use all greenery, balloons, fruit, vegetables, candles, candy, books etc… you name it and you can use it.
Here are some of my favorites.
1. I used driftwood sailboats, wooden buoys and lanterns for my sons going away party when he went to the Navy. (this was over 10 years ago, so, unfortunately I don’t have a current picture).
2. Shoes are another fun idea, I used these for rehearsal dinner for our oldest sons wedding.
3. A combination of green vegetables and flowers make the perfect centerpiece for St. Patrick’s Day.
4. Pumpkins make a great display during the fall.
5. Add vegetables to your Easter arrangement for something fun.
Table Setting: Components of a Dinner Party Table
- Tablecloths -When it comes to tablecloths, the options are endless! With various sizes, shapes, and fabric choices, you can mix and match to your heart’s content. And if you’re looking for a more formal affair, a table cover that reaches the floor is the way to go. But don’t forget about the power of fabric choice – it can totally transform the vibe of your party. So have some fun with it and set the perfect table for any occasion!
- Place Mats- Typically place mats are used to protect a table, or to take the place of a tablecloth. However, I like to layer my table decor and sometimes use both.
- Cloth Napkins- I prefer to use cloth napkins. They just make the occasion feel more special.
- Chargers-These plates are placed on the table to add a decorative touch and to serve as a base for your other dishes. like dinner plates, salad plates, and soup bowls. But, don’t worry, your food never touches these plates because they’re purely for show. Charger plates are larger than dinner plates, but smaller than food serving platters.
- Dinner Plates- There are different sizes and shapes available for diner plates, but the standard or average size ranges between 10 to 12 inches. I choose my dishes depending on my theme and colors. Shopping at estate sales gives you a great opportunity to pick up plates at a very reasonable cost.
- Salad Plate or Soup Bowl- Typically these plates are seven to nine inches in diameter. I enjoy adding color or texture with my smaller plates and bowls.
- Water glasses- You can use any kind of water glass you have on hand. Clear glass, colored glass or even pewter. Add a pretty garnish for a special touch.
- Wine Glasses -Whether you prefer matching wine glasses or want to mix it up, there are no rules for choosing the perfect glass for your wine. Your creativity can shine through as you pick the ideal glass for the occasion. Hosting an Italian dinner? Opt for a classic red wine glass. Throwing a summer BBQ? Try a refreshing white wine glass. Going for a wine tasting? Consider stemless glasses or mix them up with a variety. Get creative and elevate your wine experience.
- Coffee Mugs- There is nothing better than a great cup of coffee with your dessert after dinner. Choosing the right coffee mug is a personal choice. You may have mugs that match your dishes, or you may want to use cute paper mugs. I enjoy serving my coffee in clear Irish coffee mugs from the Dollar Tree. They look so pretty when you present your coffee with a little bit of whip cream on the top and some chocolate sprinkles.
- Silverware- There are so many choices in flatware. You can choose silver, stainless steel, gold, copper or a specialty silverware with a fun handle. Again, think about the type of party you are having and match your silverware choice to the event and your theme. I used stainless flatware that has red handles for this table setting that I picked up at a yard sale.
Dinner Party Printables
- Napkin rings- These were first introduced in the 1800s to help diners keep track of their napkins. Instead of using a fresh napkin for each meal, guests could reuse their napkin several times before washing. Today, napkin rings serve as stylish table decorations and can add a touch of charm to your dining table.
- Place Cards- I love to make my party guests feel special and place cards are the perfect way to personalize your table. In addition, you can place people with other guests that they will enjoy chatting with.
- Silverware Holder- This item is not a necessity, but I enjoy adding a creative touch with this darling printable that is so easy to put together and cost effective.
- Menu Cards- My husband loves to know what he’s having for dinner so he can look forward to each course. A menu card is a must when we entertain, however, this is a personal choice.
There are so many choices in the category of cocktails. It depends on your taste and what kind of alcohol you want to serve, if any.
Warm weather requires a cold and refreshing cocktail, therefore I will be making a white wine spritzer for my 4th of July dinner party.
In addition it not only tastes good, but it looks beautiful and festive for the holiday.
Also, be sure to serve cold drinks that are non alcoholic.
Ingredients For a white wine spritzer
Easy White Wine Spritzer
- 1/2 cup of seltzer water
- 1 cup of white wine
- 1 Tbsp. Grenadine
- Sliced strawberries
Mix liquid ingredients and pour over ice, add sliced strawberries and blueberries.
Dinner Party Menu Ideas for a Delicious Meal
Planning your menu will depend on the time of year that you are entertaining. Since I am sharing my dinner party printables for summer I am going to share some of our favorite menu items. Keep in mind your guests’ dietary needs if there are any.
- Charcuterie Tray with meat, cheese, olives and fruit
- Melon and Proscuitto
- Crostini with Brie cheese and roasted peaches
- Arugula salad with blue cheese, blueberries, strawberries with a balsamic vinaigrette
- Fennel salad with shallots, fresh oranges, pistachios and citrus vinegarette
- Chilled watermelon soup
- Tri-Tip Roast
- Pork Tenderloin
- BBQ Chicken
- BBQ Burgers
- Smoked Brisket
- Macaroni and cheese
- Mashed potatoes
- Scalloped potatoes
- Rice pilaf
- Potato salad
- Roasted vegetables
I like a light and refreshing dessert in the summertime.
- Lemon Sponges– This was my grandmothers recipe and they are fantastic.
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 medium eggs
- 1.5 lemons
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- Cream butter and sugar together.
- Add cornstarch
- Separate the eggs.
- Beat the egg yolks and add to the sugar and butter mixture.
- Add the juice and finely grated lemon rind of 1 1/2 lemons.
- Add Milk
- Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture.
- Butter 4" ramekins.
- Fill ramekins with the mixture about halfway full.
- Place ramekins in a deep dish pan and add hot water around the ramekins about have way up the sides.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until light brown on the top.
- Once removed from the oven, remove them from the water bath and let them cool.
- Once cool, please place them in the refrigerator for a few hours.
- Angel food cake dessert-(I cheat and use the box) This post is full of many fabulous desserts using a boxed mix and store bought angel food cake.
- Create a coffee bar with an assortment of liqueurs, creamers, sugar and whipped cream.
Here is a great post on 10 of the best after dinner coffee drinks
Activities for a Dinner Party
Parties do not always need activities, but there are times when you want to add a fun spin to the evening.
Who’s Line Is It Anyways
This is one of my favorite games. Call or e-mail your guests and ask them for a very unusual fact about themselves. (Make a list as you collect these facts) Once you have collected a fact from each guest, do the following.
- Click on the link for the game card on the instruction sheet. (This will take you to Canva.com where you can do the editing. Remember, you need to create a free account)
- Edit the lines where it says “add an interesting fact here” with all of the facts that guests give you.
- Print one copy for each guest.
- Have your guests try to match the facts with your guests names. ( This creates great conversation)
- Hand out a prize to the person who gets the most answers correct.
Well, that about wraps it up for me, (I know…. that was a long one 🙂 but, I had so many things to share with you.
Now, let’s get this tour moving on to my friend @pashaishome. Pasha is sharing her many effortless ways to decorate the entryway in the Americana theme. You will love what she has to share.
When you are done visiting Pasha, be sure to check out my other friends posts below.
More Patriotic Inspiration from My Fellow Bloggers
DIY Patriotic Door Basket // The Tattered Pew
How to Set a Red, White, and Blue Table // Cottage in the Mitten
8 Easy Ways to Add Americana to Your Decor // White Arrows Home
4th of July Party Favors // Eleanor Rose Home
How To Decorate Your Coastal Cottage for the 4th of July // The Ponds Farmhouse
How To Make An American Flag Grapevine Wreath // White Lilac Farmhouse
7 FREE Dinner Party Printables – 4th of July Ideas // WM Design House
Easy and Effortless Americana Decor Ideas for the Entryway // Pasha is Home
Easy Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Table Setting for the Holidays // Southern Crush at Home
Red White and Blue Faux Leather Vase // Amy Sadler Designs
Patriotic Pool Party Ideas // A Stroll Through Life