Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting silver platters, glass pitchers, cloth napkins, and dishes of various sizes to create a basic entertaining kit and save money on party supplies. As much as we can, we use these items in everyday life for eating. I like to use the silver platters to add layers to my decorative displays. While I have room in my basement for storage, I try to incorporate as much as I can into our living space as decorations.
- real silverware
- 4 to 5 platters
- 3 to 4 bowls of various sizes
- one set of lunch/dinner dishes
- one set of dessert dishes
- cloth napkins
- cups for drinking
- cups/mugs for coffee
- punch bowl with cups and ladle
- 2 gravy boats with ladles
- small divided serving dishes for appetizers
- serving utensils
- 2 cupcake stands
- 2 cake stands
- 1 hot plate
- 2 pitchers
- ice bucket and tongs
- silverware holder
Collecting my Entertaining Supplies
The majority of my party supplies have come from thrift shopping with extra silverware passed on to me by my mom. While I strive to use real china, cloth napkins, and silverware, I have 2 sets of plastic cups from Ikea. Occasionally I will buy special paper napkins to use instead of pulling out the cloth ones. When I have leftover special paper napkins like First Communion ones, I use them in the kids’ lunches and snacks for school.
This summer, I collected my party supplies from 3 different spots in the basement. When it was time to get them out, I never could find my favorite glass pitcher (it was hiding under fabric in a bin) or the silverware (someone kept moving it!). I cleaned the non-party items off the 2 sets of shelving in the picture (don’t tell my husband I moved his tools!), and moved all the party items to these shelves near my laundry area. Now I’m not stressed out trying to find the water pitcher or the silverware.
I have 2 plastic boxes of silverware. Most of the silverware was given to me by my mom who had purchased it for a bridal shower. She also gifted me with a number of dessert forks. Every time I go into Bed, Bath and Beyond, I check the clearance section for more silverware. I found a set of more than 20 china plates at a thrift shop and paid $.10 each for them. The plates are on the small size – 8 inches. I prefer that size for real china since it’s less cumbersome than the bigger plates.
Because we use real china and silverware, I needed to make it easy on my guests when it came to disposing of their dirty dishes. When we have a party, I clean off the counter area next to our sink and set up these 3 white bins labeled with a Sharpie on the counter. Next to them is a green basket for the cloth napkins. My cloth napkin collection is a combination of napkins I’ve found in the clearance section at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, plus thrifted linen napkins. I prefer white since it goes with everything. I haven’t had much of an issue with stain removal.
I use the basket on top of the white bins for slices of bread and rolls. I like to lay a white cloth napkin or dish towel in the bottom before putting the bread in. Next to this basket is a nifty silverware holder that my mother-in-law gave us 2 years ago. Before the holder, I fussed around with mason jars and little baskets, but nothing really worked.
On the other set of shelves, I have a stack of serving platters and bowls. I keep small serving plates, bowls and candle holders in the cardboard boxes. In the plastic bin are cake plates and pans in plastic bags. I use the bags to cut down on the dust. Behind the thermos is a carafe for coffee. On top of the shelves are 2 cupcake serving tiers. I also have a tier for plates which I often use for small desserts.