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Do-It-Yourself Theme Parties: Inexpensive But Elegant 
 
by Graham PZ September 19, 2005

Use what you have on hand

You want to throw a New Year's Eve party for 12 or 20 people in your home but your dining arrangement only seats six? Simply push your table to a wall and make it an hors d'oeuvre buffet; your guests can nibble and mingle in the space you made, then retire to your living room for more intimate chat or other entertainment. Don't forget the simple accessories that set the mood. Use your only set of champagne flutes as candleholders, set them next to a black paper top hat and a plastic string of pearls as mood lighting, and use plastic champagne glasses for the midnight toast.

The buffet table isn't large enough? Take a solid door off the hinges, remove the hardware and doorknob and lay it across a small table, using towels or other cloth to protect the table. With the theme treatment covering it, no one will be the wiser.

Drape theme colored ribbons across dining tables.

Use margarita glasses or brandy snifters as votives.

Make a bar by placing a board across the tops of three chairs, brace it in place, skirt it with the plastic and use the seats of the chairs for liquor and ice storage.

Round Christmas tree ornaments are useful all year long as a touch of color displayed in a glass bowl or surrounding a centerpiece.

Look in your cupboards, basement or attic for different shapes and patterns to be used.

Any smooth clean cloth or remnant that appeals to your eyes and is at least a yard square, could be implemented into a theme.

Above all else, enjoy your company and yourself. Your pleasure will be contagious.

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