* All digital cards and invitiations have moved! Check out the new pingg.com >

Top Ten Party Staples

Be ready to turn any regular get-together into a full on party by keeping these top 10 party staples on hand.

Keep these party staples stored away so you're ready to turn any gathering or unexpected dinner party into a celebration. These quick tips will add an extra special touch to make your guests feel extra special.

  • Create a special greeting for your guests before they ever ring the doorbell! For this Valentine Dinner we tied red and pink ribbons with glittered hearts around the bell at the front door. Using your party colors or theme, you can say, "Welcome" in many ways. Think about hanging a wreath on the door, or colorful paper lanterns, or a bunch of balloons tied around the lamp post.

  • Spools of ribbon are the most versatile party staple for adding color and festivity to your celebration. Ribbon is inexpensive and can be used in so many ways. Here we weaved lengths of ribbon around the centerpiece and candles on the center of the table. You can tie ribbon to the chairbacks and around the stems of glassware. Transform a plain white vase with a pretty little bow or create a ribbon napkin ring instantly.

  • A thermal coffee carafe is a must for parties. The coffee stays hot, guests can help themselves and the carafe looks elegant enough to sit on any table.

  • Everyday, mismatched coffee mugs are not invited to the party. Sets of clear glass coffee mugs add a touch of class to your get-together and keep the party unified.

  • Keep a stash of fun straws on hand to liven up your drinks. Here a whimsical paper straw makes a rootbeer float shout, "Party!"

  • Fanciful party picks add the wow-factor to your presentation. Windmills and umbrellas add some summer fun to these cupcakes. But don't stop with cupcakes! Party picks can embellish almost anything.  Hamburgers, ice cream sundaes, yogurt parfaits...

  • Go from ordinary to spectacular with just a squirt of chocolate on your dessert plates. A squeeze bottle for decorating your plates with chocolate (or other kinds of sauces) is a party staple that you'll use over and over.

  • White plates. Oh, the mileage you can get with simple white plates. Buy a large buffet-size set of white plates and you are ready to entertain. Look at how the mood and theme changes by adding a colorful salad plate on top of the white. A few other ways to add pizzazz to the white plates are with print napkins, fun embellishments, doilies, or party favors.

  • Clear glass dessert plates can be dressed up for the party in a myriad of ways. Here we slipped some leaves and a pretty pink flower from the garden between the white plate and the clear plate. You can tuck all kinds of things under the glass--cut-out shapes, decorative napkins, doilies, or a monogram. It's kind of like designing your own dishes.

  • Even if unexpected friends arrive, you can create a party-on-the-spot with colorful paper napkins. Keep several packages of these little dandies on hand. The graphics and designs on the napkins are like little pieces of artwork and suitable for any occasion or season.

Find more party planning inspirations for Party Basics

Exotic Cocktail Recipe Video Link to video gallery. Upgrade your spring sips with this cocktail tutorial. »
Meet our Expert
Party Bluprints
Lifestyle & Entertaining Experts and Authors

See how Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali elevate the every day with their fantastic recipes and ideas!

Read More »

Inspirations Delivered to Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and have party tips and ideas sent straight to your inbox! You'll be the first to know about our best recipes, decoration ideas, invitation inspirations and more.