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Quick and Easy Fiesta Place Setting for a Last-Minute Dinner Party

Are you throwing together a quick dinner party? We eat with our eyes as much as our mouths, so it is worth the extra effort to create place settings that look festive and special.

Decorations may spice up the room, but they also serve as a great ice breaker and conversation starter. The good news is, they don't have to be a lot of work. A good place setting just needs a few simple touches to look thoughtful and sophisticated.

So follow these easy instructions to create Fiesta Place Settings. They’re the perfect décor to complement to a last-minute fiesta-themed dinner party menu, featuring our recipes for Mexican Casserole and Cinnamon Tortilla Crisp Dulce de Leche Sundaes .

Start with the base layer. I used a green tablecloth to add some color to the table, but you can use fabric yardage, blankets or runners to add a bit of vividness.

Add a placemat that coordinates with your base layer. If you don't have placemats, you can also use a piece of scrap paper to add some contrast.

Plates. Not many people have a dozen different sets of dishes laying around, so use what you have if your dinner party is a last-minute affair, or check your supermarket when you make an emergency ingredients run. I was able to find some interesting plates at the grocery store for these pictures, and they were only $1 apiece.

Napkins. Napkin placement is a personal preference, but I love the way a set of stacked plates look with an interesting napkin on top.

The napkin ring in my place setting was made from scrap paper. I took a 2-inch by 8-inch piece of paper and folded it around my napkin, keeping it in place with a piece of tape. I then cut a fringe into the extra paper hanging off the end. The short piece of festooning was attached with a few glue dots.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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