REAL PARTIES: Bling, Bling Tabletop… Bargain Style!

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dinner party ideas

HWTM reader Linda Roos sent over a nice message recently that said, “I was inspired by your post the other day with the 5 tips for hosting. I made a post on my blog about my own biggest tip for any host/hostess… I just wanted to share with you.” Well, both Linda’s tips – and the table she designed for this intimate dinner party – are fantastic… and definitely worth passing along! (Wouldn’t this look be great for an elegant bridal shower or rehearsal dinner?!) Here are all the details, in Linda’s own words:


“My #1 tip for any host or hostess is to “hoard”… and to stock up on decorative and functional party items when they are on sale. So to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to make a beautiful set up with inexpensive items I decided to go with a bargain style theme.

dinner party ideas

The base is a white linen table cloth, which I bought on sale a year ago. The napkins are from IKEA. (Not on sale but still inexpensive.) Black and silver runners were purchased on sale just after Christmas. The crystals hanging from the chandelier are from this past year’s Christmas collection at IKEA and were also bought on sale in January.

Our china is from the 365+ series at IKEA. We use it for every day and special occasions. It’s simple and let’s the food speak. I like that. I also like the price tag. The red wine goblets are also from IKEA. I love how huge they are…

dinner party ideas

I used white translucent ribbon with silver print to wrap the bigger plates. I’ve had the ribbon for ages so I can’t say whether or not it was cheap or not but since I’ve had it for so long I think it can be defined as free, LOL!

I wrapped velum around a square vase from IKEA and put two tea lights inside to create a lantern. The light from the lantern was really soft and created a great atmosphere.

DIY lantern

I had my eye on the diamond shaped glass ornaments for several months last year. The place where we go grocery shopping had them in their candles/napkins section and I would pick them up every time I passed by them, but I never bought them. Not until I discovered that they were on sale for about a dollar each after Christmas – and then I picked up the whole stock!

dinner party ideas

The round glass beads and silver twine was part of plant/candle combo gift I got a few years ago. After the candle was burned and the plant said it’s goodbyes, I picked the thing apart and kept what I thought would come in handy. Another great way to keep the costs down.

(Tip: You can find similar diamond decor at websites like,, and

I put floating white candles (again, from IKEA) in vintage champagne glasses that I inherited from my grandmother. I thought the champagne touch would go well with the diamonds.

dinner party ideas

And there you have it! I didn’t purchase anything specifically for this dinner. Everything was in my house already and most of it was inexpensive.”

Thanks for the inspiration, Linda!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

13 responses to “REAL PARTIES: Bling, Bling Tabletop… Bargain Style!”

  1. Kristi says:

    Wow!! It’s gorgeous. Thank you for sharing. I’ll keep this decor in mind – it’s so elegant!

  2. Amanda Nicole says:

    Simply gorgeous! I’m a sucker for apres-Christmas shopping, it’s the best!

  3. LOVE the all white decor.

  4. LivE says:

    awesome! i love your blog, and i love that you featured my dear friend linda’s wonderful way of dressing her tables! she is truly class personified, and i am sure she’s greatly honored by your blog post today! have a great day! :D

  5. Alyson says:

    Thanks for sharing – I love the floating candles in the champagne glasses and the simple yet elegant design.

  6. April says:

    WOW! Great ideas! We’re always on the hunt for inexpensive decor items for entertaining! Thanks for the post!

  7. Lily says:

    This is so pretty! I love all the diamond decor!

  8. Who says cheap, can’t be chic! Very cool ideas!

  9. Katie says:

    Check out the diamonds curtains and strands at They also have Diamond Confetti to put on tables and inexpensive tabletop candle holders

  10. Taryn says:

    I love your ideas, especially this bling shower theme. I’m planning a baby bling shower in August.

    I love your lip gloss favor suggestion which I tried to incorporate in my shower theme. I ordered personalized lip balm favors 4 weeks ago and they have not arrived yet. Does is normally take that long to receive personalized favors?

  11. jenn s. says:

    Hi Taryn –
    4 weeks seems a little bit on the lengthy side – usually it’s closer to 2. Did the website you ordered from specify a turnaround time? If not I’d definitely call them to see what’s happening with your favors. Good thing you ordered them well in advance!

    Jenn :)

  12. Megan says:

    I really like this table scape. I recently purchased gem christmas ornaments at a very reasonable price from Target and I can really see re-purposing them for something like this. Also, for the gems that are hanging, I have very pretty ornament hooks that have crystals on them that would work great with something like that. This is very beautiful.

  13. I too love to reuse things, reinvent the staple items and style on a budget! Thank you for your wonderful inspirations! Lisa