I recently had a few friends over for a birthday dinner and decided on a ladybird theme for my table decorations. As I was searching the world wide web for inspiring decorative ideas I started to feel ever so slightly deflated. Everything I came across was for a first or second birthday, with absolutely no grown-up ladybird party ideas. But this was my thirty-first birthday and I wanted ladybirds, no matter how juvenile. I found some really cute ladybird invitations and in the end I realised that a lot can be done with polka dots, red, white and black!
But getting to the idea I would like to share. For dinner I decided on a few tapas and a swiss cheese fondue. Originally I thought of placing tags next to each dish describing what it was, but as I was thinking what to do in terms of placemats I thought why not write the menu on each placemat? I had already found some really neat recycled paper that I wanted to use as placemats and thought it a great idea writing down the menu for each guest. As I was serving the tapas from buffet cabinet I stacked my plates next to the food leaving the placemats open and ready for people to read before they dished up what they wanted.
Using (recycled) paper as placemats is a very inexpensive as well as environmentally friendly idea (of course only if you are recycling it afterwards!). Although a little bit more time-consuming to write out the menu on each placement – it was well worth the effort!! And you do not necessarily have to write out the menu, you can simply write each guest’s name at the top of the placemat, roughly draw the outline of the plate, knife and fork for something different, or even make small incisions and thread ribbon through it. Your imagination will be your only limit.
Finally, colour schemes. Once you have an idea in mind (in my case ladybirds) you can start building around that with your colours and interpretations of your idea. Use inexpensive items such as ribbon and paper napkins to bring out the colour. I also used black noodleboxes filled with home-made chocolate truffles for a little take-home gift as well as a good way of being able to attach the nametags of each guest.
Needless to say that the evening was an absolute blast. Regardless of what the table looked like or how the food tasted, I was surrounded by good friends and felt so loved.
…be fearless, and have fun!