• Tell Your Friends

Sure, holiday decorations are nice (and so pretty), but let’s be real: It’s not a party without festive food and drink. A buffet table allows guests to flow through the food line  — perfect for the casual vibe of our holiday party.  Want to create your own? Follow these tips for success.

Find the right spot to set up your table. Food tables are kinda like real estate: that is, all about location, location, location. You want an out-of-the-way spot that still allows for an entry and exit point.  Skip spots like a kitchen island that create a bottleneck for a large group.

Holiday Food Table Setup Tips

Dress up a temporary table. You don’t need a dining room or even a buffet table to make this party setup work. We used a fold-up party table topped with a covering made from a dropcloth (!!!) and a small, hemmed piece of gorgeous marbled fabric.

DIY Holiday Tablecloth From DIY Network

Create a starting spot. Placing the plates and napkins at one end of the table creates a clear entry point. Copper string lights inside a footed cloche draw attention to the beginning of the line.

Add height. Since plates of food tend to be, well, flat, we placed food atop pieces with varying heights. Here, wooden chargers prop up potted plants and succulents, which are more affordable and longer-lasting than cut flowers. Footed pedestal servers are a great option, too. If your serving dish supply is low, use cardboard boxes or overturned pots covered with wrapping paper or fabric as a base for dishes of food.

Label your wares.  Quiet cries of “What is this?” with custom-made food labels. Keep it super-simple with pieces of card stock or stick-on labels, or make Deanne’s adorable twig place card holders with paint and a little copper wire.

Pick a color palette. Pick a palette that corresponds with the hues you’re showcasing at your party. Since we used a lot of plum, turquoise and metallics at our party, we added bright accents — like these rustic potted celosia from the HGTV HOME plant collection — in those same hues.

Holiday Appetizer Recipe: Savory Galettes

Even the food matches! Here, we used red and golden beets in this rustic, savory galette.

Pick a Palette

Mix store-bought and homemade items.  We mixed homemade galettes and a handmade cheese plate with store-bought cheese, crackers and garnishes. Consider how much you can realistically cook beforehand: If you’re strapped for time, consider equally-delicious ready-made options.

How do you get ready for holiday buffets? Share your tips below.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

One Response

  1. becka says:

    I thought it was simple and easy to do, I would try this.

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Liz GrayLiz is a Senior Editor at HGTV.com. She lives in a midcentury tri-level that’s stuck in the ‘70s…for now. When she’s not working on remodeling projects with her boyfriend and...

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