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Hi there all,

I've been lurking on this board for awhile, so I wanted to contribute a creative and relatively inexpensive idea for entertaining.

I recently gave a small dinner party at my home and wanted to give the *feel* of an outdoor restaurant. I really didn't want to use paper goods. So...I rented two 36" tables from my local Taylor Rental for $15.00. Since I had rented this size before, I already invested in 2 ivory cloths that go to the floor, but I wanted a less formal look for this. I headed to the local fabric store, and found a beautiful chiffon fabric that was on sale for $1.00/yd. I purchased 4 yards cut into @ 54" squares. They also had pre-cut quilting squares in a thousand different colors and patterns that sold for $1.29/each. For about $ 25.00 (including the cost for the tables) I had custom tables for the 2 rentals and for my own 2 tables (one was used as the buffet). All I did was use a pinking shears to trim the edges, then laid the chiffon squares as overlays on the ivory cloths and used the quilting squares as napkins (I rolled and tied with a corded ribbon). I bought 2 store bought bouquets at the grocery store and I made up small vases with the flowers for the 3 tables. I added some candles, my everyday white dinner plates and voila!!

My friends were so impressed with the tables they are calling me one week later to let me know how gorgeous it looked.

The best part is that everything is reusable and washable (on the delicate cycle). If the edges fray, I can just 'pink' them again. The quilting squares can be ironed or used as napkins again, or as liners for baskets or even to wrap a gift. I think you can use a white sheet as the actual tablecloth...just get out the pinking shears and cut it to fit.

The menu was also a lot of fun for me to plan and prepare, but the decorating was really the hit of the night, in my opinion. I can't wait to give another dinner party and change the look!!

Hope this helps inspire someone else to check out the local fabric stores the next time they entertain.

Foolishly yours,

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