Tips and Guides

5 Quick Fixes for Impromptu Dinners

Make fashion finds do double duty and have edibles moonlight as eye candy

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Have you been put on the spot to host a fancy dinner party? Don't go out to buy fresh flowers and new plates just yet. These tips will surely come in handy! Read on and get the party started.

Styling by Binky Ilusorio. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

1. Make an Insta-Setting.

Pluck out produce from the ref and items from your jewelry box for this table setting. These unexpected items will put a fresh twist to your old dining set.

2. Make unique place cards.

Instead of conventional place cards, direct your guests to their respective places with name-bearing fruits. The tags are handwritten on plain paper stock.

3. Create a refreshing centerpiece.

Centerpieces shouldn't be strictly flowers and candles. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are affordable and just as pretty. We used lemons, tomatoes, siniguelas, garlic flowers for their colors, mixed with assorted leaves from the garden.

4. Use handkerchiefs and bandannas as table napkins.

Use printed handkerchiefs or bandannas as table napkins. Put your brooches and bead bracelets to work as napkin rings. No need to match-just mix.

5. Dress up your chairs with shawls, scarves, and pillowcases.

Chairs play dress-up with artfully draped, tied, and gathered scarves, shawls, and pillowcases. Fabric flowers and fresh greens tucked into the folds make things even more interesting.

To use pillowcases:

1. Slip a pillowcase over the back of a chair.

2. Gather along the center until the hem of the pillowcase falls to the desired length.

3. Secure gathers with brooches or fabric flowers with safety pins.

Working with a shawl:

1. Fold shawl in half and slip over the back of the chair. The back of the chair should be sandwiched between the two halves of the shawl.

2. Tie the ends of the shawl into a simple knot at the center. Arrange the ends so that one rests on top of the other.

3. Secure greens-we used sprigs of dill-between the folds.

4. Pin fabric flowers in place on top of the greens.

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