I wanted to have a few people over for a last-hurrah in the yard before the cold weather sets in. We had a few things to celebrate and it gives me good reason to make armadillo dip, which, let's be honest, is in itself a reason to celebrate. I needed some party supplies but didn't feel like spending the time or money on finding some matchy-matchy shlock down at the party store. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like Dora the Explorer as much as anyone else, but I don't like eating cake off her face or drinking from a cup emblazoned with a purple monkey butt.
¡Hola mi amiga margarita!
So I rustled through my pantry and pulled out what I could find leftover from previous shindiggery. Paper plates? Sure. White paper cups? Yes. Coffee filters? No problem.
20 minutes to paint and two hours to dry...BAM. Well looky here....
Fact: food tastes better on pretty plates (and spoons). Same goes with drinks.
Tracy made some of her grandma's homemade bathtub gin (minus the bathtub) that was beyond delicious. We drank it with ginger-ale with lemon and fresh thyme. I'm sure it would have tasted great out old tuna fish cans, but somehow the prettiness of paper cups enhanced the experience.
Learning curve: Make sure to leave an exposed band around the top and bottom. Even if you are using non-toxic watercolor (or food coloring) and wax-lined cups (as I was), cold drinks can cause condensation and the paint may smudge off on your tablecloth. Or worse, your guests.
Or skip using them the cups to serve and poke them onto string lights.
Instead of having one big bowl of chips or veggies, I like to have multiple small bowls within easy reach of everyone at the table. Problem: I don't have that many bowls. So I fold up the sides of some paper plates, stapled the corners, and boom it's a serving bowl (click here for directions).
The coffee filter adds ruffle and serves as a dish liner, should you want to swap or refresh items mid-party. That's an old catering trick -- use disposable liners to exchange the contents on serving dishes -- everyone will think you have an endless supply of crockery.
*Cookie for me for using the term crockery in a sentence. I am THIS CLOSE to living it like Angela Landsbury as Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast. COOKIE FOR ME!
A one-time paper bag cut in half now holds cutlery. It's sturdy enough to stand up and takes up less space on the table than a big hefty basket.
Speaking of bags... I have a thing for paper bags. I also have a thing for luminarias. This just needed to happen...