Anita CaleroFresh, alternative ideas that add unexpected fun and color
Create a Drinkable Centerpiece
Set out an array of brightly colored soda bottles as a consumable centerpiece. Write guests' names on ribbons, then slip them through key-ring bottle openers; lay one at each place setting for self-service with good cheer (and added value as favors). Your friends can find their seats, grab a bottle, and raise their glasses in a party-starting toast.
Assign Seats with Chalkboard Placemats
Dinner is all fun and games with reusable chalkboard place mats. Write guests' names on them (with nontoxic chalk) and they double as B-I-G place cards. You can check attendance and keep track of everyone's hangman scores. Should things get out of hand, wipe the mess away with felt erasers, set like coasters under the chalk cups.
Group Votives Around the House
One candle is nice; a cluster is even better. For a soft glow, use pinking shears to cut strips of paper long enough to fit around