Entertaining doesn't have to be expensive. Today on "In the Pantry," Aida Mollenkamp will help you create a showstopping tabletop on a budget.
Keep it simple. Don't stress out about throwing the perfect party, says Mollenkamp. "Instead, make things easy on yourself and decorate with items you already have on hand." Use flowers, leaves, or other fun materials picked from your backyard. A clear glass bowl filled with seasonal fruit can make a simple, sophisticated statement.
Choose a neutral palette. Start with a light beige, gray, or white to act as a canvas on which to build your unique tabletop setting.
Remember the craft store is your friend for good, budget finds. "Everything from the kraft paper to the burlap, the raffia, and the nametags, I all got at the craft store for pennies on the dollar I would pay at a higher-end store," says Mollenkamp. Items on your table need not match perfectly. Mix and match textures and hues, and incorporate pops of color using placemats or napkins for an eclectic look.
Have fun! If all else fails, says Mollenkamp, "low lighting, good drinks, good music will always make for a good party."