buffet ideas anyone?

Joined Oct 24, 2002
I am looking for some cool new ideas for decorating my buffets.
I purchased glass blocks at home depot, those look great, I also use fruit and watermellon carvings.
Does anyone have any other Ideas? Thanks for your time.
Joined Jul 18, 2002
I've been having fun using pots or troughs of wheatgrass with some potted flowers inbetween. YOu can try growing your own or buy it from the local farmers market. I have a brown thumb, so I leave it to the experts to grow. But it looks fresh and great and can also be used for passed h'd.

Also go to your local closeout store and look for inexpensive scarves - interesting baskets or plant stands. Beads and necklaces can work well too. I picked up a great heavy blue glass beaded "necklace" too heavy to wear) in Turkey for about six dollars. It looks wonderful on a buffet table.

Another idea that works well is sections of a tree. Next time they are cutting down trees try to snag a few pieces and then polyurethane them. They make great display pieces on a buffet.

hat boxes create height and color possibilities.

Garage sales also turn up interesting and inexpensive items.

I have used antique or collectible toys on dessert buffets.

We bought a terrific upscale large wooden pickup truck in the market in Costa Rica for about $10 and use the back for a "truck load of crudite" Candle stands and holders often work for dips too and also can create height - think wrought iron stand with glass insert to hold a votive candle but fill with dip instead.

Even picture frames and ornate mirrors work well for buffets.

In reality just let your imagination run and have fun with the results.
Joined Apr 13, 2003
tiger pretty much covered the gauntlet on all of my buffets. great minds think alike. one thing i used to do for jazz brunches and theme buffets was beat up old instruments and sheet music scattered about the buffets. and i am a big fan of raffia,orchids and lemonleaf. steelgrass is also a good alternative to wheatgrass for it is much taller and heartier
Joined Mar 6, 2001
For Mothers Day I used a box and bag theme.........like presents being opened. Found hat boxes at craft store (really cheap) used them for height and show. Then cut reg. cardboard boxes down in height (so they were about 2" to 3" deep), wrapped them in wrapping paper on the outside lip, placed pretty tissue paper inside then used cake boards (cut to fit) inside to actually place items on. Then I had shopping bags to give height along the table.

If you shop there's an amazing assortment of papers to cover and line boxes.

I also found that you can buy the heavy duty cardboard liners (I forget their correct name right this second) that people use as a mold to pour concrete into when making decks. They come in many varied diamiters. I cut them to lenght then wrap them in either paper or fabric then use them as pedestels on tables. They look great when used in groupings.

Right now I'm into wraping trays or lining with mylar and other durable papers.

I saw another pastry chef use a huge table sized framed mirror to set pastrys on.

On sweet tables I've used colored sugars to line the bottoms of my trays. Then set pastries ontop. Looks cool and I get lots of comments. This looks cooler then it sounds.

I use pots alot and place suckers or cookies on sticks in them. I've also done fruit kabob cut like flowers and lined the back of the table with them to give height.

I like palm leafs in fruit halfs for height.

Mini x-mas lights look cool when arranged under med. consisitancy transparent fabric.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
If your interested- mage was kind to post some photos I sent of my Mothers day buffet mentioned above. I wanted to show you how I used the bags and boxes, then tied the whole theme of "presents" together (at least- I tryed with my cakes). HTH

P.S. I'd love to see what your doing!!
Joined Jul 18, 2002
Originally posted by W.DeBord
If your interested- mage was kind to post some photos I sent of my Mothers day buffet mentioned above. I wanted to show you how I used the bags and boxes, then tied the whole theme of "presents" together (at least- I tryed with my cakes). HTH


for anyone who would like to see the pics, go to the link above (if the link doesnt work then cut and paste)
Scroll down to the middle of the posts to see Wendy's Buffet Bag and Box Desserts. I love the shoe/shopping theme.

Great work Wendy - I cannt post any pictures for the next 3 weeks or so but will try to sneak sometime in to do so asap after that. Totally booked for the next 3 weeks with out of town business, so wont even be home.

Just a thought, but try putting something like a very shallow plate (eg a few monkey dishes) under the boxes to pitch them foward just a bit. It showcases the interiors a bit more. Just be careful that it stays balanced and not to much of an angle.

I have some mini shopping carts that would make cute accents for your theme- I think I bought them in one of my closeout stores but I have seen them around look under gift basket items. That is another good source for decor.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I did put plates under the back lip........those were not my best shots (sorry)......... The second seating shots were better, I had more time.
At the last minute I got a bit weird about sending them over the net, so I didn't want to give out my best shots out. I'm not really sure why...........must be the city girl in me............I'm abit embarassed to admit that.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Gorgeous cakes Wendy!!!
I've used brass hotpots, chinese new year money, leaf platters for an Asian fusion table.
Large martini glasses for toppings on a mashed potato bar with potatoes served in martini glasses. Small brown bags for purple and yellow baby potatoes.
loads of voltives!!!
Joined May 28, 2003
Sometimes the organic ingredients and the food itself looks great. For asian themes, throw down some banana leaves over the tablecloth to cover and then arrange ingredients in groupings - even bottles of fish sauce, sesame oil, etc. Scatter lychees around, group together ginger and galangal and tumeric, etc. Like Shroomgirl said, chinese new year money and the other cool papers they have at most Asian shops - brilliant colors of gold and orange and red, unfolded and strewn at odd angles on top of the banana leaves.

For other themes, take the same basic idea and tailor it to suit - for Italian, perhaps bottles of really cool olive oil and jars of olives, peppers, etc. Throw some pasta around and mound some fresh peppers, onions, garlic.

Go to the fabric store and buy cool looking remnants, bunch it up and spread it over the tablecloth and then put buffet items on top of that. Make sure they match the style of what you are doing - don't put light blue chiffon down on a barbecue buffet. ;)

I am not the best at decoration, so my ideas mostly belong to other people, I just watch and watch and try to remember! Go to other buffets and snap pics.

Joined Jan 24, 2003
get two glass or plastic bowls that fit inside each other leaving a 2 to 3 inch space sit the smaller bowl on a pastry cutter. half fill with water & freeze. add chopped fruits or veg more water to lip & freeze. Seperate ice bowl from mouldings & fill with delicius goodies....Not for hot climates!!!!
Joined Jul 18, 2002
try freezing flowers or seashells inthe ice molds. Also use clean new sponges under a bed of lettuce to help absorb the water as the ice melts.

another thought is to stack lemons or oranes in a tall glass vase and fill with water for the cool effect.

I always try to do a beautiful flowering crudite or a spilling onto the table crudite with fancy cut veggies nestled into a bed of kale or mustard greens. I have had complaints from customers that the guests didnt want to eat the crudite because it was too pretty!!
Joined Jan 8, 2003
People love wood. Take a walk through a wooded area and find interesting pieces that fell from trees or thin branches you can pull and shape around the buffet table. Just create an out-doorsy type look.
Joined Mar 29, 2003
For a fun retro look on a dessert table use large bubblewrap and scrunch...you can't be stingy with it..have to use alot. Then I take
neon sticks and place under the bubblewrap. I use all lucite and retro dishes.
Just did a dessert buffet in this theme with cotton candy, chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, frozen dove bars on dry ice, chocolate lace bowl filled with chocolate/pecan drizzled popcorn, fresh strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar for dipping, a cupcake tree and the "piece de resistance"...mini boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

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