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10 Easy Pieces: Entertaining for a Crowd

With Thanksgiving—and the whole holiday season—suddenly upon us, it’s time to think about stocking up on party essentials. In the long run, if you entertain frequently, it’s much more economical to buy than rent. We’ve sourced tabletop items that are versatile, durable, and readily available (in case you need overnight shipping).

Glassware

A set of eight basic Wine Glasses is on sale for $23.96 at Crate & Barrel.
Above: A set of eight basic Wine Glasses is on sale for $23.96 at Crate & Barrel.
For large parties, Ikea’s Svalka Champagne Flutes are good to have on hand in multiples; $4.99 for a pack of six. N.B.: They are not the most durable, but for the price, they can’t be beat.
Above: For large parties, Ikea’s Svalka Champagne Flutes are good to have on hand in multiples; $4.99 for a pack of six. N.B.: They are not the most durable, but for the price, they can’t be beat.
If you prefer the stemless variety, consider Ikea’s 365+ Ivrig Wine Glasses for $1.99 each. For more ideas on affordable glassware, see 10 Easy Pieces: Everyday Wine Glasses and 10 Easy Pieces: Basic Drinking Glasses.
Above: If you prefer the stemless variety, consider Ikea’s 365+ Ivrig Wine Glasses for $1.99 each. For more ideas on affordable glassware, see 10 Easy Pieces: Everyday Wine Glasses and 10 Easy Pieces: Basic Drinking Glasses.

Dishware

A set of eight Essential Dinner Plates is on sale for $29.56 at Crate & Barrel.
Above: A set of eight Essential Dinner Plates is on sale for $29.56 at Crate & Barrel.
A Five-Piece Table Setting includes a cup and saucer and is $220 for a set of four, a total of 20 pieces, at Snowe. See 10 Easy Pieces: Basic White Dinnerware for more ideas.
Above: A Five-Piece Table Setting includes a cup and saucer and is $220 for a set of four, a total of 20 pieces, at Snowe. See 10 Easy Pieces: Basic White Dinnerware for more ideas.
The Caterer’s 12-Piece Dinner Plate Set includes a dozen dinner plates; $59 for a boxed set of 12 plates from Pottery Barn. A Caterer’s Set of 12 Salad Plates and Caterer’s Set of 12 Bowls are also available for $49 each.
Above: The Caterer’s 12-Piece Dinner Plate Set includes a dozen dinner plates; $59 for a boxed set of 12 plates from Pottery Barn. A Caterer’s Set of 12 Salad Plates and Caterer’s Set of 12 Bowls are also available for $49 each.

Flatware

Fishs Eddy sells Open Stock Flatware by the piece, starting at $4.00 for a grapefruit spoon.
Above: Fishs Eddy sells Open Stock Flatware by the piece, starting at $4.00 for a grapefruit spoon.
Source vintage silver-plated flatware in mismatched sets from flea markets or on Etsy. Photograph via Bhldn.
Above: Source vintage silver-plated flatware in mismatched sets from flea markets or on Etsy. Photograph via Bhldn.
CB2 offers stainless steel Party Forks ($7.96), Party Knives ($11.96), and Party Spoons ($7.96) in sets of six. See more of our flatware favorites: 10 Easy Pieces: Everyday Stainless Steel Flatware.
Above: CB2 offers stainless steel Party Forks ($7.96), Party Knives ($11.96), and Party Spoons ($7.96) in sets of six. See more of our flatware favorites: 10 Easy Pieces: Everyday Stainless Steel Flatware.

Table Linens

A set of twelve cotton Hotel Dinner Napkins in white or ivory is $47.96 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: A set of twelve cotton Hotel Dinner Napkins in white or ivory is $47.96 at Williams-Sonoma.
Ikea’s Elly Dish Towels make affordable (and charmingly rustic) napkins; $3.99 for a set of four.
Above: Ikea’s Elly Dish Towels make affordable (and charmingly rustic) napkins; $3.99 for a set of four.
Stock up on basic Chilewich 100 Percent Linen Napkins, $9.50 each at Sur la Table.
Above: Stock up on basic Chilewich 100 Percent Linen Napkins, $9.50 each at Sur la Table.

For more holiday staples, see:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 23, 2011.

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