You might expect a splurge-day shopping trip to be about shoes and purses, but as a party-table setting, the two accessories are not as expected. Actually, though, this theme is ideal for the woman who is all about great-looking style, from her toes to her shoulders. The beauty of shoulder bags, clutches and shoes lies in their handy shapes. New or clean, with the right preparation, these items can hold more than well-manicured feet or wallets and keys.
Shoe Boot Cutlery Holders
Similar to but shorter than ankle boots, shoe boots are just the right size to use as spoon, fork and butter-knife holders. Fill a clean, attractive sock with cutlery, handle-end down. Tuck the sock into the shoe. Unzip a shoe boot, and use the zipper's V-design to hold napkins upright. Other go-to shoes for these uses include flats and pointy-toe pumps.
Bags of Buns, Chips and Veggies
As long as it's big and opens wide, any bag, from a satchel to a tote to a hobo bag, makes a creative serving dish. Place a clean bowl inside the bag, and then fill the bowl with your favorite bread product -- croissants, ciabatta rolls or English muffins, for example. Use another bowl-in-bag server for salad, one for chopped veggies and one for chips. Even a punch bowl might fit in a large bag. Small or medium-sized, bowl-lined purses -- clutches, swagger bags, canteen bags -- make ideal dip servers or gravy boats.
Center of Attention
The centerpiece is the belle of the table, so save the best purse for the flower arrangement, as long as a vase fits inside. Color-coordinate the setting by choosing party-palette posies. If red purses and pumps dominate the theme, flower options include red roses, red gerbera or red dahlia and white lilies for contrast. Use a white tablecloth to make dark or brightly colored accents jump or a bright or dark tablecloth to accent mainly light-colored shoes and bags.
Shoe-shaped place cards, sparkly cupcakes and bow- or buckle-wrapped napkins all have a place at a shoe-and-purse-themed party table. Hang handbags overhead like pinatas or balloons, and drape them with twinkle lights and garland. Dress glasses with shoe stickers, and serve beggar's-purse appetizers to play on the theme.
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