Gone are the days when many people considered plastic cutlery ineffective. Heavy duty plastic cutlery is very sturdy; fork tines are unlikely to break off, spoons shouldn't snap at the handle and knives actually cut food. Avoid clear and white cutlery as these are too obviously made of plastic. For the most realistic utensils, use silver-colored, heavy duty forks, knives and spoons.
Keep It Clean
Use three decorative tins or flour canisters without lids at least 4 inches high as holders. Containers should have some weight to them so they do not tip over like plastic tumblers might. Place them in a row or in a triangle shape with the forks and spoons in the front and knives in the back. Each container should have the same utensil; do not mix them. For sanitary reasons, place the cutlery with the handles pointing up, and use a nice label on each container designating what is in it. Place the tins or canisters at the beginning or end of the buffet table. Napkins may be placed in a stack next to the utensils; for a more decorative touch, fold each napkin into a triangle, then place them slightly overlapping one another on the table in front of the cutlery.
Nice and Neat
To make the buffet line move quicker, have the cutlery assembled for guests to pick up at the end of the line. Diagonally place a knife across one point of a napkin. On top of that, add a fork, then a spoon. Roll it up and secure everything with a ribbon that matches the decor. Do not tie the ribbon in a knot; use a bow for easy access. Place the rolled utensils in a pyramid formation or in straight lines.