By Shani Silver

Published on September 28, 2016

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK
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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

If something is stopping you from throwing a dinner party, chances are it’s not the amount of dishes. Hosting is hard and involves many tasks, from decor, to place settings, to serving (and that’s even before you’ve started cooking!). To keep the costs (and stress) of hosting your next gathering to a minimum, Wendy’s asked us to compile a few of our favorite entertaining hacks. Just like Wendy’s upgraded their menu with the new, elevated Grilled Chicken Sandwich, these little DIY projects will help you take your dinner party or event from basic to beautiful and unique in just a few simple steps.

Upgrade Your Ice Bucket

First, everyone’s favorite Pinterest project is surprisingly easy to do, and comes with maximum wow-factor benefits. Grab a large bucket, colorful fruits and flowers, and start freezing.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Go Big

If your dinner party scene feels too minimal or blah, and could benefit from the addition of a major decor statement, consider a diy balloon arch that will impress literally everyone (even you)! We made ours with nothing more than chicken wire, balloons, and hot glue. Just make sure to enlist a few helping hands, as this one is easy, but time consuming.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Literally The Easiest Centerpiece On Earth 

On the other hand, this DIY is lightening fast. Spray painting uniquely shaped fruits and veggies in metallic colors makes for one incredibly easy and affordable table dressing. We opted for mini pineapples because how cute are these?!

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Photography by ANNA KOCHARIAN

Easy Floral Accents

Some people prefer simple fresh flowers to full-blown centerpieces. If that’s you, consider picking up your favorite petals and wrapping them in fresh, unique ways that your guests haven’t seen before. Bonus: The little bouquets you’ll create make for easy and gorgeous parting gifts!

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Photography by CAMILLESTYLES.COM

Get Personal

Another awesome idea if you’re looking to personalize, these napkins are simple cuts of the fabric of your choice, customized with a bleach pen. Guests can take theirs home as a reminder of the evening. (we’d use ours as a tea towel!)

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Photography by FOODLOVETOG.COM

Better Than Basic Butter

One of our favorite ways to elevate a dinner party is to take a basic essential and add flavor–both literally and figuratively speaking. Your butter dish that accompanies a fresh loaf of crusty bread will be far more inviting if it’s holding a delectable spread that includes honey and rosemary, too.

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Photography by PS I MADE THIS

Add An Easy Table Accent

There’s no better way to make sure your table doesn’t look like any you guests have seen before than with the addition of a DIY table covering. This one adds simple tassels to bring texture and fun to the table.

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Photography by CAMILLESTYLES.COM

The “Anything-Can-Be-A-Vase” Vase

Hear us out: Random flowers in a tomato can might not immediately catch the eye, but a table themed with upcycled items might just add that welcoming touch you’re looking for.

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Photography by THE JUNGALOW

The Impressive Accent

Over-table lighting can be scarce, if not non-existent, particularly if you live in a rented space. This simple (and affordable) DIY is perfect for dropping a light bulb into if you want to add a bit of boho lighting to your dining area. We assume you’ll want to leave this up long after the party!

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Photography by A HOUSE IN THE HILLS

The Easy App Situation

When hosting, you want to arrange for as many low-maintenance dishes as possible, If the idea of the typical veggie tray seems lackluster to you (they kind of always are, TBH), try a large platter of grilled veggies with the perfect dipping sauce instead. It’s easy to do, low maintenance, and delicious. In other words, welcomed at just about any party.

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Photography by FREE PEOPLE BLOG

The Custom Table Cloth

And here’s why this is genius: Customizing your table cloth means you’ve got a table covering that becomes part of your centerpiece if you want it to. If the table feels too plain, create “zones” in your tablecloth that accentuate centerpieces or dishes, making your table instantly more festive.

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Photography by FREE PEOPLE BLOG

The “I Have No Art” Art

If the dining room wall is lacking in character, or if you just haven’t gotten around to hanging that gallery wall DIY this beautiful wall hanging for mere pennies. Super simple to create, you might even leave tying on all the yarn to the little hands in the house while you tackle bigger projects.

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Photography by PETAL + PLY

Don’t Bake

We’re serious! If the painstaking detail and effort of baking a beautiful dessert feels like one to-do item too many, just don’t bake. Create a dessert that takes no more effort than mixing ingredients and chilling them in the fridge. The results are just as delicious, with far less effort.

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Photography by CELEBRATIONSATHOMEBLOG.COM

Don’t Stress About Table Talk

One of the best dinner party DIYs we’ve ever found is the tabletop conversation starter. These are custom to the party’s guests, but yours can be more broad, applicable to anyone in attendance. You can go around the room and never have to worry about the conversation getting dull or even (gasp!) nonexistent.

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Photography by DELISH.COM

Large Batch Your Welcome Drink

A welcome drink is a great way to greet guests and make them feel at home. Rather than pouring a new glass of champagne every time someone arrives, have a large punch bowl or drink dispenser full of a delicious cocktail that guests can pour themselves as they join the party. This leaves you free to put any final touches on your dishes or table.

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Photography by RUFFLED BLOG

Label Everything

This easy, fun DIY serves multiple purposes, It tells guests where they’re sitting, what they’re enjoying, etc, but when they’re all uniform in color and style, they also add a unique, whimsical flair to the entire decor scheme. (You’ll be using that chalk pen forever, trust us!)

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When Wendy’s set out to improve their Grilled Chicken Sandwich, what could have been a small project turned into a big one. The result is a New Grilled Chicken Sandwich made just for you. Full of flavor and built with high quality ingredients, from top to bottom, Wendy’s new Grilled Chicken Sandwich delivers great taste that is a cut above.