Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market and it contains affiliate links. I only recommend companies and products I love. Read my full disclosure policy here.
I throw a lot of parties, big and small, casual and fancy, for kids and for grownups.
While I like to customize the decor and menu for each party I throw, I use a lot of the same basic serving pieces at every event.
Having a “party pantry” stocked with linens, glasses, trays, cake stands, plates, drinks dispensers and other items really reduces my stress when party planning. I don’t worry about having enough plates or glasses or serving pieces for my guests because I know I have the basics covered, thanks to my party pantry.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through a list of the items I use over and over again for my parties. Many of these items were purchased at my local Cost Plus World Market store in Winston-Salem. It’s my go-to store for party supplies! I head there whenever I’m party planning!
With the Friend and Family sale that runs March 10-13, now is a great time to visit your local store and stock your party pantry. You can save an extra 30 percent on home décor, furniture, entertaining essentials and more. Plus, you can save 10 percent on food and beverages, which sounds like a great excuse to throw a party.
Before we move into my list of party planning favorites, I should note that you don’t need a dedicated space for your “party pantry.” If you have a spare closet, shelf, cabinet or armoire where you can store all your party goods together, that certainly makes things convenient. But it’s not necessary to keep everything together.
Cake Stands and Tiered Trays
Whether you’re having a cocktail party, buffet, kid’s birthday bash or a sit-down dinner, cake stands and tiered trays come in handy.
They’re perfect for serving cakes and other delicious desserts.
But they’re great for elevating other food, too.
And adding much-needed height and visual interest to a table.
They’re great for buffet service, indoors and out.
I also love to use them as part of my decor.
Here are a few of my favorite cake stands and tiered trays from World Market:
Serving trays are another favorite of mine.
I certainly use them for serving.
But I also love to use them to group items that belong together.
I love using trays to create drinks stations.
Or food stations.
When you’re not using them for serving, trays, like this wooden one from World Market, make wonderful home decor.
I own a lot of trays, but you only need a few for your party pantry. Choose a tray in a classic material and color, and you’ll be able to use it at all sorts of parties. If you do a lot of outdoor entertaining, I recommend adding a melamine or galvanized tray for added versatility.
These World Market trays are great options:
Depending on the type of parties you throw, you may want to add some basic glassware to your party pantry.
Wine glasses, champagne flutes or coupe glasses are always good to have on hand.
Pilsner glasses or mugs are great for beer or sodas.
You may also want to consider glassware for specific types of cocktails, like martinis, margaritas and frozen drinks.
Tasting glasses are useful for lots of different events.
For outdoor entertaining and kids party, consider using reusable acrylic glasses instead of throw-away plastic cups.
These are all great glassware options:
Basic Serving Pieces
If you build a collection of plain ceramic, glass, metal and plastic serving pieces, you’ll be able to use them at all sorts of parties.
Plain white plates can be dressed up in all different ways.
I love that they make the food the star!
These tasting spoons and tasting plates from World Market are my favorite for serving bite-size foods.
And they take up hardly any space in my party pantry!
Clear glass plates and serving pieces are also very versatile. For outdoors for kids’ parties, consider acrylic or melamine serving pieces.
Chargers are one of my favorite ways to dress a party table.
Whether I’m setting a formal table or setting up a buffet, I love using chargers to add a decorative accent.
I’ve even used them with paper plates!
I recommend starting with a set of metallic chargers for fancier parties and also a set made from a natural material for more casual events.
I have way too many table linens — must buy all the colors and patterns — but you only need a few basics to start your party pantry.
I recommend buying a solid table runner, a set of buffet napkins in black, white and a favorite color, and a black or white tablecloth.
I like using tablecloths when I’m serving from buffet tables. You can dress them up or dress them down, depending on your party theme.
I love adding World Market’s buffet napkins to my table settings. They come in every color you can imagine.
In party planning, you can’t go wrong with solid linens or classic patterns like grain sack, gingham or stripes.
These are a few of my favorite linens for your party pantry:
Drink Dispensers & Party Tubs
But if you have room for multiples in your party pantry, the more the merrier!
Shop This Post
I hope these tips will help you build your party pantry and make your party planning just a little bit easier.
If you’re interested in the specific World Market items I’ve used for my parties, you can shop this post using the links below.