Buffet Table Setting Ideas for a Party

Stylish buffet table setting ideas for your next party at home. These unique styling ideas for buffet tables will elevate your food display with easy diy risers, simple decorations, and pro tips. Re-create this summer buffet for alfresco dinner parties and cocktail parties.

Outside summer party food buffet with blue background

Buffet Table Setting Ideas

Styling a party or small event usually focuses on centerpieces and place setting for the dining table. But some parties, such as cocktail parties and dinner buffets, may not call for a grand table setting. But they DO call for a creative buffet setting!

ideas for buffet tables

This buffet showcases the food in a very stylish way. Similar to designing dessert tables, you want you buffet food presentation to be beautifully displayed. 

Follow these tips and buffet table setting ideas for casual cookouts, casual dinner parties, theme parties, and more.

How do you raise food on a buffet? 

Create height and dimension by stacking and staggering boxes, wood crates, acrylic risers, or glass blocks. Place food platter or bowls on top of the risers or boxes.

Paint wood crates to match you party color scheme.

Wrap boxes with kraft paper or wrapping paper to match the party decor.

DIY food display buffet risers

You probably have everything you need to make your own table risers. If not, just grab some Glue Dots from the craft store, a base from the list below, and a platter.

You can use a variety of stable cylinders or cubes as the base for plates:

  • candle holders 
  • glass vases 
  • ceramic vases
  • wood blocks or plant holders

Secure the plate or platter on top of the base using adhesive “dots” from the craft store. You can remove them once you’re done.

PARTY TIP: Make sure your base has enough weight and is stable enough to hold the plate with food. Place it in the back so it doesn’t get knocked over as guests reach for food.

Creative Buffet Table Display

Cake Pedestals

Cake pedestals aren’t just for cakes and pies! Use them to elevate a main dish like these chicken kabobs. Place it at the end of the table so it’s the first thing guests grab as they’re going down the line.

Pedestals add height and visual weight to a buffet table. Making it more attractive and stylish.


Canning Jars

Table Coverings

Use interesting textures as your “tablecloth.” Think burlap, turf grass from the home improvement store, chalk board runners, paper runners, or a long mirror.

Buffet Table Decoration


Use any of these buffet table setting ideas when you set up your next dinner party or appetizers party. Like they say, “you eat with your eyes first!”

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  1. That ice table is crazy! Never seen that one before! And love the pink flower boxes hanging over the tables! Nice ideas!!

  2. So happy I clicked to read this post! It's a winner. 🙂 I really LOVE the idea of "thinking outside the tablecloth". And that last photo from Swanky Tables is dreamy with the hanging boxes.

  3. Thanks for sharing, especially the links to the risers – so cheap yet a very clever trick. Another "tablecloth" option is wrapping paper.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys! I'm glad you like these as much as I do! 😉

  5. Aren't dessert buffets so hot right now? Thanks for all the hot tips, you may inspire me to do my own…there are so many great ideas out there!

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