Everybody knows that I love to shop, but you might be surprised by one of my favorite stores: the 99-Cent Only Store! Yes it’s true—I find few things more fun than sleuthing out cheap but potentially chic items, and then putting them together so that they’re more than the sum of their parts. Not too long ago, I invited friends over for a casual gathering and wanted a new look for the table, one that wouldn’t cost a lot. Here are my finds for a stylish 99-cent table design:

  • Cute dishtowels as place mats. I bought these colorful towels and laid them flat to serve as place mats (3 for 99 cents).
  • Kitchen cloths as napkins. Thick kitchen cloths make sturdy but soft napkins (again 3 for 99 cents!)
  • Fruity napkin rings. I dressed the napkins up by turning cute plastic fruit decorations into DIY napkin rings.
  • Jelly jars as glasses and vases. Iced tea and lemonade are every bit as refreshing sipped out of a simple jelly jar, and I like how these “glasses” create a more relaxed feel than crystal would. I also filled them with daisies and garden flowers and placed them on the kitchen counters to add color and a touch of the outdoors.
    (3 for 99 cents)
  • Personal party favors. I bought a recipe index box and placed it on the table so everybody could write down a favorite recipe, then swap them to bring home as a party favor.

For a party of 12 people, this cost only $32 but it had the festive and polished look of something designed by a party planner!

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