The Best Ideas for Hosting a Chinese Themed Dinner Party

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It’s tablescape day for my dinner club and this month we’re hosting an Asian inspired gathering. Today, I’m sharing the best ideas for hosting a Chinese themed dinner party.

This was a very different theme for us, but it really made me think outside the box and get creative.

chinese themed place setting bamboo placemat blue asian dinner plate white napkin with chinese symbol chopsticks fortune cookie for place card

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dinner club

If you’re new here, let me tell you about my dinner club.

About three years ago, 5 of my blogger friends and I started a virtual dinner club.

Every other month we have a theme and we each create a table scape to go along with our theme.

We share our table ideas and inspiration on the last Thursday of the month.

We also create a menu to go along with our theme and we take turns with different courses of the dinner.

There is typically an appetizer, cocktail, main course, side dish, and a dessert and we share the recipes on the last Saturday of the month.

I have such a good time getting creative with our themes and seeing all of the ideas everyone comes up with.

overhead view of table set with Chinese theme for dinner party



Asian themed table inspiration

blue asian pattern teapot with white flowers for table centerpiece

I had to put a lot of thought into this dinner party theme, because I don’t have anything on hand that is Asian inspired.

At least, I didn’t think I did.

Then I remembered my great grandmothers blue transferware, that I am fortunate to own, has a Chinese pattern on them.

That became my inspiration piece and color scheme for my asian-themed dinner party.

It’s always a great idea to come up with an inspiration piece for any type of decorating.

That is one of the first things I do before I begin a design process. It gives you a starting point and some direction for your design.

From there, I began thinking of other things to incorporate into my place settings and centerpiece that wouldn’t be a lot of expense.

I made a list of things that would work with my table theme. Chopsticks, fortune cookies and Chinese takeout containers came to mind.

I figured these would be fairly easy to get my hands on without spending any money.

We enjoy ordering Chinese food takeout or going out for sushi occasionally.

I was able to grab some chopsticks and fortune cookies over the course of a few visits to my local Chinese restaurants.

My plan was to offer to purchase a few take out containers, but none of the restaurants use those containers, so I resorted to an on-line purchase.

I was able to order a small quantity and they were very inexpensive, and I can always use them for left overs so it wasn’t a wasteful purchase.

chinese themed place settings

chinese themed place setting bamboo placemat blue asian dinner plate white napkin with chinese symbol chopsticks fortune cookie for place card

I have a set of bamboo placemats that I thought would be great with this table theme.

You often see a bamboo pattern or motif with Asian design so this set the foundation for each place setting.

I layered my blue transferware plates with the Chinese pattern on the placemats.

I ended up making a napkin to go along with my theme, just to add a fun element with a Chinese symbol to each place setting. More about this below.

I folded my handmade napkin and placed on top of each plate.

chinese themed place setting bamboo placemat blue asian dinner plate white napkin with chinese symbol chopsticks fortune cookie for place card



A set of chopsticks and a fortune cookie on each plate was the finishing touch.

I typed out each guests names on my computer, printed and cut them out.

I placed these coming out of the fortune cookies at each place setting which was a fun way to make a place card.

Such a simple addition to each place setting and didn’t cost me a thing.

I did add silverware to each place setting for guests who prefer not to use the chopsticks.

chinese themed place setting bamboo placemat blue asian dinner plate white napkin with chinese symbol chopsticks fortune cookie for place card

handmade napkins with Chinese symbol

chinese themed place setting bamboo placemat blue asian dinner plate white napkin with chinese symbol chopsticks fortune cookie for place card

These napkins were so easy to make, and were such a fun addition to my Chinese inspired table setting.

I used inexpensive thrifted white napkins, and a rubber stamp with a Chinese zodiac design on it.

There are 12 different Chinese zodiac symbols that are animals and I chose this cute rabbit one.

There are also rubber stamps available with Chinese good luck and good fortune symbols.

I used a brown stamp pad instead of a black ink to keep it from being a harsh design on the napkin.

chinese inspired centerpiece idea

blue asian pattern teapot with white flowers for table centerpiece

The centerpiece for my dinner table was a bit more of a challenge than the place settings.

However, my set of dishes has a teapot that matches, so this became my centerpiece focal point and a vase for fresh flowers.

I raised the teapot on a cake plate to add some height and added simple white flowers from the grocery store floral department.



A small creamer, that also belongs with my set of dishes, was another great vase for flowers.

I raised the creamer/vase up on a small cupcake pedestal for another layer of height in the center of the table.

I love collecting unusual vessels to use for floral arrangements and I happened to have a blue and white tea tin in my stash of vases.

Tea is something also associated with the Chinese culture so it was a perfect addition to the center of my table.



Remember those take out containers?

They also became flower vases.

I added small glass jars inside the containers, filled them with water, and had instant Chinese inspired floral arrangements.

Small glass candleholders with tealights were sprinkled throughout the table setting.

Candles are a must have for any dinner parties. They create a beautiful ambiance to the dining experience.

The final addition to the center of my table were handmade Chinese paper lanterns.

They were so simple to make out of cardstock and wrapping paper.

I kept with my blue and white theme, but of course, you could make these cute paper lanterns any color or pattern.

Take a look at how easy these are to make.

how to make handmade paper lanterns

I used cardstock to make the lanterns for my tablescape centerpiece.

It doesn’t matter what size your cardstock or paper is.

In fact, it is a good idea to have a couple of different sizes in varying heights to create interest on your table centerpiece.

If you are using only one size of card stock just cut some of it down a bit to create some smaller lanterns.



To make a paper lantern, you will fold your piece of cardstock in half lengthwise.

Starting on the folded side, cut slits all along the length of the paper about 1/2″-3/4″ wide and about 3/4″ from the edge of the paper.

These widths don’t have to be exact. You can just eyeball it, and it will be fine.



When you have made your cuts all along the paper, open it up.

Now, you will fold your paper into the lantern shape and attach the sides together.

You can tape, glue or staple them.

I chose to staple mine, just because it was quick and easy.

Attach the sides together all the way down the lantern so it is securely closed and will hold the lantern shape.



If you want to add a handle just cut a strip of your cardstock and staple to one end of your lantern.

They were super easy and very quick to make.

These would be cute in any color scheme and for any party theme.

A large grouping of paper lanterns can make a big impact and are very inexpensive party decor.

You can use them down the center of a table or even hang them.

If you are using them in the center of a table, you can even add a battery operated candle underneath them to make a beautiful glow in the evening.

chinese paper lanterns for table centerpiece

other asian inspired table decoration ideas and easy tips

Red, black, white and gold are common colors used in Chinese inspired decor.

You can certainly use those traditional colors, if you prefer.

I chose the blue and white theme since I had dishes with a Chinese motif, and I don’t typically use a lot of color in my home decor or table settings.

Also, you don’t have to have dinnerware with a Chinese pattern to recreate these place settings.

You can certainly use plain white plates.

Or you could even use a paper plate, if you like, that has an Asian look.

Empty soy sauce jars would make cute vases for an Asian dinner party theme centerpiece.

This time of year is the Chinese New Year celebrations, so it would be easy to pick up a few party decor items to add to your table setting.

A Chinese supermarket would be another great way to find inexpensive decor pieces for your Chinese dinner party.

Some other cute Chinese themed elements for your table might be small cups used to serve sake, or Asian soup spoons.

overhead view of table set with Chinese theme for dinner party

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the best ideas for hosting a Chinese themed dinner party.

Be sure and stop by all of my friends tables for lots more ideas and inspiration.

Also, check back on Saturday for our menu filled with Asian inspired recipes.

I made some simple but yummy Asian spring rolls with peanut hoisin sauce for dipping and my friends have some great recipes that you don’t want to miss.

Also, our next dinner party will be in April, and I can’t wait for you to see the theme!


blessings,

michele signature

table set with Chinese theme for dinner party

I made these yummy easy Asian spring rolls with peanut hoisin dipping sauce for our menu….

white plate with 3 Asian spring rolls and chopsticks beside tray of 3 bowls of dipping sauces

Asian inspired recipes that you’re going to love..




11 Comments

  1. Michele
    Your table is amazing. I loved the paper lanterns and DIY napkins. So clever. Pinned

    1. Thanks so much Rachel! I love how we both chose blue and white for our color scheme.

  2. What a beautifully designed tablescape Michele. I just love how creative you are. The DIY paper lanterns are so fun! Pinned.

    1. Thanks so much! So glad you liked it.

  3. I would think this would be a tough theme for a Vintage Gal but as usual, you are so creative. I love how you were able to incorporate vintage into your table along with some fun DIYs. The paper lanterns are so cute!

    1. Thanks so much Lynn! It was definitely a challenge, but really fun to get creative with!

  4. Stacy Ling says:

    love the lanterns!

    1. Thanks so much Stacy!

  5. Cindy@CountyRoad407 says:

    Super cute! Love it all. pinned

    1. Thanks so much Cindy!

    2. Oh, thank you Cindy! I’m so glad you like it.

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