How to Decorate Tables with Gift Bags

white and blue bubbles wedding image by Paul Retherford from

It is a common tradition during parties to thank your guests for attending by providing them with small gifts, commonly given in gift bags. The gifts included in gift bags are typically inexpensive, usually trinkets of the host's appreciation, such as candy, key chains, tiny toys and other small keepsakes. Hosts usually arrange gift bags on a table for guests to pick up on their way out the door.

Choose table coverings that complement the theme of the party. For example, if you're decorating for a kid's birthday party, purchase table cloths that have the same characters that will be displayed on your child's balloons and cake. If you're decorating for a wedding, make sure the colors of the table match (or complement) the colors the bride and groom have chosen. The same rule applies for baby showers or anniversary parties.

Decorate the gift bags so they appear appropriate for the occasion. If the event is an upscale affair, such as a wedding or anniversary party, the bags should appear classy and expensive (even if they aren't), and should be held together with a decorative keepsake. If the party is a baby shower, the bags should have some sort of baby theme, and be held together with a newborn-themed keepsake, such as a baby-name bracelet or a tiny toy rattle. If the bags are for a kid's birthday party, they can either be folded down like a lunch sack or held together with a tiny toy that's consistent with the theme of the party.

Arrange the gift bags around a centerpiece. This could be a punch bowl, a group of weighted balloons, a picture of the guest of honor, a cake or appetizers and finger foods. The way you arrange the bags depends on the number of bags and the size of the table. If you have a lot of bags, you can arrange them in rows on the table, with a break in the middle for the centerpiece. If you have a small number of bags, you can arrange them around the centerpiece in a circle or semi-circle.

Weight the gift bags down. Make sure the gifts are heavy enough that the bags sit up squarely on the table, and do not lean or drift down to one side or the other.