Making Do! Alternative Seating Ideas for Dinner Parties

I recently threw my first full-on 10-person dinner party after moving to a new city - a momentous affair! About an hour before guests were due to arrive, I realized we'd gotten rid of some furniture in the move and I was now about three seats short. All I can say is, it's surprising what works as a "seat" when you're desperate.Here are a few quick fix solutions my husband and I thought of:

1. Call in the Troops! - We sent out a desperate text asking a few of our guests if they might bring a chair or two along with them. These were our closer friends who we knew (or hoped!) wouldn't feel too put out by this request.

2. Milk Crates - We have a few of these still hanging around from our college years. As a seating option, they work just as well now as they did back then.

3. Exercise Balls - These are those over-sized hard rubber balls you see at the gym. We have one at home, and this made a great, if bouncy, seat for one lucky guest.

4. Camping Chairs - One of these must be lurking in the back of the closet somewhere. Right?

5. Step Stools - We keep a two-step folding stool in the kitchen to reach the tops of cupboards. It's actually just the right height to pull up to the table!

6. Plastic Bins - We have a few of these in our closet holding old papers, decorations, and the like. Stacked on top of each other, they're as good as milk crates.

7. Bikes - This is when we knew we were truly desperate. And yet, that top tube on the bike makes a pretty good seat if you don't mind leaning!

Our guests were pretty good-humored about the situation, but we think we might just break down and invest in a few folding chairs for next time. These Nisse chairs from Ikea are stylish, fairly inexpensive, and would easily fit in the back of a closet until we need them.

What other alternative seating arrangements have you found when desperate?

Related: Kitchen Gallery: Made for Entertaining

(Image: Flickr member purplbutrfly licensed under Creative Commons)

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