fun and creative ways to label food on buffets

I really appreciate when buffets are labeled. Believe it or not, that spinach and crab dip really could be something completely different. Not only is it a nice touch, it’s also helpful – especially when more and more Americans have food allergies. (Are those sugar cookies or peanut butter cookies? I can’t tell!) Buffet labels are something that many (not all) hotels and caterers already provide. It’s becoming more common at weddings and formal events, but you can really do this for any events – even for entertaining at home. While buffet labels serve a utilitarian purpose, there’s no reason why you can’t have fun with them!

Here are some ideas I’ve seen for various ways to label food – enjoy!

This one is pretty traditional, but I think the flags with the cheese types can be either whimsical or refined, depending on the color, font, type of flag, etc. This can be used for a variety of types of displays. Photo via Ritzy Bee Weddings:

buffet label - cheese tray

You can always go the premade route – there are TONS of adorable printables, especially for things like children’s parties. I like this Charlie Brown inspired set by Etsy seller PiggyBankParties because it references some lines from the comic (such as the Great Pumpkin) and also is a nod to the comic strip style (speech bubbles, etc.).

peanuts food labels

This one, made of layered doilies, is great for a certain kind of party, but you can use the technique (some sort of label in a holder) with almost anything. They make those holders for weddings, sweet 16s and bar/bat mitzvahs so they often come in a variety of styles. Photo via Catch My Party:

doily food buffet label

While most people think of labeling a buffet by placing some sort of sign in front of the food, you can also have the food sit on top of the sign, as these macaroons sit on a ribbon, with the label hanging off. Very cute idea! Photo via Ella Bella Floral:

creative buffet labels

Corks are still very big right now, for events and for crafting. Using corks in your buffet display can be fun, especially if you are doing a wine pairing dinner (or just drinking wine). Personally, I prefer the champagne corks for this purpose (and I also just love champagne!) because they are a bit more stable, but this works too. You can also put the cork on its side and cut a bit off so it has a flat bottom. Photo via Little Miss Party Planner:

creative cork buffet label

For a holiday themed party, these candy cane ones are so cute, and very DIY-friendly! Photo and DIY instructions via Industrious Justice:

candy cane buffet labels

This is a fun idea too – especially for a game night! I wouldn’t be too overzealous with this one, maybe just do a few items this way! Photo via Catch My Party:

scrabble letter buffet labels

Okay, okay you twisted my arm, I’ll include some chalkboard labels! This one is very cute – they are measuring cups and the center has been painted with chalkboard paint. Perfect for a dessert display, right? Photo via Style Me Pretty:

creative buffet labels

Another fun chalkboard option are these chalkboard embroidery hoops. Yes, they are chalkboard but they are also a bit unexpected and fun. Photo via Hostess With The Mostess:

creative buffet labels

Last but not least, this is actual photo of a DIY chalkboard cheese tray. I think chalkboard is great here because it can easily be reused – instead of having something stuck in the cheese or another little sign, you just write the type of cheese on the tray. This is ideal for entertaining at home! Photo via Beer at Joes:

DIY chalkboard cheese tray

Well I hope I inspired you to start labeling your buffets!


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