Determine the type of event you will host. The type of event will be a factor in how formal your silverware setting will be. Also, have an estimate on the number of guests so that you can make sure you have enough place settings for everyone.
Gather the utensils you will need. Remember to use the 5 basic utensils of a dinner knife, salad fork, dinner fork, and a teaspoon. Formal dinner party settings will also include a soup spoon, dessert fork, dessert spoon, and a butter spreader.
Place a dinner plate in the center of the place setting. For a formal event set a small salad plate and soup bowl on top. Informal settings can omit either the salad plate or bowl, or both, depending on the courses you will serve.
Proceed with an informal setting by placing your dinner knife on the right of the dinner plate with the blade facing the plate. Lay your teaspoon next to the knife. The utensils should be placed longest to shortest from the plate and moving to the right. Utensil handles should point toward the edge of the table.
Move to the left side of the plate to finish your setting. Place the dinner fork next to the plate and then lay the salad fork to the left of that. The same rules apply for the heights of the utensils and the way the handles are pointing.
Add 4 additional utensils for a formal silverware setting. Place a soup spoon in between your dinner knife and teaspoon on the right of the dinner plate. Lay your dessert fork above the dinner plate with the prongs pointing to the right. Parallel to that, moving toward the center of the table, you will place your dessert spoon with the bowl on the left. A bread and butter plate and butter knife can be placed just left of the dessert utensils.