One element in making party fruit trays attractive is to use the complementary color combinations of the fruit to your advantage. Other helpful elements include cutting the fruits to a fairly uniform size as well as making the pieces bite-sized for ease in consumption. Some party hosts prefer to put toothpicks or small serving forks near the fruit trays, while others prefer to have toothpicks inserted into individual pieces of fruit. Always wash fruit before serving.
Watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe combine to make a beautiful fruit tray. With melons, an alternative to cutting the pieces off the rind and into cubes is to use a melon baller. These devices are similar to ice cream scoops but smaller. Melon balls are bite-sized and make an attractive display. Whether the melon pieces are cubed or in balls, the seeds should be removed as the tray is prepared. Place the fruit in sections on the tray based on type of fruit, so the colors alternate on the tray.
A berry-themed fruit tray could include strawberries (whole or sliced), blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and blackberries. The caps of strawberries and stems of other berries should be removed during preparation. Alternating the berries on the tray by color and size will create a nice visual appeal. As toothpicks and forks are not optimal for picking up small berries, have a supply of small spoons available near the tray for party guests.
Whole fruit--that is, fruit placed onto the tray without cutting it--makes an exotic impression. A pineapple placed in the center of the tray can be surrounded by peaches, apples, oranges, pears, plums and bananas. With their naturally curved shape, bananas go around the pineapple well. Interspersing a smaller whole fruit like cherries or grapes will help fill in any gaping holes in the display. The tray can then be garnished with fresh mint leaves to add to the aesthetics. Beside being party favorites, whole fruit trays make great gift baskets or hostess gifts.
Apples and strawberries are especially amenable to sweet dipping sauces. A dish of the dip should be placed in the middle of the tray with multiple colors of apple slices surrounding it, as well as de-capped but otherwise whole strawberries. Dips can be purchased in flavors, such as cream cheese and caramel, or recipes can be obtained for making homemade fruit dip. Small ladles for the dip should be supplied as well as forks or toothpicks for the fruit.