I am hosting a Super Bowl / 13th Birthday party for my son, Jackson, so I have a dessert table/candy table planning on my mind. And, now I remember I never shared photos from the Kentucky Derby Party I had earlier this year.
If you have ever thought about setting up a candy or dessert table, then this blog is for you. At first glance, it may seem overwhelming and you may be wondering about how to get started so I thought it might be helpful if I shared my top 5 tips to simplify the process and ensure your dessert table is a huge hit.
For the Kentucky Derby Party, I decided to make good use of all the Sterling Silver I have but by no means do you need to go buy a bunch of Sterling Silver. (my mom got married in the south in the 60s, I guess Sterling Silver was the gift of choice, hence my collection). While I have done some candy and dessert tables that cost a small fortune, I did this one on a budget.I was able to create it inexpensively without compromising style and charm and you can too!
Here is how you can create a dessert table in 5 simple steps.
- Choose a Theme: Decide on your theme, including the main colors. My theme was The Kentucky Derby and Pink and Green.
Insider Tip: Keep it simple. Look for easy areas where you can pull in the colors or theme like the napkins.
2. Select Desserts: Pick out approx 5-7 desserts and candy you wish to have on your table. For this table, I kept costs at a minimum. I purchased almost everything at the grocery store, including the cupcakes. They were from Giant and were only $17.99 for 24. The cookies were Pepperidge Farm; Chocolate covered Oreos, Entenmann’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. This is also where you can carry your color theme into the table. I choose Green M&Ms and Andies Candies. I typically go and look at Target and see what candy might be available in my color scheme, and if I can’t find exactly what I am looking for, I look online. Note here, on my choices, except my candy “statement piece” the horseshoe chocolate that I ordered from Celler Door Chocolate; everything else is pretty inexpensive. The horseshoe candy up-leveled everything and tied perfectly to my theme, giving it a “wow” factor.
Insider Tip: I tend to like things that are bit size and easy for people to grab on their own. (think cupcakes vs. a cake that needs to be cut and served). Chocolate candy can get expensive, so use that in the smaller containers.
3. Choose a table cloth. The table cloth in the photo is from Front Gate. Any table cloth will do, but I tend to like this one because it goes all the way down to the floor (covering the fact that that this is a folding table) and you can wash and dry it, and it only requires a little ironing. I added the confetti, which is from Michael’s. Another idea is to add some fabric over the top of a white table cloth to add color and texture and to bring in your theme.
Insider Tip: Make sure the table cloth compliments the theme and doesn’t take away from details on the table. Solids tend to work better.
4. Plan Ahead: Pull out any platters you wish to use and start to think about what you want to use for the centerpiece and then build out equally on each side. You can keep it symmetrical, but it doesn’t take anything away from the charm if it isn’t. I typically do a combination of both, as you will notice. I try to keep it symmetrical, and then I add variety on each side. Notice how in this photo in the setup, I start to plan where the desserts will go and place the boxes on the corresponding platter.
Insider Tip: Take our more than you will need here and then remove.
5. Create a Focal Point Decide early on what you want to be the centerpiece. In this example, it is flowers in a Sterling Silver pitcher, but you can make a big cake, the centerpiece, or something related to your theme. For Jackson’s 4th Birthday, it was a Firetruck theme, so we had a big fireman’s hat in the center. I like to start with the focal point and build-out. It makes it easy to create the overall layout, and you will see the table to come together quickly.
Insider Tip: Create height here if possible. Multiple heights on the table will add dimension.
Looking for inspiration?
More Ideas here: