How to Create a DIY Candy Buffet
08 Friday Feb 2013
Over the past few weeks I have shared a few DIY tutorials for party decorations that I was making for a dear friend of mine’s baby
shower. In addition to some of the decorations I also put together a candy buffet and wanted to share a quick how-to or 411 on DIY Candy Buffets. Candy Buffets are such a fun, festive and lets not forget tasty way to create an eye catching display for any event whether it’s a birthday party, baby shower or wedding reception.
This was my first ever candy buffet, so I wanted to share a few guidelines, tips and things I learned that I think will be helpful when you create your DIY Candy Buffet. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of the candy buffet I put together (I forgot to take my camera 🙁 ) but several people took photos and are going to send them to me, so I promise to post pictures once I get them.
Below are 7 steps that will help you create your perfect DIY Candy Buffet.
1) Determine Your Budget: It’s important to figure out the amount of money you plan to spend before you get started, as candy buffets are beautiful and cost effective for a large number of people but something I learned quickly was how expensive specialty candy can be.
2) Colors/Theme – Every party should have a certain color scheme or theme that it’s based around, so it’s important to come up with a few colors and/or theme. In my case we were using a Chevron theme with the colors blue, yellow, grey and white (since it was a baby shower for a boy). Once you determine your colors you can then go on to figure out the candy you want to use on your buffet. I’ve included a few theme and color scheme ideas below; however keep in mind most of these candy buffets were done by professionals.
This Mint and Pink Color Scheme that Rubyju used on this candy buffet is perfect for a garden wedding, bridal shower or baby shower.
Hot Air Balloon Candy Buffet theme using pastels which is perfect for a baby shower or birthday party
I can’t get enough of this Romantic Vintage inspired candy buffet that Style My Celebration put together; it’s stunning and perfect for a wedding, bridal shower, baby shower or birthday party.
Shabby Chic Candy Buffet using light pink, baby blue and white by Kara’s Party Ideas
Nutcracker Candy Buffet using pinks and blues put together by Kara’s Party Ideas. Great for Christmas weddings, Christmas parties or birthday parties
Pink & White Candy Buffet that was put together for a Wedding Reception by The Sweetest Occasion however this is also great for bridal showers and birthday parties!
Blue, Purple and White Candy Buffet by Thoughtfully Simple
Flower Garden themed Candy Buffet shown at Hostess with the Mostess is great for bridal showers, baby showers, wedding receptions or birthday parties.
This Colorful Old Fashioned Candy Buffet by Amy’s Atlas is perfect for birthday parties or baby showers
If you are looking for additional Candy and Dessert Buffet Inspirations checkout Amy Atlas Events Portfolio, she has a ton of FABULOUS Candy Buffet inspirations.
3) Candy Selection – When putting together a Candy Buffet you want to make sure that the candy is colorful but also a good selection that the guest will want to eat. I’ve found that a good variety includes one of each of the following. As a side note Candy Warehouse gives you the ability to Shop for Candy by Color and includes candy in all of the categories I’ve included below.
Chocolate (I used M&M’s, Hershey Kisses and Colored Chocolate molds in the shape of a baby bottle)
Hard Candy – I used two selections of suckers (lollipops and candy sticks) but Rock Candy is ALWAYS a huge hit
Gummy Candy – Sadly I didn’t end up using gummies 🙁 the ones I purchased ended up looking orange, so I decided not to use them, but gummies are definitely a hit for any candy bar
Bubblegum – I used two sizes of bubble gum (large balls in one color and small balls in another color)
Mints – I used Buttercream Mints with colored wrappers to go with the theme
I also placed cupcakes and a cake on the candy buffet, so you don’t have to stick to just candy, you can add various desserts as well!
Candy Cost Saving Tips
- If your candy buffet is themed or you are going for a certain color (for example, if you are throwing a baby shower or birthday party for a girl and want to use pink and red the dollar tree has a TON of candy options in Pink and Red before Valentines day) unfortunately for me, my friend is having a boy so that didn’t help out in my situation but depending on the theme and time of year the dollar tree can be a perfect budget saver)
- Candy Warehouse is the Mack Daddy of all specialty candy, offering a wide array of candy in every color, as well as TONS of holiday/seasonal specialty candy. You can find any type of candy in ANY color and they offer SO many tips and tricks and you can select candy based on your color scheme or theme. This is the absolute PERFECT place to Buy Candy in Bulk. Their prices are reasonable and you can always find Coupon Codes! Not to mention you can find just about any candy imaginable on their website!
- A.C. Moore has specialty candy (it’s pretty expensive but they ALWAYS have coupons) I was able to get 50% off Coupon that I used on a pack of specialty lollipops that were originally $10.00, so I was excited to be able to save $5.00. You can only use one per trip, but if you plan in advance you have plenty of time to make multiple trips and trust me the savings really do add up!
- Party City also has a wide array of candy; However their candy is pretty expensive when you are buying for a lot of people; however if you are buying for a lot of people you are probably planning to spend more than $60.00 and if you shop party city online they have Coupon Codes ($10 off $60/$20 off $80/$30 off $100 plus free shipping) the only downside is if you order suckers or candy that could potentially break in the mail it will most likely arrive broken, at least mine did, but you can take it to the local party city store and exchange it out if that is the case.
4) Candy Vases/Jars – A popular selection to use is apothecary jars in varying shapes and heights. Always remember candy buffets loo best when there are an assortment of sizes and shapes of containers. Luckily I had a collection of bapothecary jars that I have collected over the years, all of which I purchased at TJ Maxx
Cost Saving Tips
- PLEASE whatever you do, don’t pay full price for apothecary jars, they can be extremely expensive ranging from $30-$100. If you go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls you can find the same ones for $12.99-$24.99
- You can also find apothecary jars and cute vases at goodwill or local thrift shops
5) Candy Scoops – Make sure you purchase candy scoops, without them your guest will be touching all of the candy and that’s a disaster waiting to happen!! You don’t have to have a candy scoop for each item on the candy buffet but you do need enough to go around.
Photo via Scoops Scoops
Cost Saving Tips
- Party City has small plastic candy scoops for .59 cents (they come in every color). I took advantage of that and purchased several of them and then added ribbon to the end to give them that little something extra.
- Candy Warehouse offers a wide variety of Candy Scoops for a reasonable price. I love these stainless-steel long candy scoops!
- You can also purchase these at Michaels in the wedding section (Don’t forget your 40% or 50% off coupon)
6) Favor Bags/Boxes – Don’t forget the favor bags/boxes for your guest to put their candy in. This is something you can get creative with, if you want to make your own checkout this video tutorial at Lupa & Pepi where Rachel shows you how to make a favor bag out of envelopes. If you prefer to buy them you can pick some up at the dollar tree they have organza bags and a variety of favor boxes (10 per pack for $1.00). There are tons of other options including specialty favor bags and boxes like the ones shown below
Baby Carriage Themed Favor Boxes from bella regalo
Chevron Themed Favor Bags from Swanky Press
7) Decorate Your Table– Your Candy Buffet table should match the overall theme whether it’s a certain color scheme or a theme with certain colors integrated into it.
- Start with a Tablecloth – You can use a color table cloth, plain white or pattern table cloth. I used a plain white table cloth and added a chevron table runner; however I in love with Tiered Ruffle Tablecloths, they truly change the look of the overall display. I put together a tutorial showing how to make a Tiered Ruffle Tablecloth, so if you’re interested in making one you should check it out!
- Next add a Backdrop – A backdrop creates the foundation for your parties theme/color scheme and is a great way to frame your dessert table or candy buffet and really make it pop. There are so many types of backdrops out there that you can both buy or DIY; however if you are on a budget then I highly suggest making your own backdrop, as you can make a customized backdrop that sets the tone for your parties theme in just a few hours. Here is a tutorial I put together on how to make a Fabric Garland Backdrop. I actually made it to go with the Tiered Ruffle Tablecloth shown in the link above. I also sell them in my etsy shop if you are interested in buying one!!
- Elevate various parts of the table by using books or boxes (put the books/boxes under the table cloth) that way you can’t visually see what’s elevating the vases/jars. Make sure to put the highest vases/jars in the back and the shortest in the front
- Add a Centerpiece such as a Flower Arrangement, Topiary, Birdcage or even a Stuffed Animal (for instance, if you’re having a Safari themed party you can display a Giraffe in the center of your table) to make your Candy Buffet visually appealing.
- Hang Pom Pom Balls from the ceiling or light fixture to make it a little more festive
- Decorate your apothecary jars, vases and utensils with ribbon and add labels in colors that match your theme. There are a TON of FREE Candy Buffet Label Templates out there on Pinterest and Google!!
- Clear off a table at your house and arrange your candy buffet display as you would the day of your event, go ahead and fill the candy in the vases/jars to make sure you have enough (i had to make several trips back to get more candy) trust me when I say you don’t want to wait until the day of or the night before to find out you don’t have enough candy!! When you finally get the arrangement the way you want it take a picture that way you can reference back to it the day of the event.
If you’re interested in Seasonal Themed Candy Buffets I have put together two additional Candy Buffet Tutorials that you may want to check out.; One is How to Create a Halloween Candy Buffet and the other is How to Create a Valentines Day Candy Buffet.
I also plan to share photos of the dessert buffet we did at my wedding, it was a huge hit and didn’t cost us a penny to make, you can’t get any better than that 🙂