If you have just started to discover the world of dessert tables and candy buffets and want to start putting them together for your children’s celebrations (and other parties in your life) then there are a few essential items which I feel (as a mum, not a stylist) will help you style a dessert table.
Now of course I am by no means saying you need to have these items to prepare a dessert table or even need to have a “styled” look for a dessert table. Kids birthday parties can be just as wonderful with simpler items a simpler look or even no dessert table! However this is for those of you who DO want to put together a styled look dessert table.
*Click on the images to be taken to the relevant stores where an even larger range of items can be found for your dessert tables*
HIRE: Where money and/or storage is an issue you may not wish to purchase the below items for use only a few times a year. In this case please visit the hire category on the Life’s Little Celebration’s children’s party directory to find businesses to hire candy jars, cake stands, tables and more from!
Someone on my facebook page had a great suggestion as well to share items amongst friends in order to help with the cost.
Another great tip shared on the facebook page is to purchase all your essential items in white so they can be re-used for all parties regardless of the colour scheme. I also would suggest buying items in pairs so that your table is symmetrical and coordinated if that is the look you are after.
Table and Tablecloth
Let’s start with the basics. You need a table! Now if your dining table or another table you own is a great size and can be moved easily then that is fantastic. Otherwise a simple trestle tables such as this from Bunnings for $69 will do and they have smaller sizes available too:
Trestle Table from Bunnings
Next is the tablecloth which really sets a lovely setting for all your desserts! It is best to avoid plastic tablecloths or tablecloths that only hang down half way for your dessert table. Certain tables also look great without a tablecloth at all, so it depends on the look you are going for.
Purchasing a gathered or ruffled tablecloth can be an item you will easily use for each party and will also ensure it fits properly for a dessert table look hanging all the way down to the ground:
6ft tablecloth, $60 – Saffy and May
White gathered tablecloth – Saffy & May
White ruffled tablecloth – Saffy & May
The next item would be your cake stand/s. I would suggest going with white cake stands for your main cake as well as 2 more smaller size cake stands that you can also use on your table to display items at a different height. The stores I have included in this post (as well as the other party boutiques on the Directory) also have a range of coloured cake stands and these are also great if you feel it is a colour you will use regularly in your parties.
Displaying desserts on different levels makes a great effect on a dessert table and cake stands is an easy way to make your desserts stand out.
A milk glass cake stand such as this, although more pricey than other options, does have a great height and quality and looks fantastic on a table:
White milk glass cake stand – Sweet Style
Another lovely option for your main cake stand:
White scalloped cake stand – Mum’s Little Party Secret
These smaller size cake stands (also available in a larger size) for $34.95 are a great option for displaying cake pops, macarons and other desserts where you could have one on either side of your main cake stand:
Small ceramic white cake stand – Sweet Tea Party Supplies
Perfect for a rectangle cake stand option:
Rectangle cake stands – Mum’s Little Party Secret
Someone reminded me on my facebook page of a great tip Kara Allen of Kara’s Party Ideas shared on her recent tour of creating your own cake stands using a candle stick holder and platter on top. You can find tutorials online for DIY ideas such as this so definitely worth a google or pinterest search!
If you’re planning on regularly using candy jars on your dessert table, you could start off with 4-6 jars to mix on the table with platters and stands. You could also go with acrylic candy holders if you’re worried about little hands and breakages.
Click on the images to be taken to the stores to see more of a range:
26cm Lisianthus Apothecary Candy Jar – Leo and Bella
27cm Bluebell Apothecary Glass Candy Jar – Leo & Bella
Acrylic candy container scalloped – Just Party Supplies
Acrylic candy jar available in various colours – Fantasy Kids Parties
Risers & Platters
Risers are another important item to use underneath your cake stands and platters to display your cake and desserts at different heights on a dessert table. It is a shame when the desserts at the back of a table and the cake are not seen because they are all at the same height as the front desserts!
You may be creative with items around your house – for my first dessert table I found some dishes at home which turned upside down made fantastic risers for a candy jar!
However other options I like are cardboard suitcases, small wooden boxes/crates and timber boxes:
Set of 3 white cardboard suitcases for $39.95 – Bickiboo
Timber boxes – Saffy & May
White timber riser custom made – Vintage Sew and So
Acrylic riser for dessert table – Occasion by Design
Classic white platters are fantastic for along the front of your dessert table. I love melamine platters such as these as they are at the front of the table within easy reach of childrens hands and are unbreakable:
White rectangular platters – Occasion by Design
White square melamine platters – Occasion by Design
Regarding drinks, purchasing a drinks dispenser (although it doesn’t have to sit on your dessert table) is another item you will use many times over. Dispensers such as these are wonderful as it is raised so a cup can easily fit underneath it:
The Jasper drinks dispenser – The Little Big Company
Oasis Glass Beverage Drink Dispenser with Metal Stand 10L – Leo & Bella
If you want to go for mini milk bottles which are such a cute look at a kids party, these mini glass bottles are great for a slightly older child:
Glass clear milk bottles – Love the Occasion
Plastic milk bottles for smaller children are sold from time to time at The Reject Shop. Online you can purchase these from overseas and they can be shipped internationally.
Plastic mini milk bottles – Shop Sweet Lulu
Of course another option is to use mini water bottles from the store and use a printable bottle wrapper to cover the label!
As for the desserts on your table, I find mini dessert holders such as these are fantastic for items such as jelly or mousse!:
Mini glass jars with lids – Sweet Style
Acrylic dessert cup – Occasion by Design
Tiered stands are another way of presenting desserts such as cupcakes and macarons, or also perfect for stylishing presenting savoury items. For a balanced look on your dessert table purchase 2 of the same design:
3 tiered fine bone china cake stand – The Little Big Company
2 tiered cake stand – The Little Big Company
So there you have it, my round up to get you started with the essentials for a styled dessert table!
I hope you have found it useful to give you ideas of what to purchase whether it be online or in store. As I mentioned before – you by no means need all these items to create a dessert table. I have collected bits and pieces over the 3 years since my first child and also hired items when needed!
Enjoy the planning!
Dani from Once Upon a Table is the talented stylist we are hearing from this week. Once Upon a Table is a Brisbane based Event Styling business covering from Sunshine Coast to Byron Bay.
Dani is sharing some fantastic tips for party planning as well as running your own business while being a mum – hope you enjoy the read!
Confetti Fair – Bohemian Chic Dessert Table with Native American Indian Influences
1. Be inspired to be different
I love looking at Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Blogs and it is definitely a great way to source inspiration and ideas. But it is also great to think outside the box and do something different. Event ideas and themes can come from the strangest places.
I got the idea for our Confetti Fair table while sitting in my daughter’s teepee. I had been struggling to come up with a unique theme, and as I sat there watching my daughter play with her drum, I knew instantly I wanted to create a table that incorporated Native American Indian elements. We made a wooden teepee to cover the drink dispenser, used a dreamcatcher for the “O” in our name, a feather headpiece to wrap our cake and an Indian Wedding Blessing as our table sign. A lot of the elements we used on the table were not necessarily intended to be used on a party table, but we adapted them to suit our theme.
When you start planning an event, use an Inspiration Board to collate your ideas and create a vision for your event. Don’t limit yourself to just party pictures, as you never know what you can create by looking in different places. The more creative you can be, the more you will enjoy the process and your guests will be blown away by the end result.
Cute As A Button 1st Birthday – Pastel Button Party Table
2. Make it personal
An event draws people together and it is where memories are created, so it is always so special to be able to make it personal. Choose a theme that says something about the person – that tells their story. For example, our daughter’s nickname is Button, so we did a “Cute as a Button” 1st Birthday Party.
We also had a lovely customer who wanted to do a Raggedy Ann 1st Birthday because her daughter was photographed with a Raggedy Ann doll as a newborn and it was her daughter’s favourite toy. If you don’t want to theme your event, use colours, props, photos or quotes to make it more meaningful. It is also great to involve your guests and create a lasting memory by having a unique guestbook. An old typewriter for guests to type a message, a time capsule, a photo booth or even a thumbprint picture are all great ways to capture the memories of the event.
Lovely Lace & Pearl Christening – Dessert Table incorporating pink, lace and pearls
3. It’s the little details
It is great to incorporate as many little details into an event as you can. It is so rewarding to watch people’s eyes light up as they notice different elements at a party, and it is the little extras that will transform your event into something memorable.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either, as handmade items or DIY projects can be so much fun leading up to an event. Involve friends and family too, as they will love to see their creations used on the day. Don’t forget to be creative and think of new things you can include on your table – they will really stand out!
Finally, if you are going to include lots of different elements at a party make sure you plan ahead. Doing a project or two each week is much more enjoyable than trying to get everything done in the last week. You want to enjoy the party, so the more organised you are, the more time you will have to actually enjoy the special day.
A Darling Affair – Vintage Chic Dessert Table with lace, feathers and fresh florals
I started Once Upon A Table while I was on maternity leave with my second child in 2012, and have since returned to work as a Business Development Manager in Banking.
Juggling a very busy job, 2 children and a new business has been exciting, but also very challenging. I am certainly very sleep deprived and my house is a little messier, but I absolutely love what I do.
I think this is so important, as being passionate definitely shows in your work and it also helps you get through when you are tired or busy.
Sweetie Pie Table – Rustic Pie Table
I am also lucky enough to have a great support network. I have a fantastic husband who builds all of our props, furniture and backdrops, and is always there to listen to my new (and sometimes crazy) ideas. I also have an amazing 15 year old son who is always on hand to help out. There aren’t many teenage boys who would hold ribbon, sort doilies or stay up to talk to their Mum on those late nights working on an event!
My 18 month old just loves playing with all of my craft stuff and often contributes to a rather big mess on our kitchen table. My family are my biggest supporters and they really push me to live my dream and grow our business.
Through the business I have also met so many wonderful people who have become my close friends. The support in this industry is amazing and everyone is always available to give advice. We are often emailing or texting late at night and it is always good to know that I am not the only one up after midnight working on a party.
I have also found that collaborating with other suppliers or friends not only helps take your vision in a different and more creative direction, but also cuts down on the number of late nights. When I started I would do absolutely everything myself, but now I enlist the help of some amazingly talented florists, cake decorators, paperie designers and so on. Working together with other creative people is so rewarding and can really take your event to another level.
Thank you so much Dani for sharing your party planning advice and business wisdom with all of us!
You can follow more of Dani’s work on the Once Upon a Table facebook page here.
I hope you enjoyed the first post in this series by Events by Nat with some great styling and business tips.
This post we hear from the talented Johanne from Mum’s Little Party Secret who not only offers party styling but also runs an online party store and has fantastic party hire items in Queensland (which you can see below).
She has shared some great party planning tips for mum’s as well as some business advice for other mum’s in business!
Party Planning and Styling Secrets
1. Themed parties are still a popular choice for birthdays. Old time classics like pirate and fairy parties are still number one favourites for younger children. When creating a themed birthday party choose a theme that is of interest with your children and age appropriate. If your children are old enough – discuss this with them and encourage them to be involved in the planning process. Consider asking your guests to come dressed in costume. A great way for little imaginations to run wild.
2. Don’t get caught into the trap of decorating with over commercialised cartoon characters. Instead choose a colour scheme that represents your theme. Say for example a Pirate Party; you could use the traditional black, red & grey with skulls and crossbones or for a softer touch, light blue, red and grey with cute pirate characters. Decorate with bunting, hessian and pirate style props.
3. Personalise your party where possible. You can personalise pretty much everything – bunting, cupcake picks, napkin ties, straw flags and even drink bottles. Personalise with your children’s names and age celebrating or even personalise with your guests names. This is a great tip when labelling drink bottles. No little mix-ups. A personalised thank you message attached to take home gift bags is always a nice touch.
4. Organise age appropriate games for your little guests. We suggest 2 or 3 games. This will still allow enough time for play time.
5. When it comes to food, keep it simple and again age appropriate. Make you children’s favourite foods and sweets. Keep a balance of healthy options as well as little treats. Favourites are cupcakes, cake pops, fruit kebabs, jelly cups and of course lollies. An important tip is to check with parents for any food allergies.
6. The number one tip that we can offer when planning and styling your next birthday party is to remember who the party is for. Transport yourself back to childhood and remember what you used to love. Join in and enjoy the day with your children. You will not regret it. Celebrate their lives together and together you will create magical memories.
Business Advice for Mums in Business
1. Have a 5 year plan and balance your time. Realise everything can’t get done in one day and sleep is important.
Have strict times that you work to and from and don’t deviate from this.
If you let your business take over your life you will miss out on the most important thing – spending time with your family.
Thank you Jo for sharing such important and valuable party tips and business advice!
Life’s Little Celebrations is launching a new service to help you with your party styling needs which I announced in this post! Perfect for busy mums who want to remain hands on with party planning but want extra inspiration or detailed ideas and sourcing of items to save them time!
Our services include inspiration boards (including inspiration boards for specific aspects of your party if that is all your need) as well as the most comprehensive party styling pack you can wish for, e-mailed to you based on your requirements, vision, colour scheme and budget! For more information please pop in here.
Now for a fantastic giveaway to celebrate this launch!!
Rosanna Decor Bon Bon Footed Bowl - My Garden Party
To celebrate the launch of our new online party styling service & inspiration boards, we are giving you the chance to win a free Online Party Theme Styling pack (from Life’s Little Celebrations) AND a gorgeous Rosanna Decor Bon Bon square footed bowl from My Garden Party!
I’ll also be drawing a 2nd prize to win a custom Inspiration board!
My Garden Party is a new unique party shop & hire service offering children’s tables and chairs for hire. They have vintage and new chairs to make your garden party extra special for your little one, a beautiful range of partyware will also be available when they launch in November 2011. In the meantime look for them on Facebook.
You have the opportunity to gain 2 entries to this competition! To enter:
1. View the Rosanna Products photo album on the ‘My Garden Party’ facebook page and then comment below on this blog post stating which is your favourite cake stand! = 1 entry
2. Subscribe to the Life’s Little Celebrations blog using the subscription link on the right hand side of this blog and then comment on this blog post to state that you have done this= 2nd entry
That gives you 2 fantastic opportunities to enter this giveaway!
We’d love for you to share this competition with your friends! Don’t forget to tag us if you do =)
A few simple conditions:
1. Entries close on Wednesday 14th September at 8:00pm (AEST) when the winner will be drawn randomly and announced on this blog.
2. Entries are strictly limited to people located within Australia
Thank you and good luck!
Note: This is a bit of a wordy post so I’ve dabbled in some pretty inspiration throughout
Since I started this blog I have received so much lovely, encouraging and positive feedback about how these posts have helped you, inspired you and saved you time in your party planning for your little one’s celebrations. This was the whole point of this blog and I am truly happy that I have been able to help all of you who visit my blog and have become part of the facebook community as well!
Icecream Truck party - Kara's Party Ideas
Embarking on this blog has also helped me realise how much I enjoy providing this service and how it is a much needed service. After being approached by a mum to assist her with sourcing of products for her upcoming child’s party I decided that this was a service I wanted to offer to other mum’s as well.
So today I launch my Online Party Theme Styling service ! Perfect for those of you who want to be hands on with the planning for your little one’s celebration but would like to save time regarding sourcing items & ideas and seeing what would work together.
Tea Party 'Down the Rabbit Hole' - Blue Satin Sashes blog
If you have found my blog posts useful, imagine something like this tailored for you specifically based on your theme, colour scheme, budget, requirements, tastes etc – all e-mailed to you in an electronic document with hyperlinks. It would save you hours of time and help you source some gorgeous as well as practical items! This is what you receive in a “Complete Theme Styling Pack“.
If you are after something smaller then I am also offering Inspiration boards, again tailored to your specific requirements offering either overall inspiration or inspiration for just a specific aspect of your party you want assistance with (Eg: decorations).
Confetti system bronze garland - Third Drawer Down
I put in hours of time into finding unique items for various party themes and you can be assured I will contribute the same amount of thought and effort into these services for you.
You can find more details of my new services here.
I will still be blogging suggested party items for various themes and endeavour to showcase some wonderful ideas to you. My future blog posts will be great starting points for your theme planning however my Complete Theme Styling pack will provide a much larger range of ideas all tailored to your needs.
Ferris Wheel Cupcake Holder - Horchow
In addition to this I will also be doing blog posts showcasing fabulous party finds and general party items which could fit into a range of themes (eg: vintage items, girly items etc)!
Rosanna Decor Bon Bon White Footed Square Bowl - My Garden Party
To celebrate the launch of this new service I will holding a giveaway where you have the chance to win a Complete Theme Styling Pack AND a gorgeous Rosanna Decor Bon Bon Footed Bowl (courtesy of My Garden Party) for first prize, and an Inspiration Board for 2nd prize.
Details will be posted up tomorrow on how to enter, so keep an eye out for this!
In the meantime you can view more details of my new services here.
Thank you for your support and encouragement!