16 Jul

Colorful Sesame Street Candy Buffet

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

Here are some photos from the Sesame Street candy buffet that I created for Ashby O’Dell’s birthday party last month… which was so much fun to work on! You’ll find all the details below for this particular buffet, in case you want to create something similar for your own parties…

All of the candy is from Sweet Factory – you can buy in bulk on their website! I really wanted to play up the bright colors – just like you see in the Sesame Street characters. I was told that Ashby loves chocolate, so the first thing I ordered was candy-coated Decorator Sixlets in yellow, blue, lime green, red, and hot pink. You can buy them in 10-lb or 1-lb bags. (I used about 2-3 lbs per jar at a time, depending on the size.)

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

Other candies in the buffet included: Jolly Ranchers, boxes of Dots, Saf-T-Pops, Alphabet GummisSmiley Happy Face Lollipops, Round Whirly Pops and Flower Lollipops (displayed in colorful Blumeboxes), Giggle Pops, Gummi Centipedes, Rock Candy Sticks, Red Swedish Fish, and individual buckets of Cotton Candy displayed in a pyramid. The final buffet was 12-ft long! There were favor bags on the table so that guests could make their own take-home “favor bag” with all of their personal favorites.

LOTS of candy, I know! But there were about 100 guests at this party – a little more than 1/2 of which were adults – so we needed quite the mass quantities. You can definitely do something similar to this on a much smaller scale though! (Here’s an example of a smaller candy buffet I did last weekend for a 16-person baby shower.)

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

Plush Sesame Street characters like Elmo, Grover, and Big Bird sat between some of the candy jars and helped to play up the theme. I also found some 3-D Sesame Street Stickers at a local scrapbook store, framed them in bright, inexpensive frames from IKEA, and set those throughout the buffet.

Balloon bouquets displayed in colorful Blumeboxes added a nice pop of color to the tables as well!

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

It’s fun to creative with lollipop displays! You can use white craft foam to make them stand up in trays and shallow containers like the white ceramic vase pictured above. Just cut the foam to size and make sure it’s a little bit shorter than the container. Stick the lollipops in, then pour on a a layer of candy or popcorn to hide the foam.

There were several of these types of displays (featuring both small & large lollipops) on the candy buffet and all throughout the party – they make great table centerpieces too!

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

All of the candy jars were purchased at Home Goods for around $7 – $20 each, depending on the size. (They were about 1/2 the price at Home Goods from other places I saw them!) Embellishing some of the jars with a simple band of color-contrasting ribbon is super easy to do and makes a big difference in the overall look!

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

The candy buffet was a hit with the adorable birthday girl too…

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

Here’s a fun shot of  The Jumpitz – the kids group that performed at the party (and did a great job!) – goofing around at the candy buffet.

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

For more pics from this party, check out the Facebook Album. {Complete details from the entire party will be available in the Party Themes section soon!}

Special thanks to Jayneoni Moore for asking me to style this party – and to photographer Gina Lee for the fabulous photos!

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jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Bernie –

If you need lids for sure, then your best bet is probably to just stick with apothecary jars that come with them. I did leave some of the jars on this candy buffet open and they were fine. If you want to do that – you could just stick a big lollipop into the open jars to give them extra height… almost like a flower coming out of a flower pot :)

Reply November 11, 2009 at 9:35 am

Karen SAYS:

I can’t tell you how much I love your blog! Your ideas are simply amazing and now that I’m a new mom I’m sure I will be referring back to your site often =) I’m planning this theme for my son’s first birthday party. I’ll be visiting southern ca soon and would love to know where you got your linens.

Also, I’m so excited to incorporate feathers into the party because I love what you did for the cirque du bebe themed baby shower. Any ideas on how I can do this with sesame street for my boy as maybe center pieces? I was thinking red feathers with big bird plush and yellow with an elmo. Do you think that feathers would even go?

Thanks so much =)

Reply February 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm

lorelei SAYS:

Hi Jenn,

I’m so glad I ran across your post. I’m doing a sesame street party for my daughter and was concerned about making the party look nice and girly with all the different colors that the characters bring. The questions i have are, how many different tablecloth colors did you use? Did you use two alternating colors or more? And did you use the plush characters as centerpieces? I’m trying to look for pictures of the tables from this party, but I can’t see it on the album.

Reply February 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Lorelei –
You’re right – for some reason there really aren’t any shots of the tables on this party! (except for one from really far away)

But yes, for the sit-down table centerpieces, we had balloon bouquets coming out of blumeboxes (http://www.blumebox.com) plus one plush character sitting next to it. We also sprinkled colorful confetti around the centerpieces. It would also be cute to use big solid-colored circles as “confetti” to help decorate the table cloths even more, similar to the tables in this party: http://blog.hwtm.com/2008/08/real-parties-its-a-twin-thing-baby-shower/

You could cut the circles from construction paper or felt.

The food was buffet style since it was such a large party, so we didn’t have place settings actually set, but tables always look even cuter with the place settings pre-set too.

For the tablecloth colors, I used a different one at each table: red, yellow, pink, and aqua. We only set 4 tables because the rest of the guests used the existing backyard furniture as seating.

Hope that helps!


Reply February 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Karen SAYS:

Hi Jenn,

What kind of scoopers did you use for the candy and where can I find them? Some of the apothecary jars looked really skinny to stick you hand in and get the candy out, did you find there was a problem with that? Also I didn’t see what you had the guests put the candy in. Where is a great place to find the tablecloths you used? Thanks so much your ideas are awesome!

Reply February 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Karen –

I actually just used plastic measuring cups for the scoops! (The kind with the handles – and then wrapped ribbon around the handles to make them look cuter.)

We didn’t have any issues with the skinny jars, but you can definitely use tongs as the “scoopers” for those if the opening is too narrow. Actually, now that I think about it there was ONE jar that was pretty skinny and it served more of a decorative purpose since several of the other large jars had the same type of candy already. To utilize skinny jars, thinks like candy sticks or other skinny lollipops are a good idea.

Here’s a great place to order both scoops and tongs:
(The clear versions will be the least expensive)

For the tablecloths – we rented those from a local party rental company called Town and Country Rentals. Any similar party rental place should have the same colors available though – they’re pretty standard for most places. Good luck!

Reply February 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Krystal SAYS:


Also, as a suggestion on the apothecary jars if there is a Michaels craft store in your area you can check there. I always google “Michaels Coupons” before heading over there they are always easy to find online. I just bought one of these jars that was 19.99 and got it for 50% off w/the coupon.

Reply March 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Kahea SAYS:

For you Hawaii people looking for apothecary jars, ace hardware and crafts has them from $6.99 up $17.99 all shapes and sizes. Hope this helps

Reply March 8, 2010 at 2:03 am

Lorelei SAYS:

Hi Jenn,
what type of ribbon did you use for the candy jars, and where can I find it?

Thank you,

Reply March 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm


Hi Lorelei –
I just used fabric polka dot ribbon from Michaels – they have it in several different colors :)

Reply March 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm


Wow…you’re work is amazing! I showed it to my daughter who is already 12 and loved it. Kind of gave me an idea for her 16th birthday. I know it’s a long, long way but seeing this candy buffet you did gave me that “bright idea” moment. Probably it won’t be Sesame Street theme bec she’ll be 16 then :)


Reply March 12, 2010 at 9:24 am

Denise SAYS:

You can also find apothecary jars at craft stores and stores like Ross,…probably Marshall’s and TJMaxx also. I live in Hawaii and got most of my jars from Ross from 4.99-11.99.

Reply March 13, 2010 at 3:44 am

Jennifer SAYS:

Hi Jenn! I came across your website while searching for ideas for my son’s upcoming sesame street themed birthday and just love it!! I have pulled some of the ideas that you used here an cannot wait to put it all together. I am working with a local bakery in Houston to mimic the cake that was pictured in your facebook album and was curious to know if the building’s frosting was red? In some of the pictures it looks like a bright red frosting and in others it tends to look more like a light chocolate. My baker had a little concern with the red frosting; she mentioned it does not taste very well, so I thought I would reach out and see if you could help! Thanks :)

What a beautiful party!!

Reply March 21, 2010 at 7:02 am


Hi Jennifer –
So glad you like the party! The frosting actually was a deep, bright orange…it still tasted pretty good though! Hope that helps :)

Reply March 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Gennifer SAYS:

Awesome work. I am in the process of planning a Mothers day Tea for mothers and daughters. I would like to do a candy buffet, but had a few questions and one suggestion.

1. How do you manage or oversee a candy buffet so everyone is able to enjoy and have a fair share or go overboard.
2. Do you keep refilling the candy jars as the day progress.
3. How do you keep it looking pretty once the sugar fairies have visited
One Suggestion- I have been checking with the local salvation army for jars and containers. I have gotten some really nice (thick glass) ones for next to nothing.
Thank you and may your work keep briniging smiles to many.

Reply April 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm

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