19 Apr

The Look For Less: Sweets Bar Trend + $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

blue and orange dessert tables - party inspiration

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design – and I’m back with another “Budget Chic” guest post where I share with you my tips on how you can have a fabulous high-end looking table for less! And there’s an added bonus this time – I’m also giving away a $100 Gift Card to Target! See details on how to enter below.

Today’s post is all about the ongoing trend…sweets tables! What began as a trend has now become more of a staple at most events. If you’ve done them yourself before, you probably know the cost of sweets tables can totally bust your budget…especially when you’re matching the colors of your sweets to your event colors.


Here I designed two different sweets tables at two different price points: high end and “budget chic”. For the high end designer table, I included treats by some of the most sought-after sweets designers.

For my “Budget Chic” table, I challenged myself to see if I could design a high-end looking, color-coordinated sweets table for less by purchasing all of the items from my favorite store: Target… affectionately known as “Targét!”



First, let me say that I have such love and appreciation for the tremendous artistry that goes into making some of the most elegant desserts seen on some of the pricier sweets tables featured in today’s hottest magazines and blogs. Sweets designers can match your design & color scheme perfectly by creating custom desserts that can match your printable designs or your source of inspiration. Here I asked them to match my source of inspiration- the awesome table runner featuring the Magnolia flower.

sweets bar designer cookie flowers

The high-end designer table features The Marshmallow Studio’s gorgeous flower marshmallow pops that matched my color and theme beautifully. The Gourmet Pop whipped up yummy cake pops, chocolate covered oreos and these super cute spoon cake pops all in my color scheme.

Finally, Vanilla & Chocolate custom created an iced cookie and Lynlee’s Petite Cakes created custom fondant flowers identical to the Magnolia flower used in the table decor which I used to dress up a STORE-BOUGHT 2 tier cake and powdered donuts. Totally custom and totally magnificent!

sweets bar designer desserts

sweets bar designer cookies and cake

sweets bar designer cake



But let’s get real! Not all of us can afford the custom options. If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford to custom ordered sweets, don’t worry! You don’t have to give up style and quality. In fact, Target has an array of candy and sweets – especially Super Target, which also has an awesome bakery with many sweets options. For example:

budget chic sweets bar desserts

budget chic sweets bar target lollipops

budget chic sweets bar using mandarin oranges

budget chic sweets bar marshmallows

budget chic sweets bar white pillow decoration

I created the ENTIRE Budget Chic table design using items found in Target including all the decor, linen and sweets all for less than the cost of ONLY the desserts on the high-end table! Here’s how you can do it to:


1. Look for candy that is wrapped or packaged in your colors like I did here with the blue-wrapped Hershey Kisses and Bliss Chocolates and the orange-wrapped Lindor Truffles.

2. Add in candy or sweets that are your colors like the orange sour rings, mandarin oranges, and blue frosted cookies.

3. Finally, get creative with store-bought items! Combine them or use them in creative ways for an additional wow factor and high-end custom look.

For example, marshmallows are all the rage right now and you can still get in on the trend for less by getting creative with how you use them. Create marshmallow kabobs by putting them on skewers like I did here with orange sour rings in between for a pop of color! I also used them to create custom jello parfaits.

Add decorations, like I did here with gumpaste toppers, from The Kupcake Spot for an affordable way to add a custom look to store-bought cupcakes. To get the cake pops for less, I put powdered donut holes on sticks and used blue sprinkles to match the color scheme.


Target is about to launch (on May 6th) a brand new collection of designer candy available in their stores nationwide called “The Candy Store at Target“. Finally, they will have gourmet candy selections that include the jumbo swirl lollipops and taffy you see here at a price we can all afford. To get an exclusive first look at “The Candy Store at Target’s” full candy collection, visit my blog: The Girlfriend’s Guide to Party Planning!


Another key to a fabulous high-end looking sweets table is how you style it, all starting with the containers and platters. Using bright white containers in the very modern square design adds a touch of modern elegance to your table.

For the Budget Chic table, all the platters and candy holders came from one 16-piece dinnerware set from Target. You’ll have enough to completely display an entire sweets table and the fact that it’s white means you can reuse it all the time! I even found a way to use the coffee mugs in the box by turning the handles to the back so that they now look like little ceramic vases!

When looking for ideas to style your sweets table, don’t be afraid to look outside of the typical party and dining departments! To create this decor on the “Budget Chic” table I went to the bedding department and found the perfect furry throw blanket and fabulous white felt flower pillow that matched my theme perfectly and added a nice texture to the table and a wow-factor!


Okay, okay, here’s the part you’ve been waiting for! Check out the cost comparison between the two tables:

HIGH END DESIGNER Sweets Table: $231
fondant 3D flower toppers $30/dozen
fondant flat flower toppers $30/dozen
marshmallow pops $48 ($4 each)
cake pops $24/dozen
spoon cakes $24/dozen
chocolate covered oreos $24/dozen
2-tier cake $18
flower shaped iced cookies $33/dozen plus $25 custom cutter fee

BUDGET CHIC Sweets Table: $66
donut holes $2.04 (1 bag)
frosted cookies $5.58 (2 containers @ $2.79 each)
mini marshmallows $1 (1 bag)
regular marshmallows $1 (1 bag)
cupcakes $7.99 (1 dozen)
cupcake gumpaste toppers $8/dozen
jello $2.24 (2 boxes @ $1.12 each)
orange gummy rings $2 (2 bags)
truffles $7.60 (2 bags @ $3.79 each)
hershey kisses $6.60 (2 bags @ $3.29 each)
bliss chocolates $6.60 (2 bags @ $3.29 each)
mandarin oranges $4.40 (2 cans @ $2.19 each)
swirl lollipops $3.49 (2 pops @ $3.49 each)
taffy $4.99 (1 container)
sprinkles $2.44

A cost savings of $165!

With that savings, you could purchase the ENTIRE table of all the decor elements purchased at Target on the Budget Chic table including:

  • 16-piece dinnerware set $59.99
  • tablecloth $12.99
  • 3-tier pedestal serving plates $34.99 (only 2 shown on the table)
  • clear ramekins $4.00
  • white flower pillow $19.99
  • furry throw blanket $19.99

AND….still have $17 leftover! Go have lunch with your girlfriends with your leftover cash and toast to your fabulousness!



I hope this post has inspired you to think outside the box a bit when creating your next sweets table! And now, I’m giving away a $100 Target Gift Card to one lucky reader to help with the cost of creating their own “Sweets Bar Look For Less”! Good luck!

To Enter:
– Post a comment below, mentioning what item(s) you liked best on each dessert table.

– Giveaway ends Monday, April 23rd at midnight PST. The Winner will be chosen randomly and announced here after they’ve been notified and accepted the prize. Good luck!



– Table styling & design: Soireé Event Design
– Photography: Stay Classic Photography
– Fondant Flower toppers: Lynlee’s Petite Cakes
– Flower Marshmallow Pops: The Marshmallow Studio
– Cake pops, spoon cake pops & chocolate covered oreos: The Gourmet Pop
– Flower Iced Cookies: Vanilla & Chocolate
– 2 Tier Cake: Albertsons grocery store
– Flower mini gumpaste toppers: The Kupcake Spot
– All sweets, linen and decor on Budget Chic table: Target
– Swirl lollipops & taffy: “The Candy Store at Target” collection


Leave a Comment



I love the chocolate covered oreos on the high-end table and the Hershey kisses on the budget table! :)

Reply April 28, 2012 at 1:10 am

Lymor SAYS:

On the high-end table: I love the magnolia flowers! On the other, I love the marshmallow kabobs! :) Such a beautiful design, both tables look of equal value. Beautiful!!!!

Reply May 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Kim Campbell SAYS:

Love the pillow on the table…so unexpected. Also, loved what you did with the doughnut holes and also the marshmellow skewers. Made the table look so classy.

Reply May 21, 2012 at 12:30 am

kimcampbell SAYS:

Love what you did with the pillow…so unexpected. Also, loved what you did with the doughnut holes and also the marshmellow skewers. Made the table look so classy.

Reply May 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Tammy Viniarski SAYS:

I am giving my sister a baby shower soon and this awesome table setting gives me great ideas to set a table for her. Thanks for the good ideas. Tammy

Reply March 23, 2013 at 10:02 am

Tammy Viniarski SAYS:

I also like the cake and the way you made the flower cookies.

March 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

Lorien Moore SAYS:

On the high end table, my favorite was definitely the spoon cake pops. I could make those myself!
On the budget chic table, I LOVED what you did with the marshmallows and peach rings on a skewer. I am probably also going to borrow that idea for my own table. Thank you!

Reply April 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

amanda SAYS:

On the high end table I love the cake pop spoons. On the budget table I love the marshmallow kabobs.

Reply April 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Colleen Hollier SAYS:

I Love the Swirly Lollipops!! I didn’t know Target carried them and I plan on using the Blue design for my next event! Go Target!!!

Reply April 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Coco SAYS:

I love the Lollipops on the budget table and the table runner on the high end table.

Reply April 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Jennifer SAYS:

This is so awesome to see the comparisons. :) Im planning my daughters’ party for the end of April. Very helpful. On the high end table , I like the blue flowers surrounding the cake and I’m definitely a budget girl and the jello cup idea is the best one I’ve seen so far. Thanks :)

Reply March 31, 2015 at 1:24 pm

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