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


Alexandra Thune SAYS:

Both tables look fab! I love the orange and blue cake pops on the high end table and the pretty blue taffy on the budget table. Lovely.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Lauren Neel SAYS:

I love dessert bars! I do them at all the parties I throw and I am planning on doing one for my wedding later this year! On the high-end table I lvoe the powdered donuts with the foundat flowers, so cute! On the budget-chic table I love the marshmellow/peach ring kabobs…adorable!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Robyn W. SAYS:

I love the color scheme of both tables. I love how a piece of fabric can inspire an entire table. On the high end, I love the table runner and on the low end, I love the table cloth.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Jovana Zlicaric SAYS:

I loved the cake pops in the spoon and will try to create those tonight. On the budget table I loved the idea of serving fruit that matches your color scheme. A lot of times, there is just too much candy and not enought healthy foods on the table so appreciate the mandarines here. :)

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Lori SAYS:

All things marshmallow! They’re pretty cheap, easy to decorate and as these photos show …very versatile. I love the marshmallow kabobs. :) Second place goes to cookies. Mmmm, I’m getting hungry!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Pamela SAYS:

I love both tables. If I had to pick, on the high end table: I love the marshmallow flowers and the donuts with the fondant flower. On the budget table: I love the blue throw, the flower pillow, I love the jello cups and the donut pops.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Lisa SAYS:

I am loving the designer candies by Target! Not only do they look fabulous, the packaging is perfect!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Tegan Aubrie | Twelve13 SAYS:

My favorite thing is the marshmallow and gummy ring skewers— so clever!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Linda Schwartz SAYS:

On the designer table~ I love my girl, Lynlee’s magnolia toppers. Especially the 3D toppers~ Go Lynlee! : )
I also love the cute layered marshmallow kabobs on the Target table, I love anything on a stick, but these are especially cute…and inexpensive!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Marina Reyes SAYS:

They are both beautiful! In the expensive one, I like the marshmallow flowers. And in the budget one, I like the tablecloth and the marshmallow Kabobs.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Jessica Crose SAYS:

I like the “Sweets Bar Designer Cake Cookie” – wow! That sounds like something I’d love to try!! Yum!!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

livivuachandler SAYS:

I like the marshmallow pops on the high end table and I also like the swirl candy pop decor on the less table

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

sheila tatum SAYS:

I LOVE the color blue…so I guess that will be my most favorite thing ‘the color scheme’. I also love the table cloth, pillows, and mandarin cups. Everything looks yummy, so chic, so beach like. Thanks for a chance to win the fab prize.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm

sabrina SAYS:

I love the jello cups!!! It is so cool that they look like a cloudy sky.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Bobbi SAYS:

I love the inspirational table runner and also the cake from the designer table, and I love the cupcakes and the use of serving dishes on the budget table.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

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