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

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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


POSTED BY:tonyaTONYA COLEMAN is a busy mother of 4 that ”LOVE LOVE LOVES” design & events! She has more than 10 years of experience in the entertainment business with a very successful graphic design studio & has been designing events for the past 5 years.

342 responses to “The Look For Less: Sweets Bar Trend + $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway!”

  1. Heather says:

    On the high-end table I love the large magnolia cookie pops. They offer a really nice backdrop for the rest of the sweets. On the budget table I love the mandarin oranges because of their simplicity. Just because it’s a sweets table doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated!

  2. CLaire says:

    I love the use of the powdered donoughts on both the high end and the target table.

  3. I love the flower toppers for the powdered donuts on the high end table. I loved several things on the budget table; including the marshmallow & orange gummy ring skewers. Great color scheme!

  4. cck says:

    I love everything marshmallow… the kabobs are the cutest!

  5. valeriezeroremorse says:

    I LOVE the idea of using doughnut holes as a quick and inexpensive way to create the cack pop look, VERY creative!

  6. Mandi says:

    I love the cookies on the high end table and the cup cakes on the budget table. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Jacoba says:

    I love the cookies on the high end table and the cupcakes on the budget chic

  8. Leslie says:

    I like the marshmellow pops on the high end and I like that you used the 16 piece dinnerware on the budget chic table.

  9. Marita H. says:

    Cake pops! I just love them! The swirl ones on first table are beautiful, and the sparkly dusted ones on second table look oh so sweet!

  10. sam says:

    I think the spoon cakes sound great. And the table cloth on the budget table is great!

  11. ryan says:

    I think the cupcakes look great.

  12. Jenn says:

    Love those cupcakes and the cake spoons.

  13. Emily says:

    I really like how you found candy that tied into the color scheme. I love how colors create the story :) Beautiful

  14. Love the square plates presented at the front of the table!!! LOVE the Pillow, gives the table a different element and of course the cake pops!!!

  15. Tameka T says:

    I really liked the hershey kisses, marshmallow drinks, and of course it goes without saying…the cake pops. The flower cookies are a cute idea as well. The color scheme is fabulous as well

  16. gisselleamranyan says:

    I loved the jello, the cupcakes, the pillow, and the swirl lollipops….but to be honest with you it was nicely done so everything went together perfectly!

  17. Naomi says:

    For someone who doesn’t eat marshmallows, I have to admit they are my favorite part of both tables. The flower marshmallow pops on the high end table are amazing. And the skewered marshmallows on the budget table are too cute.

  18. I love the flower marshmallows on the high end. On the lower budget I like the marshmallow skewers. This is such a great comparison. I have found myself you can go all out and spend a lot and it will look great. Also you can have a small budget and it can still look amazing. Marshmallows are always a great inexpensive filler.

  19. I love the cake spoon pops on the high end table and on the budget chic table I ADORE the pillow! Target just keeps finding all sorts of new ways to be even more wonderful!!!!

  20. donnaoneil says:

    I love the spoon cake pops from The Gourmet Pop and I like the marshmallow kabobs.

  21. Cammie says:

    I love the cake!

  22. beckiedier cox says:

    I adore the flower marshmallow pops on the high end table. As for the budget table, I’m a sucker for salt water taffy!

  23. heatherwoyak says:

    I love the swirly pops from “the candy store at target” and i think those marshmallow flowers are so cute!

  24. Brandy says:

    I love the marshmallow flower pops on the high end table. My fave on the budget table I love that you used the white pillow to add texture, it can be used everyday after the party!

  25. Jessica F says:

    I like the cake pops the best! Gorgeous colors!

  26. Shelley says:

    I love the magnolia flower candies and the giant swirl lollipops.

  27. Donnie says:

    I loved the look of both tables – in particular the magnolia touches of fondant & gum paste. But my favorite tip was to use the store bought bagged donuts! I’m never making cake pops again!!

  28. Tish DeRensis says:

    I love the flower marshmallow on the more expensive table, and Love the blue jello with the marshmallows on the budget table…also love love the pillow from target…awesome…gotta go get one!!!!

  29. Falon says:

    On the high end table i love the flower cake toppers and on the budget table i love the pillow.

  30. Katherine says:

    Love the magnolia cookies and the swirl lollipops!

  31. Kelly says:

    I absolutely love the cake pops on the high end table and I think using the powder donuts to get the same effect on the “budget” table was GENIUS!!!! Target has awesome bakery items!

  32. Carrie says:

    I love the marshmallow sticks with the orange rings on the budget table, and the sugar cookies on the high end table :)

  33. elizabethguerra says:

    From the “high end” table, I loved the custom flowers. It’s worth the expense to carry out the theme. From the “budget” table, I loved the way you use color to carry the theme. I do that a lot.

  34. Margaret says:

    You saved so much and the budget table looks just as good as the expensive one! I love the cake pops on the high end table and love the table cloth on the budget chic table–so cute. :) I was just at Target today and saw a bunch of items similar to more expensive items I’d seen around the web.

  35. Amy B says:

    Love the high end cake pops! Love love love the low end “candy store” sweets!

  36. Kelz says:

    On the high end table I love the gourmet pops in the aqua beads. On the budget table I live the jello with the marshmallows and the orange rings. Simply georgeous. Tonya you have always been extremely talented. Keep up the great work. Everything you do is fabulous. Xoxoxo

  37. angieseder says:

    LOVE the idea of the marshmallow-orange sour ring kabobs! Also, really love the orange, white and blue color scheme!

  38. Leslie Stacy says:

    I LOVE your blog. I check my google reader every day to see your new creations!

    High End Table: I love the cake!

    Budget Table: Marshmallow skewers, cupcakes & Bliss chocolate! :)

  39. Caren D. says:

    I love the cake pop spoons on the high end table. This is a great altenative to the stick and I love the ease of eating it off the spoon. On the budget table I’m loving the donut hole cake pops, such a great time saver!

  40. Madlen says:

    I like the marshmello, jello, orange ring cups, My daughter would love it as it hhas the three of her favourite!
    Thanks for sharing