Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

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

Quick Jump To » Comments

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. Hui says:

    I like the cake pops on the high end table. Never thought to use a pillow for the budget table. Good ideas!

  2. Teresa Hemsworth says:

    that cake is fabulous! and, the marshmallows with the gummies are so cute, my kids love mandarin oranges, and those lollipops are so sweet!

  3. Ruth Allmart says:

    This was fantastic, great information. Thank you :) My favorite thing on the high end table has to be the marshmallow pops, ingenious! And on the budget chic table I just love the design on that tablecloth (and I also love the furry throw).

  4. katy says:

    designer: spoon cake pops!

    budget: using donut holes and puting them on sticks. Great idea!

  5. Apryl Stephens says:

    Love you blog!! :)

  6. Mandy says:

    I love the Marshmallow skewers on the budget chic one and the cake pops on the high end table.

  7. I love the cake pops on BOTH tables — on the high end because they are gorgeous, and on the budget table because I would actually do those!

  8. Tami Pyper says:

    I love the marshmallow flowers on the high end, and on the budget, I love the pillows! Also, I am so excited for the candy store to open at Target!

  9. Julie says:

    Quite honestly I am really impressed by your talent:) High end table-the marshmallow pops are soo pretty…the budget chic table the the dinnerware set and the flower pillow

  10. Nicole says:

    I love the runner on the High End table. But I especially love the marshmallow and peach ring skewers on the Budget Chic table. Two of my favorite candies and they look great together!

  11. connoisseurcat says:

    The cake on the high end table and the cute cupcakes with the blue sprinkles on he low end.

  12. Christina Andress says:

    I love the marshmallow flowers on the high end table, that could even be done at home with a good homemade marshmallow recipe and sprinkles!
    As for the budget table, i liked the idea of making individual jello cups. There are so many posibilities for designs and color combinations with cheap Jello.

  13. Pallavi Kale says:

    Thank you so much for showing us this.Yes as much as I would like to order Custom made items, its just too expensive and the budget goes out of the window.I try to mix and match adn come up with different ideas to stay within the budget but lets face it, we do go overboard in trying to give the best to out kids and parties.
    The Jello MArshmallow parfaits….wat an awesome yet simple idea.The marshamallow kababos… are gonna love it.
    Target is my to go place for every little thing and cant wait now to visit the candy store.Its opening right before my party on the 12th for my daughter’s Birthday and I could use some candy!

    Thanks again…

  14. Vanessa_1104 says:

    On the Designer table I love the flower shaped cookies! On the budget table I really like the swirly lollypops! They are very pretty and whimsical.

  15. desiree says:

    I love the fabric on the high end table and love the pillow on the budget table!

  16. Jamie says:

    I love the cake pops and if I make them they are much cheaper! I also love on the budget table how everything is on white plates, it really pops and those are my regular plates so free!

  17. Jessica says:

    I love the marshmallow flowers on the high end table and the pillow from the budget chic table…Tonya I love all your designs!!

  18. Jocelyn Heyward says:

    HIGH END DESIGNER Sweets Table I loved the Marshmallow pops.
    On the budget table I loved how the marshmallows were used. I see this used often but have yet to incorporate in my desert tables.

  19. donna says:

    on the high end table, i like the spoon desserts.
    on the budget table, i like the blue with marshmellow cups! so cute!

  20. Sarah Scopel says:

    I love the cake spoons on the high end table. Great idea! On the budget chic table I like the idea of the donut holes on a stick.

  21. Mindy says:

    I love the simple styling of the chic table and the use of the dinnerware set of the budget table!

  22. Kyra says:

    ON the designer table, I loved the use of all those glass pebbles and the spoon cake pops were awesome! On the budget table, I really loved the jello cups with the marshmallows on top – so cute!

  23. Alice H says:

    Those jello parfaits with the marshmallows are too cute. Thanks for the giveaway.

  24. Leslie W says:

    The cake pops on the designer table look yummy but so do the marshmalloe kabobs on the budget friendly table. I’m hosting a baby shower this July and this is such a great reminder that I don’t have to go over budget to have a great party!


    Love, love the magnolia flowers on the “high end” table. On the budget table, I love the pillow

  26. Claudia says:

    I love the flower marshmellow pops on the high end table and the cupcakes on the budget friendly table!

  27. Erin says:

    I loved the cake pops on the high end table and The Candy Store lollipops on the budget chic table!!

  28. Christina C says:

    The spoon cakes and the taffy! I am going back and forth having a sweet table at our wedding…this has been very helpful!

  29. Crystal says:

    On the high end table I love the cake spoons and on the budget table I love the classic cupcakes always a fav!

  30. Danielle says:

    Can you ever go wrong with cake pops?

  31. Rachel s. says:

    I like the cake spoons on the high end table and the marshmallow/gummy rings on the Target table.

  32. Jovanna says:

    Thank you for your post! I’ve always loved sweets bars, but it really is a challenge somegtimes to think of how we can create a beautiful table with yummy desserts. I love the idea of using marshmellos as cup fillers and the marshmello-candy skewers :)

  33. francheska says:

    On the high end table – love the spoon cake pops! Clever…and on the budget table love the marshmallow skewer.

  34. Laura P says:

    The Marshmallow flower pops are so cute!! And Target’s lollipops? AWESOME!!

  35. Ali says:

    I love the Marshmallow Kabobs! What a cute, easy idea. Honestly, I like the Target table better.

  36. Heather says:

    The gorgeous cookie flowers and the delicious looking cake pops on the high-end table make my mouth water… but I LOVE the simplicity of the marshmallow skewers and marshmellows with jello! i’m going to “borrow” that one :)

  37. chiazor says:

    I love love love the lollipops! And also the idea of choosing candy wrapped in your color scheme, great idea!

  38. Diana says:

    I love the marshmallow pops on the high end table, they are adorable. And the frosted cookies from the budget table, yum!

  39. Audra Blair says:

    On the high end table – love the idea of the cake on a spoon
    On the budget table – love that a dinnerware set was used as the display vessels.
    Thank you for all the inspiration! Audra

  40. Kristen says:

    I liked the cake pops!