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


danielle loucks SAYS:

Love it all but especially the color combo and on the budget friendly table, those pillows!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Patricia SAYS:

Can’t wait to get my hands on those Target Lollipops. Love to use them in Tablescapes. Also the Target white pillows are going to look pristine in my beach house. LOVE YA TARGET

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm

JehanP SAYS:

I love the cake pops and spoons on the high end table and on the low end I love the swirled lollipop.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Melissa R SAYS:

I love the color scheme for both of these tables! My favorite piece of the expensive look are the fondant flowers! And for the budget table, I love love love the sprinkle-covered donut hole pop sticks! Those are so creative and cool!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Carissa SAYS:

I love the cake pop spoons from the first table and the pretty flower pillow from the budget table.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Janet O SAYS:

From the “high end” sweet bar, I love the cake pops standing up in the blue crystal like stones. From the “budget end” sweet bar, I love the blue jello in the clear glasses with the marshmallows and orange rings on top. You did an AWESOME job!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Jaime SAYS:

I love the comparison of the two tables, and I love Target! My favorite element of the high-end table is the cake- great idea to dress it up with custom flowers. My favorite part of the budget-chic table is the marshmallow kabobs- how fun!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Alyssa SAYS:

I’m a sucker for cake pops… so I’d def. pick those from table #1. As for table #2 I love the simplicity of the Lindt balls & Bliss chocolate.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm


I love both, Great Job! The oranges look so refreshing!!!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Jeniffer SAYS:

On the highend table I love the marshmallow pops or the cake pops on the spoon. On the budget table I love the marshmallow kabobs and swirl lollipops

Reply April 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Carrie C. in VA SAYS:

I like the gorgeous cake!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Maryellen Sunga SAYS:

I live that flower pillow!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm


Absolutely LOVE this color combo.

My faves are:
From designer table: how cute are those cake spoons. I’m going to use that idea on my next party. Love the endless possibilities with that and I’m thinking it’ll be a bit quicker to make than cake pops.

From budget chic table: adorable jello cups — these can totally work for both kids and grown up parties (just don’t mix them around…LOL!). I’d love to try multi-flavor/multi-color jello cups.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Kristina SAYS:

Love the cake pops on a spoon- never seen those before! And
The marshmallow skewers are super cute!

Reply April 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Rebecca SAYS:

I love love LOVE the entire dining set on the budget table and the swirly lollipops! I like the marshmallow pops the best on the high end table.

Reply April 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm

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