At the bridal shower previously mentioned (see here), my friends gave me the task of creating a candy buffet. It was a causal request via text, but you know me, I naturally took it as a challenge to create the cutest thing possible.
Choosing your containers: Every website I went to when researching candy buffets said the same thing: pick you container first. And in my experience, I completely agree. Before you take a step into a candy aisle, know how many containers you have and their sizes. (A game plan helps make shopping feel less overwhelming.)
And do not buy containers. Even if you don’t own them, ask around and borrow them. I went home and raided my mom’s collection of glassware. She had several of the round vases from my brother’s wedding. My grandmother gave me taller vases. And the bowl of pretzels is a salad bowl I use almost everyday.
My mom also had these adorable letters from Valentine’s Day with ridges perfect for holding candy. And it was her idea to put the Swedish Fish in a glass fish bowl.
Picking the candy: My initial problem was figuring out how much candy to get. I set a budget of $35 (though I did end up going over it), and we were planning on having 30 to 40 people in attendance. I avoided the candy at Sam’s. It was more candy than I needed, and each bag cost around $10. So I decided to pick a mix of name brand candy and cheap generic candy. M&M’s, Swedish Fish, Smarties, Sweet Tarts and Kit-Kat Bites covered the name brands. Gummy worms, Peach rings and lollipops were cheap and helped fill in the gaps. Plus, I decided to make chocolate-covered pretzels, which ended up being the most popular treat.
Decorative touches: With your containers selected and the candy purchased, the rest is in the details. I found rolls of polka-dot brown wrapping paper at Target for only $1 that I used as the table covering. And then using string that I had around my apartment, I tried to decorate each vase to add touches of color. I found the candy scoops at Party City. I didn’t purchase a scoop for each container of candy. I figure since it was a relatively small party, people could share.
To go bags: The candy buffet was set up in the middle of the party. So as the afternoon progressed, everyone came around for a handful of candy here and a few chocolate-covered pretzels there. But you could see it in everyone’s eye that they were hoping to take some home. For to-go bags, I found these cheap favor bags at Hobby Lobby. After buying them, I realized that they did not come with twist ties, so I set out of roll of washi tape to help secure the bags.
If you haven’t already noticed, my candy buffet uses several cigar boxes. Below, I used one to help store the bags and washi tape. Others were used to add a little height to some containers.
Come with a plan: The day before the party, I mocked up the candy buffet to see what it would look like. I filled each container with its respected candy to make sure I had enough, but more importantly, I was able to think things through and play with different placement options. I’m so glad that I did this because when I showed up to help set up the next day, it was a little chaotic. People were running around everywhere, but since I knew what I wanted to do, I was able to set everything up in 10 minutes.
Plus, I made sure to bring my own essentials – scissors, tape and a sharpie – just in case. Since the party was not at my house, I was able to set up the buffet without having to search for these things. I just threw everything in a box and brought it to the party.
Some people want their candy buffets to be themed in specific colors. Obviously, I didn’t go that route. I love how my candy buffet turned out so colorful and sweet. And it was so fun to pull it all together for an event celebrating such a close friend.