Full Service Event Planning & Catering

How to Make a Spring Themed Kid’s Candy Buffet Bar

by Stacey Selleck

Want a fantastic focal point for your child’s spring birthday party? Why not add a sweet spot with a candy buffet bar? It is great as a photo backdrop, can be personalized to your guest of honor, and will be the talk of the town with all of your guests.

To break this down into components, we’ll be discussing this in two major sections: décor and candy.

Candy Buffet Backdrop Décor

What will really set your candy buffet apart is a gorgeous backdrop. In our case, we chose to make three fun D.I.Y. elements.

  1. a personalized pennant banner
  2. circle garland
  3. pinwheel flowers

For the gift table, our client also requested a photo display for her son’s first twelve months.

The key to pulling all of these items together is to use decorative papers with colors that compliment each other. If you purchase a pad of scrapbooking paper, the designers have already selected the patterns that work well together, making this step easy.

For our spring candy theme, our client wanted pastels that were gender neutral since her party was combined for a one year old boy and a four year old girl. She also requested white tablecloths and didn’t want the design to be too busy.

Choose Your Color Scheme and Scrapbook Paper

With this information in hand, we knew we had to use light pink, baby blue, and at least one other color. Since this was also a candy-inspired theme, we decided to use light green, yellow, and light purple.

The foundation of our projects is the scrapbook paper book we had chosen with beautiful patterns of florals, plaids, polka dots, and stripes that all harmonized together perfectly. Since it was a little light on blues, extra baby blue sheets of 12″x 12″ paper were purchased separately.


Once we had the color scheme down, we selected beautiful fabric and curly ribbons in white, baby blue, soft pink, and some light yellow green and pastel blue green. These would serve as the backbone and accent ribbons to hold paper pennant banners and circle garland together.

The Plan

Candy Buffet Bar Plan SketchThe idea is to hang 6 or so strands circle garland as the ‘curtain’ behind the candy buffet table. The tops of these would be covered with a mass of pinwheel flowers and the pennant banner in the child’s name would be hung below the flowers and in front of the garland. We also added another pennant in front of the table with the word “SWEETS”.

We always create different levels and heights with our buffet displays so we needed vessels of various heights and shapes as well as a riser under another white tablecloth for elevation of the cake.

Circle Garland Backdrop

Scrapbook paper circle garland on curly ribbonUsing a 1.5″ and 2″ circle shape punch, I cut out circles from the scrapbook paper. A strand of curly ribbon was looped at one end to add extra surface area to adhere the double-sided foam tape. The circle cutouts were hot glued to each other with the curly ribbon sandwiched between them.

I wanted random colors, sizes, and patterns on both sides to hide the mechanics of it all so that it looked good from the front and the back. It was super easy and fun to make and they came out beautiful. We hung all of the decorations with heavy duty foam, double-sided tape that could handle the weight of the objects to assure nothing fell down during the party. At first it was a calm day but every once in awhile, a strong gust would blow through so we had to be prepared for wind.

Pinwheel Flowers

Paper Pinwheel Flowers

Heavier construction paper was used for the main component of the pinwheel flowers. Three 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheets of paper were folded accordion style and hot-glued together at the ends for the large bases. Next, I cut the edge on one side to either a wave, semi-circle, or triangle so the outside edge would have different shapes. I also cut out some shapes on the edges (triangles or circles) and used a hole punch while still accordion folded for that die-cut look. Then sheets 1 and 3 were glued together to form the large circle pinwheel flower base.

Two sheets of paper were used for the middle layer. These were made of either construction paper or scrapbook paper to add visual interest. Then the center pinwheel flower was made of even smaller scrapbook paper. The pinwheels were finished off with a small circle of a different scrapbook paper pattern.

Everything was affixed together with hot glue. I left some of these as just the middle layer with no scrapbook paper for variety. The accordion pieces were attached to the wall with foam double-sided tape. In the future, I may experiment with attaching the large base floret to a flat piece of cardboard to make it easier to affix to the wall as the accordion fold did not allow for the best surface area for adhesion.

Pennant Banners

Paper SWEETS Pennant Banner
The pennant banner was large triangles cut from scrapbook paper and hot glued on a ribbon with consistent spacing. The letters and circles were cut and glued in position to spell out “ARIANA”. I also made two more, one for her brother to place over the gift table and another for “SWEETS” on the candy/cake buffet.

The Candy Buffet Bar

Candy that matched our color theme in various shapes and sizes was purchased to fill a variety of vessels in different heights and volumes. We layered different colors of pearl candy in the same jar for visual interest. Most of the candy was individually wrapped. The ones that were not were placed in containers with lids. It looks nice to have varying heights. That can be done by placing risers either on top of the table directly or underneath another tablecloth atop the existing cloth.

I would recommend planning out which candies will go in what jars so that they are sized properly. That way, you can have one color of the same stick candy, for instance, in the same type of jar, one color for each container. This has big impact and helps with a polished, consistent look. Another good idea is to not have all the same colors on top or next to each other… (unless you have a one or two color bar). I also would recommend not having chocolate for outdoor parties as it will most definitely melt, especially here in Florida. A big hit was some old fashioned button candy on paper strips, candy bracelets, pearlized gumballs, and wafer flying saucers with tiny bead candy inside. Rock candy is always very nice but it tends to be more expensive. Of course, try not to display candy that may be a choking hazard for little ones.

It’s nice to adhere either sticky labels or luggage tag type cards that indicate what kind of candy is in each jar. You can also tie or glue ribbon or bling embellishments to the vessels as a finishing touch. It would help if all of the design was staged and photographed in advance. That way, anyone can set it up and fill up the candy according to the plan right before the party.

The Gift Table

Not only did our client have a sweets table, we also put together a gift table that used the above described spring candy theme but also had a photo display of her son’s first twelve months. For that, we added a piece of twine and attached 12 photos of the baby using tiny clothespins. This also included a dumdum lollipop topiary for a bit of whimsy.

Finishing Touches

The focal point of the sweets table was the two birthday cakes, one for each child. These were also decorated in the fun candy theme and topped with fondant lollipops. Individually wrapped candy themed cookies tied with ribbon were also displayed randomly on the table. And lastly, candy scoops were placed in the jars that required them and cellophane favor bags with ties were positioned on the table so the guests could indulge in take home treats. Another good idea would be Chinese style take out boxes with pretty labels of the birthday guest of honor’s name and birth date on the front.

I hope this makes it easy for you to have a fabulous candy buffet bar. Most of the individual do it yourself projects can be found in video form on the Internet. I modified the types of ribbons and some of the structure to fit my own design style. Many of the videos don’t actually have a set-up component, therefore, I wanted to make it simple for you to have three design elements that work well together with photos and descriptions to make the overall plan and setup comprehensible and easy to do. Of course, if crafting for a couple weeks beforehand isn’t your cup of tea, you can always hire KD’s Catering & Events to do it for you!