– Step 1: Choose a theme for your sweet table
– Step 2: Place a tablecloth on your table
– Step 3: Look for containers
– Step 4: Think of treats that are as pretty as they are tasty
– Step 5: Organize your sweet table
– Step 6: Decorate the wall behind the sweet table
– Step 7: Personalize your sweet table
The sweet table is a concept from across the Atlantic that is starting to take off worldwide. The idea is to set a gourmet table around a theme. For instance, in the setup for a buffet, the table is more particularly furnished with sweets and sweet foods, but salty foods can also find their place.
This post reveals all the tips to set up a refined sweet table for a birthday, a baptism, a baby shower, or any other celebration.
1. Choose a theme for your sweet table
You can decline a sweet table theme in colours, shapes, foods, decorations…
Here are some ideas for themes:
– a colour or a harmony of colours;
– polka dots, stripes, stars, flowers;
– a season, a country, the sea;
– a calendar holiday: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, May 1st…
2. Place a tablecloth on your table
The tablecloth is an integral part of your decor. Choose it with care.
– Preferably, choose a tablecloth that falls to the ground: a sheet can do the trick.
– Match the colour of the tablecloth to your theme. If your décor is very colourful, a neutral or pastel-coloured tablecloth will be a good choice.
– As a general rule, choose a plain tablecloth that best complements your table decor.
Variation: layer two tablecloths, for example, the first one with a pattern (stripes, polka dots, flowers…), on top of which you will layer a shorter plain tablecloth.
3. Look for containers
Once you’ve decided on a theme, go hunting for containers:
– Use as much as you can of what you already own, even if it means diverting their use: plates, saucers, cups, bowls… but also vases, teapots, jars, mini-bottles, stemware, trays, boxes, aquariums, and even cardboard egg cartons (to be painted in the colours of your sweet table).
Tip: recycle containers that are not the right colour (vases, for example) by covering them with paper in the table’s colours.
– Make your cake stands by gluing pretty plates to candle holders, vases, or stemware with a bit of extra glue. Use them to display your large cakes, but also individual cakes.
4. Create treats that are as pretty as they are tasty
Set the scene for your cakes
– To match your theme, use food colouring to colour the frosting on individual cupcakes and large cakes.
– For a touch of sparkle, use cake glitter (both edible available at bakery stores).
– Decline the shapes and patterns if applicable:
◦ Shortbread, cake, and canapés are cut into star shapes for a “star” theme.
◦ Large cake sprinkled with small round chocolate dragees for a “polka dot” theme.
◦ Cupcakes, meringues, or macaroons arranged in a rosette for a “flowers” theme, etc.
Set the scene with pretty candies
Decorative and tasty, candies have a special place on a sweet table :
– Showcase them in clear jars or simple stemware.
– Thread soft candies (marshmallows, strawberries, and jelly beans…) onto wooden skewers to present them on skewers.
– Stab lollipops into boxes filled with tiny candies.
Scatter the candies all over the table, or group them to turn part of your table into a candy bar.
You can also make a candy tree.
5. Organize your sweet table
Give your sweet table some shape
– Place the tallest containers at the back: vases, cake stands, bottles, large jars…
– Create an intermediate level with stemmed glasses, salad bowls, bowls…
– Place plates, dishes, and trays in the front.
Tip: You can use white painted boxes or simple cardboard boxes covered with pretty paper for the back of the table to display certain delicacies up high.
Play with symmetry
Without being absolute, a certain symmetry confers elegance to your sweet table. Start from a central axis and plan a few symmetrical containers on each side: plates, vases, bottles, jars…
Note: the containers can be identical, but the contents are different.
Test before the big day
– Lay out your various empty containers.
– Take a step back to check the levels, the symmetry, and the general harmony.
– When you are satisfied with the result, take a picture to reproduce the layout later.
6. Decorate the wall behind the sweet table
Usually, the sweet table is leaning against a wall. In this case, decorate the wall, for example, with:
– a draped fabric;
– long intertwined ribbons;
– garlands of pennants, hearts, stars, flowers… ;
– paper flowers, rosettes, or fans make your own or buy them in birthday stores.
7. Personalize your sweet table
– In your cakes and cupcakes, prick various small decorations:
◦ Wooden sticks adorned with small pennants made of colourful masking tape.
◦ Spikes dressed with flags, hearts, stars, or circles cut from coloured paper or printed origami paper.
◦ Mini windmills.
– Glue party-themed labels on the bottles.
– Tie ribbons around the neck of the bottles.
– Dress drink cans in paper with table colours and glue a cute label on them.
– Display drinks in individual mini-bottles with straws.
– Arrange colourful straws in clear vases or jars.
– Decorate your table with fresh flowers: flowering branches, traditional bouquets, mini-bouquets, floating flowers…
Tip: present your bouquets in clear vases or containers and colour the water to match your theme.