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Masquerade Party Ideas? (Candy Buffet!)

22 April 2010 225,490 views 13 Comments

by heather

Hi Heather,
I first want to say that I love your blog and always enjoy seeing the crafts you showcase. I have seen you come up with ideas for several other decorating and party schemes (and your readers are wonderful too!) so I was hoping you might be able to help me out.

My husband's family (of 14 kids *gasp) has 7 birthdays from April through May (ages 17 through 30, boys and girls) and every year we do a mass birthday party instead of trying to have a party every week. This year we are trying to plan a masquerade theme and I would really love some cheap ideas. I'm already making giant and over sized paper masks to hang on the walls and I have a couple of wrought iron candliers to hang up (we're decorating in our large unfinished basement) and I plan to use lots of twinkly lights as well as balloons but I would sure love some ideas for centerpieces and other decor. We plan to have the party on the first of May in the evening with indoor and outdoor entertaining areas so we've got a couple of weeks and I've got a LOT of free time.

Thanks so much in advance for any suggestions you can make!


My idea:

A Candy Buffet: Since there will be guests of all ages, a candy buffet would be a fun and colorful centerpiece (and the best part: you don't have to spend money on stuff you won't use again, because it's all edible!) Here are some ideas for how to make a candy buffet:

I found a fantastic example of a candy buffet at Kara's Party Ideas. She gives a lot of info on how she created her candy buffet in this blog entry, but some of the cool things she made are: marshmallow pops, tissue paper pom-poms, and a Dum Dum topiary, which is a fabulous centerpiece idea for a masquerade!

The Dum Dum topiary is a great dollar store craft! So great, in fact, that I'm gonna cost it out for you right here:

Project Estimate:

  • Planter, $1 (paint your theme color)
  • Floral foam, $1
  • Foam ball, $1
  • Dowel, $.50 (will make several topiaries)
  • Maribou boa, $1 (if you can find one in the toy section of the dollar tree, otherwise more like $3-5 per boa)
  • Bag of Dum Dums, $1 and up (sometimes they have these at the dollar store)

Total: $5.50 or so

One reason why I like the topiary is that it gives a lot of visual impact (and the appearance of a LOT) of candy, but you can make it for relatively little money. Instead of having to fill an entire vase with candy, you can strategically place your candy on the foam ball and visually extend it!

Lollipop Display Idea: There are a lot of other great candy buffet ideas at Hostess With The Mostess, including this Sesame Street candy buffet post in which she gives a lot of good advice for setting your own buffet up. I like how she displays these lollipops by filling a container with a flat piece of foam, sticking the lollipops in the foam, then topping with loose candy.

Sourcing Your Candy: If I were doing a candy buffet, my first stop would be Winco--a west coast grocery store that has a great bulk food section, including lots of candy. If you don't live in WA, OR, CA, NV, ID, or UT, you might have a similar grocery chain in your area. The dollar store has some novelty candy (although not in big quantities!), so you might be able to do some fill-in candy from the dollar store. You can also buy a variety of candy in bulk from Oriental Trading Company (and they also have some masquerade party supplies). [I found the swirl sucker assortment shown here at OTC: $24.99 for 110 pieces]

This photo is from a Pirate birthday party I had for my son. As you can see, you don't have to have huge containers of candy to make visual impact! I used dishes I already had at home for a few kinds of candy, and then filled in with other cheap, colorful items like plastic containers of bubbles, and basket of fruit.

Candy Buffet Display: You can find various colorful or clear receptacles for holding candy at the dollar store. They have a lot of candy dishes, bowls, vases, glasses and goblets. You can also make your own tiered serving dishes from trays and a candlestick, like this one at Tatertots & Jello, or this tiered bowl would also be especially great for a colorful candy display. Don't overlook the cylindrical vases! They'll make a great visual impact filled with colorful layers of candy.

[this candy buffet by Holly at Art, Meet Craft]

Serving the Candy: Remember to provide some kind of portable receptacle for people to take their candy in. Clear plastic party glasses are good for at-party snacking, and little favor bags or boxes work well for to-go boxes. You can find all of these things in the wedding section at your local Dollar Tree.

Now it's your turn: Readers, I know you have a lot of good ideas for masquerade party centerpieces and decor, so please chime in with your ideas!

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  • Melissa said:

    Thank you so much for all the awesome ideas Heather!! I happen to know that all of my birthday boys and girls are sugar fiends so a candy themed party is brilliant!

  • Jamye said:

    I saw a candy buffet table at a wedding reception once. All pink, black and white candies. Guests were given little bags to fill at will to take home. Great idea!

  • Heather H said:

    Great idea! We’re including one in the Twilight party we’re doing next week! It’s kind of a pain trying to find it in red, black, and white though. Black is not a readily available candy color, unless it’s licorice. ;)

  • May Kids Activities and Family Fun Links | Classroom Jr. said:

    […] Mann presents How to Make a Candy Buffet! posted at Dollar Store Crafts, saying, “A fun idea for any kind of celebration: a candy […]

  • Cinco de Mayo Candy Buffet | Croq Zine - The Blog said:

    […] carnitas in the crock pot is worth some points! Since everyone else on the internet is having a candy buffet for their parties, I thought I’d stage a preschool-sized candy buffet, so I picked up some […]

  • All Things Family Blog Carnival said:

    […] Ideas: Heather Mann presents How to Make a Candy Buffet! posted at Dollar Store Crafts, saying, “Make a dum-dum topiary, and more ideas for having a […]

  • candy for candy buffet said:

    If you’re ordering candy online, be sure to place your order well in advance so that you have time to stage the buffet at home before the party and order more candy if necessary. You also want to avoid rush shipping fees, as bulk candy can be very heavy! I love candy buffets! I think it seems overwhelming at first but it really comes together in the end and ends up giving your guests a party favor they can customize for themselves.

  • kristina chester said:

    I am doing a firefighter theme birthday party for my 5 year old son. Can you give me some suggestions on what to put on the candy for sayings and also what to put in a frame to tell them what to do. And a thank you saying to put on the bags.

  • Erin said:

    I love the candy tags on the top picture for the candy buffet. Where did you find that shape to use for a template? It’s definitely a nice touch.

  • Jenny said:

    Thanks…you have so many great ideas. My five year old is already planning her party that’s 4 months away..so this was just what I needed for inspiration. I did some checking online and found a company online, Box and Wrap that has some really cute favor boxes, candy bags, and candy boxes. I’m going to let the kids fill their own take home candy bag as a Thank you for coming to the party.

  • Tamara said:

    I love the idea. I think I will use peppermint candies and make a Christmas Ball for each of the kids at church for their tree. Thank you for sharing. This is the first tie I have been on your site. I am putting it in my favorites. :)

  • Nicole @ BackyardSimple said:

    I love the dum dum topiary – adorable idea. We’ve had tables with popcorn and candy for a movie night – but will have to try some of these ideas at our next backyard party

  • Jasmine said:

    I really like how you have two table cloths and one is hoisted up a little. How do you keep the top table cloth up?