I’m excited to share the dessert table from my daughter’s Magical Unicorn Party with you guys today. 🦄 My goal was to make this table festive and fun, but not overwhelming… after all this was just one little piece of the party!
As much as I love to admire at “over-the-top” dessert tables – and even bring them to life for large events myself once in a while – the reality is that they usually require a LOT of time and money (as in several hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars 🤑).
This isn’t often doable for personal events, and it certainly wasn’t doable for me here. I kept this design manageable by featuring just one professional dessert (the darling unicorn cake) + 3 simple and easy matching treats:
- “Unicorn Fluff” (cotton candy)
- macarons (store-bought at Sam’s Club)
- and “Unicorn Horns” (candy coated sugar cones)
Keeping it Real
Even with a “simplified” table like this, the elements can add up quick. Every little ingredient and detail costs something. With that in mind, I’m going to do something a little different with this post and break down exactly how much I spent for you, in addition to sharing where to find things.
Price breakdown isn’t something I typically do, but I know that this kind of info can be helpful as far as gaining a general understanding of what these things take to pull together, especially if you’re setting one up for the first time. Then you can take that info and decide to go bigger, smaller, or similar in scope, depending on your own situation.
Read on for the full breakdown after a few more pics!
We found pink & blue cotton candy at Sam’s club (only $6 for an 8 pack of medium sized tubs). I divided those up amongst 16 cellophane bags. Each bag had a mix of pink and blue, and they disappeared quickly, as usual!
I always work printable signage into my dessert tables for 2 reasons:
- They’re a great way to play up the theme.
- They take up space on the table very inexpensively! 😉
Even though this is a pastel unicorn party, I incorporated pops of black throughout the printables for a bit of “fashionista” flair. Note – I have this printable sign available with both a black background AND a white background though!
The French macarons were another Sam’s Club score. At $19 for 42 of them, this was a very good price for macarons!
In the last couple hours before the party, I was REALLY getting pressed for time, so my husband and 8 year old daughter (birthday girl’s big sis) actually made the “unicorn horn” treats! I also made these “Horn Treats” a while back for a Fisher-Price unicorn party and you can find the tutorial here. They do look best with 2 coats of candy melts, but we only had time for one coat here, and no one complained at all… they were still a huge hit with the kids. 😋
For this backdrop, I wanted to use these pretty iridescent pearl fringe curtains, which are great quality and heavier than you might expect. The only place it worked to place the table was directly in front of our sliding glass doors, which have nothing around them to use for hanging. So….
We ended up using a couple temporary wall hooks on either side of the doors to hang the curtains. See white circle indicators towards the top of the image above. We also stuck 36″ dowel rods into the top portion of each curtain panel for extra support, then overlapped the dowels by a few inches in the middle where the panels met up to form one longer, 6-ft curtain.
To embellish the backdrop, I turned to with high-impact, low cost elements: BALLOONS! A couple mylar stars ($2 each) and one big script balloon ($6) did the trick. I also added a few tassels pulled off a tissue tassel garland that hung elsewhere in the party.
Sidenote: The “yay” balloon did not arrive as a pretty gold color like in the picture AT ALL. 😬 It was an extremely orange-y gold that really stuck out and was no where near the shade of gold displayed online. To remedy this, I ended up giving just the front side of it a couple coats of champagne gold spray paint. This isn’t something you have to do by any means – just wanted to give you a heads up on it! I already had the gold paint in my garage, and it only took a few minutes to fix.
Here’s exactly what I spent and where:
- unicorn cake* (double barrel) – $85
- cotton candy – $6
- yay! balloon – $6
- pink star and blue star balloons – $4
- sugar cones – $5
- candy melts (pink and teal) – $4
- pastel rainbow sprinkles – $5
- French macarons – $19
- cloud light – $13
- pearl fringe curtains – $22 ($11 x 2)
- wall hooks – $3
Total: $167 + tax
*I splurged on a professional cake because I wanted it to be the focal point of the table AND knew I’d have a million other things to do, so it was worth it to me to outsource. However, you could also make your own unicorn cake for around $25 for materials (including horn and ears), bringing the total closer to $100.
Things used that I already owned:
- cake stands
- treat containers/plates
- frame + paper (for printing the sign)
- Ikea table (This is a $9 Linnmon Tabletop + Adils Legs at $4 each.)
- cello bags** (used for cotton candy)
- sparkly gold “7”
- dowel rods
- tissue tassels (extras pulled off a garland)
**The cellophane bags were a mix of the Spirit brand from Target (with the gold dots) and clear bags from Michaels. I had both leftover from past projects.
As you can see, even small details still add up quick! And I used a LOT of items that I already owned. Just something to keep in mind for your planning.
I love watching the kids (and even grown ups) immediately gravitate to the dessert table though. There’s something about “styled sugar” that seems to act like a magnetic force and makes faces instantly light up! I also usually view dessert tables as “centerpieces for the entire party” as well, which makes them worth some extra effort.
*Stay tuned for details from the rest of the party coming soon!* :)