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!
Keeping it Real
As much as I love to admire “over-the-top” dessert tables – and even bring them to life for client events myself sometimes – the reality is that they usually require a LOT of time and money (as in several hundred or sometimes thousands of dollars 🤑).
This isn’t usually doable for personal events, and it certainly wasn’t for my daughter’s 7th birthday party 😆. I kept this design manageable by featuring just one professional dessert (the darling unicorn cake) + 3 simple and inexpensive matching treats:
- “Unicorn Fluff” (cotton candy)
- Macarons (store-bought at Sam’s Club)
- Sugar Cone “Unicorn Horns”
What does this actually COST? 🤔
Even with a “simplified” table like this, the elements can add up quickly. Every little ingredient and detail costs something.
With that in mind, I’m going to do something 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 to gain 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 & 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:
1.They’re a great way to play up the theme.
2. 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!
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 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 definitely look best with 2 coats of candy melts, but we only had time for one coat, 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 of 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 threaded 36″ dowel rods through the top (fabric) portion of each curtain panel for extra support. The dowels overlapped 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 high-impact, low-cost elements: BALLOONS! A couple of 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 nowhere near the shade of gold displayed when I ordered it. To remedy this, I ended up giving just the front side of it a couple quick coats of champagne gold spray paint. This isn’t something you have to do – I just wanted to give you a heads up on it! I already had the gold spray 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 quickly. And I used a LOT of items that I already owned. If I hadn’t, the cost here could’ve easily doubled. 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 as a magnetic force and makes faces instantly light up! I also usually view dessert tables as “centerpieces for the entire party”, which makes them worth the extra effort as well.
Magical Unicorn Party Printables