Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to DIY Your Halloween Dessert Table + FREE Printables

Halloween has never been big with my family.  I already wrote about it here how our celebrations are usually limited to DIY costumes whenever the kids are invited to go trick or treating with their friends. But this year, OREO made Halloween special for all the SoMoms and the SoKids!

Since Halloween is really all treats and more treats, it's the perfect holiday for a dessert buffet table! When my fellow SoMom, Mish asked me to collaborate with her by designing graphics for our dessert table, the design lover in me couldn't say no. So for this OREO Halloween Trip & Treats event, I teamed up with the talented home-baker/party-planner/tablescape-stylist Mish Aventajado, and with creative paper-decorator/Paper Chic Studio owner, Cai Sio to create a Halloween dessert table filled with everyone's favorite Spookie Cookie, OREOs.
Here's Mish, Cai and Me posing beside the finished dessert table.  Photo courtesy of Mish Aventajado.

I am still having a serious case of design-crush with the centerpiece I designed. I love how it pops out from the black background, and how it creates a different level of visual interest.

Of course the star of the Halloween dessert table were the OREOs!  Look at what Mish did with them:
So creatively done, di ba? I love baking, but I haven't tried baking this large number of sweets - for a single event. When we were still conceptualizing everything, and I saw her list of things to bake, I already knew she took Halloween very, very seriously.

Here are some more of the scrumptious sweets and treats:
Photo courtesy of Michelle Lim

Mish also made sure there were lootbags for all the kids to bring home!
This lootbag topper I got here.

How cute are these mummy milk bottles made by Cai!!! She made sure the color of the paper straws match with the theme, too!
Photo courtesy of Michelle Lim

Custom-made BOO! sign made by Cai entirely out of OREOs.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Lim

Didi of Candishhh Tales also brought Halloweenn-themed sugar cookies from the commissary of her sister-in-law who supplies S&R all the cookies and cakes.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Lim

Here's the SoMoms' resident master party planner, Mish, putting the final touches on the table.

Everyone knows that in a party people always look forward to the dessert table, so here I am sharing with you a few ideas for an easy to do and inexpensive DIY Halloween dessert table:
1. Don’t do it alone. Ask friends and family to help out. This could mean breaking down the tasks like what we did - Mish took care of all the sweets and treats, Cai did the paper buntings and decors, while I designed the graphics used for the dessert table. But let me just stress that "collaborate" is a term I use loosely here because it was really Mish who created the moodboard, designed the table vignette, and baked ALL the sweets! She has the most amazing ideas for the dessert table, and it was really her enthusiasm that rubbed off on everyone else.
2Set a realistic expectation. DIY is really about finding your boundaries, what you can and cannot do. Be prepared to order your sweets if you are not an expert home-baker. You can order cupcakes from your favorite neighborhood bakery and print out some Halloween-themed cupcake toppers to make it all tie-up together. Lucky for you that I am sharing some FREE printables here! You can find them at the end of this post.
3. Decide on theme & colors. We decided to focus on the Halloween colors of chartreuse, orange, purple and black, so all the graphics I designed just used those four colors. Sticking to a color scheme will help make your design look cohesive. Make a mood board to help you keep your ideas together.
4. Make food tent cards. Dessert labels are not only necessary for your guests to distinguish the sweets, it's also a great way to get creative and personalize your dessert table. You can download the custom-designed printables I made to save costs on printers. Just download and print on board paper.
5. Style Your Table.  When you design your table make sure to get creative and use crates, boxes or cake stands to create different levels and areas of interest. Add any decorative item that matches with your theme, or even some custom signs like the witch centerpiece featured below.

The centerpiece is one of the first things people see on the table, so make sure that the desert centerpiece is standing high on the table to make it visually powerful.

Spooky eats and sweet treats? Yes, of course!

Here are some of the Halloween graphics I designed for the SoMoms' Halloween Dessert Table, and I am sharing these printables right here!
{ Download Witch Buffet Centerpiece 11" x 17" }

You can still DIY your own Halloween dessert table! Just download the printables in this post to make your table preparation easier. If you are really pressed for time, nothing bad with ordering ready-made sweets, too!
Photo courtesy of Mish Aventajado.
For extra inspiration, head over to Momma 'N Manila as Mish shares more of how she did the sweets and her inspiration for the tablescape.  Then get the how-to for the paper decor from Cai in her blog, Apples & Dumplings.