Start with the Center – Its always best to have a center piece for your buffet that will serve as a focal point from which you will work the rest of your buffet around. If you are incorporating a cake or cupcake tower in your buffet, that should certainly serve as your center focal point. Another option for a center focal point can be a simple framed customized saying or picture related to your event or theme (an item that comes standard with all of our kits). A flower arrangement also works well. Otherwise, you can simply use a jar as your centerpiece. In that case, our kits will either come with one unique jar/container designed to be the center piece, or we may supply you with an odd numbered (typically 3) set of a particular type of jar where one of the jars is designed to serve as that center focal point. In both cases, the jar designed to be in the center will typically be fairly large in volume and of at least medium height.
Left & Right – You want your buffet to be symmetrical, meaning that if split into two pieces, the left side of your table should closely match the right side. As a result, your remaining jars/containers should be in even sets of two, four, six, etc so that you can achieve this symmetry. How you arrange the group of jars on either side can vary and this is where you can express some creativity. But just make sure you generally match the pattern on the other side.
Front & Back – Here we apply the same principles that we do when taking a group or class picture. You know the drill – tall gawky people in the rear, average height people in the middle, and vertically challenged up front. Same goes here. Your tallest jars should be in the back portion of your table, your medium height jars and containers should be in the middle, and your short jars, along with your plates or platters (if you have them) should be up front. If your jars don’t vary that much in height, you can easily create this dynamic with the use of risers. Simply wrap or decorate a gift box, or something similar, that you can place your rear jars on top of to give them more height.
Riser Caution! – candy access and jar stability. When using risers, be sure not to elevate your jars so much that it makes it difficult for your guests to reach the candy inside. This is sure to result in jars toppling over. Also, ensure the platform that your riser creates is stable and has a considerable amount of excess surface area around the base of the jar. We suggest at least 3 inches of riser surface area all around the base of the jar. This is because as your guest take candy, your jars will undoubtedly shift and move slightly. If the riser surface area under the jar is too narrow, that jar will eventually fall off the riser. This is especially of concern when using plastic or acrylic jars (used in all of our DIY kits) which may seem nice and weighted when filled with candy, but become very light once the candy levels have depleted.
Your Candy Buffet needs to look great, but it also needs to be functional.
Spacing – Ok, so the left/right, front/back stuff may seem pretty obvious, right? Now here is a critical tip that likely won’t seem obvious. In fact, it will probably seem counter intuitive. But trust us on this – keep your jars close together. Thats right, keep your jar spacing pretty tight. Regardless of how small or big your table is, spreading your jars out too much makes your table look scarce and unattractive. Keeping the jars somewhat close together always gives the appearance of abundance and richness. You can alway fill up the outer ends of your table with accessories, props and extra treats. But keep your core jars and containers grouped somewhat tightly. This is an often overlooked tactic that can make a big difference.
Respect the Backdrop! – If you are incorporating a backdrop or sign in your candy buffet (highly recommended), then you need to be mindful not to block key aspects of that signage. Specificallly, if your sign or backdrop has wording or some key art elements, you want to position your jars in way that doesn’t directly obstruct the view of those items.
Here are some example candy buffet schematics that incorporate all the strategies references above: