Do It Yourself Project: Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet Decor

by Niki in — Updated November 16, 2019 — Reading Time: 4 minutes

Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet

In this first post, we’ll discuss the basic decorative pieces: the dual layer table runner, the table signs, the paper fan arrangement, and the risers.

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Dual Layer Table Runner

What You’ll Need

Roll Wrap (Cut Approximately 18″ Longer than Your Surface’s Length)
Solid Linen or Similar Fabric (Approximately 19″ Longer than Your Surface’s Length)
Sewing Pins and Machine

Cut your fabric to measure 19″ longer than your surface’s length and 4″ thinner than the width of your roll wrap. Iron the linen or fabric to make sure your pinning and sewing work is even. Pin and hem the two long sides of the fabric. Repeat on the short sides.

When preparing your table, measure your roll wrap out to the length of the table plus approximately 18″ and trim. Layer your fabric runner on top of the cut roll wrap and center horizontally within it so that a 2″ edge is visible on either side. If necessary, keep the runners down and flat with double stick tape.

Roll wrap makes a great substitute runner if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a long runner and also looks great on its own, so feel free to use only that if you wish.

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Table Signs

What You’ll Need

Our Table Sign PDF,  Featuring Leigh Wells‘ Calligraphy (available here) or Blank (available here)
Cover Weight Paper
Place Card Holders (we used these from Beau Coup)

Print one set (or as many as you need) of the table signs on cover weight paper to make sure it is strong enough to stand upright. Cut along the exterior dotted line carefully on each individual sign. Insert each sign into its own place card holder and place in front of the appropriate dessert or candy.

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Paper Fan Arrangement

What You’ll Need

Seven (or More, If You Want a Larger Display) Tissue Paper Fans
Tools to Suspend Fans from Wall (String, a Hammer, and Nails Used on Set)
An Assistant

Before adhering anything to the wall, check with your venue to see how they will allow you to suspend your paper fans. Unless you’re having your event at private home (yours, family’s, or friend’s), chances are you won’t be able to nail anything into the wall. If you can’t arrange for an alternate method, consider buying a tall and wide wood board from a home improvement store, sanding it and painting it as you would a wall. Nail directly into the board instead, then set it behind your display as a presentation wall.

The following directions are a little complicated, so please use the accompanying infographics to help you.

Step One

Ask an assistant to hold your fans in place while you check to make sure the fans are being affixed where you want them. Have your assistant help you find the aesthetic center of the wall area behind the dessert buffet display. Rough in your middle paper tissue fan, but do not attach it permanently yet.  Take another fan and place it behind and to the left of the “roughed in” central fan. The bottoms of both fans should align at the bottom, and the second fan’s right edge should roughly meet the center of the first placeholder fan. Nail this fan in and repeat this on the right side. When the left and right fans have been placed, permanently adhere the first central fan on a layer above them.

Step Two

On the next layer, you’ll want to work outside to inside again. Place the second layer’s leftmost fan so its bottom and right edge is flush with the center of the first layer’s leftmost fan and attach it to the wall. Repeat this on the far right side, aligning the bottom and left edge to the center of the first layer’s rightmost fan.

Step Three

On the final layer, align the last two fans so they are center aligned with the left and right most fans from the first layer. The bottom edges of both of these fans should be slightly lower than with  centers of the layer before it.  Optionally, you can add a third paper fan between these two final fans to finish off the look.

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Cupcake Risers

What You’ll Need

Large, Rigid Storage Boxes (ours are from the Container Store)
2″ Wide Ribbon
Double Stick Tape
Hot Glue and Glue Gun

Remove the lids from your storage boxes and set them aside.

Roll out your book cloth on a clean surface, face down. Place the open, lidless side of your box upwards and begin to wrap your box in bookcloth exactly as you would with wrapping paper. Keep seams closed with double stick tape to hide your handiwork. If additional adhesive power is needed,  use small hot glue dots and press bookcloth pieces firmly together before the glue cools to avoid creating the appearance of bumps in the cloth surface. Make sure your sides are as clean as possible, as these seams will be exposed. After wrapping your risers, turn it right side up again to hide the bottom seam.

Cut a length of ribbon that is slightly longer than the length needed to wrap around the box. Start at the front of the box with the center part of the ribbon. Align the top of the ribbon with the top edge of the box, and glue the ribbon onto the surface of the bookcloth covered box. Take care to avoid any bumps as described above. Continue wrapping and gluing the ribbon around the box until you reach the back. Cut the excess on both ends of the ribbon off at 45° angles so when they meet at the center of the back they will cleanly seam together. Glue down.

Images by Michael Haug; prop styling by Kirki Schultz; food styling by Maddy Hague.

12 thoughts on “Do It Yourself Project: Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet Decor”

  1. Wow! It looks awesome, I can see it fitting to any season just by changing the colors. Thanks for all your hard work!

  2. I love this! thanks so much! where is a good place to find roll wrap?

  3. This roll wrap was actually from Target! It was in the wedding aisle, where a lot of the color palette is silver and white (perfect for our use!).

  4. WOW! Best collaboration ever. I am SO excited about these posts, everything looks amazing! I’ll be linking.

  5. Thanks Rachel! That’s really sweet of you to say. Glad you like them!

  6. Absolutely stunning 🙂

  7. I love, love, LOVE this! I keep coming back to it and trying to figure out when I can schedule a party to try it out.

  8. I love this set up! For some reason the table signs with calligraphy are not coming up when you click in the link. Is it no longer available?

  9. No, it should be there. Strange! I’ll reupload it. Sorry about that!

  10. Can you tell me where I can find tissue paper fans! I’ve searched EVERYWHERE!!! Thanks!

    • Hi Mollie – these ones are from

  11. thankyouthankyouthankyou


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