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DIY Dessert Table Backdrop

For our at-home-reception, in Alberta, I really, really, really want a dessert table, with treats made by me from recipes passed down from the moms and grandmas on both sides of the family. I do not know if I can do that yet (the caterer has not gotten back to me with a yay or nay yet). More on that later.

But in my vision of the dessert table, there are thrift store cake stands put together by me, little paper tent cards labelling each food item, a “Love Is Sweet” banner hanging from the table, and a ribbon garland backdrop behind it all. And, while waiting for the okay from the caterer, I have been gathering plates from thrift shops, made the paper tent cards (which were free, so just time was wasted if I do not get the go-ahead), and created the banner. The plates and banner can be used if she insists on supplying the dessert anyway.

Next on the agenda was the backdrop. I loved the pictures of ribbon garlands and bunting I saw on pinterest, and knew that it would be plenty easy enough to create something on my own.

DIY Dessert Table Backdrop
One inspiration picture.  from: http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/diy-dessert-table/

I started with my trusty pile of hemp cord. I used to make hemp jewellery way-back-when (like, in Junior High), so I have TONS of the stuff left over, and use it for pretty much everything. I strung out the hemp cord the length I wanted and cut (I used one plain colour and one dark blue, since I wanted the cord doubled). Easy enough.

Next came the fabric. Yes, fabric; no ribbon was actually used in my ribbon garland. While doing some early spring cleaning, I happened upon a small curtain valance. I have NO idea where it came from, but it has been hiding in my closet for year and years. I forgot it was there. I think maybe it was hanging in the laundry room when we moved in… Well regardless, we do not use it, and I am trying to declutter… and that is when I realized how much cheaper it would be to just make the garland out of that fabric. It was blue, after all. Next was a trip to a thrift store (I think Value Village) where I found a pair of pillow cases in as close to coral (our other colour) as was available. With tax, that came to $2.09. I cut all this fabric up into thin strips. I actually tried to vary the widths, because I like that raw look, but you could measure it out precisely if you wanted.

DIY Dessert Table Backdrop
The “before” material; curtains and pillow cases
DIY Dessert Table Backdrop
And all cut up into strips. While the strips are in the “ballpark” of the same size, they definitely vary in length and width. (Please ignore the laptop cord in the picture!)


Now I took the hemp cord I previously measured and cut, and started tying on the fabric, strip by strip. It is helpful to tie one end of the cord (or ribbon or string or whatever you use) to something so it can stretch out and you can see your progress. One nice thing is that you can actually slide the tied-on fabric strips along the string, so you can space it the way you like it. For example, I had to go back and even out some spacing and add some more blue mixed in with the coral.

DIY Dessert Table Backdrop
A simple knot is all it takes!

Once you have all your material on, stretch it out completely to make sure that it is the way you like it. You could trim off uneven ends (either the tied ends or the ones hanging down), but I chose not to do that. I like the look of it uneven.

DIY Dessert Table Backdrop
All finished!
DIY Dessert Table Backdrop
Hanging in the bathroom to stretch it out more and keep it out of the reach of kitty-cat claws. Plus, when I run hot water, the steam will take care of some of the wrinkles.


So there you have it. My dessert table backdrop, completely finished, for only a few cents over $2. Now hopefully I can get the rest of the dessert table the way I want it too!

What kind of decor elements are you DIYing for your day?



is a teacher living in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. She got married in 2013 - read her wedding planning posts here.