Confectionery Christmas

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – table signageI was pleased to participate as both a designer and one of 4 workshop presenters this past weekend at “Garlands & Gatherings”, a benefit event for Hope Haven of Cass County, MO. Hope Haven provides shelter, advocacy and support services to women and children in our area who have fallen victim to domestic violence or sexual assault. The Saturday morning brunch brought out a nice group of women looking to support the cause, have a little fun, and learn a few tips on holiday decorating (Karen Mills, Interiors by Design and me), personal style (Jennifer Niehouse, It’s So U!), and cooking trends (Jean Ostby, Williams-Sonoma). Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be posting the tablescapes I designed for the event with the hope that you will enjoy them as much as the benefit attendees did!

To kick it off, this first table is something fun for kids. The pastel/candy/polka-dot theme would be great for a Christmastime birthday party or just to make the kids feel extra-special at their assigned Christmas Day dinner table!

Please pardon the photo quality. The lighting wasn’t the best, and I was under a tremendous time crunch.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – pastel tablescape for kidsAlthough it generally would not be practical to employ a full-length linen for a children’s table, I used one here to cover the ugly legs of the folding table and to hide scads of storage boxes! The 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth on this table for 8 is from (Alternatives to a linen: [1] go bare, [2] use an inexpensive sheet, [3] wrap the ugly legs in festive ribbon, [4] add Christmas elf stockings to the legs stuffed with gift tissue to make them stay up & cover the leg all the way to the top, and then “gift wrap” the table surface.)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – Multiple place settings


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – single place settingI chose to go with paper and plastic goods for this kid-friendly tablescape. Each place setting begins with a colorful polka-dot “placemat” which is actually a piece of felt from Hobby Lobby. Very inexpensive at just 50¢ apiece. Next are Dollar Store plates in pastel blue and purple topped with a ring pop to add a little color, fun, and a bigger sugar high for the kids. 😉


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – Flatware, napkin, cup collageI used various colored flatware to add to the colorful nature of tablescape. A trio of soft paper napkins are tucked beneath each dinner plate.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – Centerpiece



Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – "marshmallow" Christmas tree


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – curling ribbon "tree skirt"The inspiration for this tablescape was the pair of “marshmallow and candy” Christmas trees I found at Hobby Lobby. I set them atop a clear glass pedestal for added height and then created a “tree skirt” using scads of curling ribbon. (What a pain in the patootie!)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – Candy in apothecary jars collageKeeping with the confectionery theme, I added clear glass apothecary jars down the center of the table filled with all kinds of colorful candies. The swirl pops amidst the Pixie Stix look very much like the inedible “marshmallow” swirl pops from Hobby Lobby in the very center of the table that add even more height to the overall look. (NOTE: If you don’t want to risk your nice glass apothecaries, try using various sizes of clear Mason jars or jars that previously held jelly, mayo, pickles, etc.)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – pastel nutcrackersI also found these wonderful pastel nutcrackers at Hobby Lobby to place at each end of the centerpiece and stand sentry over the candy!


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – Pastel chair with candy swag


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – ribbon, candy & ornament chair swagI created this fun look by covering ordinary banquet chairs with a white stretchy cover and a bubble gum pink satin sash from I then used a length of yellow satin ribbon to affix a melange of candy ornaments to the center. The polka-dot ribbon (Hobby Lobby) was the final touch to tie the chairs in with the dots on the marshmallow trees and the placemats. (Chair covers for a kid’s party? With these easy stretch covers, clean up is a breeze! Just toss ’em in the laundry!!!)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – Gift bag collageAs a final touch, I added a couple of gift bags adorned with candy cane ornaments. The paper gift tissue is a mix of pink and polka dots.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – Ebony Smith-Jackson of EAJ Events helping outBig shout out to Ebony Jackson of EAJ Events In Lee’s Summit for coming to lend a helping hand in the 6+ hour setup!


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, “Confectionery Christmas” – set up for Garlands & Gatherings, a benefit event for Hope Haven of Cass County, MOLast, just for laughs, here’s a picture of me – no makeup, pancake flat hair, and my “out in public” back brace bulging beneath my sweater – as setup began. Goodness knows that back brace needed to be on, because when it was my turn to present…..well, just watch this 90-second video!


I’m back on my walker now to get around and having sleepless nights from the pain. But it sure was fun while it lasted! 🙂

More kid-friendly Christmas-themed tablescapes on this site:
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High
Frosty the Snowman
Kaleidoscope Christmas

Parties I’m linking up with this week:
Between Naps on the Porch – Tablescape Thursday
Rustic & Refined – Table It!
Style Sisters – Centerpiece Wednesday
How Sweet the Sound – Pink Saturday

60 thoughts on “Confectionery Christmas

  1. Aww shake it girl!!! You must be the life of the party wherever you go! My back would not have been “happy” at all, hats off to you. Your table was fun and playful and I will be eyeing the felt next time I’m in Hobby Lobby. The sashes on the chairs are so creative kids and grown ups alike would love to be a this table. Hope you’re resting!

  2. Love, love, love this!!! What a magical table for both children and adults – I love the pastels and the pastel nutcrackers. Take care of your back! Hope you are feeling “in the pink!” soon!

  3. I would’ve been dancing right along with that “Happy” song with you, Alycia, but I’m so sorry that you paid the price for it afterwards. You poor thing!!
    However, your table is a dream and what I especially loved it that you used paper plates and cups from the Dollar store. That is real, my friend, and you could show how cute a table can be done inexpensively. Those trees from Hobby Lobby sure make for a gorgeous centerpiece. Who can resist candy at a table?? Not me!!
    Take care and watch that shaking!

  4. Woo hoo you know how to work a crowd! Your table was adorable! I Should think anyone would enjoy sitting there! 🙂 I hope you aren’t completely miserable but I guess it was worth it if you helped get the donations needed!

  5. Alycia,
    I now have a whole new appreciation of who you are. I want to be your friend! This table illuminates your mind to your readers. You are the set designer of the social graces and interaction. Whether it is a casual, elegant, or whimsical event…you can take us to another place. You could do theatrical sets, window dressing, anything you want to do, but putting your talent into event settings shows us that you find importance in the relationships of people.
    I didn’t know you were a professional speaker on top of it! You must have had a very good education and parents who instilled confidence.
    Oh, I made a huge bow the other day with curling ribbon myself…my gosh I know what you mean.
    I hope you do a book, Alycia.

  6. You finally got them to “get up and go”. Shake off the dullness and prepared for an excellent presentation. Great Job Alycia!

  7. OMGosh! You made my day with your dancing! I’d never know you had back problems…you were awesome!
    Love the table, too, with the pastel colors…so sweet, and for such a good cause. Looking forward to seeing the other tablescapes.
    Hope your back will be better soon. I’m headed back to watch the video again. LOL

  8. You go girl! You are amazing!! And that, boys and girls, is what adrenaline will do for you. Or, perhaps it was just the sugar rush from looking at that sweet table! 😉 I know I’ve said it repeatedly, but you are blessed with a gift. You are so creative! I can just imagine how a child’s eyes would light up at this table. I also applaud you for participating in this event to benefit Hope Haven of Cass County, MO. Your work is doing good for other women, and children. Get some rest, the holidays are quickly approaching. Praying that your pain level decreases quickly! xx

  9. Oh my goodness! I’m so happy to see this because it just reinforces what I knew were my good instincts 😉. That is TOTALLY something I would have done! You are so much fun Alicia, and super talented to boot!

    That children’s table is just darling, and I will never look at felt the same way again. Leave it to you to think to use them for placemats, and tying in the ribbon on the chairs is simply so ‘Alycia’!

    I’m so very sorry to hear you’re not doing well with your back. Please take care and get plenty of rest and relaxtion now.

  10. I’m shaking my head….You are too cute! You said that you can’t sit still and now I really believe you. Love those Nutcrackers and the entire color scheme. Rest yourself, you have more dancing to do! 🙂 Kudos to you my dear!

  11. err-mehh-gawd I am laughing my a$$ off right now. And I’m wishing I had been at that event. I would have kicked that up to a conga line right NOW! Now I’m going to go look at the table scape.

  12. Can you hear me laughing as I dance with you on that video? You really know how to get people moving, girl. I love the video. But…I am so sorry you shook things too hard and are paying the price through your pain! I must still be a child, because I adore this table – the polka-dots and pastels, the candy and the nutcrackers. What kid wouldn’t love this table? What a great idea to use felt squares for place mats. You are a genius! I hope you’ve got some meds that ease your pain. Take it easy…can’t wait to see what’s next, hopefully nothing too painful for you. 🙂 BTW, I think you need your own talk show. You have great stage command, girl!

  13. Such an adorable table! I love every little thing you did! The trees are so cute! I don’t have a Hobby Lobby near, but one is opening soon! I can’t wait. Putting the trees up on the pedestals was a great idea and the curling ribbon added the perfect colorful touch! I also love the treatment you used to dress up the chairs! Makes me want to be a little girl at this party table!

  14. You’ve got some moves, girl! Your tablescape made me giggle like a little kid and your video just made me happy. Lovely to see that the person I know by words is just as much fun on video! I hope you are recovering from your craziness.

  15. Ohhh lordy lordy ya had to do the dance….LOL You looked darn good girl!! But I am sorry to hear you are paying for it now…I hope you feel better soon!

    That table you did is the cutest thing, I love those nut crackers and the child like theme…so darn cute that i want to do my hair in pig tails again….

  16. I could not concentrate on the tablescape once I played the video Alycia! YOU CAN MOVE GIRL! I’d love to see you when you are NOT in pain!!!! Love those marshmallow trees and the tall candy filled vase in the center. They create a playful vibe. The chair tie backs are adorable. Candy Wonderland complete with the dancing fairy godmother- the icing on this tablescape! You made my week!

  17. You go girl! Damn, I don’t believe you have any physical complaints dancing like that! Your tablescape definitely made me HAPPY, I just love candy themed anything! The shopping bags overflowing with promise were a fabulous touch!! You rocked this in more ways than one, and I can’t wait to see what’s up next!!

  18. Bravo, Alycia! You scored again, I lOVE this table (great idea about the felt placemats!) Kids will squeal with delight! So sorry you had to pay such a physical price. Please rest and take care of yourself. It’s no joke having back pain and you’re too important to all to be under the weather. I couldn’t see your video because I have a “blocked plug-in”, but when I’m on my husband’s computer, I take a look. Great post. Rosie

  19. You crazy woman, Alycia! Hope your back is feeling better. Love the table…oh, to be a kid, again! I love this table…and those nutcrackers are adorable.
    Hope you are staying warm…can’t believe it turned so cold…just like turning a cold faucet on.

  20. Way to shake it, Alycia! Sorry you’re a little sore now, though! What a treat to get to hear your presentation. I know those ladies learned a lot and had a great time, too.

    Your table looks like so much fun!! As the youngest, I ended up sitting at the Kiddie Table longer than my other cousins, helping to supervise THIER kids. If that table had looked like yours, I wouldn’t have complained so much!! lol

    What a fantastic job you did on those chairs. They looked good enough to eat. LOVE LOVE LOVE those marshmallow and candy trees!!!! They are perfect, but come on, do you really believe anyone would take those nutcracker sentries seriously with cupcakes on their heads?!!!

    You knocked it out of the park on this one, Girl!! Can’t wait to see what you’re sharing next. Take it easy for awhile and feel better soon, my friend!!

  21. Awwww suki,suki.. now!! Lady.. I see you know how to get down!(and you did it in heels too – you go girl)… Wonderful candy land tablescape.. the twister candies brought me back to childhood immediately. I’ve never seen dollar store plastics and paper goods look so elegant… Kudos to you..

  22. I can’t imagine that there’s a single child in the world who wouldn’t be thrilled to sit at this table! It’s darling! Wow! You really went in an unexpected direction with this color scheme! I would have expected the nutcrackers to have been the inspiration! How do you manage to always find this stuff? Did Ramon put you on timeout afterwards for overexerting yourself? Take it easy for a while now. No more tablescaping until you are better!

  23. Oh girl, I love you! I love seeing your beautiful energy (and your ‘out in public’ self too). Your confection table is something any kid would love. Those felt placemats – brilliant! That curling ribbon – that’s how I wrap the majority of my presents, so much so, my kids have come to know mom ties some hellacious knots with her packages, hehe. Love how you’ve connected all the dots, Alycia. I’m looking forward to your other tables, too. Looked like a great crowd, I bet they loved you too, and who can NOT dance to Happy??

  24. You are on a walker and having sleepless nights?! 😦
    I was afraid that Pharell Williams and Alycia Nichols would send those sweet ladies into cardiac arrest ahahahah
    What a wonderful clip of an amazing and inspiring Woman. You Rule, SISTER :love:
    The table is perfect! It brings the happy child on me and demand I play. If that’s not a hit I don’t know what is.
    Thank you so much for the inspiring and uplifting post. I thought I’d be craving sugar like mad once I finished the pictures but your clip put happy where sugar wanted to be a poor substitute.
    THANKS YOU! All the Love,

  25. Girl, you got moves like Jagger!!! Thank you for the shout out. I had a ball helping. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until afterwards. The pictures don’t do it justice. My favorites are still the nutcrackers :-). Rest up this week because you have a house to decorate!!.

  26. Hi Alycia – What a fun, festive table for the kids, and bonus that it is for a great cause too. I love everything, but I think my favorite piece is the embellishment on the back of the chair. Can’t wait to see the others! Hugs, Holly

  27. I just hope I have a chance to MEET you in REAL LIFE, Alycia!! What back brace??? You look like you did fine with our without one! Love, love, love your spirit. And oh, yes…the table…Today YOU upstaged your table–and that’s hard to do! I love the table. It’s just downright happy, and I love that it’s in pastels. I now have visions of sugarplums….errrrrr…bunnies in my mind, because there’s lots of inspiration here for Easter as well!! You brightened my day, Alycia!! Fun and beauty as always. Love to ya! ~Zuni

  28. Love the cute table – perfect for kids and those who are kids at heart! LOVED seeing your video – only bad part was it ended too soon! It was great to see your personality and your dance moves but would have loved to hear what you had to say as well! Take care and rest up – we need more t’scapes for Christmas!

  29. Oh Alycia, I’m so sorry to hear about your pain and sleepless nights.
    Your table is so much fun and festive. The knew the right person to have contribute to this worthwhile event. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your tables!

  30. This table would make any child shriek with joy when they lay their cute little eyes upon it….how can I describe this table…sheer joy…I can hear the joy and laughter of the children that would be sitting at the table!…of course much attention to detail is paid with regard to the incredible theme and related items that you so carefully pulled together to make such an amazing table!…And you are quite the dancer and entertainer!!!….I loved it!…Congrats Alycia…and rest up and take care of yourself!!

  31. Now I’m REALLY smiling to “see” you this morning. You and your happy dance made my day! I’m sorry you’re having to pay for that amazing burst of energy and adrenaline, but you certainly got those ladies in the groove to talk tablescaping!

    Your tables are always so creative, but the felt placemats and pastel nutcrackers were my favorite “little touches.” Honestly… my personal preference is for nutcrackers to sport strong, bold colors–not pastels!–but your sweet table is exactly the right place for a pastel-colored nutcracker (since someone who doesn’t hold my opinion decided that was a good idea). 🙂

  32. I also meant to say… What a fun and creative way to raise awareness and funds for a great cause in your community! I’m in the early stages of planning a similar event to raise funds to start Safe Families for Children in our county. We have a wonderful “tourist attraction” historic home that I’m hoping to have filled with tablescapes one day. Whatever it takes, we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of our world’s kids — and I’m happy to see the hands-on approach you and the ladies in your area are taking. Nicely done!

  33. You’ve got some moves girl!! What a fabulous event! Love your candy table, such a treat for the eyes!! Those chair bows are adorable!! The repeated use of the polka dots make it such a fun, cheerful table. It suits your personality!! I hope your back is feeling better.

  34. I am in a busy airport. ..and I can,t hear the video…but certainly enjoyed watching it….a secret side of you and I love it! the children’s table is so SWEET…get it? I love all the colors and treats….once again you have set the perfect table

  35. I have three things to say about this post. First off ~ your tablescape is a kid’s dream. Love the colors and all the elements work so well together! Secondly ~ You need your own TV show girl! HGTV needs to see you and your work. And finally ~ I am inviting you to my next party because you really know how to get a crowd moving! Love ya!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  36. Your video made me HAPPY! With the reference to a back brace, I was expecting a stumble on video. No – just you engaging with the audience. Loved the pastels for the Kid’s Table. You’re so creative.

  37. Oh my friend I’m sorry you are paying for all the beauty you create, it all comes with a price! I bet Ramon gets upset with you…I know Alejandro does when I overdo things, lol.. Your table is awesome and simply adorable! I love the sweet nutcrackers and all the candy so beautifully set up.
    Please take care.

  38. Shake it, baby….you did get all those ladies on their feet. I can see how the Christmas trees would get your creative juices flowing with all their happy colors. Talk about a built in palette and you are just the person to take it and run, well, maybe walk so as not to hurt that back any more. Take good care and keep on having fun no matter the cost!

  39. This table is WONDERFUL. Love all the sherbet colors…the chair covers are great…the polka dot felt perfect…those nutcrackers are divine. To share a cute story with you, my good friend is a high school band director. When his son was about 3, he saw someone’s nutcracker collection and said, “Mom, look at all the band directors!” We call nutcrackers “band directors” at our house…and have been doing so for almost 20 years!

  40. This is a fun table! I would love to have those trees! I would be eating all that candy as I set the table……..
    I guess someone has to be the life of the party, so why not you! You go girl! Misery loves company and I am hurting right along side of you. I keep forgetting I am not a spring chicken! lol You created a super kids table! Rest and relax the holidays are coming!
    Blessings My Friend,

  41. Oh Alycia, you are a CHARACTER!! That was some fine dancing you did there. 😀 I’m sorry you had to pay a big price for it later; that just doesn’t seem fair. I do hope you’re feeling better soon.

    This is the most cheerful kid’s table I think I’ve ever seen — it’s just magical!! Our son would have LOVED all that candy when he was little; heck, he still might love it. 🙂 The pastel colors are wonderful because they do remind me of candy, and the wooden nutcrackers add to the magical Christmas theme. As usual my friend, you’ve done a “mahvelous” job, and best of all, you did it for a worthy cause. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us, Alycia. I enjoyed the table immensely, and I really hope you feel better very soon.

    Big hugs,


  42. Alycia, Just watching you work the crowd and getting your groove on made my HAPPY and put a smile on face! Love the tabletop fun for small and big kids too with a sweet tooth! Your creativity with the chair embellishments are such a festive touch and the pastel nutcrackers from HL look like they were made for your table! Such holiday fun and for a worthy cause too 🙂

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  44. I just came back to show my daughter the tree in the first photo for a C’mas party for her girls.
    Thanks Alycia. she loved it! I am ready with my table for Tksgiving, I bet you are too.

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