Etsy Journal

Explore ideas and inspiration for creative living

5 Ideas for a DIY Ice Cream Party

by Eden Passante

May 1, 2017

Swap the cake and candles for a breathtaking DIY ice cream bar at your next summer birthday party.

Photo by: Sugar and Charm

Are you hosting a summer birthday fête and don't particularly feel like hovering around a hot oven (that's set roughly two degrees warmer than the temperature outside)—all in the name of baking a from-scratch cake? Here's an idea that's every bit as festive and way more weather-appropriate: a DIY ice cream bar. With a few extra-special additions and a surprising accessory or two, even a gallon of plain old vanilla can be foundation for a celebratory (and customizable) dessert to remember. Here are a few essential ingredients to raise the bar for your self-serve sweets station.

1. Elevated (and unexpected) toppings

Old-fashioned chocolate sprinkles will always have a place in our hearts (and on our sundaes), but contemporary confectioners have dreamed up an array of unexpected toppings that make for a truly exceptional presentation: Think unicorn dust, rose-gold candies, and even dried flower petals. Add simple wooden scoops to each dish so revelers can get as much goodness as they want with a single dip.

2. Meta miniatures

Topping an ice cream cone with another ice cream cone (actually, a homemade cone-shaped sugar cookie, frosted in a rainbow of "ice cream" icings)? It doesn't get much cuter than that.

3. Retro cups

We all know someone who won't go for a cone (although we may never fully understand why). Indulge them with a stack of cheery striped cups with old-school soda fountain appeal.

4. Standout spoons

Chocolate-dipped wooden spoons decorated with the same fancy sprinkles you'll set out as toppings are the detail most likely to have your guests talking long after the last confetti-filled balloon has been popped. And they're pretty simple to make: Just melt milk chocolate over a double broiler, dip the spoons, add sprinkles, and arrange them on wax paper to cool. Once they've set, present them in a large mason jar or other clear vessel on the ice cream bar.

5. Dessert display

Give partygoers a place to step back and admire their handiwork (and perhaps snap a drip-free photo or two) with a handmade birch wood server designed to hold cones upright.

Shop party supplies

Eden Passante

Entertaining expert Eden Passante created Sugar and Charm in 2010 to share her passion for sweet recipes, contemporary design inspiration, and effortless entertaining ideas. An online editor for Martha Stewart, Eden has an insatiable love for sweets, travels, and playing hostess to a fabulous party! Partnering with her video-producer husband, Eden pours that same passion and personality into original video series for brands such as Pier 1, General Mills, TollHouse, Lifetime and FYI Network. Eden lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two little boys.