Nutcracker inspired peppermint land of sweets dessert tablescape
Some of my fondest memories growing up were my childhood years dancing in the Nutcracker. Our local dance school put on the Nutcracker almost every year, and I remember lining up for auditions with nervous butterflies in my stomach hoping I had the chance to perform in such a wonderful holiday tradition. During my years as a ballerina, I was almost every role you can think of, starting off as an ornament, then to a polichinelle, toy soilder, party girl, snowflake, and even Clara in my final Nutcracker year. Each role was even more magical and the thrill of performing as Tchaikovsky's composition lured the audience into the tale of the Nutcracker was truly exhilarating.
While I am no longer a dancer, I've always wanted to find ways to keep this tradition alive whether it's incoporating Nutcrackers into my holiday decor or watching old perforamnces. With this year being harder than most, I wanted to bring the joyful memories to life with a Nutcracker inspired peppermint tablescape in hopes of inspiring others to recreate it at home for loved ones.
One of the most amazing parts after I photographed the centerpiece was giving the balloons to a woman in my town so she could help surprise her children with Chippy, their Elf on the Shelf, being mischievous with peppermint balloons. For context, we have a Facebook page in our town where we offer items we no longer want or need and whomever claims them we share our address and leave the items outside for contactless pick up. I was so happy I could help add some Christmas magic to a family's tradition!
Magical peppermint backdrop
One of the most whimsical parts about being behind-the-scenes during the Nutcracker is seeing how each act is transformed...from a snowy forest to the land of sweets. To recreate this in your own home, use a blank wall or hang up a sheet and use these peppermint balloons from Amazon (I purchased two packages) and adhered them to the backdrop using packing tape, creating a row of four balloons horizontally and then five balloons down in straight lines. The background creates a beautiful visual display great for photos, behind a table backdrop and as a way to bring to life a small holiday gathering.
Weave in Nutcracker elements
To make the theme shine throughout the table, I used elements like cupcake toppers, holiday crackers, pointe shoes and Nutcrackers on the table and wove in ribbon around each item for a playful centerpiece.
When building the centerpiece and tablescape I started by placing the pink cake stand in the middle then used the trees to almost frame the stand. I had pointe shoes from my ballerina days, but you can also use soft pink tulle instead to incoproate the ballet element. Once my larger items were placed, I added the detail items of peppermint garland, candy ornaments and Nutcrackers in and around the centerpiece. The last part was ribbon!
Here are some of the items I used:
- Meri Meri Nutcracker cupcake toppers (I purchased these ones on Amazon but Meri Meri also has these on their website!
- Nutcrakcer (while I've had mine for a few years now, Michaels has a great selection!)
Making a peppermint house
One of my favorite parts of this table is the peppermint house. I found this toutorial on Food Network and followed it to build the house using these cookie cutters! It's SO easy and creates a beautiful holiday decor items. Instead of frosting I ended up using the hot glue gun to adhere the pieces together and for extra embellishment I used red and white candy to make beautiful patterns.
Decorate festive cupcakes
Cupcakes are always a 'go-to' staple dessert when I entertain! I love making a classic chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting then decorating them to fit my theme. Using the Nutcracker cake toppers, I added varrying sized red and white sprinkles and a red gum drop to tie to reference a Super Plum Fair. I loved that each cupcake topper featured a different character from the Nutcracker which made it even more magical.
Replicating at home
Don't worry if you don't have every single element I used at your own home - the most improtant part is sticking to a theme! It doesn't matter if each item is the same, use items you already have at home or that are on sale if you're sticking to a budget. You can also purchase the cupcake toppers to showcase the Nutcracker theme but use a differnt colors for your table.