James Marsden Knows How Candy Buffets Roll

Planning a graduation party is no easy feat. That’s why we were so glad we were able to help James Marsden out with a graduation party for his son! With an impressive candy buffet bar filled with jelly beans, Nerds, M&Ms and more, he used his own skills to come up with inspirational and thematic candy displays for each sweet. From “Rock on” rock candy pops to “Smarty pants” Smarties, this was an awesome display we’re proud to have been a part of.

James Marsden CandyStore.com


James Marden's candy buffet for his son's graduation.

Make your own graduation party a real treat.

If you love the ideas seen here, then we have even more tricks up our sleeve to help you plan the perfect graduation party for your little or big grad. Here are some great desserts, displays and crafts you can make to amp up your graduation celebration and make your scholar feel loved.

Flourless Chocolate Graduation Caps

You’ll barely be able to contain yourself through Pomp and Circumstance repeats knowing these little morsels are awaiting you and your grad. That’s because these flourless chocolate cake graduation caps are full of decadent flavor and adorable appeal. Print off a faux diploma and use it as the pan liner for these edible grad caps and you’ll have a thematic and incredibly luscious dessert for your graduation party guests and grad of honor to enjoy.

Graduation Cap Party Favors

Hats off to whoever came up with these fun and cute graduation party favors. With some clear plastic tubes, gum balls or any black round candy and some other supplies, you’ll be able to whip up a custom gift for all of your grad’s friends. If you’re hosting a big graduation event, set some of these cute graduation cap party favors out on a table for people to take as they leave or bring them to the actual ceremony to dole out alongside hugs and kisses.

Pretzel Grads
Earn your degree in making fabulous desserts with these fancy pretzel grads. Designed by using pretzel rods, fondant and some serious skill, these lifelike sweets will make your grad feel special on their big day. The best thing about these graduation desserts is that they can also become gifts! Just wrap an individual boy or girl pretzel grad up in cellophane, tie a ribbon around the top and it’ll be ready to give to another grad you’re proud of.

Diploma Cookies

Send your grad off to the next big stage in life with a platter of delicious diploma cookies. Decorated with just a simple garnish of chocolate, these drop cookies are a quick treat to make before graduation day or on the day of a party. Serve these little diplomas on a platter or bundle a few together to give away as treats to party guests or new graduates.

Words of Wisdom Jar

Moving on to the next grade or career is a big step! Make sure your grad knows exactly what to expect by putting out a “words of wisdom jar” at your party. Guests will be able to write lessons learned on pieces of paper so your graduate can prepare him/herself for what’s next. The best part about this craft is that it’s totally customizable. So pick whatever jar, font and colors your graduate loves most.

Diploma Napkins

If you’ve already planned your menu, but want some additional congratulatory décor for your graduation party, these diploma napkins are a great choice. With either white cloth or white paper napkins, you can simply roll them up like a scroll and tie a black ribbon around them. This way, you’ll have a fun party element that will make people smile.

Congratulatory Lei

Shower your grad with love that they can see with this wearable, edible and thoughtful lei necklace. Whether it’s a kindergarten or college graduation, this is a treat every grad will love. You can purchase a premade version or try making it yourself with a few easy steps. All you’ll need to do is gather this list of supplies and follow the assembly directions:


  • (5-10) candies (These can be candy bars, candy packets or individual candies you stuff into baggies)
  • (1) roll of cellophane or tulle
  • (1) roll of ribbon (Print or plain)
  • (1) 3-5 inch bow
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • $1-$100 bills (This is an element you may add if you wish or omit if you’d like to just stick to candy)

Directions: Measure your own neck to gauge how big the lei will need to be to fit the graduate. Cut one long piece of cellophane or tulle that will be the entire length of the necklace—leaving an extra foot or more for twisting and tying.  Cut the cellophane or tulle length-wise again to remove excess from the sides (The cellophane or tulle only needs to be wide enough to cover your candy once it’s rolled). Start at one end (leaving room to tie the other end together once you’re done) and roll a piece of candy into the cellophane or tulle. Twist the end and tie it with a ribbon. Repeat this process until your lei is complete and then join the ends together. You may add a decorative bow to the seam for added appeal.

If you need some extra help, try following this instructional video. 


School Colors Candy Buffet

A smart way to personalize a graduation party is by picking up the school colors! No matter if you’re blue and yellow, white and red or purple and gold, you can mix and match different décor and edible elements in those colors to enhance the level of school pride. Try using certain colors of hard candy in clear jars, using food coloring to amplify icing and buying balloons that show off your school spirit. This pic is a nice example of a yellow and blue candy buffet. It’s a sure way to make your graduate’s party unforgettable and show them how much you care.


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