Make your very own dessert board for a party or movie night with this simple DIY dessert charcuterie tutorial! Perfect for serving lots of treats in a festive way!
One of my favorite things about movie night is the snacks and just like at a buffet, I love being able to sample a bunch of different snacks rather than just finish off a bucket of popcorn.
Last year for Halloween I made this super fun dessert board and I thought I’d share what I learned about how to make a dessert board from that experience!
A dessert board with a few movie night snacks like popcorn, pretzels, and pistachios for a little salty bonus. It’s perfect for a Halloween party, Halloween movie night, or if you switch out the treats on it – perfect for any party really!
The beauty of creating a dessert board is that you get to choose what goes on it based on a couple of different things:
- Your theme – I went with a witch theme and witchy colors.
- Your tastes – Make the board what your family wants to eat for movie night. If you really like having sour candy at the movies, add sour candy to your board. I went with my son’s favorite frosted cookies, donuts, and gummy frogs because I knew they were things he’d actually enjoy!
- Your budget – If you want to keep it inexpensive, make things from scratch rather than buying them at the store. You can also keep things more budget friendly by limiting the number of dessert items on the board.
If you want to recreate this actual witch themed Halloween snack board, here’s what I used from top to bottom, left to right.
- Mint chocolate candies
- Purple and black lollipops
- Chocolate donuts
- Green frosted cookies
- Purple chocolate balls
- Gummy frogs
- Dark chocolate squares with nuts
- Black grapes
- Green jelly beans
- Purple candy corn
- Black rock candy
- Purple chocolate candies
- Chocolate covered pretzels
- Green marshmallows
- Green apple popcorn
- Brownie pieces
- Cat sugar cookies
- Mint chocolate sandwich cookies
- Green licorice
Dessert Board Supplies
Okay so I’m going to walk you through how I created this board so that you can recreate it at home!
But before we get to actually adding food to the board, let’s talk about the base supplies you’ll need!
1 – Choose a board
The first thing you need to do is choose your board. I really like to do boards that have a little lip around them so that things (like the chocolate candies) don’t just roll off. It just helps keep things together.
I also prefer a rectangle board over a round one but if you already have round, feel free to use that instead. Use a board that’s big enough for all the snacks you want to include!
2 – Choose your snacks
Next up you want to choose your snacks. I like to try to envision my board a bit before I go shopping, possibly even draw it out, like I do with my party tables.
It makes it easier to put everything together and you’ll have a better sense of how much you want to buy.
One thing to note is that you likely will only be putting a portion of whatever you buy on the actual dessert board. Like this was only 1/4 the box of donuts, 1/2 the box of cookies, and like 1/4 cup of a whole bag of pistachios.
When you’re shopping, keep the tips under ingredients above in mind. Also try to pick up things of varying size, shape, and texture. It’ll give your board more visual appeal and help to fill in the large space and the small gaps between the large items.
How to Make a Halloween Dessert Board
Now that you have your snacks and board, you’re ready to create your very own dessert board. It’s easier than you think but can take a bit of practice or really just moving things around until you get it how you want.
1 – Start with 2-3 bowls
The first thing I like to do is to add 2-3 bowls to different sections of the board. You can either fill these with candies and popcorn like I did or if you’re doing something where dips would make sense – dips are great in the bowls.
Split them up into different sections of your board and use them to anchor the rest of the items on your dessert board. They work well as posts to wrap other things around and also help to create a visual focal point.
2 – Add large items
Next up, add your largest items. And add them in varying spots on the board so they’re not all together. I started with donuts on one corner and brownies on another.
If I’d put those two together not only would there be just a lot of big clunky items together, it’d be way too much dark all in one place.
3 – Add themed items
I always like to add themed elements into my snack boards, especially when I’m making a movie night snack board like this one.
With this being a witch themed board, I added in some witchy themed elements and colors. Purple cat cookies, black rock candy that look like witch broomsticks, and green gummy frogs.
I also had a large gummy snake but it just didn’t fit.
And sometimes that happens – sometimes things really just don’t fit. In that case, set them aside and just enjoy them for a snack some other time.
4 – Break up colors
Continue adding your larger and medium size items to the board keeping in mind what color each of the items is. The goal is to not have too much of any color right next to each other.
If your budget allows, have a number of different snacks in each color so you can easily break up blocks of colors with another snack item. Or just repeat more of a snack you’ve already put on the board!
5 – Curve Straight edged items
One of the problems I had with my first ever snack board was buying a ton of square and rectangle items and trying to get them to fit well.
Spoiler alert – they didn’t. Most of those snacks just ended up in my son’s lunchbox or baseball team snacks.
I’ve found it works better to use mostly round elements, especially if you’re using a rounded board like I did. You can definitely add in some straight edge elements, just curve them on the board to give the illusion of being curved.
You can see how I did that below with the brownie and chocolate squares – two square items rounded around another circle shape to fit better into the space.
6 – Fill in gaps with small items
Last but not least, fill in any holes with all of those small items you picked up at the store. You want to cover up pretty much any empty space left on the board and feel free to use the same small item in different spaces on the board.
Items that work well as fillers include:
- Small candies
- Nuts and seeds
- Small fruits like grapes and berries (just make sure they’re finger food type fruits and not something like cut up kiwi)
And there you go, the ultimate DIY dessert board! They’re super easy to make for any movie night, holiday, or game night. And super easy to customize based on your theme and occasion.
More Movie Night Snacks
- Large desserts like cookies, brownies, donuts
- Medium snacks like popcorn, pretzels, and fruit
- Small desserts like candy, chocolates, and nuts
- Add 2-3 bowls to the board to create structure and anchor the rest of your snacks.
- Add your large items in opposite corners, areas of the board.
- Add themed items in varying locations on the board. Examples include cat cookies and gummy frogs for a witch movie.
- Break up big blocks of the same color with other colors to create visual interest.
- Make square and rectangle items fit better by placing them on the dessert board in a curved fashion.
- Use small items like candies, nuts, and fruit to fill in any remaining gaps in the board. You want to cover the entire board to give that cohesive and visually appealing dessert board look.
- Serve with plates and serving utensils on the side for people to grab and take their snacks to enjoy.
Tips & Notes:
- Theme – choose elements to match the event, movie, or theme of the occasion.
- Tastes – Make the board what your family wants to eat for movie night. If you really like having sour candy at the movies, add sour candy to your board. I went with my son’s favorite frosted cookies, donuts, and gummy frogs because I knew they were things he’d actually enjoy!
- Size - Buy items in varying sizes to fill up the board the best possible.
- Budget – If you want to keep it inexpensive, make things from scratch rather than buying them at the store. You can also keep things more budget friendly by limiting the number of dessert items on the board.