I just hosted my annual Christmas Party this past weekend and of course had a Hot Cocoa Station set-up for my guests.
Though I’m sure we’ve all seen luxurious set-ups, I’m here to say that you don’t have to have a large space or spend a lot of money to make your Cocoa bar look fabulous, or worst case – cute.
I’m in a rental home and have VERY little unclaimed space. I managed to set mine up on a tiny little Ikea shelving unit that is only 30 inches wide and 15 inches deep! In addition, I spent NO money on items used (minus the edible fixings and ink for printing), and just found containers and other items that I already had around my home. The key is to make it look cohesive. You can easily accomplish that with the use of labels/printables (which I am providing below for FREE!), and by picking a style and sticking with it. Shabby chic? Elegant? Rustic? Country Cottage? Pick your style and commit. If you are going for a cheap route, you may also need to invest more time!
Perfect example: I sent my husband to the store for disposable coffee cups. (Don’t judge! I use these instead of mugs for numerous reasons. 1. We always have a lot of small children attend! I like that these have lids. 2. Well, I don’t really own THAT many mugs, and 3. Less clean up after). Okay, back to the coffee cups. I sent my husband to the store and he came back with the only kind available. This is what they looked like:
(Picture courtesy of Amazon.com)
NOT exactly what I had in mind, nor anything I would ever want to display. Don’t get it twisted. There’s nothing WRONG with these coffee cups, but if you’re going to display them, then DISPLAY them. Ha! Sooo, out came the plain paper. I cut one cup open and used it as a template to cut my plain white paper pieces. I then wrapped each cup and taped, added tags with a cute red/white twisted twine, and TADA! The cups went from that, to this:
(Just a slight improvement!)
If you’re lucky enough to find plain white disposable coffee cups from the get go, you can skip this entire step! (Lucky, you!)
You’ll need to decide in advance what you will be serving at your station, and make sure you have appropriate containers to display them.
Option: If you’d like to add height to your display you can stack bowls or plates onto upside down cups, bowls, candle sticks, etc. Think outside of the box! I’ve even seen picture frames used as serving trays by setting them on upside down glasses!
I had a few faux crystal bowls (AKA – plastic! – Remember, I have lots of small hands around here), and a few glass containers to use. Don’t worry. They were put toward the back so it wasn’t easy for toddler hands to access.
Some ideas of fixings to offer at your Hot Cocoa Station/Bar:
- Obviously, Cocoa mix (Mine was made from scratch, as I do not care for packaged mixes due to chemicals)
- Vanilla flavoring
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate shavings (I used chocolate chips)
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Oreo crumbs
- Creamer (My homemade cocoa mix had powder creamer mixed in)
- Eggnog (if you’d like to mix it up)
- Crushed nuts
- Liquor (for adults only)
Because of limited space I chose just a few of the basics and I think it was plenty.
Make sure that you have easy access to hot water. I know that should sound like an obvious, but sometimes the simplest and most obvious get overlooked. We have an electric kettle that boils water faster than you can say ‘Hot Water’. Make sure you keep it out of toddler reach.
Get creative with what you have on hand! I had an extra faux wreath not in use and I just threw it over my Cocoa mix container.
I thought it worked visually! I borrowed a frame from another room and used that to frame my Hot Cocoa Station sign.
I had left over fabric scraps that I used to tie around boring hooks to make it a little more pleasing to the eye. And these little balls? Left over plastic ornament balls that I just filled with a shiny paper that were cut in strips and curled, then tied with red/white twisted twine.
It really is that simple! Here’s my final look that ANYONE could pull off! And with very little space and at almost no extra cost!
And because I love you so much, here is your FREE PRINTABLE PACKET! Just click to enlarge, and save then print. If you use these prints, please return the love by subscribing to my newsletter, and by following me on one of my social media accounts! There are always more freebies!