If you’ve ever hosted a party, you know that the food and drink selection has a pretty *big* impact on how well your get-together goes. But before you start to look up catering services and rack up that bill, consider the more budget-friendly alternative of DIY drink and/or dessert bars. These hands-on stations will step up your party game *and* give something fun for your guests to do. So get ready to save money and show off your DIY skills with at least one of these 22 DIY drink and dessert bar ideas below.


1. Mini Rainbow Pancakes: If you and the gals love brunch, a pancake bar is the way to go. Set up your table with mini pancakes, fresh fruit, yogurt and a drizzling of maple syrup. You can even add a hearty plate of bacon to add some savory flavor to the mix. (via Tablespoon)

2. Hot Apple Cider: There’s nothing like sipping a mug of hot apple cider on a chilly autumn day. Treat your guests to this special fall treat by setting out a crockpot full of the good stuff and small bowls filled with ingredients that’ll pair perfectly with the cider flavor — think cinnamon sticks, orange slices and caramel sweets. (via Camille Styles)


3. Candy Bar: With Halloween just around the corner, we *had* to include an autumnal candy buffet table. The best part is a candy bar is SO customizable. Choose warm-colored sweets to emphasize the party’s fall theme or go with Halloween classics like candy corn to rep your favorite spooky holiday. (via Deer Pearl Flowers)


4. Donuts: A donut dessert bar sounds *almost* too good to be true. Let your guests indulge in this delectable dessert with a station that features everyone’s favorite fall-themed donut flavors like maple, cinnamon or pumpkin glazed donuts. Uh, YUM! (via Jenna Elliott / My Domaine)

5. Walking Tacos: Make your party foods as practical as they are flavorful with DIY walking tacos. Set up your table with bowls of taco ingredients and bags of Fritos (which will add the crunchy component to your taco). Open up your Fritos, add your taco ingredients into the bag and munch away! (via The Girl Who Ate Everything)


6. Quiche Toast Cups: If your pals love bacon and cheese, they’ll L-O-V-E these quiche toast cups for a food bar idea. Pro tip: When making your cheesy delights, pop the toast cups into the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up before adding your egg mixture, to prevent it from being absorbed into the bread. (via Recipe Tin Eats)


7. Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: Fall is all about that #PSL. So include this seasonal staple some way or another, like in these delish pumpkin spice latte-inspired cupcakes, made of coffee-flavored cake and covered in a caramel drizzle. (via Creative Culinary)


8. Hot Chocolate on a Stick: Here’s an idea for fall and winter parties that’s sure to be a hit. Prepare various flavors of hot chocolate on a stick. Guests can then add in hot milk, marshmallows and maybe even a splash of Bailey’s for a little kick. (via And Now This)


9. Pie Bar Banner: From pumpkin pie to caramel apple pie, there’s nothing like a slice to get you in the mood for a celebration. Set up your pie bar with fall-inspired pastries and cute labels to match. (via Shiny Happy Sprinkles)


10. Popcorn Bar: If you’re throwing a backyard movie viewing party, a popcorn bar is a party essential. It’s also super easy to throw together, since all you’ll need is a tub of popcorn, toppings and paper bags. (via Deer Pearl Flowers)


11. Mini Pies: Everything is cuter when it’s miniaturized. If you have the time to make them all, bake up a dozen mini pies. Add little paper labels taped to toothpicks for guests to easily pick and choose the flavors they want. (via Best Friends for Frosting)


12. S’mores Bar: No outdoor get-together in the fall is complete without some s’mores. Set up this s’mores station next to a caramel apple buffet and you’re all set for an unforgettable party. (via The Vondys / Style Me Pretty)


13. Caramel Apple Bar: Recreate this epic caramel apple bar setup by displaying apples on sticks alongside caramel and chocolate sauces, cookie crumbles, sprinkles, granola and M&M’s. For a decorative touch, scatter real fall leaves and fall leaf paper cutouts around the table. (via Walter Wilson Studios / Bridal Guide)


14. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip: Can’t decide between pumpkin pie and cheesecake? Combine the two in a creamy fall-flavored dip served with graham crackers or cookie butter cookies. (via A Night Owl)


15. Coffee Bar: If you’re planning on throwing a brunch, be sure to include a coffee bar. Your guests will surely appreciate the dose of caffeine that’ll leave them bright-eyed and ready to take on the rest of the day. Seal the deal for being the best hostess ever by serving donuts on the side. (via Lauren Rae Photography / Burnett’s Boards)


16. Hot Chocolate Bar: For a more classic take on a hot chocolate bar, have guests make their drinks from hot cocoa mix and whatever toppings they desire. Serve the drinks in copper Moscow Mule mugs for a festive touch. (via Hawthorne and Main)

17. Chili Bar: A big pot of chili might not sound like a true dessert, but it makes one delicious snack, so we’re gonna let it slide. Provide the toppings for a buffet your friends are sure to remember. Think: shredded cheese, sliced avocado and crushed tortilla chips. (via Celebrations at Home)


18. Fall Snack Mix: Trail mix is a classic outdoorsy snack, and there’s one way to make a classic even better: Add some candy! Opt for fall-colored sweets to amp up your party’s seasonal theme. (via Stick a Fork in It)

19. Soup Bar: There isn’t much that’s more comforting than a bowl of hot soup in autumn. Warm up your guests’ bellies with a soup bar stocked with toppings like garlic butter croutons, Parmesan cheese crisps and whatever else you can think of. (via Celebrations at Home)


20. Pie in a Jar: For a unique twist on one of fall’s favorite desserts, serve your guests pie in mini mason jars. The easy-to-hold jars will let guests enjoy their pie while on the move. (via Tobins’ Tastes)


21. Sangria Bar: This sweet wine drink is the perfect way to transition from those warm summer nights to cooler fall evenings. It’s also easy to prepare — since it only requires you to slice up some fruit for guests to throw into their drinks. (via Williams-Sonoma)


22. Wine and Cheese: Who doesn’t love wine with cheese? Take this classic pairing a step further and set up a bar that features your favorite fromage and vino combinations. Or better yet, pair it with sangria for an extra autumn-y feel. (via Seven Layer Charlotte)

Which of these DIY drink and dessert bars will you include at your fall party? Follow us on Pinterest for more DIY party ideas!