Willy Wonka-inspired Sweet 16 Party Ideas: Decor, Food & Favors

Want to take the “sweet” in Sweet 16 literally with a candy motif for the occasion, but hope to avoid a kiddie look? You can plan a sugary soiree with a zany spin—inspired by a childhood book character that any 16 year-old would know and love: Willy Wonka! The teen celebrant and guests will go wild for the crazy color scheme and the overload of nostalgic candies inspired by the wacky chocolatier in the Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And we found these party elements to help recreate the iconic details from the story!

Easy Willy Wonka Party Elements for a Sweet 16 Soiree

Surprisingly, this hyper happy theme isn’t all that difficult to pull together. Just let loose with an entire rainbow of colors in the form of candies and confections. Then, splash these across the party decorations and table settings, too. Add signage, labels and packaging with the unmistakable Willy Wonka font. And you’re “in a world of pure imagination”!

Willy Wonka-inspired Sweet 16 Party  |  Decor, Food and Favor Ideas

Creative Invites

Hugely popular as a design for the party invitation (2) is the “golden ticket” that main character Charlie Bucket wins to enter Willy Wonka’s fabled chocolate factory. You can find dozens of printables online—some designed as wrappers for actual chocolate bars that you can send as yummy invites!

Party Decorations

Wow guests with table settings (6) just bursting with color from the table linens to the multi-colored cutlery and glasses, to swirly lollipops, candy dots and whimsical party horns. While overhead, suspend paper lanterns (4) wrapped in cellophane and with sticks added to simulate giant lollipops!

Incorporate playful party signs and cards (1) with well-loved quotes from the Roald Dahl book. You could use these as place cards, party buffet labels and even thank-you notes from the celebrant to her guests.

Confections Galore

A “Candy Explosion” drip cake (5) couldn’t be more perfect for this theme! You could opt to buy a ready-to-serve cake and simply dress it up with gumballs, jelly beans, sixlets, rock candy and more swirly pops.

Set out candy apples (3) that are not only coated in chocolate but dotted with (you guessed it!) tiny colored candies. And in honor of another character, Augustus Gloop, and the chocolate river, prepare a chocolate fountain (7) that party guests can dip a selection of goodies into!

Celebrant Attire

A Wonka themed Sweet 16 just wouldn’t be complete without the celebrant making both a fashionable and whimsical statement with a stylish costume (8) and matching top hat!

Party Favors

Finally, treat the young lady guests to Wonka-inspired sweets as party favors. They can be as simple as Nerds in test tubes (9), a reference to the chocolate factory’s “inventing room.” Or multi-colored top hats (like Willy wore) used to hold assorted Laffy Taffy, SweeTarts, Gobstoppers and Bottle Caps—all available here.

Sources – The sources of our party finds are treasure troves of even more ideas for Willy Wonka decorations, sweet treats and favors. So be sure and visit each one!

1 – Teal Bird Concepts / 2 – Jodie Peterkin / 3 – Your Unique Party, via Paper Blog / 4 – The Java Mama / 5 – Sarah Ono Jones (on Twitter) / 6 – Dylan’s Candy Bar / 7 – Pigskins and Pigtails / 8 – Pinterest / 9 – Teal Bird Concepts

Other unique Sweet 16 themes you might find cool!


Bohemian (featured party)


Neon / Glow in the Dark

Vintage (featured party)

*This post contains an affiliate banner link that connects to Dylan’s Candy Bar, which Bellenza, Inc. is an affiliate of.


  1. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! And for sharing the link to your printable invites. Such a fun theme!

  2. Thank you for featuring my chocolate fountain photo! I also offer personalized Golden Ticket printable invites here: http://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/product/charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-golden-ticket-wrapper/

    • The chocolate fountain was such a great idea! We had to feature it 🙂 Thank you for visiting our site.

    • We just adore your chocolate fountain! Thanks for visiting the site.

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