I love hot cocoa!  I think everyone does!  I know, I live in Hawaii and some may wonder why we’d even drink it here, but we do.  It’s a family favorite, specially this time of year.  And what better way to serve it than in a DIY hot cocoa bar!

Setting up a DIY hot cocoa bar is great for tree trimming parties, movie nights (try showing a Christmas favorite like The Polar Express or How the Grinch Stole Christmas!), holiday parties, and on Christmas morning!

Everyone gathers at my house on Christmas morning to open presents.  I always set up a DIY hot cocoa bar, that way everyone can make a cup of cocoa to his or her’s taste.   It’s been a big hit in our house for years!

It doesn’t take much time to set up a DIY hot cocoa bar and you don’t really need anything special.  You probably have all the equipment and ingredients in your kitchen already.

DIY hot cocoa barI like to also offer coffees and tea in my cocoa bar and the Keurig  and Nespresso  machines make it possible to add gourmet and specialty coffees; the Keurig can also provide hot water for the cocoa.  I also place a jar of my homemade Mocha Cappuccino mix in my bar, the family loves it.  Click here for the recipe!

I place all the condiments for the hot beverages as well as cups and spoons (disposable works best for large gatherings) next to the machines.  To make it look pretty I put the condiments in pretty containers and finish it all off with a sign I made by stenciling on a scrap of wood.  I’m sharing the template and instructions in this post!

If you have extra space you can place a nice platter of cookies on the bar, just in case anyone wants a nibble or two.

Here’s what you’ll need to set up your own DIY hot cocoa bar!

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Coffee maker (Keurig, Nespresso, or whatever you have) or and electric kettle

Packets of instant hot cocoa

Coffee and tea pods (or tea bags) for your machine if you’re offering either beverage in addition to the cocoa – you can place these in and the cocoa mix in pretty baskets

Miniature Marshmallows

Crushed Peppermints or Candy Canes


Assorted bottles of flavored syrups are optional but are welcome if you’re serving coffee

Sugar & Creamer if you’re offering coffee and tea – you can use powdered creamer, I like to use half & half or the flavored creamers

Lemon Slices if you’re offering tea

DIY hot cocoa barChocolate Stir Spoons are optional but cute if you have time – here are instructions from Emily on the Crafty Carlson blog!

Cups – styrofoam or paper works best for large gatherings.  On Christmas morning when it’s just family, although there are many of us, I like to use my Christmas mugs

Spoons or stirrers

Cookies, donuts, or pastries are optional if you have space they’re always a welcome addition!

Gather all your equipment and ingredients and arrange them on a counter, table, or cart.  You’ll want to place a table or cart against the wall next to an outlet, this also keeps everyone safe from bumping into it and knocking it over.

Arrange everything on the counter/table/cart.  Place cocoa packets, coffee pods, tea bags, etc.  in pretty baskets and container.  On Christmas I use holiday plates and canisters, some of which I’ve picked up from the dollar store.

For a special touch add a cute sign like the one I made!  Here are instructions to make your own!


Scarp of square wood any size you want

Black Chalkboard paint

Paint brush

White Bistro Chalk marker


Hook or nail

diy hot cocoa barStencil – Click here for the template

Download template, pop it into a photo editor app, re-size to the size you need, print.

Cut out the letters/picture carefully with a craft knife


If you have a die cut machine like the Cricut you can upload it to the design space and cut




Paint wood with chalkboard paint and dry completely

Place stencil on “chalkboard” and fill in the letters and picture

Let dry

Secure a large bow to the top using a nail or hook

I hope I’ve inspired you to set up your own DIY hot cocoa bar!  It’s fun and your friends and family will love it!

diy hot cocoa bar