August 29, 2012

Time for Tea - Part II

DIY Centerpiece
So I have to apologize in advance for the fact that this blog post is like an explosion of tea party photos. But I promised you DIY details and tea party ideas, so here it is! I just love how the party turned out, even though a lot of the decor ideas revealed themselves at the last minute. The bride had decided from the beginning that she wanted a garden tea party bridal shower, but as we neared the date of the shower, I had the idea of adding a few Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter elements to jazz up the decorations. It began with the teacup centerpieces (above). I got the idea from this pin. A friend bought a bunch of vintage books from a local thift shop for next to nothing and then antiqued their edges with sandpaper. We added a few stacked vintage teacups and a bright gerbera daisy, and voila! Instant tea party centerpiece.

Color, color, color, is the key to a tea party dessert table. We used pretty cake stands and fun colored candies and cookies, as well as pretty glass apothecary jars, to set the tea party theme. Any space we had leftover, we filled with vintage teapots, sugar bowls, and teacups filled with flowers.

Another cute way to play up the Alice in Wonderland theme in an easy way is to make small chalkboards for the iconic "Eat Me" and "Drink Me" signs. In doing this project, I got to use chalkboard paint for the first time and I must say, it's a LIFE CHANGER. I LOVE chalkboard paint! It's so fun and easy and useful. I'm in the process of trying to turn everything into a chalkboard. Like literally, everything.

I bought these wooden placards for a few dollars at Michaels.

I wanted to go for a vintage mirror look, so I painted the edges in two shades of gold.
I waited for them to dry, bought some pastel chalk and made little signs for the food and drink tables (below).

Cupcakes and sweets are an easy way to please your guests' eyes as well as their tummies.

I'm sure Alice would have rather had some mimosas instead of tea, so we added a mimosa bar that was a huge hit.

We put vintage teapots and teacups everywhere, filled with gerbera daisies that we snipped to fit, to decorate the party.

For the party favors, I wanted to create a favor that was useful, cost-efficient, and pretty enough to serve as a decoration for the party. I ended up choosing to go with DIY vintage teacup candles, using these instructions, except I bought soy wax from a candlemaking store instead of melting down old candles. I scented them with pink grapefruit scented oil, wrapped them in cellophane and added personal favor tags with "Light Me" on one side and the bride's name and the date on the other side. The guests loved them, and they served as great decorations for the tables.

My last project for setting the tea party mood came in the form of fascinators that I made for myself and the bride. I must admit that I had absolutely no idea how they were going to turn out, and I really had no idea what I was doing when I made them. But didn't they turn out cute? I gathered colored mesh in the middle and tied it with a ribbon (making it look sort of like a bow). Then I cut one end of it so that the mesh near the back of the fascinator would be smaller than the front. I then cut circles out of colored felt and attached the mesh by slicing two slits in the felt and pulling the ribbon through and tying it. Then with a glue gun, I attached adornments that I bought at a local trim store (i.e. feathers, pearls, bows). Despite the fact that I really wasn't sure how they would turn out, I was thrilled with the results. They really were the perfect finishing touch to the party, and it was super fun pretending I was a hoity toity British teapartyer for a day. You hear that, Katie Middleton? I'm ready for my party invitation...

The happy bride. Bride's dress from ModCloth.

Fascinatoring was so much fun.

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