It is amazing how much you can do for a little girl's tea party! Armed with the plethora of craft and party supplies I have saved (hoarded) over the past few years, and even some from my wedding, I was able to do a lot with a little (money). And now that I have discovered Pinterest, the possibilities are endless and right at my fingertips. I started planning less than two months before the party (when I volunteered myself as Havilah's party planner.) I had these girly invitations I found for $1 a couple years ago, so I was grateful to be able to use them. I simply printed out the tea table clip-art and glued it on.
The idea for having a "Tea Par-Tea" I saw on an invitation on Pinterest, so I can't take credit for that. The birthday girl's mom suggested using red and purple, so I incorporated those colors as much as possible. Looking through lots of tea party ideas and pictures, I thought that the ones that seemed old-fashioned were the cutest. It also helped that Maggy ("the mom") is quite the photographer and has a really nice camera. So the idea of taking "old-fashioned" (i.e. black and white) pictures just fell into place quite naturally. I set up a child-sized table with two chairs as the "photo op" area, set with my daughter's toy tea set and some adorable crocheted cookies and cakes I borrowed from a friend. The backdrop was a tall bookcase I covered in cheap "contact paper" from the dollar store with a floral print, and the birthday girl's white tulle curtains on either side. The plan was to get all of the girls' (dressed up) pictures during the course of the party, which worked out well, considering the fact that they didn't really want to stop "partying" to have their picture taken! My daughter and I had a little fun during the planning stage, while I tested to see what it would look like in black and white.
|me and Elli|
|Maggy and Havilah|
|Aren't they cute?|
The same day, I also went to Rite-Aid on a whim and founds bags of Easter candy (jelly beans, Robin's Eggs, Tootsie-Rolls, and Sweet Tarts) on clearance for about $.25 a bag... SWEET! Just as a side note, when I asked "the mom" what the party budget was, she said "whatever you spend is fine..." It's a good thing we are both frugal ladies, huh?! :) My goal was to spend as little as possible, and still make it amazing! At the dollar store that day, I also picked up some pearls for decor, small paper plates, and purple curling ribbon, and the day's total was still under $17!
Moving on to the other decorations.... One thing I did not want for this special party was boring, pre-made decorations...so I went on Pinterest in search of something more original. My searches ended up including "paper baking cups" and "coffee filters"... and I never imagined I would find so many ideas for each! While many of them looked gorgeous, apparently you had to be Martha Stewart to execute them and make them look like the pictures (believe me, I tried). But I did find these coffee filter "flowers/pom-poms" which came out pretty good. In wanting to make them red, white, and purple, I put my daughter to work. Together we painted (first with watercolors, and then food coloring) LOTS of coffee filters (free, because both I and "the mom" had them laying around already) You can search for them on Pinterest, but here is how I ended up doing them:
|watercolors worked best|
|These are from the dollar store too... so many uses!|
After stacking the painted filters in alternating colors (probably about 20-30 per stack), I placed a paper doilie on top.
Then I put a threaded needle through the whole stack and then back again, so that I could tie the thread to hold it together. The thread also served as the means to hang the pom-poms up.
Another homemade decoration was baking cup garlands. Using baking liner cups I purchased for the party, some I already had, some "the mom" had, and small paper doilies, I used a threaded needle to string these together, and found that if I put a small doilie, then a large (muffin) liner, a medium (cupcake) liner and a mini-cupcake liner, it kind of looked like a hat, so that became my pattern! These were somewhat time- consuming, so I only made two.
|stacked tea cups and plates worked great (got idea from Pinterest!)|
|I loved these candy tea bags made with real tea tags and wax paper!|
|the finished table|
|when they saw it all for the first time!|