"Sweet" 16 - Vintage Tea Party

Today I am taking a break from posting about the garage transformation to talk about another one of my true passions - THROWING A PARTY!!  My Mother loved throwing parties and with a very large family as I come from they were always a big event.  Of course in this day and age we have so many more opportunities to be really creative then our parents did and I get a kick out of throwing a quality party but on a vintage budget.  I am very lucky to have two amazing stepdaughters that have allowed me to not only be creative but have tons of fun planning parties for them.  A few months ago, my older Stepdaughter - Kate - turned 16 and what better excuse for a party!

Kate has a very bohemian style and has a minor - well really major - addiction to tea.  So we came up with the idea to have a Vintage Tea Party theme - with a little bit of influence from one of my favorite party planners - the Mad Hatter.  Here are some of the decorations we came up with -

We started out by going to thrift stores and buying a ton of mismatched tea cups, saucers, small tea pots - all of which we could find for about $1 and under.  With these we created many items - below was the centerpiece hanging from our chandelier over the food table.  I tied tea cups to vintage colored string.  Along with the cups, we found vintage keys at Joanne Fabric that added to the decor of Alice and Wonderland. (the keys are not as easy to see in the photo below - sorry!)  I also took tissue paper and made my own tissue flowers.

I googled some images for Vintage Alice and Wonderland photos and then added some of the best quotes from the movie that fit the stations we displayed them in.

The tea pots and saucers were perfect for displaying flowers, silverware, napkins and straws.

One of our favorites things we made was a tower display for food out of random tea cups and dishes.  Again we found all the items at thrift stores and the whole thing cost us around $10 to make.  We simply glued the dishes together after making sure we had the cups stacked in the best way to give us the proper height on each tier.  I have already reused this at another party to display candy.

For the younger crowd I found these adorable plastic milk bottles and added a vintage look with pastel paper straws and pastel vintage string holding Drink Me tags I designed on the computer

 I have so much fabric from all different times in my life - I love fabric!!!  So I dug out the colors and patterns that I knew Kate would love and would go with the rest of the decor.  We chose peaches, light and dark shades of green and blue.  From these I made Pendant banners to accent the tables and beams in the room.  I hand stitched these with embroidery floss and then strung them on thin jute.

Take a look at the grass table runner.  This was a great find that I saw on Amazon!!!
 I made one final Pendant banner out of aged quilting batting and the same swatches of fabric.  For this one I cut out the words Sweet 16 along with some hearts and glued them to the batting then strung on the thin jute. Due to the light colors of the fabric it is very hard to see the detail so I tried to do some close up photos as well so you can better see the detail.

For food we did all things girly and suited for a tea party - finger sandwiches, scones, fruit, French Macaroons, etc.  I used all of my pretty pastel dishes and tiered platters to add height to the table and to display the food better.

My Stepdaughters were always very into Memory Boxes - they have things saved I never even knew they kept.  Keeping on those lines I thought it would be great to create a wish box for Kate - knowing she may think it is a bit dorky now but when she is 40 years old looking back at what her family and friends wished for her it would bring a smile to her face!  I bought a box at Home Goods and then decorated it with some scrap booking materials.  We used doilies to have guests write their wishes down and I used my Grandfather's old typewriter to display the rules.

The Cake was done by one of my mother's friends who is simply genius.  I wanted something out of fondant, with our color theme and of course reflecting the tea party.  She made this amazing cake below.  I added the mini pendant banner and fun candles.  I love the floppiness of it as I was going for the Mad Hatter look.  Not to mention that it tasted like a dream!!

 As this party was mainly just family and we have a lot of young ones in the family - I decided to make goodie bags - not sure I would have if it was just teenagers.  It is hard to tell exactly what they looked like from below but they were giant tea bags.  I took muslin and folded them to look like a tea bag.  I used safety pins to close them - to one add the touch of the staple you find on all tea bags - but also to be able to open and get the goodies out.  I then made name tags out of felt and stitched each child's name on and dangled from the tea bag just as a real one would have.  The hardest part was trying to stuff them and keep the form.  I took a shoe box and messily wrapped it with fabric to look like a vintage tea box.

All in all it was a great party and most important the Birthday girl enjoyed herself and her presents!!  Please contact me for further instructions.  I am also hoping - once I get a hang of this blogging stuff - to have items up for sale so keep your eye out for anyone interested in buying certain items you see pictured above.