This year for our joint birthday Jayna and I decided to have an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. It turned out great and everyone had a wonderful time in "Wonderland" celebrating with us.
We sent our invitations out with little skeleton keys attached to them with direction to bring the keys back to the party. I copied the invitation idea from an Alice in Wonderland comic-con party Disney held. It was easy to find a free Alice in Wonderland font online too. The skeleton keys were a little tricky to find at first. I kept thinking I needed antique ones, but they were really expensive and ranged in price a lot from place to place. Then I tried my luck at Lowes and to my surprise they had the perfect little key. The secret is to go ask the "key making man". They were not out in packages, he just had a little box of them behind his desk. If I remember right they were like $3.00 each which was cheap compared to the $10.00 antique ones.
Since my prop budget for this party was a little smaller than Tim Burton's I used lots of things I already had and made lots of things out of paper. I stuck cards in my topiary and all around the table. The Butterflies are a Martha Stewart clip-art project that you can get for free online. I changed the colors of the butterflies myself by adjusting the hues in Photoshop so that it would match the colors of my party better. Then I just printed them on card stock, cut them out, and glued them together. Simple rolled scotch tape held them to the walls.
This is what the entire room looked like before the party.
I used some of my antique medical bottles to recreate the shrinking potion Alice drinks. I did one big jar and one small jar to represent the shrinking. I got the colored liquid with just water and food coloring.
I made sure to have random stacks of tea-cups on the table to add to the madness.
Each place setting for the adults also had a teas-cup and saucer and a little stripped straw with a drink me tag on it. I just used regular paper and a stamp set I have to make the tags.
I also placed stacks of books around the table with cards and butterflies adorning them.
One of my favorite things on the table was these simple and easy to make crepe paper banners with the words I'm Late trailing on them. I took regular crepe paper and folded it in half and then fringed it with my scissors to get these frilly banners. Then I printed the words I'm Late out on my computer and edged the letters with glue and glitter. Then after I laid the crepe paper out on the table I hot glued the letters on.
Moss carpet and rocks also joined the party to give it a touch of a woodsy feel. I also used three different table cloths to layer the table with. I didn't even bother to iron them. again I was going for Mad and I figured the Mad Hatter would not have iron his tablecloths.
I also had little round cutouts with Alice in Wonderland sketches on them all over the table. Again something I just did on the computer. For desserts I made blue french macaroons with homemade blackberry jam filling and mushroom cookies. Both were perfect for the look and feel of the party.
For a cake I made a big 6 layer rainbow cake all dressed in white frosting to conceal the colorful surprise awaiting inside. It tilted over night, but I figured that went with the theme too. I am not a great cake froster so I went with a more organic look or at least that is what I am going to say.
The kids (and even adults) loved the cake. It is for-sure a crowd pleaser.
My mom that had traveled out for the party from Arizona brought and made this cute Birthday flag banner. It even has two blank spots at the end that you could put temporary felt numbers on it, so that you could change it out ever year.
For the little-ones I made a replica table just their size minus a few things they might break or ruin.
Since we couldn't just eat cookies and cake the whole time I made these sandwich picks to go in the grilled turkey sandwiches the husband made for us. I also served a spinach strawberry salad that is one of my all time favorites.
Then for an activity us ladies made charm necklaces using the keys I had sent out. We made an Alice shrinky dink charm (get it? shrinking Alice) and a shrinky dink initial charm that looked like a type writer key. The other charms were just discount bags of bird charms that I found at the craft store. While we did that I had the little girls color wooden letters of their first initial. So at the end of the party everyone had their own little craft they had made.
Everyone had a great time and I had an even better time coming up with the idea and making everything for it. I truly love sharing my birthday with Jayna she is the greatest and makes doing things like this so fun. For weeks whenever she would see me making something she would always say "mom you make it for my party? Thank you." Now I have 11 months to think about the next party.
Let me know if you have any questions about this party or anything you have seen or read in this post.