This was Carlee's first friend party but to save on money, time and stress, my husband suggested we have a little friend/cousin tea party for the girls during the first half and then we'd party with the rest of the family for the second half. Personally, I think it worked out great!
When I first began searching for a shop to feature for her tea party, I felt like I just couldn't find quite the right one. I wanted something beautiful, yet still little girl-like.
And then I found Twinkle, Twinkle Little Party's Blue Floral Shabby Chic Birthday Package. And she said, "Yes!" My, oh my, I couldn't stop thinking about all the sweet stuff in this little party package. Isn't it gorgeous?!?
I fell in love with the tea party theme and enjoyed (almost) every minute of planning it. In fact, at one point, I'm pretty sure my brain was smoking from all the ideas running through it and I had to tell myself numerous times to stop searching Pinterest for just. one. more. idea. Can anyone relate??
And just so you know, I did this party on a small budget. The two biggest expenses were buying the paper products for almost 40 people, (although I picked them all up at the Dollar Store) and the printing costs for the party package which was $15 (I took my own cardstock). Don't get me wrong, I had to keep my ideas in check for sure with this party because there were a crazy amount of awesome ideas out there. Even the food was reasonably priced as you'll see from my menu below.
So, let's do a break down of the party, shall we? I just love reminiscing about it already.
For all the sweet little girls that were there, each had a handmade paper fan, a paper tea cup with a tea bag shaped cookie inside and their own place card waiting for them at the table. All of the favors were handmade so that kept the cost down, although it did involve more time.
I'll include some how-tos at the bottom of the post but I used the paper tea cups as holders for the tea bag shortbread cookies we made. and here's a picture of one of the cookies I had on display.
All of the guests were welcome to take home a tea bag cookie and a Hershey bar wrapped in the lovely Shabby Chic pattern as well.
Food and Drinks
I am completely smitten with cupcakes these days. I used to make fancy cakes for the kids' birthdays but lately have opted to save myself time and stress by going this route. I'm hooked. Each of the cupcake toppers came with the party package so I simply printed them and taped them onto lollipop sticks.
It ended up being a sweltering 91+ degrees the morning of the party so I'm glad I had lots of bottled water for everyone to drink. The water bottle labels are such a nice touch thanks to Twinkle Twinkle Little Party. I also had a lovely punch my dear friend brought over and it was so hot that instead of drinking hot tea we made a quick switch to lemonade in the tiny little tea cups you see on the table.
For the decorations, I used things that were near and dear to me such as the vintage porcelain doll I received as a gift when I was 16 and the tin of tea I bought during a layover in Vienna once.
I of course incorporated tea cups in the decor by using one to hold the veggie dip, another to hold a tea bag cookie and yet another to hold the birthday girl's cupcake.
I cut the word "thanks" out of white paper to make it look like steam coming out of my mom's beautiful tea pot and my mother in law made some beautiful tablecloths and cloth napkins for each of the little girls to use at their table. I also loved the TEA tin that I borrowed from a friend to hold the tea bag cookies.
I took a picture of each girl with Carlee using a fun little chalkboard and parasol and I read Fancy Nancy Tea for Two to the girls, they played Sugar, Sugar, Cream (variation of Duck, Duck , Goose), had a Sugar Cube Relay, played Pass the Tea Cup (hot potato) and
Stack the Sugar Cubes. I also showed the girls a Blooming Tea Ball demonstration which they were pretty impressed with.
Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwiches
Cucumbers and Carrots with Ranch Dip
Strawberries and Grapes
All of the little girls had their cupcakes in these ADORABLE silicone tea cup cupcake molds I borrowed from a friend. (This was one of my favorite things to make for the tea party!)
The party came together so beautifully and I couldn't have done it without Andressa from Twinkle Twinkle Little Party, my husband who helped with the baking and prep and my friends who loaned some props to me and helped with the favors.
Make a Tea Bag Cookie
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 T sugar
1/2 c. butter (not margarine)
In a mixing bowl combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter till mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Form the mixture into a ball and knead till smooth. Using a rolling pin, flatten out the dough.
I made a tea bag template from wax paper. Use this to cut out your tea bags from the dough with a knife. Take an icing tip and make a whole at the top of each tea bag cookie. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (recipe taken from Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook 1989 ed)
Once the cookies were cooled, I dipped each cookie in dark chocolate candy melts. I popped them in the freezer until the day before the party and then I used about 8 " of embroidery floss and attached it to a tag with each girl's initial on it. (It helps to dip the tip of the floss into a cup of water before you thread it through the hole.) I then threaded this through the hole in the cookie. This was time consuming, but so worth it!
Make a Paper Tea Cup Party Favor
Two of my friends have Cricut Machines and they used the Cricut Craft Room, a free program that lets you arrange everything on the computer before you start cutting to figure out a size for the tea cup cut outs. There was a free circle shape in 8.5" with another 4.5" circle centered in it and that's what we used to make the tea cups. To save money I bought plain cardstock and we stamped the paper to make it look a little more vintage.
Looking to Host a Party of Your Own?
Then you'll definitely want to check out Twinkle Twinkle Little Party's Shop for your party package. And, if you're not feeling that crafty, Andressa can have all your files printed, cut and shipped to you. She also accepts custom orders for any type of event. Andressa is amazing to work with and she has adorable party packages in her shop! Click here to see some of them.
Be sure to stop by the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Party Facebook page too for some completely inspiring ideas!
I couldn't have done this party without my wonderful husband (xoxoxo!), and my good friends who let me borrow some lovelies for the party. Thanks to blogger, Lisa Storms for the steam "thanks" idea as well as the paper tea cup favors. Thanks, everyone!
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