When I found this pretty aqua-green Easter basket at Target last week, I knew I was going to have to do something fun with it.
It was such a great color and had such a nice price: $9.99!
I decided I wanted to make it all flowery and frou-frou, so I headed over to the the craft store and picked up some silk Hydrangeas.
You could use vintage millinery flowers for this project, but I like to use silk Hydrangeas because they are relatively inexpensive and come with lots and lots of individual flowers. If you can, get the better quality ones - they look prettier and the realistic color variations make for a more interesting design. In order to use the flowers, I first plucked off the heads and discarded the little plastic stamens in the centers.
For a little extra glam, I added a clear rhinestone to the center of each flower.
Then, I simply used my hot glue gun to affix the flowers to the circumference and top of the basket in a pleasing pattern, varying the flower size and colors to my liking.
Now, this project requires a bit of time and a lot of flowers.
This was a large basket and even though I only covered part of it, I still needed about 300 one-inch flowers! So, if time is a concern, I would suggest trying this technique on a smaller basket. :-)
Once you have decorated your basket, you can fill it up with goodies...
Today, I thought I'd show you some of the tea party crafts and a bit more of the table decor.
My daughter loves arts and crafts, so I wanted to do some party activities that reflected this. I figured that everyone needs a fancy tea party hat, so that was first on our party agenda. I lucked out and found a bunch of pastel hats at the dollar store! I collected a ton of pretty flowers, rhinestones, butterflies, and even some sweet birdies to use for decoration.
The girls designed the hats the way they wanted them and then my fabulous friend, Rachel, and I hot glued-them on. This went much quicker than I thought it would and assured that the decorations would stay on securely. The girls did a beautiful job with their hat designs.
Out of respect for their privacy, I can't show you the girls in their hats, but I can assure you that it made for a very adorable picture...all of them in their flowery, bird-embellished hats!
For another activity, I decided that it would be fun to make "Cookie Charm Bracelets".
We've made lots of candy necklaces and bracelets over the years, but never a cookie bracelet! I started by enlisting the help of my mom (she's a really, really nice mom!) to make HUNDREDS of teeny, tiny sugar cookies in the shapes of flowers.
I had grand plans to intricately decorate them with royal icing, but due to a shortage of time, we ended up just coating them with a good sprinkling of pastel non pareils. While the cookies were still warm from the oven, we used bamboo skewers to poke holes through the centers. To make it easier for the little girls to string the cookies, my older daughter tied tiny loops of ribbon through each cookie. This was truly a family affair!
For bracelet assembly, I gathered together a bunch of ribbons and lots of pretty candy beads (I just cut these off long candy necklaces) to use as filler.
The bracelets turned out super cute...
After the girls made their bracelets, I put them in personalized jewelry boxes so they could take them home.
Now, for the tea party table settings...
I kept the table decor pretty simple, as I knew I wouldn't have much time to transition from the crafts to the tea party portion of the party. I covered the tables with cloths in a variety of shabby floral patterns and added some small vases of pink roses.
At each place setting, I set a large round doily, plastic utensils (that looked like real silverware!), and a cloth napkin.
I made the napkins myself by just cutting some pretty floral fabric into large squares with pinking shears. Time consuming, yes. But I thought it was a nice touch. :-)
I also made these old-fashioned candy-filled party "crackers" to use as place cards.
These were fairly easy to make, but I would be happy to post a tutorial sometime. Basically, they make good use of your old paper towel rolls!
Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed our little tea party. I'm not sure what themes we'll do next year, but luckily, I have about eleven months to think about it!
To say that I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Liberty of London's new collection for Target would probably be the understatement of the century. I absolutely adore Liberty and have loved their pretty prints ever since I was a little girl. Whenever I travel to London, Liberty is one of my very first stops and I can literally spend hours and hours there looking at every last item. So, you can imagine how excited I was when a found out that they were coming out with an entire line for Target!
There was a tremendous amount of advertising and hype surrounding the Liberty line and I knew it was going to be crazy popular. This was going to be a potential problem for me, as I soon realized that the Liberty debut at Target was set for March 14th - the very morning of my daughter's birthday tea party! Now, no matter how much I plan ahead and no matter how organized I think I am, I always seem to end up doing party prep right up until that very first guest rings the doorbell. I was in a terrible quandary. How was I going to get everything ready for the party and also make it to Target to get my long-awaited Liberty items? At first, I planned to get up at the crack of dawn and be there right when the store opened, but I soon realized that there realistically wasn't going to be enough time and I was going to have to take my chances and just go after the party. I was sooooo disappointed, but I felt that the tea party had to take priority (how mature am I!).
So, it was a complete and utter surprise when, early that morning, I received a phone call from my wonderful friend, Michele. She was calling from...Target! She was going to be my personal Liberty of London shopper! So, while I put the finishing touches on the goody bags and set up the buffet table, Michele talked me through the entire store - describing each and every item. And boy, am I lucky she did. Evidently, the Liberty of London home goods and much of the clothing and accessories were gone within minutes. Michele described scenes of people walking around with their shopping carts overflowing and people grabbing entire cartons of merchandise before the store clerks even had a chance to put them out on the shelves! So, I must thank Michele profusely - if it were not for her incredible dedication and shopping stamina, this post would not have been possible. :-)
The Liberty of London line is HUGE! From tea pots to pajamas to bicycles. I am just going to show you a few of my favorite picks, but there is so much more to choose from and everything is just adorable. Of all the prints, I think the one on this platter is my favorite...
And it was a total bargain at only $9.99! I have to say the prices are fantastic and there is something to fit everyone's budget. For example, the stationary products are very reasonably priced and oh so cute...
These file folders were a favorite of mine...
As was this fabulous hat box...
I loved this fun frame...
And with Spring fast approaching, these brightly colored garden gloves will come in handy...
There were lots of cute accessories, like this pretty headband...
...and multi-patterned scarf...
The clothes seem quite well-made with lots of attention to detail...like these pink tulle ruffles peeking out from a little girl's skirt.
Or a bit of lace and contrasting trim on a pajama top...
The clothing lines are quite extensive, with items for every member of the family. This little bathing suit was way too cute to pass up...
Just look at those sweet layers of ruffles...
I am still trying to track down some must-have items - like the floral wellies, the tiered serving tray, and the bedding sets. Several store managers (yes, I called a number of them!) weren't positive, but said they thought they would be re-stocking the shelves soon. So, I remain hopeful. :-)
Overall, I was completely thrilled with the Liberty line for Target. It far exceeded my expectations and everything was so fun and pretty. I only wish that they had had more stock available. Evidently, much of the online merchandise was also sold-out within hours and I see that people are already re-selling much of the merchandise on eBay for double and triple the original prices!
I am hoping that, given it's overwhelming success, Liberty will collaborate with Target again in the near future. And next time, I'll be sure to plan my parties around opening day!
Well, we did it! We survived having two birthday parties in the span of just one week. Yes, the "Tea Party" was this past weekend and I have to say that it was a great success. My daughter had a wonderful time and I think all the party-goers (all 16 of them!) did, too. Due to the fact that I have a ton of photos (and the fact that I am completely exhausted), I am going to show you the party details over the course of two posts.
Today, I will be sharing the tea party buffet table and goodies. Given that the party was scheduled for right after lunch, I focused only on sweets and decided to forgo any savory items like tea sandwiches. I've given a great many tea parties over the years and my experience has taught me that kids will always choose a cupcake over a watercress sandwich. :-)
I made some of the desserts myself, bought some, and "embellished" some. My pale pink petit fours were by far the biggest hit and not too, too difficult to make (I think I have finally mastered the art of poured fondant!).
I was so proud of my butter cream forget-me-nots...
There were mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla butter cream...
I actually bought these at Whole Foods and just added some butter cream flowers.
We dipped some strawberries in chocolate...pink chocolate, of course.
These mini sprinkle cookies were quite popular (Martha's basic sugar cookie recipe)...
And a tea party isn't a tea party without piles of pastel meringues...
Just look at colors of the beautiful butter cream flowers...and I love the touches of edible glitter!
For "tea", I served strawberry milk and pink lemonade in glass pitchers (sorry - forgot to take a picture). As for table decor, I clearly went with a pastel, shabby chic look. A floral-sprigged tablecloth and lots of white and pastel dishes and cake pedestals...
I bought several shades of pink roses and some Hydrangeas (because they are my favorites).
I will post Part II of "The Tea Party" later in the week and show you some more of the favors, crafts, decor, etc...
And don't forget to come back tomorrow for "Target Tuesday"...this week I will be posting on Liberty of London's new line for Target. So unbelievably cool! You're gonna love it!
I was trying to think of something cute to give away as favors for my little one's tea party and I came up with these...
They are "Tea Bag" favors! Here's what you'll need to make some:
* small rectangular glassine envelopes
* thin ribbon or string
* scrapbook paper
* small candies or toys
* flower paper punch
* circle paper punch
* glue stick
To begin, partially fill the glassine envelopes with small candies or other small toys (not for children under three!). Look for things that aren't too bulky - small candies, stickers, etc... Next, seal the envelopes with some magic tape and fold-in the top two corners to form a tea bag shape - secure with more tape.
Next, make some tea bag hanging labels by punching out some flowers and circle shapes from your scrapbook paper with your paper punches. I will eventually personalize these with my daughter's name and the words "Special Blend". You can hand write the label wording or print it out on your computer. Tape one end of a thin piece of ribbon to the back of one of the punched flower shapes and then glue another flower shape on top of it - sandwiching the ribbon in between. Glue a circle shape to the middle on each side of the flower.
Finally, attach the non-flower end of the ribbon to the back of the "tea bag" with some more tape.
These would be adorable presented in a little tea tin or box, but I will probably just bundle a few up and tie them with a ribbon.
Hi All! So sorry I've been MIA this past week. We had my older daughter's birthday party this weekend and I always underestimate just how much preparation is involved. And this was supposed to be the "easy" party! :-) But we did it. So, I thought I'd share a few details with you...
My daughter invited 10 close friends over for a slumber party. As you may remember, we didn't have a "theme" per se, but I was going for a vintage, 1950's vibe. We began the evening with pizza from our favorite Italian restaurant. For beverages, I stocked up on lots of vintage-looking sodas in a variety of flavors and lots of pretty colors...
After dinner, the girls did their nails while I set up the ice cream sundae bar. I just bought a bunch of different ice creams and tons of different toppings and let them have fun...
And just in case the girls hadn't had enough sweets, we had birthday cake, too. To save time, I had a local bakery make the cake (chocolate!) and cover it with white fondant. Then, I decorated it myself with pink and aqua-green fondant circles...
After cake, the girls decided to watch some DVDs - Hairspray, 13 Going on 30, Brady Bunch, etc... I set up a "concession stand" with more drinks, lots of movie-theater style boxed candies, and popcorn (of course!)...
After lots of loud music, talking, and giggling, the girls finally fell asleep around 3:30 am. For breakfast, I served them bagels and cereal - nothing fancy. And then it was time to send them on their way. As party favors, the girls filled personalized treat bags...
with a variety of sweets...
I placed them all in little cellophane bags that I trimmed out in striped, scalloped papers...
The girls also received paper popcorn boxes filled with the "tween" fashion statement of the moment...a Sugar Lips tank top.
Despite the fact that it may take me a few days to recover from the sleep deprivation, I would say that the party was a great success. So, one down and one to go. The Tea Party is up next and I will have lots more to show you over the next few weeks...stay tuned!
While most of my attention as of late has been focused on my little one's tea party, I have also been working on my older daughter's birthday party. I had some grand plans for her celebration, but she really just wanted a basic sleepover this year. And she definitely didn't want a "theme". Soooo not cool to have a theme evidently. :-) So, I am respecting her wishes. We will order the requisite pizza, let them watch movies, do their nails, and stay up giggling into the wee hours of the night. But...I am also trying to sneak in a few little touches to make it special. I am going with a vintage, 1950's vibe. Note, I said "vibe", not "theme". No themes here. No siree! So, I decided to make some vintage-inspired paper flag banners...
These are hardly a novel idea, but I thought they would add some festivity to the party.
If you want to make some, here's what you'll need:
-2" circle punch
-scrapbook papers in a variety of colors and patterns
I started by cutting out a bunch of 4" triangles and 2" circles from a variety of scrapbook papers. For the circles, I just used a paper punch, but I drew out the triangles with a ruler and then cut them out with a paper-trimmer.
Next, I glued the circles onto the triangles - going out of my way to mismatch the patterns and colors in a pleasing way.
Then, I added my alphabet stickers to the centers of the circles to spell out my banner sayings. I spelled out "Refreshments", "Concession Stand", and "Ice Cream Sundae Bar", but you can obviously customize these and use any words you like..."Happy Birthday", "Surprise", etc...
As a final step, I chose some pretty coordinating ribbons...
...and glued the triangles to them.
These are so much fun to make and super easy, too!
These vintage-inspired candy cups are so much fun to make. I am making a bunch to use as party favors for my daughter's birthday "tea party", but they would also make great little Easter baskets.
Here's what you'll need to make some:
- 2 1/2" diameter paper candy cups (you can find these in the cake decorating aisle at the craft store)
-pipe cleaners cut into 8 1/2" pieces
-glue gun and glue sticks
-crepe paper streamers
-paper shred or cupcake liners
To begin, you need to "ruffle" the crepe paper steamers. You can do this on a sewing machine, but I like to do mine by hand. I just placed a horizontal line of glue around the outside middle of my candy cup and ruffled up (scrunched!) the streamers, pressing them down in the glue as I moved around the perimeter of the cup.
When you are done, it should look something like this...
Next, cinch the "waist" of your ruffle by securely tying a ribbon around it...
Now you are ready to add your handle. Bend your pipe cleaner into a U-shape and attach it to the inside of the cup (on opposite sides) with a bit of hot glue. Hold it in place for a few seconds until it is completely dry.
The final step is to embellish your candy cups. I wrapped some ribbon around my handles, tucked in some tiny millinery flowers, and added a few ribbon bows. The decorating possibilities and color combinations are endless!
I placed a white cupcake wrapper inside each cup and filled them with some pastel-colored jelly beans, but any treat or little toy would work beautifully.
The result is some very sweet, old fashioned party favors that everyone is sure to appreciate!