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Throwing A Tea Party: More Than You Ever Wanted To Know

Every year the biggest fundraiser for our daughters’ school is the Adult Trivia Night. It is IMG_8951always so much fun and we really look forward to it. There is always an overall theme. This year was “Nothing But 90’s.” I graduated high school in the early-mid 90’s and college in the late 90’s so this is my young adult era! In case you were wondering, our table’s theme was MTV Spring Break!

Along with trivia (which is by far my favorite part of the evening because I’m a dork like that) there is an auction. I like to donate something for the auction. This year, I donated a 2nd Grade Girls Tea Party. We had 10 slots to fill plus my two girls. I have been gradually prepping for this tea party for 12 eight year old girls for a couple of months. It was great to see it all finally come together!

I knew very early on everything I wanted to do so it was just a matter of finding everything and making it happen.IMG_9270

The Table Setting

I had several ideas floating around in my head and I think I settled on the perfect plan. I know I should have used real china but I was already going to have so many dishes. I found the perfect little vintage pink plates. Are they plastic, yes. But, they are ADORABLE and the perfect size for a tea party! After finding the plates I had everything else I needed at home for the shabby chic table.

White tablecloth, burlap placemats, white paper doilies (I did buy these at the dollar store), pink plates, rose folded napkins.  Perfection!

 

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The close-ups

 

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I did use real teacups, saucers, serving dishes and silverware. I’m not a monster.

Decorating

I new that there would be so much food we wouldn’t need lots of décor. All I needed were flowers… but what kind? I am not a crafty person but I do have a thing for tissue paper flowers. I made several little ones for my girl’s birthday and put them in vases all over the table. I thought I could do something pretty fun with tissue paper flowers.

Luckily, the timing worked out perfectly for my party. I started planning before Valentine’s Day so there were tons of packages of pink tissue paper. I bought a couple from Home Goods that had shades of pink and purple. The tissue paper was even scalloped on the end which makes pretty rounded “petals.”IMG_9217

I decided I wanted each flower to be one color. I used only 3 sheets of tissue paper per flower. I wanted large flowers but one whole sheet of tissue paper ended up being too big so I cut them in half.IMG_9218

Fold back and forth like a fan.IMG_9219
Because one edge was rounded, I rounded off the other end as well.IMG_9221
Fold the folded up paper in half then tie the middle with twine, string or a pipe cleaner (if you want a flower with a stem).

 

Spread the flower outIMG_9224
Separate the first layer of tissue paper, then the second, then fluff the bottom layer.

 

Voila! Tissue paper flowers.IMG_9231

If you want a fuller flower, just use more sheets of tissue paper but I needed to stretch mine and I love the way they turned out.

I tied a piece of twine around each chair. Then, I tied each flower to the piece of twine.

 

Tea Party Accessories

Of course we wanted every girl to have the right tea party accessories. I mean, that’s a must. Hats or fascinators? I like fascinators; they are very British and just more fun. We would start off the tea party by each girl designing her own fascinator.

First, I made the “base.” I bought headbands and felt. I cut out felt circles (one slightly smaller than the other) and hot glued them to each headband; the larger circle on top.

 

At the party we had what I guess can be referred to as a Fascinator Bar. Feathers, fabric flowers, jewels, pearl thingies that stick out, buttons, etc.

 

Each girl got to select a certain amount of each item and my husband and I hot glued them on exactly where they wanted them. They made some seriously awesome fascinators and I walked away with minimal burns so I consider that a success!

Everyone needs pearls at a tea party. Again, timing was in my favor. It was just close enough to Easter that Target had little sets of pearls in their dollar section. They were hard to find but I had a huge helper, my sister! She always comes to my rescue. She searched and called every Target in her surrounding area… in Colorado… and mailed them to me just in time. She found 7, I found 5. Thanks sister! I draped a strand of pearls on each napkin at the girls’ place settings.IMG_9298

The Food

Of course, I was super psyched about this portion of the party. I wanted to serve and bake so many things. I really had to rein it in. Here was my menu:

Egg Salad Sandwiches
Cream Cheese and Cucumber Sandwiches
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (my safety net)
Blueberry Scones with Clotted Cream, Lemon Curd and Cherry Jam
Banana Bread
Grapes
Vanilla Macarons filled with Strawberry Buttercream
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pinwheel Cookies
Victoria Sandwich

Yes, that is reined in.

But first off, I wanted each girl to have a teapot cookie because I think they might be the cutest things ever.

The Joy Of Baking has the best shortbread cut out cookie recipe! I LOVE shortbread and these cookies are no exception. Plus, they aren’t very sweet and since I knew I was going to decorate them with super sweet royal icing I thought they would be a good balance. I use Wilton’s royal icing recipe but I add at least 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

You can make these cookies a few days in advance which really helps with planning. I think I made the cookie dough on Monday night. On Tuesday I cut, baked and decorated the cookies. My whole Tuesday was pretty much cut out cookie day.

 

Royal Icing has to dry for 24 hours. So, I just let them sit there and the next day I wrapped them individually and used these cute bow twisty ties I found. As you can see I put the first initial of each girl on a cookie. I thought it would make a nice place card.IMG_9298

Overnight on Tuesday night I made clotted cream. About a month ago I made lemon curd and stored it in the freezer. And a long time ago I had made both cherry and raspberry jam.

I made scones on Wednesday. I used my regular scone recipe but added a cup of blueberries. I cut them out but did not bake them. I put them on a parchment lined baking sheet for 30 minutes in the freezer. Then, I wrapped them individually in plastic wrap then put them in a freezer bag.IMG_9238

On the morning of the tea party I put them in the fridge until I was ready to bake them. Then, I brushed the top with cream and baked them off. It worked great!

On Wednesday I also made banana bread (that I froze until tea party day) and vanilla macarons. I filled the macarons with strawberry buttercream. It’s best to give your macarons a day or two to sit in an airtight container and let the flavors come together.

Thursday I did more grocery shopping.

Friday I made my sponges for my Victoria Sandwich cake. I made egg salad. I sliced cucumbers. And I did anything else I could possibly do.

Saturday was go time. I made the sandwiches: egg salad circles on white bread, cream cheese and cucumber rectangles on oat bread and peanut butter and jelly triangles on wheat bread. I did any last minute prep, laid out all the food and even put on a dress, heels and makeup. That in itself is a miracle.

 

So Much Fun!!!

The girls arrived and we made fascinators.img_6139.jpg

They all sat down to tea and they all tried tea! I had sugar cubes and cream. I never put cream or sugar in my tea and they all loaded theirs up. I can’t blame them, sugar cubes are super fun. A majority of them didn’t like it and switched to lemonade but I was very impressed they all tried it.IMG_9315

They loved egg salad sandwiches (especially one little girl) and the cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches! I had the most pb&j left over! I really wanted to add some greens to the sandwiches. I mean, those cucumbers sandwiches needed just a hint of dill. But, I resisted because I didn’t want to push my luck. Glad I resisted because they were gone!IMG_9312

These cuties ate so much food they hardly had room for dessert. I found lots of plates like this.IMG_9337

I mean only five girls even wanted to try cake (and two of them were mine). Who doesn’t want cake?!?!! The macarons (which I almost scrapped) were the biggest hit. I think 2 little girls basically had macarons for lunch. Sorry for all the sugar parents but at least the tea was decaf.

After the tea party we had a little dance party. First all for fun then it turned into a serious game of freeze dance.IMG_9338

I think a great time was had by all and I was super impressed with these girls’ openness to trying new things, even if they didn’t like it in the end. I had a great time! Plus, all the other parents got an hour and a half to themselves. This was a winning situation all around!

Thanks to all of you who helped and attended! You made this special day a success!

Tea Party Collage

 

17 thoughts on “Throwing A Tea Party: More Than You Ever Wanted To Know

  1. I love everything about this-especially the “rose” napkins! I want to be invited to your next tea party, too, whether it’s junior or senior!!

  2. Just darling Em!!!!!! Absolutely everything was perfect!! I think a senior Tea Party sounds like fun!!!
    Hugs

  3. How amazing! So creative and so festive and fun! I love all the little details–the cookies, the silver tea pots, the flowers, the fascinators! Definitely a party I’d like to attend. :)

  4. I’m exhausted just knowing how much time and effort you put into this, and your pictures don’t lie. It was so worth it. I’m glad I came with A. Kathleen to take a peek. All so beautifully done. Bravo! Love, Mom

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