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Afternoon Tea

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My friend Steph and I have wanted to have a tea party for the longest time.  Just the whole concept is fabulous – the hats, the dainty tea cups and delicious treats.  We decided to go for it and squealed with delight at the prospect.

First, like I’ve said before, it all starts with a good invitation.

We decided to do an actual RSVP card instead of just a phone RSVP.  Much classier.  I hand-made all the envelope liners, RSVP cards and mailing labels to go along with the invitation theme. 

We decided to have the party on the patio of our apartment building.  The patio itself is a big open space that we all have to walk through to get from the parking garage to our apartments.  It has a lot of potential, but the starkness of it is a bit daunting.  One of the big problems was that there is absolutely no shade or covering of any kind.  I decided to enlist my husband (the brains behind the implementation of any and all of my more difficult DIY projects) to help me figure out a way to create some sort of shade.  We decided that the easiest thing to do would be to string up clothes line and drape some material (Ikea sheets, of course) to create some sort of canopy.  The idea I wanted to recreate was along these lines.

Ok, so my husband had that under control.  He also nicely offered to carry our dining room table and chairs to the patio so that we’d be able to eat off a “real” table instead of using a completely unclassy folding one.  Steph also offered her dining room chairs which gave us ten altogether.  

Now…tableware, glassware and cutlery.  We decided to give it a shabby chic look and get all different tea cups, dessert plates, teapots, etc.  We spent a couple of weekends on thrift store hunts and came up with a vast majority of the settings.  The dinner plates were a little harder, so I ended up checking out the trusty Dollar Store and came out with a few different designs that went along with the look we wanted.  I also scoured eBay for some cheap (including shipping) finds.  For other glassware, I went to my one-stop-shop, Ikea.  That place cannot be beat.  For cutlery, I luckily inherited a gigantic set of silverware from my dad (I’m not sure if he’s aware I have it, so SURPRISE AND THANKS DAD!) and was able to use that.  

I also made towering dessert trays out of random plates and candlesticks/glasses (for the support centers) and epoxy. 

  

I really wanted to have a whole bunch of little vases filled with fresh flowers, but…too expensive.  Instead I made painted vases with origami flowers inside.

I wanted to make the party as fancy as possible, so I found a wholesale lot of vintage linen napkins on eBay.  To go along with the DIY feel, we appliqued a different design on each.  We also made napkin rings out of pieces of a toilet paper roll (yes, you read that correctly), embroidery floss and rhinestone pins (also purchased in a wholesale lot on eBay). 

For a tablecloth (another sheet, of course), I decided to get out my embroidery hoop again and make a special design with different tea names and flower illustrations.

We both really wanted to give favors.  I mean, who doesn’t love favors?!  But we didn’t want to give the standard candles or bag of candy or whatever.  Steph had a FANTASTIC idea – purse hangers!  Probably a big reason was because she really wanted a purse hanger for herself.  Regardless, we set out on a hunt.  What I found was that to buy those things outright, it isn’t cheap.  So, I took to eBay again and found a wholesale lot of blank purse hangers you could design yourself and cover with epoxy.  That way we were able to make each person their own personalized purse hanger.  I roped my poor husband into taking care of the epoxy pouring part.  There’s a great tutorial I found on YouTube that I HIGHLY recommend if you decide to give it a go.

We didn’t want to just hand them out, though.  We decided to put empty reusable tea bags into tiny teapot favors and dangle these out as the tea bag label.  It was a dual purpose idea as we also thought they might want to take a tea bag full of their favorite tea home to enjoy later.

As far as food, we had several different kinds of finger sandwiches, tea cakes, cookies, tarts, scones, curdled cream, honey, jam, etc.  Steph also bought several different types of tea which were all delicious.  I’ll be honest, she handled all of the food/drink details and I’m trying to get her to guest write on this blog with her menu.  Hopefully she will and you’ll be able to get a run-down of all the tasty goodness she served.

So…presenting the finished product:

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7 responses »

  1. Lizzie, the pictures don’t do it justice! It was so beautiful. All the the little details made everything so special. I continue to admire your embroidered tablecloth as it is now being repurposed as my dining room table runner. I am also craving Steph’s cucumber sandwiches.
    Great Party Lizzie, Stephanie & last but not least Ryan

    Reply
  2. YAY! I’m so glad everyone had a good time!

    Reply
  3. Katie Q. Harvey

    This makes me wish I lived closer to you so I could be a part of all this cuteness. If this blog doesn’t somehow end up making you fabulously wealthy, I’ll eat my hat.

    Reply
  4. Umm, I want a purse hanger… 🙂

    Reply

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