Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tea Party Table Settings - For the Girls

One of the most fun parts of a tea party is the table. 
 It doesn't have to be complicated and mix-and-match settings look just as nice 
(I prefer them) as settings that perfectly matched. 
 There are lots of fun things out there to add to the fun of your table whether you are hosting a tea party for your girlfriends or little girls. Tea parties are fun any time of the day too - and the food is typically small portions so you can splurge on things you might not be able to afford to provide for a bigger party. The best tea parties are about 4-8 guests so there is plenty of time to chat all around the same table. 
 The first thing is to chose your setting. A beautiful porch or shady spot in the garden is perfect when the weather is nice. 

 Otherwise, you can easily transform your everyday indoor spaces in something special with some extra lace tablecloths or tulle panels draped from the ceiling or a seasonal display on a sideboard. 
 The foundation of your table setting is the tablecloth. A lace tablecloth will add that dainty touch but solids that coordinate with your main dishes will work well too or you can layer with a solid on the bottom or lace on the top. The Princess chose to just do the lace on this because she likes to be able to get a peek of the framework of the table through the glass underneath. 
 We originally were going to use a different tea set but then she found the leopard print gift boxes and we decided that they would look nice with this brown Patriotic transferware set that has been passed down through the family. She chose a plain stoneware plate in shades of brown that my mom had to mix-and-match. She wrote each guests name on the gift boxes so they served as place cards as well. The gift box and all the goodies inside were found in the party favors section of Hobby Lobby and cost less than $20 total. Try giving your child a spending limit and letting them pick the things they want to fill the boxes. It teaches them responsibility and consideration of their friends, tests their math skills and takes one more thing off your plate! 
 The little glass jelly jars were handed down through the family as well and one of my great-aunts used to serve me with them when I visited. 
 The gold napkins were found at the dollar store and leftover from a previous party and the leopard print cupcake wrappers work great to serve small portions. Grab fun napkins and cupcake wrappers when you find them on clearance or at dollar stores to keep on hand - they can provide a great starter for colors or themes when you are stuck for ideas. Fun little dainty accessories like these little appetizer forks can be found at the regular grocery store for a couple dollars and are fun to use in school lunches too. 
 The little blue-and-white paper tea pot is actually the packaging for blank tea cup invitations and envelopes and worked great as part of a fun little centerpiece. Every centerpiece should have some sort of flower, in my opinion. I spotted these bright purple asters and thought they would add just the right pop of color against the browns. They also go well with the blues and reds of the food and drinks. I scrounged around the house for other pretties like these purple beaded candle wreaths perfect for nesting my little white tulip bowls full of goodies like meringues. 
 When considering your food, think dainty, finger foods, colorful, easy and pretty to the eyes. Find ways to plate them that highlight the food itself and make it a part of the decor like using cookie cutters to create fun shapes. Use a buffet or little TV trays to keep larger platters off the table but within reach for easy passing.
The recipes for all these fun little food and drinks are all posted on the blog - just search "tea party".  Enjoy!

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