Two months ago, we threw a whimsical Wonderland-themed party for the twins’ first birthday. I only recently finished putting the photo album together for printing. It brought back fond memories of such a special celebration for us. My friends had asked me how I made some of the decorations for the party, so I thought I would share these ideas with you.
For the Queens’ Dining Room, I purchased this Deck of Jumbo Playing Cards from Amazon and used painters tape to adhere them to the walls without any worry about the paint peeling off afterwards. I also bought red construction paper, cut out heart shapes, and taped these to the Queen of Hearts Wall.
I wanted the tea party to be child-like, filled with lots of colors, but also adult-friendly with a little elegance as well. To dress up the tea party, I went to Joann’s Fabrics and bought these pastel colored tulle fabrics, each in 3-yard lengths, and tied them as sashes around each dining chair, which added just a bit of sophistication and a lot of color to the room.
For the tabletop decor, I created a “Stacking Tea Cups and Saucers” centerpiece. I went to a local Goodwill store and purchased a few tea cups and saucers, ranging in price from $0.50 – $3.00, and painted them in different shades of pastels. I used Gorilla Glue to make sure they were glued securely on top of one another.
Next, I purchased several of these Wooden Candle Holders from Michael’s, painted them, and tied colorful ribbons around them. I also scored a few pastel-colored vases that were on sale at Michael’s. Inside each, I placed a flower and a color-printed paper cut-out of the characters from Alice in Wonderland, each of which were glued onto a wooden stick.
For the dessert table, I filled a few candy jars with several bright-colored candies such as gumballs, jelly beans, sour worms, pastel M & M’s, Skittles, and Starbursts.
I wanted to add a sparkle of gold to the color theme, again in order to add a touch of elegance to the party, so I spray-painted a few mason jars gold and then filled them with colorful florals.
Instead of having the babies eat their birthday cake in their high-chairs, we decided to just sit them together right on top of the dessert table. It made for a cute photo opportunity!
Although it was a children’s birthday party, we had no lack of adult beverages on hand to properly ensure that everyone had a great time. Make sure you have a large cooler filled with plenty of ice to keep drinks cold. For a large party, the refrigerator may not have the capacity to get a few dozen cans and bottles icy cold. Costco or BJ’s Wholesale are great places to buy beverages in bulk.
I used colored chalk to write out all the types of drinks that were available, which made for easy drink orders to the bartender. I bought some of these cute Alice in Wonderland stickers from both Michael’s and Amazon to decorate the chalk boards.
As pictured above, I purchased these clear 16 oz plastic cups and lids from Amazon and filled them with colorful drinks, such as blue and red Gatorade or Kool-Aid. I added “Drink Me” stickers, which I got from an Etsy vendor, and colorful straws.
We decided to hire a bartender for the party, which was the best decision we made. We found one for a reasonably good price on Gigsalad. We realized two things from previous parties that we hosted:
First, when guests have to serve themselves, they tend to drink less (on average, 1 drink). When people are engrossed in conversation, it can be difficult to excuse themselves in order to go refill a drink. With a bartender present, they can continue their conversation without interruption as they make their way over to the bar. As the host, you are also busy catching up with your guests, and may not be able to offer drinks and serve all your guests in a timely manner, especially when there are a large number of guests present.
Secondly, self-service guarantees that most people will stick to only single-ingredient beverages, like beer and wine, which they can easily pour. It is too much effort for guests to prepare mixed drinks for themselves while they’re busy mingling. The bartender, however, will have a full supply of mixers readily on hand and can quickly serve up any requested cocktail. Our “drink of the party” was a Tequila Sunrise – colorful, citrusy and refreshing.
For the “Down the Rabbit Hole” decor, I used clear fishing line to hang various objects from our chandelier to give the illusion of the objects Alice passed by when she fell down the rabbit hole. I purchased these Wooden Frames from Michael’s, as well as a couple of old clocks, and painted them in bright colors. I also hung these paper lanterns and pom poms from Party City.
For the outside Croquet game, I purchased Flamingo Mallets and Hedgehog balls from OregonJeffandCrew on Etsy. The mallets come in 20″ lengths for little ones and 36″ lengths for older kids. The mallets are available in many different colors. They were well-constructed. The Croquet Foamboards Cut-outs are from TangleWoodDesigner, also on Etsy. The paint and artwork on these foamboards were beautiful. I highly recommend both of these shops, as I was very pleased with the quality and workmanship of their products. All the children absolutely loved the croquet game!
And lastly, no tea party would be complete without tea. Tazo teas are one of my favorite brands. They offer many delicious flavors, each labeled with a different strengths of caffeine content. We purchased these cute Starbucks-like paper coffee cups and lids from Party City. A cup of tea towards the end of the party definitely helps if you’ve had a few too many drinks at the bar!
I hope that I have inspired you to throw a Wonderland-themed party. Please leave a comment or pictures on any ideas or projects you have done! Thank you!