If you are coming here from the Make Mine Pink blog, WELCOME! I hope you will enjoy tea with me! :) Be sure to see Monday and Tuesdays post. This is a week long tea! :)
So many times when I used to think of a tea party, I used to think of all the pretty decorations. But don't think that has to break the bank. The best way I have found to decorate inexpensively is to allow your daughters to do it.
First, they need the practice. What better way for your child to learn than to do it herself? One day she will have a home of her own and need to know how to decorate it. And secondly, you have no idea how many nice and pretty things you have lying around the house that the girls have a way of finding that you never knew you had (or even thought was pretty) until you let three little girls go searching. LOL! :D
Allow her to pick out the flowers (real or silk) for the centerpiece and help her to arrange them. Talk about how you don't want the flowers too high because you want to be able to see each other across the table, so a small, basket full would be perfect. Maybe you can even look through a book at the library on flower arranging.
We recently bought a HUGE bag of silk flowers at a thrift store. We put them all in basket and allow the children to pull out for them and decorate up the table for tea or dinner. Here is the centerpiece we used for our tea. It was arranged by AA (7yr).
Once, when the repair man came over, my daughter covered the table in her favorite bed sheet, took a cup of water and cut flowers from the backyard and placed them in the cup. All for the repair man! LOL!!
Did she just say favorite bed sheet?
Yes, I did just say favorite bed sheet. :D Allow her to take her favorite bed sheet and use it for a cloth covering for the table. If it gets tea on it, it can be washed! And if nothing else, you can always buy another sheet. But the training and keeping your daughter's heart here is more important than the cost of any sheet.
Try not to limit your child here too much. Remember, the point is not to be perfect, the point is to encourage, teach and train her. Are you training her that perfection is more important than people? While we want it to look nice, and we want our children to do their best, perfection is not what we are aiming for. We are aiming to teach our children to do their best for God. And if my daughter sees God's beauty in the rosey bed sheets, and spreads it out smoothly on the table, accompanied by a small cup of flowers and does it to the best of her ability with the heart of a servant ... goal attained.
You can also encourage them to MAKE the decorations. Maybe they can make a nice quilt to cover the table, or crochet doilies to put under the sandwiches. Even those paper circles intertwined with one another strung up across the ceiling can be pretty AND make your child feel happy she accomplished and participated in something so beautiful.
White "Christmas" lights are a wonderful way to light up and bring ambiance to your party without a lot of cost (or the fire hazard of candles and children). You can always find these really cheap at the after Christmas sales (and sometimes even garage sales).
And everyone loves to take home a little gift, aka favors. My girls LOVE to give gifts to people who come to our house. They will actually fill up a small brown bag of items for our guest to take home with them. All things of their own, or things they have made. My daughter is currently learning to crochet and practiced her chain stitch by making necklaces for everyone. It was really nice! I still have mine (and my mom's). LOL!! :)
Also, it is so fun to create place settings!
For our place cards, we made these adorable crocheted dress bookmarks and printed out names and made them into scrolls (if my handwriting were better we would have hand written them). A place setting AND a favor in one! And about the elderly guest who can no longer read? Put a small magnet on the back for her fridge!
Don't know how to crochet and want some of these for your tea party? Just ask! I will be happy to do a custom order! Or check out my store to see if I have any in stock.
I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am. It was truly a joy to do this with my girls and I love teaching them through something so fun and feminine. And I am so enjoying it with you!
Tomorrow: Fancy Hats and White Gloves