Wednesday, September 12, 2007

MMP - Tea Party: Decorations and Favors

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


Sallie said...

I love all this tea stuff! I am seeing the make mine pink links all over. I'm gonna have to check out her blog..

I bet you would love this site:

God bless,

Janet Bernasconi said...

Oh my what adorable knitted dresses! So beautiful! Thank you for your sweet comments and thank you for having me over for tea. It was wonderful and I will come back for more!

Janet Bernasconi
Janet's Creative Pillows

Debbie said...

Hi Paula,

Your tea party is just lovely and how much fun was that to enjoy with your little girls!!! I loved the story about preparing tea for the cute! :)

Thanks for stopping by Cozy Cottage and having tea with me today. Hope you can come back tomorrow for another cup!

Best regards,
Cozy Cottage Gifts and Decor

Meadow Street said...

I love the little dresses, very pretty. My kids are the same ages as yours, boy 2000 and girl 2002.

Shabby in Pink Boutique said...

Thak You Paula for visiting Madison for tea. I just love your crochted dress. Just darling! & what a great blog about tea parties. I enjoyed my visit.

GardenGoose said...

oh those place cards are so very pretty. I love anything crocheted.

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Oh my goodness !!! Those are the cutest little dress bookmarks ~ I just love them ~
I homeschooled for 3 years while my 2 girls were in High School ~ it was wonderful for them ! Now they are in college and doing wonderful !
Thank you also for visiting my blog !

So Shabby Pink said...

Hi there!

Thank you for visiting my tea party! I love your ideas. Adorable name card holderI wish I had my grandkids to have enjoyed this week with me!


Michele said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful tea party. I really enjoyed reading your comments and how nice that your children are learning about hospitality. And they know that all of us no matter how much we try will never do everything to perfection. We all leave that to God, as he is the only one that is perfect.
Thank you for stopping by my tea party. It was nice getting to know you and your lovely children.

Scrappy Moments said...

Love The Tea, thos dresses are darling. Thought the repair man story was funny, my husband was and still is a Heater/AC repairman and that's how we met,lol..

Thank you for visiting my Tea!Anf for the Nice Compliments!

God Bless,

Kathleen Grace said...

Hi, I wanted to thank you for stopping by my tea party and leaving such a nice comment. I see that you homeschool, I homeschooled my daughters for 5 years. It was a very special time and I loved it. Your daughter did a wonderful job on the centerpiece arrangement, it is just lovely. So glad you stopped by and so glad to have found your blog:>)

Sandra said...

Paula, I love your blog and admire the way you are bringing up your children and applaud your dedication to homeschooling.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

How darling! Good idea to let them do the decorating, etc. The bookmark dresses are so cute.

The picture of your children below is just precious!

Thanks for sharing!


Back Through Time said...

Hi Paula,
Your story of your daughter and the repairman was adorable! Thanks for stopping and visiting me at my blog with the cherry camper! I just started asking around with friends and family. Then one popped up at a fabulous price. So starting asking and get the word out! Your children would love it and so would you!!
Have a wonderful Thursday!
PS I am posting more photos tonite;-)

Donetta said...

Hello, Thank you for your sweet visit. It was nice to have you over:) My husband just came for me to go to bed. I'll come visit tomorrow.
Sleep well.

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Hi Paula,
I love how you also included the children in the tea party planning. It was so much fun! Can't wait to do another. Thanks for coming over to my party too!

Tea Party Girl said...

Wow, Paula, from the comments I can tell you've been making the rounds. Good for you! It's wonderful to hear about your journey with your daughters and tea! Good for you, again! So glad Tea Party Girl can play a part.

Great to "meet" you.