When planning a party, finding a place to begin can be the hardest part. But once a theme is chosen and the ideas begin to flow, things quickly fall into place. So many times those of us who are creative forget to use our creativity past our craft room and into our everyday life such as party decor, invitations, and thank you cards. We leave our creative space, get into the car and drive to stores like Party City and Walmart and try to buy party decor items in the themes we have in mind….kinda silly, right? Our studios are filled with supplies, tools and inspiration to create decor for the party that not only will bring your vision to life, but also becomes an outlet for your creativity.
One of the best places to start is to gather ideas. You can print them off of the web, you can save them to a Pinboard, or you can jot them down in a little book that you can use throughout the process. The more ideas the better, and then you can decide which ones work best for you. One thing we suggest is to save any idea that you like. Even if the color, theme and design are not exactly right, you can adapt the idea to fit your theme so there are no rules when saving or pinning ideas for the party. Once all the ideas are gathered, it is time to finalize the theme, color palette and style of your party.
Next, think about the tools and supplies you already have. No need to go shopping until you have gone through your craft stash and pulled out papers, embellishments, dies, punches, etc. that might work with your theme. You might put those items in a basket or box that is at hand to go through when you get ready to create. You can even ask friends and family to borrow some of their supplies or go thrifting to find unique, one of a kind party decor.
Now to make the project list:
Invitations – They are easy to make by mixing papers and embellishments that match the theme. You can hand-make each one, create them on the computer, or in today’s techy world, send an evite.
Decorations – Are you doing centerpieces, buffet table decor, place settings, entry table, room decor, gift table, etc.?
Guest Book – These are so fun to make and so hard to buy so create one that coordinates perfectly with your event.
Party favors- These can be optional but if you choose favors there are so many fun things you can do! Keeping it simple like a small bag of candy or homemade treats is always a nice touch. Or you can make fun name tag brooches or place markers that are personalized and your guests can take home with them.
Prizes- Not all parties require prizes but playing games or having a drawing or raffle can be a fun element to your party! Stick numbers to the bottom of your guests plates then choose a few numbers to win something special or handmade. You could even have the winners take home the centerpieces!
Thank You Cards – Everyone loves to get mail and a memory from the amazing party that matches the theme in the form of a thank you card.
Once your list is made, you can make your shopping list, gather papers, embellishments and other doodads that fit your theme, and help bring your vision to life. Think outside of the box when creating your centerpieces and decor and use products you are familiar with instead of the standard flowers, glass votives and maybe some tossed shells that you find at so many events. Instead, create paper objects, banners, signs and other clever little projects all around.
Dana and Nancy did just that with their Tea Party Theme and here is their story….
My partner in craft, Nancy Gaines and I, had a dream. A dream to create the most beautiful party imaginable. A dream to make pretty decorations, to create a playful atmosphere, to use some of the wonderful treasures we had collected or inherited over the years in a unique playful way we could share with others. We dreamed of a Wonderland Tea Party.
As so many things do, our dream started out small and grew into a whole adventure. What was a tea party without guests and since we had guests what would our over all purpose be?
We decided to bring mothers, daughters, and friends together to support other women in crisis. Thus our tea party became a very special benefit event to support Muslimah’s United and Hidaya Women’s Resource and Advocacy Project.
This was even more exciting to me because we were inviting women with very different ideas and backgrounds to support other woman facing hard situations…bringing them all together with food, vintage tea cups, and scattered bits of crafty color.
The first thing to do was find a reasonably priced venue. Nancy and I agreed that FREE was the most reasonable price. Round Table Pizza opened their doors to us and were very accommodating to all our needs. Since Nancy and I had never planned an event like this together and weren’t sure what needs might pop up, being able to start setting up before the restaurant was open was a great big ole blessing that we took advantage of as best we could.
Once we had unloaded two packed cars we went to work putting together our vision.
A funny thing about vision. When we first started talking about an Alice In Wonderland Tea Party theme, right away I started dreaming of mini-albums, guest books, and little program books with golden tassels.
What better way decorate a tea party and entertain guests than with a fun hybrid scrap mini-album. Maybe some people wouldn’t think this was an important item. But, well, I’m a maker. Thus, make first plan later.
Base Papers For Mini Book:
One reason I love these heavy cardstock papers is because they are a part of Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics) and these papers are available all the time and can be used for seasonal, everyday and themed events. They are part of a large core color collection that isn’t going to disappear the moment you fall in love. The Big Check and Diamond style papers are a MUST for any Alice Project and I know that I don’t have to go and over-buy them because they won’t vanish anytime soon!
I Used Tattered Angels Spray Mists to Paint the roses red, some Cream Cord I had, and a Vintage Gypsy Door Knob I had been
It is a bit of a chunky book.
The papers mix well to create any theme and you can add other papers, found objects, etc. to bring your creative idea to life.
Cardstock papers are great for books, invitations, banners, craft projects and more. Run them through any die cutter to make boxes, shapes, pennants and more.
As we readied for the big Tea Party day I would joke with Nancy, “We are planning a tea party, so what is the first thing you do? Make a mini-album!” This was my first accordion style binding and it took me a while to get it all together. I actually didn’t finish the book until a couple of days before the party. I packed it with things from my scrapbook drawers and lots of downloads. A fantastic resource for all things Alice is Alice-In-Wonderland. NET.
This post is the first of a series of clever ideas created for the party, not shown in this post are the two other books I made for the tea party: A special guest book and another Alice book as well as some pretty butterflies cut from the Spring Showers Butterflies on Cream Papers. Also, this post is only a peek at all the lovely things we thrifted just for this party….more to come.
While my hands were still covered with glue, I found a pattern on the internet for the mini Mad Hatter hats. (I am still cleaning glue off my keyboard.)
- The first thing to do when trying to construct these hats is yell at the pattern like a Mad Hatter, “That it is not going to work!”
- Choose from the great selection of Corp (Canvas Home Basics) papers.
- Next, cut the pattern out. Try to fit it together. Re-cut. Yell a bit more. A bit of hopping up and down in frustration might also add to the “mad” effect.
- Put the first attempts in the recycle box.
- Alter the pattern to make it fit your needs. Apply Tattered Angle Glimmer Mists, ink, ribbon, gems and UTEE to cover mistakes.
Adding different touches of ribbon, glitter, feathers, etc. to each hat gave them a fun unique look and they look amazing all together.
This little 7gypsies standing clip is perfect for holding little objects, food names on a table spread or place cards at a wedding or dinner party. They are tiny, but mighty.
Adding ink to distress or transform the papers to match the style of your project is easy with Tattered Angels Mists, ink pads or your favorite ink.
Go through your craft supply stash and look for punches, crystals, or ribbons that you can use to embellish your little hats. So fun.
Not only were these hats fun to make, they look great in photos too.
This was a big event to pull off. Nancy and I entertained over thirty-five women for three hours in Round Table Pizza’s party room which we completely revamped into Wonderland. The tables were covered with vintage linens, vintage findings, food and fabulousness. Nancy had the great idea of hiding the ugly chair backs with assorted vintage pillow cases. There were two fantastic food tables and a table for holding our very special craft, and a area with pillows for kids to color and listen to a special Alice Encouragement Speech I wrote.
Nancy Gaines of Yourdori Girl Photography and my bestie in craft took all of the photos for this post and I (Dana Sanchez aka Dapoppins) got the job of putting it together for you to view. We blog together at Yourdori.com and you are welcome to come visit us any time. Have you ever dreamed of a fantastic Wonderland Tea Party? How would you decorate? We would love to chat with you in the comments!
Nancy and Dana did an absolutely amazing job of putting this tea party together. Their dedication is seen in every little detail that was planned out with such care! Choosing to create a party that features your personalized and handcrafted items makes your guests feel as though you have gone above and beyond, and you can be sure they wont forget about it!
We hope we have given you some ideas and inspiration on how to pull off your own party decor. You can choose to have an elaborate, over-the-top theme or you can keep it quite simple. Either way, the main thing to remember is to have fun with it!