This is continued from “Mad Tea Party” Theme, Part 2A. The Mad Tea Party table is of critical importance to transport your guests to Wonderland, so Miss Party wants you have lots of ideas to make it the star of the show!
Decorate the space above the table, too. Consider streamers (see DIY Fringed Crepe Paper Streamers Tutorial). Make fabric or paper pennant garlands in a normal flag size and a mini flag size to play off the story of large and small objects (see DIY Fabric Pennant Garland Tutorial) and/or a garland of oversized playing cards strung on ribbon. There are 2 different Alice in Wonderland themed decks (illustrations are different and one is backed in red, the other blue) which are oversized and can be found on the internet for around $10-15 each depending on where you purchase them.
Paper lanterns are more a part of the Disney version of the Mad Tea Table than authentic, but Miss Party Smarty is willing to give just a little, and say they would look smashing and whimsical if kept to more sedate color choices. You must have a Look on http://www.Etsy.com for the “Alice” book illustrations that graphic artists have reworked for lots of uses, from place cards, to food picks, to large images that could be printed to string up as another type of garland. You purchase the pdf file in many cases, which is great because you can print as much as you need.
For the tea table itself, Miss Party wants you to make one long continuous tea table, connecting tables of all shapes end-to-end, to fit your number of guests. She suggests you begin with white tablecloths as your base (if using folding tables, use two tablecloths to bring the tablecloth to the ground). Then start layering lace toppers or vintage-looking tablecloths over the base tablecloth. If you have a wooden table that can have the legs show, lay the tablecloth diagonally to increase the feeling of things being random and haphazard.
Cloth napkins, china plates, real silverware are the most desirable, but do the best you can on these items. Rentals are not usually that much for these items, and borrowing them works too. Vintage handkerchiefs make perfect tea napkins which are smaller than a dinner napkin. Dress up a few plain chairs with ribbons or fabric strips tag loop-tied in place to dress up, otherwise plain, dining chairs.
Be sure to incorporate any number of bottles on the table tied with “Drink Me” tags, and a dessert or sandwich item with an “Eat Me” tags or tiny paper flags attached to food picks (see the DIY Vintage Paper Tutorial). Think up some sort of place card and holder; this is a perfect place to use small rubber stamps on the place cards with an obvious ‘Alice in Wonderland’ reference, maybe a rose, rabbit, key, lobster, mushroom, or piece of cake. You could stamp the image in bronze and then emboss with bronze embossing powder for a little sparkle, or use a chalk ink pad for a vintage newsprint look.
Another fun idea is to make slips of tea-stained parchment paper with various quotes and advice from the ‘Alice in Wonderland’books to place one at each guest’s place setting. See “Quotes and advice from Wonderland!” for an extensive list to get you started.
Continue on to “Mad Tea Party Theme, Part 2C for even MORE Mad Tea Table loveliness!!