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Returning to Wonderland!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fall down the rabbit hole and enter the whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland? Well, that’s exactly what I did for a recent sweet 16 party I styled for a client who loves this classic story. I created Mad Hatter-themed decor and tablescapes that were full of fun, color, and magic. In this blog post, I will show you how I created the decor for this whimsical tea party!

Defying Gravity

I really wanted to create a sense of wonder and whimsy for this sweet 16 party. I came up with the idea of making topsy-turvy tea pot and tea cup centerpieces that looked like they were defying gravity and logic, just like the Mad Hatter!

I headed to the thrift shops downtown on the hunt to gather the perfect materials for this project! I was looking for tea pots, tea cups and saucers that I could manipulate into centerpieces that created a sense of animation and movement on the tablescape. Thankfully, our local antiques and thrift haunts in Prescott's historic district didn't disappoint! I found the perfect cup and saucer sets, and decided to use plastic (toy) tea pots instead of glass as I needed something more light weight. I know what y'all are thinking - "Um, isn't that a little juvenile for a Sweet 16 Celina?" Fear not friends, we are going to transform them into something fabulous!

"A true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." ~ Albert Einstein

To create these pieces I used floral foam, silk florals, spray paint, and my trusty glue gun.

I started by spraying the plastic tea pots in a sage green and blush pink, let them dry and then went back over with gold spray paint to give them a slightly gilded look. Then I created floral arrangements in the floral foam base and placed them into the tea pots. I used artificial Amaranthus to create the effect of flowers pouring out of the pots! I also painted the tea cups that came with the tea pots and glued them together slightly off kilter and added florals peeking out of those as well.

For the vintage tea cups, I first bent forks to act as my anchor connecting the two pieces and secured it with glue. I also had to weigh down the saucers with small stones that I also anchored into place with glue. Then I arranged a mix of artificial Hydrangea, Baby's Breath, and Lavender onto floral foam and hot glued the arrangements into place. The final product definitely had the mystifying, enchanted vibe I was going for!

These pieces served as the inspiration for the rest of of the tablescape and decor styling for the party! In placing the centerpieces I exaggerated the angle of the teapots on my miniature stands to give the feeling of them being "poured out". I used a mix of vibrant green linens, lace runners and added in some special touches like my White Rabbit, a pocket watch, fun backdrop to tie everything together! We ordered custom sugar cookies from one of my favorite local bakers - Sweet Confections by Kim, and my client's mom made the fondant cake which came out Wonderfully! It was an enchanted success, and my client got the very merry unbirthday Mad Hatter tea party her daughter had wished for!

Remembering My Last Visit in Wonderland

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ― C.S. Lewis.

As I was planning and styling this Mad Hatter party , I couldn’t help but think of the Alice in Wonderland party I threw for my now 17 year old daughter’s 5th birthday many years ago. It was one of the my earlier parties and it was also one of the most special ones. I still remember how excited my daughter was when she saw the decorations, the cake, and the costumes. She loved the story of Alice in Wonderland, and I wanted to make her birthday a magical experience.

I used some of the same elements as the Mad Hatter Sweet 16 party-like a Haberdasher inspired "hat" cake, but I also made some changes to suit the age group. For example, I used more paper and cardboard for the invitations, the signs, and the props. We hired a face painting artist to enhance the whimsy and imaginary elements of this theme. I also made some DIY crafts like paper flowers, paper lanterns, and paper hats. I used more simple and kid-friendly food and drinks, like sandwiches, cupcakes, cookies, juice, and milk. I also made some games and activities that were more suitable for young children, like pin the tail on the Cheshire Cat, musical chairs, croquet, and coloring pages.

I was so happy to see my daughter and her friends having such a wonderful time together. They were laughing, playing, and enjoying the food and the cake. They also loved dressing up as their favorite characters and taking pictures with the photo booth. It was a day full of joy and wonder, and I will never forget it.

We're All Mad Here

I'm so grateful that Hometown Hostess had the opportunity to bring this Mad Hatter-themed Sweet 16 party to life, it really was a blast! It was a great way to celebrate a milestone birthday and create a memorable experience for the guests. I had so much fun creating the decor, food, and activities for the party. I also enjoyed looking back on the Alice in Wonderland party I styled for my daughter’s 5th birthday many years ago. It was fun to see how I adapted the theme to suit different age groups, preferences, and budgets. I hope you enjoyed reading along and maybe found a little inspiration along the way! I love a good theme, and the chance to create fun designs that turn into lasting memories. Are you thinking of hosting a themed event in the near future? Give Hometown Hostess a call and let's create something beautiful together for your next special occasion!


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