We recently celebrated my daughter’s birthday and as usual I had lots of fun pulling all the details together.
Traditionally we have always had quite a big party for her birthday, however this year we decided to go a bit more low-key and so she asked to have her closest friends over for a little tea party, and then our family over for dinner.
Well I when I saw low-key I guess my daughter summed it up best, as one day I was showing her the lace fans I’d found for her friends to have as a gift at the party she looked at me and said “Gee Mumma, I love you but you really just can’t do a little party can you?!” haha…!!
She’s pretty spot on, I just can’t help myself! I get caught up in the details and find myself swept away in coordinating tablecloths with teacups and searching out fake pearl necklaces in op-shops.
Over the years I have had my fair share of other people who have little digs at me about being too over the top, or doing too much for her birthday and I’ve had to learn to brush it off. The truth is that there are very few people in this world that could ever understand what her birthday means to me and why it is so important to us that we celebrate it as big as we do every year, and I’m ok with that.
For me all birthdays are special, they are a chance to celebrate the people in your life that you love. Making cards, giving gifts, blowing up balloons, having a special lunch, eating a slice of your favourite cake – you should do whatever it is that makes you happy and celebrate in a way that feels right for you and your family. I think the biggest motivator for me is seeing her face light up when she sees everything come together, we are raising a very appreciative, grateful little soul and she knows exactly what goes into making her day so special and thanks me a million times for all my effort – so that definitely fills up my heart.
I’ve included some pictures of my daughter’s latest birthday party below to hopefully provide a little inspiration if you’re ever looking to do a tea party (you can click on the images to enlarge them). I put together all the details my self, and thought you might like to know some hints and tips on how it all came together;
• The beautiful bunting was made by a friend of mine for another event and she was kind enough to let me borrow it for my daughters party decorations. She is so clever that to make this she purchased old sheets in the patterns she was after from Ops Shops and tore them into strips. She then spent (many hours!) knotting them onto some lovely twine and they turned into the amazing hanging masterpiece you see in the photos.
• The cups, saucers and teapots were all sourced over time from Op Shops, Salvo Stores etc. and were all generally between $3 – $6 each.
• The balloons were purchased off ebay to match my theme and were much more affordable than balloons I’d seen in the party shops, then I had them blown up at Big W. They will blow up balloons that are not purchased there, you just need to sign a waiver to say that if they’re inferior quality and pop they are not responsible.
• The tablecloth was just a plain white one I had, then I grabbed a lace curtain from the Op Shop for $2, gave it a wash and cut it in half to go over the square table.
• Each of the pearl necklaces were also found at the Salvo’s store and were $1 each. I only needed a couple to add to the theme I was going for.
• I found the cute lace fans at our local $2 shop for $1.50 each and though that they were so sweet and would make a lovely gift for the girls attending the tea party.
• The amazing cake and cookies were made by a colleague of my hubby’s who is sooooo clever and talented, so I can take no credit for them at all! haha
• The tea cup lolly treats are simply a marshmallow stuck onto a tic-toc biscuit, then with a freckle stuck onto the marshmallow. You then cut a musk lifesaver in half and stick that on the side of the marshmallow for the handle. To ‘stick’ each element together you simply mix some icing sugar and water until it’s a paste like consistency.
• The wooden No 7 was from our local $2 shop and we decorated it by tracing the letter onto some pretty paper in our colour theme, and then sticking it on and decorating it with stickers.
• The cupcakes were made by me, and the little flowers on top were pre-made icing flowers purchased from Woolies in the cake decorating section. They were so easy to make and tasted amazing (chocolate fudge! Yum!)
• The marshmallows were stuck on paper straws to make them look more fun, and also were then used by the kids for their drinks.
• The candle holders were items that I already had around the home, so I was able to use these as part of the decorations.
• The napkins were also found in our local $2 shop. They had a large selection of napkins and looking through the box I found these gorgeous ones which were right on theme for us!
Hope that these little snippets of information help to give you a few ideas on how you can use items in your local Op shops to help bring together lots of little elements to create an overall party theme that you’re looking for.
Now of course if your birthdays consist of no decorations or party at all, that’s completely fine too! Everyone should do what makes them happy, and if yours happens to be a par-TEA like our last one was then I hope you’ve found some inspiration here.