Tea For Two

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in Fabulous & Free | 0 comments

This was the garden party table setting for my daughter's 18th birthday. We used vintage silver trays as chargers and mix-matched china plates and silverplate. The center piece was a compilation of goods and florals. The silverplate and linen napkin were folded inside of the brown paper, bird-stamped bag set in the middle of the plate. Inside the bag were tea favors.



Here's a close-up of the place setting - don't you just love that little bird place card sitting on top of the drinking glass? It looks like it could fly away....

Real bird's nests along with varying floral containers, books, finials and silverplate made the centerpiece.



Warning: copious photos ahead!!  This post is mainly for my friend, Sharon, and her sister-in-law, Kim.  Although, I hope it also helps to inspire your next tea party!  My daughter, Brekyn, wanted an intimate vintage tea party for her 18th birthday (almost two years ago).  This is a sweet spot in my heart since my husband and I lived in England for 6 months at one point in our marriage. (An extra tidbit, I was pregnant with Brekyn at that time so maybe this party had her returning to her roots). I love everything about a proper tea.  I have collected vintage tea cups (one at the beginning and end of every school year) for both of my daughters so they can enjoy the lovely pleasure of tea for years to come. We kept Brekyn’s party simple yet elegant.  The girls (including my 80-year-young mama) were asked to wear a hat.  Every girl took home a vintage tea cup and paper cone filled with tea and favors.  They each beaded a bracelet before we headed to a local resort to swim and have an overnight.

For decor we used vintage mix-matched vases, containers/tins, teapots for flower vases, birdcages, vintage silver, tea books, suitcases, chairs, mix-matched china place-settings, gloves, and other antiques like typewriters, old lace, and chairs to add some elegance.  My favorite touch, which I’ve shared with several people (since this party two years ago), was the paper bird place cards I made.  It took several attempts for me to draw a folded bird that could sit on the edge of a glass.  I rubbed the edges of the paper with ink and hand scribed each person’s name.  I also love the vintage suitcase filled with cascading crocheted tablecloths and teacups with Brekyn’s name spelled out.  This suitcase idea would make a great guest book at a wedding with a “guest book” banner.  Fill it with vintage postcards and ask guests to sign them.  The bride and groom could put them on an “O” ring later on.  Maybe postcards from where each person lives, or places the couple hopes to travel or just some fun photos of them together through their dating could be used.   Hope these photos make you want to sit down and sip a cup of tea.  I think I’ll go steep some tea right now – want to join me for a cup?


One of the things I made for inside the paper cones were these candy bird nests. I stamped a bird on the tag and tied it with twine.

Each of the varying vintage tea cups were filled with tea note cards and shortbread. The tags were book-style tags with photos of Brekyn on the front that said "Happy Birthday". I added a paper flower to each tag and set these at each place setting.

Inside the book tag on the tea cup favors it read "It is TEArrific you could help to celebrate my 18th birthday. My heart is full of graTEAtude for you! Love Brekyn" I rubbed the edge of the note with ink and layered it on paper inside of the book tag.


Party mints were tied up with twine and a bird nest tag then put inside the paper cones tied on each girl's chair along with the candy nest and shortbread.



Shortbread cookies were placed in the tea cup favors and paper cones.


A large bird cage and photo were placed just outside the back door as we had our tea on the patio. I love to blow up photos poster size and mount them on foam board and set them in an easle. This photo was imprinted with "eighteen".


I dressed the outdoor kitchen counter with varying teas, hankies, flowers, and china. This was the hot tea bar.


I layered this vintage suitcase with an antique crocheted tablecloth and vintage lace then filled it to overflowing with antique teacups, a box of Harrod's tea and a tea book. I love the banner with Brekyn's name to personalize the party. I simply tied it to the locks of the suitcase.

Here's a view of the suitcase with the old lace tablecloth cascading out of the suitcase with vintage flash cards that say "wish" "big".


Here is a close-up of an antique porcelain tea canister...I bought it and it didn't have a lid but I always saw it as a vase. Of course it says "Tea".


On the hot tea bar I set a child's chair and dressed it with a vintage tea cup, gloves, a plant and a tea book to add height to the tablescape. At the base of the chair is an antique glass spooner filled with silverplate spoons.


Chalk board in an antique frame topped with a hydrangea announces the garden party on the hot tea bar.


I used this antique French flower cart for a cold drinks server. It is wasn't finished in this photo as I tied fresh flowers hanging from the cart. Another poster size photo of Brekyn on an easle and two mannequins dressed with long necklaces (not yet completed in this photo) invite one to cold refreshments.


Here's another view of the center piece. Some flowers stood alone in their beauty - single blooms made to shine in antique containers.


Here's another view of the center piece. The finial sits quite appropriately on top of antique etiquette books.


I love the patina of vintage silver don't you? Who needs polish when you have that lovely look from something from years gone by? I hope I age as well as this tea pot.



A real bird's nest found in Iowa sits in a vintage silver champagne cooler. I draped a vintage hankie out of the container to add some softness.


Here's one of our outdoor fireplaces draped with a "celebrate"banner. The mantle has yet another large poster-size photo of Brekyn (after all it IS all about her) swanked with flowers on each side, a bird plate and books with a tea cup sitting on top.

Another flower cart serves the cold bottled sparkling drinks.


Here's a close-up of my favorite item at the party - the bird name card I created to sit on top each glass to mark each person's place setting. You can't tell from the photo - but the bird opens like a book which is what enables it to stay on the rim of the glass.


Inside the house on our kitchen island was the tablescape for the buffet. In the middle and at the highest point of the tablescape was this large birdcage filled with tea items. A vintage lace tablecloth cascades out of the cage over the table linen.


Tablescape buffet for the tea party.


Tea Tablescape


More tablescape goods. Vintage architectural posts, books, birdcage, sheet music and black and white photos.







Some of the lovely ladies in their tea attire.

Three generations; the birthday girl with yours truly and mama.
















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