Alice in Wonderland, by author Lewis Carroll, has enchanted both young and old for nearly 150 years. A timeless classic, it’s charm was not lost on my eldest daughter. She requested an Alice themed party, declaring that it should be “just like the tea cup ride at Disneyland”. And while there were no spinning saucers–or accompanying nausea–it was a smashing success. Using collected items, most from around the house, it is by far, my most favorite party of them all!
The plan started with lanterns. Per my daughter’s request, I found a collection of inexpensive lanterns at Oriental Trading Company, with a few larger ones from World Market (I love that place) to give a sense of whimsy to the group.
Next, I scoured my house for every piece of china I could find. It’s a tradition in our family to give a bride a teacup upon her engagement, so luckily I had a box full of teacups at the ready.
Most of the “linens” were sourced at thrift stores and are actually a mix-mash of old sheets and pillow cases. I laid them randomly and scattered about a deck of playing cards, a nod to the cards painting the roses red in the Queen of Hearts’ garden.
Speaking of the cards, I also sewed them together (don’t fret, my sewing challenged friends. All it required was a straight stitch and can be done similarly with fishing line and a needle) to create a garland that I hung over the dessert table.
And those “Eat Me” signs on the cake (which my husband found hilarious for his own obvious reason)? Simply printed on computer paper, trimmed, and then glued to kabob sticks.
The dessert table also included a few cookies for good measure. Incredibly simple, I put out some Pepperidge Farm “Chessmen” cookies and some bright pink strawberry wafer cookies which I fashioned into Cheshire cat tails with the addition of piped on purple candle melts and purple granulated sugar.
Speaking of food, we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters and a few other snacks, but the cutest item by far was the “tea pot” watermelon. Incredibly easy, all it requires is a watermelon cut in half, with the melon scooped out into balls, and a piece of rind trimmed to look like a handle. Insert a toothpick into each end of the rind and stick into the side of your melon. Make sure to slightly trim your designated bottom of the “cup” so that it doesn’t go rolling all over.
It wouldn’t be a mad tea party without a few quirky touches like stacked tea cups and pots. The children actually drank out of the tea cups (I know you moms are all thinking I’m crazy, but I’m a big believer in using what you’ve got. And not a one was broken!). There were several tea pots, and each held a different color “tea”(kool-aid. Don’t hate;), which made for a lot of ooing and ahhing when poured.
And of course we had a door mouse. Someone’s got to eat the crumbs left behind by the children.
My little Alice had an amazing time. Watching her enjoy her party with her friends, I was reminded of just how quickly they grow. The adage is true, “The days are long, but the years are short.” If I could slow down time I would. I would bottle it up and let her live in her own little wonderland forever. But in lieu of that, at the very least, I can give it to her for a day.