Friday, July 11, 2014

A Mad Tea Party

Just as Alice found herself tumbling into the rabbit hole, I recently serendipitously stumbled onto the most enchanting blog called A Fanciful Twist.
 I was delighted to read about an upcoming (and wonderfully mad) tea party. Being smitten with all things tea and also a fan of Lewis Carroll's classic story, I knew I'd want to take part. So with some whimsical DIY projects and tea time accents, I thought I'd add a little wonder to my afternoon.

Faux Box Cake
Of course every tea party needs cake, and although I'd never turn down the real thing, I thought it would be fun to make a surprise fool the eye "faux" version which could double as storage for stowing other sweet treats.
I had seen lifelike faux cakes and sweets in a kitchen in charity designer show house and although fabulous, the $60 price tag had me wondering if  I could whip up a similar version at home for pennies on the dollar.

You'll need 
Round cardboard box with lid
Joint compound I had this leftover from my DIY Kitty House
Assorted acrylics and puffy paints
Large round beads
red nail polish
Clear glitter
throwaway icing kit

With pencil trace around lid on box. This will insure the top will fit well and open easily after Compound is applied. "Frost" box with joint compound staying below pencil line. Frost top separately  and let dry.
I colored some compound pink using craft paint and with a dollar store icing kit piped around edge and added quick rosettes.
 I brushed cake with a quick coat of Madge lodge for added sheen. I then sprinkled with some clear glitter and also used puffy paint for some quick embellishments around the rim.
Unable to find faux cherries I gave some large plastic pearl beads a coat of red nail polish and let dry.
 After drizzling some more polish to simulate syrup, I hot glued them on.
Staying true to the story, I added an "Eat Me" sign 
A drink me" bottle with an elixir of water and food coloring

Croquet anyone?
Who can forget the fantastical croquet game from Alice in wonderland. While I have no flamingos on hand, I did have a dusty croquet set in our garage (they can often also be found at yard sales) which I decided to make over for the occasion.
To my surprise, an online search yielded dozens of fabulous flamingo croquet sets for sale as well as plenty of fun DIY ideas for making your own: from basic paint re-dos, to amazing creations using power tools and store bought birds. 
I chose to keep mine fairly simple with some spray paint, fun foam and feather accents.
Though perhaps not the most durable, for serious play, they are fine for an afternoon on the lawn and to add feathered fun to the theme.

You'll need
croquet set
Spray paint
Pink fun foam
Assorted craft paint
Feathers and accents 
Hot glue
Playing cards

I sprayed my mallets a soft pink color, taping off part of handle area to leave identifying colors.
I cut flamingo heads from fun foam and painted quick eyes and accents
Once dry, I hot glued onto mallet, adding a fringe of feathers and some sparkle
I glued cards back to back, added some flair and slid over wickets 
The croquet balls get a quick hedgehog makeover with multi-surface craft paint
I hope the Queen of hearts would be pleased!

vintage image from the Graphics Fairy

In the interest of thrift and repurposing, I "shopped" my house (and storage bins) for decor and tea time accents without spending a dime. 
My mismatched flea market tea cups are perfectly imperfect for a "mad" tea
A clock and mini teacup under glass marks tea time
An old yard sale moss teapot which I knew I'd use "for something someday" adds whimsy 
A moss bunny from my Easter decor perches on a  DIY "tea chest" fashioned from yard sale jewelry box and featured on my Downton Abbey Tea Post
A mini $5.00 chandelier from a previous party adds ambiance
And of course the all important Mad Hatter's topper
on loan courtesy of my mother's fabulous hat collection
 We had a surprise visit from the Cheshire cat, although he didn't' stay for tea

Thanks so much for stopping by.
 For a link to other bloggers participating in this wonderful event and for more tea time ideas and inspiration, pop over to