Friday, June 15, 2012

Alice in Wonderland Birthday Part 1

My little baby is now 4!  I always look at birthdays as a way to make one day extra special for my kiddos.  It should be fun, extremely beautiful and tasty too!  What could be better than an Alice in Wonderland party?  I spent at least 6 months planning and making things for this day.  I am doing 2 posts for this party:  This first one is mostly professional pictures, done by my friend and talented photographer Johanna Rae http://johannaraephotography.com/, of all the decorating details before the party started that morning.  The second one will be the actual party photos.  I will do a few DIY posts along the way too, because almost everything was handmade.
Enjoy!  We certainly did...

When the guests arrived, I wanted them to be greeted by a familiar character, the white rabbit.

My amazingly talented mom made Mr. Dodo ( complete with his fire) for my birdbath in the front garden too!  Honestly, he is one of my favorite things.

I wanted the daisies from the Disney cartoon to be a main theme at the party, so it starts at the front door with this wreath I made...one of two.

She is so excited for her friends to get here!
In the entryway I decided to place a copy of the book that I had everyone sign for Gwenna (Grandpa even wrote her a poem).  I have done this for baby showers too, and I like that it is a special keepsake for my Gwenna to remember her day and have a favorite book full of birthday wishes.

Here is the second wreath, on the mantle, along with a vintage white bunny and teacups filled with daisies, atop brass candlesticks.

I had these old keys my mom gave me and the crochet daisies my mom made.  I attached them to the birthday banner I designed and made and those touches made it super adorable, I think.

I came up with the idea of making little "Alice" scenes in my apothecary jars.  I wish I had been able to make little card men for behind the queen of hearts but alas, I guess I needed 7 months to prepare for this party (hehehe).

I knew I needed something for this opening between rooms.  I almost printed pages from the book (both the original and the Disney) and stung them down ribbon along with playing cards in order to create something really whimsical, but I decided simple was best.  These daisy balls turned out just right.

I made this tiered teacup stand out of two candleabras and then epoxied teacups to the tops where taper candles would go...I did this two years ago knowing I wanted to give Gwenna this party sometime.  I thought it would be cute to have the hanging teapot over it looking as if it was poring tea in mid air.  

This is the special fabric I ordered from Hongkong via etsy.com here.  It is PERFECT and along with Gwenna's custom dress (also etsy.com here), they were the starting points for the color palatte and feel of the party.

My mom made these tarts from a recipe on pinterest here.  She added the chocolate "eat me" and they were so perfect and delicious!
Sweet touches like this make an event special, in my opinion.

I saw an adorable bunny cake stand in Pottery Barn way before Easter.  I HAD to have it and guess what? It sold out weeks before Easter and I had been waiting for it to go on sale so I could scoop it up at a discount.  I was sad until I realized I could MAKE it.  Or at least my darling husband could make it...
It has become tradition for my mom to make the birthday cakes, and why not when she can make cakes like this one?  I had designed a more elaborate cake but later came to the same conclusion (I often do) that simple would be better.  This is perfectly sweet looking and tasting!  It was vanilla with lemon curd filling.  Just too yummy!
I got the idea for the paper banner from something I saw on Pinterest and my friend Hyo found a template for it and made it for me!  I am so lucky that my friends and family are all willing to humor me.

Hyo also made the adorable teacups (also from pinterest here) I filled them with classic licorice candies because they reminded me of what Victorian children used to have as treats (after all, the book was written in 1865) and my mom made the meringue mushrooms which were soooo good!

I put most of the food onto silver platters and fancy servery because I wanted it to have a Victorian tea party vibe. 
Except the actual plates, cups, forks, and spoons of course....I am not that dedicated!  Though I have to say,  I couldn't find any paper products I liked for the party, so I simply stamped everything with a rubber key stamp using a non-toxic stamp pad.  I wish it had been waterproof too, because it smeared all over when we were eating off of the plates.  Oh well, I tried.  
I had originally wanted the party to be at 4pm, I even had the invitations printed and then I decided that it would just be too windy and hot by that time to enjoy the backyard.  I moved the time to 9am and it turned into a brunch instead of a BBQ.  I don't invite a ton of guests to these parties, it becomes too much. Mainly, I let my kids tell me who they want to have at their parties.  It isn't for my friends (I have something in mind for them around Christmas).  
Yes, my mom sewed 250 ft of flag for my daughter's "Vintage Strawberry Shortcake" birthday last year.  I want to use it as much as possible because I just love it!  It really sets the party mood.
I brought a dresser from the kid's play room outside to use as a drink station.  All the lemonade hadn't been brought out yet, but you get the idea...I made the "drink me" tags from cheap Michaels gift tags which I layered with the inspiration fabric pattern (I scanned it and printed on paper) printed with "drink me" of course.  The kids love this lemonade from Trader Joe's; there are all different flavors: pink, french berry, limeade and classic lemonade.  The bottles are really pretty too.
You have got to have croquet at an "Alice" party.

I got a few paper lanterns to hang from the fabric flags for the perfect mad teaparty table.

My dining room table was brought out and a mix of chairs create just the right look along with my favorite thing...
The custom table cloth my mom made!  Three different daisy patterns were sewn together with tons of ruffles for the absolutely perfect, little girl, party table.
I collected these giant silk flowers along with some moss ones to make a whimsical singing flower garden.  Fun, fun, fun!

You can tell it was a windy morning, but how beautiful is this?!  I thought some of the younger guests would have a blast sitting under this lovely canopy with sparkly butterflies, and play "tea party."

Lori gave Gwenna a few great vintage Alice books that I put on the hallway counter, along with all the guests goodie bags.
Again, I got the idea for these darling bags from pinterest here.  I wanted the original Tennial drawings from the book along with "take one" embroidered in blue thread.  I like that the bags are gifts too.

There is so much more I want to share with you still, so keep checking back!

Thank You!


  1. Awww, thanks Lynda! I was hoping it would be.

  2. Holy white rabbit! What a gorgeous and enchanting birthday party for such a pretty little girl. WELL DONE. You had me at the Alice apothecary jars. I am, at this very moment, drinking coffee out of an Alice in Wonderland mug –– my favorite mug.

  3. Thank you, C.Flower (love your handle, by-the-way)! It was fun, fun, fun to create this party. Thank you for your kind comment; my favorite one to date!




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