For my husbands 40th birthday recently I wanted to create a Mad Hatter themed event for him and a few special guests.
Being that my husband Dan does have an off beat and eclectic love of things, I thought a Mad Hatter themed afternoon tea would be ideal.
I didn’t want to spend a lot (well I didn’t have a big budget) so I gave myself a budget of £100 for all the props and items I needed to bring this tea party to life. I did this by using second hand and discount stores to bring the prices down.
This was actually much fun and I enjoyed scouring local thrift shops and markets for vintage tea sets. After some hunting I did find a selection of very pretty bone and fine china sets for less than £10 each. Great thing about these as they can be reused for future events with a similar theme.
To keep with the Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland theme, I looked on Pinterest and created my own board for inspiration. Take a look below at my my board for some ideas.
I could of gone down the more childish cartoon version of a Mad Hatter tea party, but I wanted this to be more realistic and true to the book, so I wanted some vintage items included.
Now you can’t have a tea party without a table, so I luckily had a family friend who lent me a folding plastic rectangular table for the occasion. In the absence of this I was going to buy one off Amazon for around £31 but I didn’t need to in the end. A pasting wallpaper (trestle) table is another option, something that is sturdy enough to hold all your props, cakes and tea.
Once I had the table, I covered it with a white table cloth to protect it and then placed a paper floral table cloth from Tesco on top to add some detail.
To decorate the table I used a number of items such as some old books, candelabras and globe from my mum (check with a relative or friend if they have any old items they can lend you, think antique- but not anything valuable!), a few vintage jars with glass stoppers from Poundland, a carosel cup cake stand, vintage tea cups, tea pots and side plates, glass bottles with labels and keys attached, playing cards for the table and large ones for decoration around the table. And some Alice in Wonderland mini cake domes, these are so cute!
Let your imagination guide you in what you want to include. I find the more random the better!
What I used for my DIY Mad Hatter tea party…
Below I will list some of the items I purchased and where you can get them from.
Pack of playing cards (slightly larger than normal size) £1.89 and free delivery from Amazon
6 x Alice in Wonderland cup cake toppers £2.49 and free delivery from Amazon
2 x Inflatable clocks £3.72 and free delivery from Amazon
12 x Alice in Wonderland themed bottle labels £3.99 and free delivery from Ebay
1 x Wilko white carosel cup cake stand £10 (it is now only available in selected stores) from Wilko
30 x Paper doiles £3.81 and free delivery for Prime members on Amazon
1 x Floral bunting £12.99 and free delivery for Prime members on Amazon
If you are in the UK it is worth also checking out Poundland as they had glass bottles that were ideal, as well as The Works as I got some brass keys, ribbon and assorted luggage style tags for super cheap. And Hobbycraft is another great store for decorative pieces. You just need to be creative!
No tea party is complete without tea and Whittard kindly sent me some of their finest loose tea from their Alice in Wonderland Garden Party collection, along with some mugs from the same collection.
The tea smells divine, from flavoured Oolong tea, to Afternoon tea and Piccadilly blend black tea. Each tea comes in it’s own tin which has a beautiful hand drawn image from Alice in Wonderland and would look lovely on a shelf in a kitchen.
The mugs are wonderful also, perfect for such an event and feature the same hand drawn images on them.
You can view the whole Alice in Wonderland range on Whittard’s website here. (This is an non affiliated link).
And in case you didn’t know Whittard have been making fine tea and coffee since 1886, where Walter Whittard created special blends for his customers and that has been the ethos behind Whittard ever since.
Thank you to Whittard for their generosity as these products certainly made this a proper tea party the Mad Hatter would approve of I’m sure!
I hope if you are planning a similar event this may of given you food (and drink!) for thought!
And if you would like more Afternoon Tea inspiration check out my previous post on Afternoon Tea at Bailiffs Court hotel.
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