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Saturday, April 11, 2009

How To...Host a Tea Party!

In the midst of Spring it is the perfect time to spice things up and throw a little party with your girlfriends. A tea party can be a great, inexpensive way to get reconnected with the girls after midterms and Spring Break have kept everyone occupied. Here are a list of essentials:

1) Central Table. This is necessary for placement of the hor devours, tea, and will serve as the mingling arena. I would recommend a simple floral centerpiece such as a dozen yellow daisies ($9 at the local grocery store), but make sure you use a shorter vase so the arrangement isn't in the way of people across the table conversing.
=$9.00 (if you already have a vase)

2) Serving Bowls. You will need decorative bowls for lemon slices and other tea additives such as sugar. Don't forget something for the milk as well! These containers can serve as decorative items, and you can find really inexpensive ones you can use after the party. Here are some I like from Target; they have around 5 different colors of this pair and it'll only cost you $13.99:

=$13.99 + cost of milk, lemons, sugar (might be nice to include regular cane sugar, as well as Splenda, or a few other varieties. Honey is also always a hit)

3) Tea Pot. This is obviously the core of your party! Make sure you have plenty of water to go around to all your guests. To be on the safe side, I would estimate about a cup and a half to two cups per person. The tea kettle I've chosen to display is a KittAmor Stainless Steel Kettle because a) it's a 3 quart kettle, so you will be able to serve more guests more promptly b) its only $20 (brand new at c) because its stainless steel, its sure to last you for a while and d) its really cute!


4) Tea Selection. There are premade tea variety packs out there- they usually come in either a light tin box or some sort of cheap wicker basket. These are fine, however, I personally would prefer to go to a craft store and buy an inexpensive wicker basket myself ($5). Then, I would buy a single cloth napkin ($2.50) and put it in the base of the basket and arrange individual packaged tea bags that I have personally selected (price varies on your expected attendance). Although individual tea bags are harder to find at the grocery stores, you can also buy two or three boxes of tea bags that you like and arrange the bags in some sort of pattern. Voila! A decoration AND a beverage =) My favorites are the Republic of Tea:

=$20.00 (for the basket, napkin, and tea)

5) Hor Devours. The best way to do this is to split it up between the guests. Have one person bring a dozen fruit flavored scones, another a dozen tea sized cucumber sandwiches, etc. It shouldn't cost each person more than $5 to bring these items. (Don't forget to click for recipe links!)
= $0 for you!

Total: Around $50!!

Above are the essential items, but below are some other fun things you might want to include.
-Pastry Rack. Your guests will bring their food on some sort of tray or plate and the diversity of mixed match items can be decorative. However, if you prefer, you can purchase a pastry rack and place everyones food on a rack like the one below:

-Gifting Tea Cups. Of course you will have to provide tea cups, but if you want to send your guests away with a gift, monogram cups by Anthropologie are definitely the way to go. I have a few of these and they are adorable! They are only $6 a piece and will make a great gift item for your guests!
-Invitations. These are sort of a must now that I think about it, but I'll include them in the your-choice category. Premade ones are readily available at the grocery store, but with a little time and effort you can make really cute personalized ones with a few scrapbooking materials from the craft store!

Other Tips:
*Use nice, plastic or paper, disposable snack plates and napkins. I know this is sort of environmentally unfriendly, and if you prefer you can use your everyday plates, but I personally would go with a solid matte plate and plain white napkins. Steer clear of the tacky paper plates that have rose borders, etc. unless you are confident the design coincides with everything without looking tacky.
*Advise everyone to wear fun, floral or pastel dresses! This is a party afterall! Here are two outfits that each cost under $100!!
Outfit 1:
(1) Forever 21, Plastic Blossom Headband – $5.80
(2) Old Navy, Women's Ruffled Cardigans- $10.00
(5) Forever 21, Smooth Lacquered Ring – $3.80
(6) American Eagle, AE Knit Party Dress in Yellow Print- $24.95
(7) Forever 21, Adina Bracelet Set – $7.80
(9) Jessica Simpson- Jessica simpson "manica"- $34.95
Outfit 2:
(3) Charlotte Russe, Vintage Floral Dress – $24.99
(6) Target, Turnlock Clutch - Brown – $14.99
(8) New York & Company, City Style Bowtie Canvas in Coffee Bean- $21.56
(10) Charlotte Russe, Flower Pearl Bracelet – $4

Photos: Alice in Wonderland: Copyright Disney, Vase: unknown search engine link, Containers: Copyright Target, Tea Variety: Copyright Republic of Tea, Kettle:, Pastry Rack: image from, Monogram cups:, Invitations: unknown search engine link


Anonymous said...

CUUTE!! <3 Love itt ;)

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