06 June, 2011

Our Alice in Wonderland Birthday Party

 Invitation by Chickadee Prints
These ADORABLE Tutu Tees were made by Tutu Mamas
Mission:  To host an Alice in Wonderland birthday party for my 3 & 5 year old girls...in the extreme heat of the Middle East.  Also, to do it on a budget and indoors.  I think we succeeded.

I'm always browsing online for birthday party ideas.  Much of what I see is very high end and expensive, or in some beautifully landscaped backyard...neither of which I have.  However, when I came across the Alice in Wonderland parties, I knew I had to have one for my Alice obsessed girls.  The only hitch was, I had to bring it indoors as it's reaching 116 on a regular basis now.  I hope this inspires you not-so-crafty moms out there to know you CAN do it.  Also, don't be intimidated to try it indoors and on a budget.

I'll start out with the tablescape.  Tables and chairs were not readily available since my situation is unique, so I had to rent.  However, if you have neighbors and friends with card tables, patio tables, etc...get creative!  Do different height tables and mismatched chairs for a true Mad Hatter feel!  Borrow what you can!  We kept it simple since we had ages 1-7 attending the party!  I had to keep breakables to a minimum!  I also needed to stay within a budget.  So, picture the Dollar Store of your area.  You will surely find table cloths, plates, napkins, forks, tea cups (of course...it's a tea party!), tea pots, straws, a mirror (the Looking Glass), and you might just be lucky enough to find a stuffed mouse or a bunny rabbit depending on the season.  There you go, your table at the Dollar Store.  I'm sure you could go to a place like Salvation Army and find tea cups for 25 cents...but new just seemed like the better option, at least for the party favor!  Easy Peasy. 
Get creative and have fun!  The simplest things make a statement!
The decorations were relatively easy as well.  It just took a little prep work to pull it off.  My husband made the tree.  Remember, we had to pull our tea party indoors, and the tree was a critical part of setting the theme!  So we covered a bookcase with brown wrapping paper (Kraft paper!), and purchased green crepe paper/tissue paper for the leaves...Dollar Store!  The signs were cut like the shapes from the movie (go back and watch for the Tulgey Forest scene...you'll see they aren't just arrows).  You'll also find what you need for the tissue paper flowers at the Dollar Store, as well as the lanterns.  For the flag banner, I thought of making my own, but time was an issue, so I luckily stumbled across this one from the Creative Hostess!  Just print, cut, string and hang!  Don't forget your Cheshire Cat smile in the tree!  To pull the area together, my son just happened to have a green shag carpet that we put in the middle to represent the grass.

You can do so much with a limited space. This was all in our living room!
Games are always the fun part of a party...or is it eating cake?  Well, the games we chose were a hit with the kids, and worked well for the age group we had.  We chose musical chairs, sugar cube tea cup race, and pin the smile on the Cheshire Cat.  For musical chairs, we had two circles of chairs, one for the younger babes and one for the older kiddos.  For the sugar cube tea cup race, we formed two teams and gave each a bowl of sugar cubes and a spoon.  They had to race to fill up the tea cup with sugar cubes.  Amazingly, we actually found sugar cubes in the shapes of hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds!  I thought that matched the Queen of Hearts idea perfectly!  And lastly, pin the smile on the Cheshire Cat...almost everyone knows SOMEONE who can draw.  Just draw, paint or color, and voila...a DIY game for your party.  So far, cheap but fun entertainment!

Remember, it's all about the fun.  Don't stress if something doesn't go as planned.
Ok, so now the yummy part, and what turned out to be the hit of the party!  Twirlie Whirlies made these wonderful pinwheel cupcake toppers to match my party colors and mis-matched theme.  I figured a splurge was worth it for the cake!  Little did I know the kids would go crazy for them!  It was so fun to watch them blow and blow and blow!

The last little treasure of the party was the adult room.  I needed a place for adults to go hang out while their kiddos played and had fun.  Let's face it, 18 itty bitties in my living room was quite eventful...I wanted to give the moms an option to "leave".  So, I had some snack foods, drinks and adult cupcakes in my dining room, along with my living room furniture that we moved in order to have an empty space for the party!  So, my dining room became a lounge.  We found white roses at the equivalent of the Dollar Store and the kids helped paint them red.  I had a friend paint the Kind and Queen of Hearts.  And the banner of characters was another fab find here online!

All in all, it was a lot of planning, but so worth it.  My girls LOVED every minute of the party, and are still talking about it.  I think I captured what they wanted.  The little guests had a wonderful time too...so many giggles to be heard.  I love a good party, but I love when it's all cleaned up too!

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