You may recognize her from our Fall Fashion Stylebook (also here and here), but Hannah Alexander is also wildly creative when it comes to throwing parties. We absolutely fell in love with this “un-birthday party” she planned for her beautiful daughter, Tristin. It’s clever, creative, and wouldn’t those outfits be perfect for Halloween?
Thanks for sharing your tips with us, Hannah!
When you have a child whose birthday
falls one day after Christmas, you are always wracking your brain to make her birthday something other than an afterthought. So this year we opted for an âun-birthdayâ and celebrated in July! I got a âhareâ brained idea to put together an Alice in Wonderland themed un-birthday party, a mad tea party to be precise. Maybe what inspired me was that Tristin is about to be 8, has blonde curls, blue eyes, and is curiouser and curiouser with every new day…the perfect Alice. Alice in Wonderland is such a wonderfully impossible story. I love its nonsense and whimsy. What else could you want for an almost 8-year-oldâs birthday party? Nonsense and whimsy…how inspiring!
I did the invitations myself.
Decided to stay with the classic Alice illustrations.
I opted for an indoor mad tea party.
So I turned my dining room into Wonderland.
I placed mirrorsalong every wall, some crooked.
And made âthis way” and âthat wayâ signs that also hung along the walls. Clocks would be another good option, but I didnât have any.
Signs how-to: I first cut jagged wood-like shapes out of cardboard boxes I had around the house. Then I painted them to look like wood. When that dried I hand painted directions on them such as âMad Hatter this wayâ or âup,” âdown,” âyonder,” âgo back,” etc.
I made banners from two decks of playing cardsand some ribbon.
I just made a couple of slits in each card then put the ribbon through the slits. Very simple. I used these to hang around the âQueen of Artsâ area, where my mom, an artist, taught the kids to draw some Wonderland characters.
I also made tissue paper pom poms
to hang for a little added color. Martha Stewart has a good tutorial for those (www.marthastewart.com/how-to/tissue-paper-pom-poms-how-to). They are very easy, but a bit time consuming if you are going to make as many as I did. So plan ahead.
For the Mad Hatter table
I just used what I had. I pushed a couple of tables together then cut some material I had tucked away and used it for table cloths. You donât have to be too concerned with things matching or not matching because itâs Wonderland: nothing is as it should be. Then I used chairs from around the house and put throw pillows in them. Of course you must, if you can, put an arm chair at the head of the table for the un-birthday girl.
I got a bunch of tea pots,
creamers, sugar bowls, cups, saucers, and such from family (saved a bunch of money), but I also bought some at second-hand stores. Then I just set them around and tried to make it all look pretty. My sweet mother-in-law provided fresh flowers to spice things up.
Instead of tea we had a frozen cappuccino beverage. I figured it would be more of a crowd pleaser.
To eat, we had cupcakes with little âeat meâ cup cake toppers on them.
I made the toppers with stamps and toothpicks and jagged scissors.
We also had the Pepperidge Farmchessmen cookies.
And thatâs it!
I really like giving kids books,
so I found a really nice hardback copy of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for each of the girls that came. We only invited four so it wasnât too much of an expense. I think I got them for $5 a piece. The rest of the stuff in the goody bag was really cheap: Laffy Taffy, Twizzlers, suckers, and then some little drink me candies. I bought those little wax bottles with really gross juice in them and put âdrink meâ tags on them. It was selfish, I admit it. I know they donât taste good, but they were just so cute I couldnât resist!
I got another of the original illustrations from the Alice book,
the one of the Mad Hatter, and designed a little label for the goody bags that said, âAnd a Very Un-Birthday to You!â After all, it WAS everyoneâs UN-birthday.
Rabbit Hole: When the kids arrived I had them enter the house through the âRabbit Hole.” I put up a floral curtain (in attempts to make it look woodsy) and had one of those little tubes kids crawl through at the base of the curtain. Then I made a sign that said âRabbit Hole.â Super easy. They seemed to enjoy it, too.
Queen of “Arts” Lesson:
My mother, who is an artist and who happened to be dressed as the Queen of Hearts, taught the girls how to draw Alice and the Cheshire Cat. You donât have to be an artist to do this. They are really quite simple.
Mad Hatter Says:
Like Simon Says, but Wonderland-style.Â If the Mad Hatter said to jump on your right foot you had to jump on your left. The kids got all goofy with it.
Follow the White Rabbit:
This was really fun and would have been more fun had it not been a million degrees outside. We went outside and basically played Follow the Leader. I was the first leader since I was dressed as the White Rabbit, and I did anything crazy I could think of to set the pace for the rest of the leaders. I didnât want them to be timid. I had a pair of rabbit ears for the leader, and each girl took a turn being the leader. We had a lot of fun with this, doing some very silly stuff. Iâm sure my neighbors were quite entertained.
After the activities we had cup cakes and watched some of the Disney movie.
Since I had my computer set up right by our tea party, I let the âMerry Un-birthdayâ song and scene play while Tristin blew out her candles. We did that instead of singing the traditional Happy Birthday.
We had a blast doing this party!!!
And I think I accomplished my goal…Tristinâs birthday celebration was certainly no afterthought! She loved every minute and, I hope, will remember it always.
In case you missed them: