Here are a few simple DIY craft projects to make your table aesthetically pleasing and cohesive. These are not expensive project and the payoff is priceless. There’s a certain satisfaction and source of pride when you work with your hands. Since I brought my garden tea party indoors, these small projects helped me create the garden charm without a lot of fuss or expense. Scroll down for decor and tableware sourcing of all my tea items.
3-Tiered Cake Plate Stand
I bought four 3-tiered stands in total. Two on Amazon and two at a local thrift store. The two I bought at a thrift store were $3.99 each, Amazon was a bit more expensive. Only three stands are shown because I bought the fourth one yesterday. I’ll paint it tomorrow. The original black frame is too heavy for the gold trimmed dainty plates, so I went to my local hardware store and bought a couple Vintage Gold paint cans. I didn’t sand the stands, I cleaned them well and removed all dust and residue, covered the base plastic tip with blue painter’s tape and painted them outdoors. I also painted six bird place card holders I purchased at Pier 1 Imports (not pictured). Holding the stand by the top, I sprayed as much as I could, turning and twisting as I painted to ensure I painted evenly without missing a spot. Once the bottoms were done, I placed them on the plastic covered table and painted the tops, allowing them to dry for a few hours in the hot Florida sun before applying a second coat. Two cans were enough for the three stands.
Note: A well ventilated area is key. Do not spray paint indoors and wear protective gear as the mist travels everywhere.
Stacked Garden Tea Cups
Stacked tea cups was an idea I loved on Pinterest. They are so versatile – you can stack them on a few books or fill any empty spot. They are the perfect festive touch. These cups are not perfect, they are actually unsuitable for drinking – some are cracked and some broken. I got them for nothing at a thrift store so how could I pass them up for decor? Right! With a little moss and some fresh flowers they will be charming! When stacking, I added a little floral foam between some of the cups to add height and on the top to secure fresh flowers the day of the party. In a few spot where the moss kept slipping into the cup, I used double sided tape to secure the moss. You can also use hot glue to secure them together – I did not because I need to take the arrangement apart for storage.
Note: Floral foam and moss purchased at Tuesday Morning, but you can find at your local craft store.
Creating Mini 3-Tiered Cake Plate Stands
When searching for vintage pieces such as discontinued fine bone English china, estate sales, thrift stores and eBay are a great resource. In one of my outings, I came across small stacks of saucers and dessert plates wrapped in tape for a dollar or two. Who can’t use extra plates? I couldn’t leave them behind and I’m glad I didn’t. I visualized the saucers as petite 3-tiered cake plate stands for petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries. All I needed was a hole in the center of the plates and the hardware to connect the plates. I purchased the hardware on eBay and I took the saucers to a local glass shop to get the holes drilled professionally. Yes, I saw the YouTube videos, but I don’t have the expensive tools required to do this and I didn’t want to ruin the plates. For me it was a win-win to get them professionally done.
Mirror & Sideboard Decor
Continuing with the “garden” concept, I set up the foyer table with antique cameras, stacked tea cups, vintage leather suitcase and a hat rack displaying their hats. I wove a floral garland on the base of the hat rack. A footed silver tray was set up with vintage coupe glasses and chilled champagne for a proper greeting. I set the dining room table two days before and made the floral arrangements the day before. Fresh flowers are always the perfect finishing touch. Each side of the mirror above the sideboard was flanked with floral prints purchased at a thrift store, garden throw pillows from Pier 1 Imports on clearance and added a floral garland above the mirror along with a tea banner from Amazon to complete the look.
Fine Bone English China, Linens, Serving Utensils, Silver Trays and Silverware
To quote an English proverb from the 1600’s “The early bird catcheth the worm”. You need to get to the estate sale or thrift store early in the morning to find the best pieces. I didn’t realize how popular or expensive tea cups are until I started looking for them. Do yourself a favor and start sourcing your event with ample time. I sourced all my items prior to setting a date. This allowed me to focus and stress over the menu.
Here’ are all the other purchased items not mentioned above:
Vintage 3 piece English tea set from thrift stores and eBay | Madeira 90 Round Tablecloth and Napkins from eBay | Lace Table runners from eBay | Vintage Arcoroc Rosaline Pink Swirl Champagne and Water Goblets from eBay | Silver Serving Trays from thrift stores | Silver Serving Utensils from eBay | Portmeirion Botanical Garden Tea Utensils from Tuesday Morning | Antique Cut Glass Vases from thrift stores | Fenton Silver Crested Cake Plate from eBay | Garden Pillows from Pier 1 Imports | Depression Glass Pitcher from thrift store
Note: Blessed my friend Ruth allowed me to borrow her hat rack, vintage cameras and suitcases! Her generous contribution completed the foyer vignette for an authentic look. Everyone was fascinated by the vintage cameras. They are beautiful!