wonderland part 1

In April, right in the midst of spring inspiration and Easter, my baby turned four! How did that happen? I can hardly believe the day has come and gone and now she is four. She will be starting school in the fall so we wanted to throw a big party with all our family and friends. I figure, once she starts school, she will probably dictate the guest list, so this may be our last chance to have the big family party. Just like it’s probably my last chance to pick the theme.

I’ve been trying to convince my oldest daughter for the past two years to let me throw her a Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party. She just wasn’t having it – she likes picking the theme and Wonderland just wasn’t it. So, since my youngest has developed a big interest in Alice, and really, this is probably the last year I can just pick a birthday theme on my own, Siddalee in Wonderland it was! It turned out beautifully and from the daily messages of “mom, I love my birthday party” I think it was a hit in her eyes as well. She regularly tells me stories about the sweets on her table and the cupcakes and the tea and the flamingo’s – music to a mama’s ears.

I am so happy to finally be sharing her party with you! Siddalee’s 4th Birthday in Wonderland was a magical affair with all manner of shrinking and growing and flamingo croquet. There are many, many pictures to share, so I’m going to break this out into multiple posts. Today we’ll go over the general party details and then we’ll dive into the details.

My goal was to create the experience of sliding down the rabbit hole and going to C.S. Lewis’ Wonderland! When planning the details of the party, I regularly referred to C.S. Lewis’ book to make sure I got things right. I made sure there were a few Disney-esque references throughout the party just for the young ones that are only familiar with the Disney version. And it all started at the door.

Guests were greeted at the door with a sign that said “Down the rabbit hole’ and once inside there were vignettes set up throughout the house for the guests to visit. In the entrance, guests arrived at a small table offering a skeleton key and a bottle filled with a curious elixir labeled ‘DRINK ME’. For those who successfully shrank (or looked down) there was a small cake marked ‘Eat Me’ in a clear glass acrylic box.

Once inside, guests were instructed to look for the Cheshire Cat’s grin with a prize for the lucky lady who found the Cheshire Cat first.  Then it was off for a game of Tea Bag Toss into the Mad Hatter’s hat. Bubblegum blossom’s for all! After the toss, it was on to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Each table setting included mis-match china dessert plates, tea cups and saucers with a place card for each guest and a tea cup cupcake. The table was full of pastel cupcakes, mushroom and flower cookies, cake truffles and petit fours, complete with a variety of colourful teas and flowered sugar cubes. I made sure to sneak in Wonderland imagery throughout the tea party including the mushroom cookies, a tea cup with the tree Alice, er Siddalee fell asleep under, the White Rabbit’s pocket watch (a free clip art image which I found here), a mini tea pot in the shape of the White Rabbit’s house, a hidden dormouse and the hidden Cheshire Cat grin.

Once the girls’ had their fill of tea and sweets, they went on to play a game of ‘Queen of Hearts Says’ (Simon Says) before making their way to the Royal Croquet Grounds through the Royal Garden where the Cardmen (wrapped sandwiches) had painted the roses red on the cupcake topiaries. The Royal Croquet Ground was set up in the kitchen (it ended up being a cold and rainy day, the first year since before she was born the weather was cold and rainy on her birthday!). Luckily, there was enough room to set up the flamingo’s, smiling hedgehog balls and card wickets for a good game of croquet!

After croquet, the girls were sent home with a bag of treats, including a custom Siddalee in Wonderland activity and colouring book that I ordered on Etsy and sweets to remember their time in Wonderland. Ready for some pics? I am so ready to show you!

Did you catch all the Wonderland imagery on the tea party table? Now for some details!

  • For the DRINK ME bottles, I used vintage glass spice bottles I already had in my prop collection. They came with glass stoppers which made them perfect! These are easily found in thrift stores, although those sweet little nectar bottles would work with cork stoppers. They were filled with invisible Strawberry Kool-Aid as an extra sensory surprise for the guests.
  • The EAT ME cakes were placed in hard, clear acrylic boxes that I picked up at the dollar store. I really wanted hard boxes with a snap closure, rather than the soft acrylic boxes you can find at Michael’s. These boxes they were full of paper clips when I bought them, bye bye paper clips, hello cakes! They worked perfectly and they were only a $1.00 each.
  • The ceiling was covered in streamers and Chinese lanterns which I picked up at Party Packagers and the dollar store. Spring is the perfect time to grab lanterns at the dollar store because they are stocked for your summer patio.
  • All of the pieces on the table (tea pots, tea cups, saucers, cake stands, platters and vases) I picked up at thrift stores over the past 6 months. Except for the pink teapot with Pepe Le Peu and Penelope on top, my husband and I bought that just before we married.
  • The two-tiered serving tray was a DIY project. I found two beautiful and matching peony serving platters and removed the hardware from an old two-tiered server I found at the thrift store. Then with the magic of some super glue and reams of paper, I made a beautiful new tiered server that I am really excited about!
  • Do you recognize the silicone tea cup and saucer bake set? I picked them up in December at the Bakerella book signing. I saw them and knew I needed them for this party!
  • I found the flamingo’s through Kijiji for $4.00 each and the smiling hedgehog balls were another dollar store find. My husband was ever so nice to draw the card wickets for the croquet.
  • I made all the sweets (cupcakes, cookies, cake truffles, petit fours, rose cupcakes) in the days leading up to the party. What fun it was to make all these sweets. It was my first time making petit fours and boy, those rose cupcake topiaries definitely challenged my decorating abilities!
  • I even made those flowered sugar cubes. I found large flower quins at Home Sense (the Canadian version of Home Goods for my American friends) and glued them to sugar cubes using a tiny dab of the Wilton fondant writer.
  • I also designed all the printables for the party. You can find the Wonderland set in my Etsy shop! It’s available now and it’s 50% OFF!

I am so excited to give you this overview of my daughter’s Wonderland birthday! There is still so much more to show you, so please come on back tomorrow for part 2, a detailed look at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! Lots of pretty eye candy for you. I would love to know what you think so far! Please let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!

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7 Responses to “wonderland part 1”

  1. Ian says:

    What a fantastic party design. With your printables and a few extra props, anyone could do this! 4 years old is the perfect age for this kind of party. All the little girls were in awe of its wacky little-girliness.

  2. Janelle M. says:

    I think big girls would like this too. I might need to have a Wonderland party for my 43rd!

  3. Tracey says:

    Why thank you honey! It’s so true, with a little baking, a little creativity and my printable set (shameless plug) anyone can do this! That’s always my goal, show simple and creative ideas any mama can do to craft a handmade party!

  4. Tracey says:

    Thanks for your comment Janelle! I agree, I think this party would be lovely for a big girl too. It would be lovely for a bridal or baby shower as well I think! You just might need a Wonderland party for your 43rd, I got ya covered 🙂

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