Category Archives: Party Themes

Great Themes for Tea Parties

Have a Charity Tea

With great empathy, we’ve watched the news from Japan this week along with all of you. Our hearts break for the stories of loss and alternately rejoice through tears for every life saved, every act of courage and bravery. In the face of such destruction, it is easy to feel small and insignificant. However, these are the times that require our action and affirmation of all that is good in each of us.

So, what can you do? Well, what are you good at? Are you a good organizer? Are you a good baker? Do you love to decorate? Do you know a lot of people? Do you love a good party? Perhaps a tea party?

Japanese Geisha Girl Tea Table

If you’re answer is yes, we suggest a Charity Tea. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just send out invites and plan a tea as you normally would with one small change. Ask your guests to bring a donation of any amount, large or small. You’ll be surprised at how your little bit can add up when you put it all together.

Below are some ideas to spark your imagination and philanthropy!

1. Who should we give to? If you are seeking to help the  Japanese people, American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse are a few good suggestions. These organizations are already in the country with people and delivery systems in place. Other possibilities are a local children’s hospital, food bank, cancer society or disabled veteran’s group. Just look around or ask your guests for suggestions and pull one out of a tea cup during your tea party.

2. If your tea is small enough, total up your donation while your guests are present so everyone can share in the accomplishment. Otherwise, be sure to send out a donation total with your thank you notes.

3. To accompany your donation, write a short letter or card together with your guests and have everybody sign it.

Silk Fan in Box

4. Give your guests a remembrance of the day such as a Japanese fan, nice chopsticks, bamboo coasters or a pretty candle.

5. Make it fun. Share good food & good company for a good cause. You’ll be glad you did!

Making Chai Tea

As the weather in Southern California is finally starting to hint at autumn (a cool 78 degrees!), our thoughts around the office are turning gratefully to rainy days, good books and a good cup of hot tea! It’s funny what you miss when you don’t have it. In the middle of January, I’m sure we’ll be looking fondly toward Summer having forgotten the sweltering heat.

With those thoughts in mind, it occurs to me that now might be a good time to post a refresher on making that spicy good tea, Chai. Much has been written on this cold weather favorite, so let’s just share the brewing basics.

Brewing Chai:  Place 1 heaping teaspoon of tea for each cup into your teapot. Pour boiling water into teapot. Cover and let steep for 5-10 minutes – yes, this is more tea and a longer steeping time for a good strong brew.  While the tea is brewing, put 1 teaspoon of sugar in each of your cups – this can be adjusted to taste, artifical sweetner also works fine. Adding sweetner helps open up the exotic flavor of this spicy blend. Add milk to your cups (about 20% of the cup’s volume). When the chai is ready, strain into cups and enjoy.

Personally, I use one packet of Splenda – yes, I know it might kill me. AND I do use cream instead of milk because I like the added body and that “slickery” feeling the cream offers.

If you like a full bodied tea with strong flavors, we highly recommend Chai tea. It’s a terrific brew for Autumn & holiday gatherings. We have an exceptional Vanilla Chai available in our store, should you like to indulge yourself. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and english bone china tea sets.

Paper Doilies: The Decorating Wonder!

Party Decorating on the Cheap
Need a cheap, versatile decorating idea? Two words: Paper Doilies!

We had an epiphany shopping at the local Walmart, which judging from the information already on the internet was late in coming! We needed doilies for store use and purchased a 24 pack of round paper doilies in three size (12″, 8″ & 6″) by Wilton for $2.00.  Such a deal! That’s when we realized the awesome, cheap decorating power of the paper doily.

Think about it. Need to decorate a cake? Paper doilies and powdered sugar. Decorate a table? Paper doilies. Place cards? Doilies. Invitations? Doilies!

So, with a doily in hand for inspiration, here is a list of basic ideas as a springboard for your imagination and some links to ideas from other creative people. Please share your great ideas as well. If you’ve got a Walmart nearby, go for the Wilton Cakes display. I’ll bet you find paper doilies…the decorating wonder!

If you can’t find paper doilies, here are some online resources:  from Create For Less – 32 Assorted Round White Doilies for $1.94, from Kids Crafts Plus – 96 Assorted Round White Doilies for $7.45, from Sur La Table – 48 Assorted Square White Doilies for $9.95. We also noticed some good deals on Ebay and Etsy searching under Paper Doilies.

Paper Doily Ideas:

1.  Decorate a cake with doilies.  Lay a doily or doilies in  a pattern on top of a dark cake such as chocolate,  gingerbread or even brownies. Sift with powdered sugar and carefully lift doilies. For the prettiest look, be sure to use a doily that does not have a solid circle of paper in the middle.

2.   Use large doilies as place mats under table settings. This is most effective on a colored tablecloth.

3.   Dress up serving plates/trays with doilies or set off a special dessert with a doily.

4.   Arrange different sized doilies on a colored tablecloth and cover with sheer fabric or tulle netting.

5.   Take the same idea as above but make a doily table runner.

6.   Use a doily as an invitation.

7.   Dress up a paper napkin by folding it inside a doily. My thought here is to fold a square napkin in half lengthwise and fold a round doily in half. Then place the now rectangular napkin in the now half-round doily and give it all a good crease.

8.   Use 4″ round doilies as place cards at each table setting.

9.   Decorate small favor boxes with small doilies.

10. Make a luminary table decoration with white paper bags, candles, sand, paper doilies, glue and scissors. While your bag is still folded up, scallop the top edges with a scissor. Glue doilies on the inside of your bags making sure to glue all edges to the bag. When dry, add 1-2 inches of sand and votive candles or battery operated votive candles. Remember the safety of your guests: never leave a burning candle unattended.

11. Make a Paper Lace Garland – a charming idea from Project Wedding!

You’re invited to Teapots ‘n More for a look at our newest English Bone China Tea Sets, Teapots, Tea Accessories and much more!

Bookworm Tea Party

A Bookworm Tea Party
For your book club or bookish friends!

This tea party offers a delightful few hours with good friends, hearty food and great books which your guests bring! Imagine the conversation as each guest shares a little about their book. Find a creative way to exchange your books such as pulling them from a box, exchanging with the person across from you or a variation on the Christmas gift exchange game. Before you leave, plan another tea party to return the books and share your reading adventures!

Make or purchase invitations that look like books or are book themed. Ask your guests to bring a favorite book to temporarily exchange. Include a purchased or handmade bookplate for their convenience with instructions to complete &  paste it in their book before arriving. The bookplate is a thoughtful way to ensure that your guest’s books eventually are returned.

Indoor decorations:
Set an informal, comfortable tea table with big mugs instead of tea cups, cushions on the chairs, and placemats or tablerunners.  Roll forks, spoons & knives in napkins and tie off with raffia or ribbon. To your napkin scrolls, attach a quote from a famous person on reading, books or tea.

Keep your centerpiece simple: a bowl of apples with greenery, a flowering potted plant, old books or your guest’s books artfully stacked.

Give a purchased or hand made bookmark.  Click here for several bookmark ideas.

Traditional English Lunch Menu:

Pair a simple green salad with one or two of the following entrees:

Heinz Baked Beans on Toast
Fish n’ Chips
Toad in the Hole
Shepherds Pie
Cornish Pasties

Serve one of the following for dessert:

Fresh Fruit
Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
Gingerbread Cake & Lemon Sauce

Serve a good all day tea such as English Breakfast with milk and sugar.

You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures, teas and more.

Red Hat Themed Tea Party

A Red Hat Themed Tea Party
Based on the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph

This silly tea party is based on the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph. You may recognize it better as the poem “When I am an Old Woman”, the calligraphy version copyrighted by Elizabeth Lucas*. Consider this idea for a tea party with your Red Hat Society Chapter or as a fun way to initiate new members. Let it be a “jumping off” place for your own imagination and creativity!

Make out your invitation on long rectangular sheets of paper. Wrap them up like a scroll around something silly such as a kazoo, a small pickling cucumber, or a funny pen/pencil. Tie closed with a red or purple ribbon. Hand-deliver or send in a small mailing tube. (Don’t mail the cucumber!)

Outdoor/Indoor decorations:
Make a sign that says “If old and tired, sit here.” Attach to the sidewalk or a walkway where your guests will see it. Mark the spot with a big red or purple “X”.

Place a small dish or bowl of “store samples” on a table inside your front door. Have toothpicks available next to the dish and a sign that reads “Free Samples”. The samples could be cheese cubes, sausage bites, olives, small pickles, mini quiches cut into quarters, etc. Place the dish on ice if it will be there for more than 15 minutes.

Make four sections of a picket fence using Popsicle sticks. Spray paint the sections white, red or purple. When dry, glue sections together into a box shape. Place a vase of red, purple & pink flowers inside the “picket fence” box. Make a small sign that says “Flowers courtesy of Other People’s Gardens” and attach to a long stick. Place sign in vase among flowers.

Add to the table the following items:
– a small jar with a sign that says “Donations for butter accepted”

– an old fashioned Sales Counter Service Bell

– short sticks scattered around the table so that your guests can practice running their sticks “along the public railings” (your picket fence table decoration).

Purchase red and purple paper placemats from a party store to place under your centerpiece or under each guest’s table setting. You can use them as they are or cut them into the shape of a large hat. If you are really ambitious, you can decorate the “hat” placemats with paper flowers, ribbon, etc…

Any one of the following is sure to bring a laugh!

Purchase a “terrible shirt” for each of your guests from the local thrift store.

Roll up a pair of lace summer gloves and tie with a purple ribbon for each of your guests.

Roll up used pencils and business pens in a paper coaster from a local restaurant and tie with a purple ribbon for each of your guests.

Purchase bookmarks** of the poem “Warning” aka: “When I am an Old Woman…” for each of your guests. These could also be part of your table centerpiece if you place them in a slipper or sandal on the table.

Make a starter jar of “Brandied Fruit” for each of your guests to take home. Be sure to include instructions for “feeding” the jar. (See our recipe for the starter instructions on our recipes blog,

Menu Ideas:
Many of the following recipes are available on our recipes blog,

Red Hat Tea (available from the Red Hat Society store in two flavors)
Chicken Salad Ribbon Sandwiches
Cucumber Sandwiches
Toad in the Hole
An assortment of small pickles on skewers
Brandied Fruit over Pound Cake Slices
Red Hat Tea Cookies
Mock Clotted Cream
Jam or Fruit Curd

Quick alternatives for Toad in the Hole:
– Cooked sausages rolled in biscuit dough and baked
– Frozen Mini Quiches with cooked sausage added to tops before baking

* Copies available for purchase at

**Bookmarks are available through Elizabeth Lucas,, and the Red Hat Society,

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Quilter’s Tea

Quilter’s Tea
Inspired by Quilting Bees where great relationships are made…one stitch at a time!

Invite a group of ladies together. Maybe you have something in common such as a hobby or a volunteer organization. Great relationships require some work, so here’s where they can help you. Ask them to bring some favorite small thing from their home for the centerpiece (hopefully they will bring an interesting knick-knack which they take back home of course) and to complete one of the following phrases: My best childhood memory is…, My most embarrassing moment was…, One of my favorite quotes is…,The subject I loved most in school was…, You’d be surprised to know…, You’d never guess it, but I am really good at… Have them share their phrases around the table along with the good conversation that follows.

Centerpiece Idea:
Cover your table with a quilt. Get a sewing basket and place a flowering potted plant in it (be sure to protect the inside of the basket with plastic or cellophane). Use Spanish moss to hide the plant pot. Trail a measuring tape or two out of the basket and scatter a small assortment of buttons on the table. Place your guests knick-knacks in various positions in this centerpiece, ie: peeking out of the basket or plant, etc. (Or ask your guests to place them as they come in.)

Hostess Gift Ideas:
A collectible thimble, a bag of novelty buttons, a candle, a small potted plant, a homemade treat or something reflecting the interests of the group you have invited.

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Christmas/Winter Tea

Christmas or Winter Tea
Celebrate the season or chase away the Mid-Winter blues!

Christmas and the winter season in general can be a lonely or difficult time for many, maybe even you. So, start a new tradition. Host a Christmas tea or chase away the winter blues in the company of friends, old and new!

Tablecloth Idea:
Cover table with a solid color tablecloth. Arrange paper doilies or handmade snowflakes on it. Cover the snowflakes with store bought net or tulle. This will keep the snowflakes in place. And it’s inexpensive!

Centerpiece Idea:
Place a flat mirror of any shape on table. Arrange pillar candles, sculpted candles or themed candles (like fruit, trees, etc) of different heights in your chosen color scheme on the mirror. Sprinkle table with some iridescent glitter. Or check out our Quick & Easy centerpiece ideas.

Tip: Look in bargain stores for candles.

Hostess Gift Idea:
A new ornament, a handmade Christmas treat, or a bubble bath gift bag made up of a scented votive candle, a packet of bubble bath, a tea bag and a piece of chocolate placed in a decorated paper sack.

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.