When it comes to tea party decorations, you don’t necessarily have to put a lot of work into planning the décor. The tea accoutrements and dainty foods – china teapots and teacups, crisp linen napkins, a frosted cake on an elegant stand, the tiered serving tray with tea sandwiches, scones, and dainty bite-sized desserts – are often decorative enough to create a special occasion. But if you’re feeling ambitious, a few added pieces to your party’s décor can create a sight that guests will likely never forget.
To build an assortment of tea party decorations to have on hand whenever the mood strikes to host a last-minute gathering, collect pieces that inspire you while shopping at antique stores, flea markets, or home stores. Look for sales and build a collection over time. Some pieces you might keep your eye out for include silver tea sets, china teapots, tea cups, plates, vases, cake stands, cocktail glasses, serving trays, bowls, platters, pitchers, linen napkins, and napkin rings.
You don’t necessarily have to buy something new though to acquire great decorations because you might already have what you need on-hand. Dig through the attic and basement storage to rediscover what you already own and if anything can be reworked. For example, if you’re lucky enough to stumble across an old bird cage, this could be your next centerpiece. Clean it well and spray it with gold or silver paint. Decorate it with twine and flower buds or if you’re looking for a really romantic decoration, purchase a pair of fake doves at a craft store and perch them inside the cage. Then scatter rose petals around the bottom.
If you’re feeling stuck, flowers are tea party decorations that will never go out of fashion and are rather impossible to mess up. They add a lot to a party’s atmosphere, especially considering the small amount of time it takes to arrange a bouquet. Use vases that you already own or find antique tins and even teapots to use for arranging shorter bouquets. For something a little more out of the ordinary, create garlands of flowers that are in-season season. Pick the flower buds off each stem and using a needle, pull a fine string through the buds. Then hang the garland in a spot where it will catch the eyes of guests, maybe by the fireplace or around a doorway.
Candles are another easy way to give a room added visual interest. Fill a glass jar one quarter to halfway with colored glass stones or beads and nestle candles in the stones. You might also fill the jar partly with water and place floating candles inside. Use candles of varying heights and colors to create an attractive arrangement.
For some edible décor, place vintage teacups filled with small candies like M&Ms, nonpareils, or jellybeans on coffee and side tables. And for the tea table itself, try using vibrantly colored tablecloths, table runners, or place mats. If you have a beautiful wooden dining table, occasionally skip the table cloth and let the wood show through with just a runner and/or place mats. Slid vintage napkin rings around colorful linen napkins to add a pop of color to a table covered in a snow white tablecloth and then slip a small bunch of dried flowers into the napkin rings for even more visual appeal. And again, don’t forget that china can be used as decoration and doesn’t even have to match. In fact, mismatched china can make a table look like a work of art by giving it a unique character.