A beautiful and versatile theme for you to try at your next bridal shower, baby shower, or birthday celebration is a garden tea party!
Ever since my friend Emi asked me to be her Maid of Honor, I have been thinking and obsessing about her bridal shower! After hours and hours of late night Pinteresting and scouring through tutorials, I decided a garden tea party would be a great theme for Emi’s shower. She has always loved her cup of tea so it seemed like the perfect theme to celebrate this bride-to-be and we could easily incorporate her color palette of green, yellow, and grey.
I decided to use paper as the main material for the decor since that is the medium I work with the most and it’s also light weight, inexpensive, and can be recycled. I had a LOT of fun making everything and coming up with the decor and table setting! This theme can be easily customized by switching up the colors, changing up the fonts, and tablecloths to fit the bride you are throwing the shower for. It also works for birthdays and other gatherings as well!
The guest list for the shower was at 32 so my goal was to keep it sophisticated and pretty while being cost efficient! I wanted to share how you can easily throw your own garden party so read on for more details on how to throw your own garden tea party!
Find items from this shower in my Etsy Shop for your next shower or event!
Tissue Paper Flowers
Materials + Source: tissue paper [Party City + PaperMart.com], construction paper (optional to cut out large leaves from) [Joann], scissors, tape
This was the main element in the decor and I spent a week catching up on shows on Hulu while making these! I went through HUNDREDS of pins to pick out what kind of flowers I liked and wanted to use– different types of paper give the flowers a different feel. I settled on tissue paper because you can make a ton without spending a lot, and I liked the look of these flowers the best since I was trying to stay away from them looking too much like a tissue pom.
These were my main inspiration pins:
1) This paper flower table center piece pin (does anyone know where this came from? I’d love to give the credit but have not been able to find the original source.)
2) Icing Design’s A Sweet Spring Table
3) This floral backdrop for the dining table from Lovelyfest (4th row down on the very right)
I based my flowers on this great Giant Paper Flowers from Ruche post on Design*Sponge. The only things I did differently was:
* I did not make the stems.
* I changed the centers of the flowers. Instead of the moss centers, I started the flowers with a yellow tissue paper for the centers and wrapped smaller petals around each other to create a center. I then added a few more yellow petals that were more fanned out to make the centers and the pop color more prominent.
* I tried different edges on the petals to make the flowers look different. The more scalloping on the edges of each petal makes the flowers look more and more like a tissue pom. The petals with clean edges or a point I liked to make a crease in the center of them to create some depth.
* I made large flowers as well as smaller ones by experimenting with different petal sizes.
The larger flowers I used as the main wall decor and on the front door and I arranged the smaller flowers in a bunch at the center of each table for the centerpieces.
I also used the tissue paper flowers as the cake toppers by attached them with hot glue to skewers. You can push the skewers all the way down the cake like I did or leave the skewer part showing like the flower stems.
For the cupcakes I wanted to make mini flowers to top them with. For a quicker way to do this, I followed this tissue paper flower tutorial from WeddingChicks.com. You cut petals from tissue paper then insert a toothpick in the center. Add a drop of hot glue then press the petals together and it instantly creates a lovely flower that you can easily place into any dessert!
Materials + Source: string or twine [99 Ranch Super Market (they have balls of natural colored twine)], construction paper [Joann] , small hole punch [Michael’s or Joann], hot glue gun // [Michael’s in the gardening and foam section]
I wanted to add a little bit of color, especially to the burlap on the dessert table, but also wanted it to fit into the garden theme. I came up with these leaf garlands that are super easy to make! If I had more time I’d make one more to hang by the drinks or layer below the banner.
I drew outlines of small and large leaves on the backside of the construction paper. I stacked that sheet on top of another and cut the leaves out– don’t worry about making them perfect, the outline acts as a guide and I think it looks more organic with different shapes and edges! Punch a small hole at the top of each leaf and put your string through. Then spread out the leaves as you would like them spaced, back side up. Add a dot of hot glue to attach the leaf to the string. This way when you hang it they won’t move around and get clumped in one area. Just be careful when transporting that they don’t get tangled- putting them carefully in a large envelope or zip lock bag and keeping it laid flat helps!
Materials + Source: ribbon [Michael’s], burlap [Joann] , cardstock [Michael’s or Joann], hot glue gun [Michaels]
I also did a lot of research when trying to figure out what type of banner I wanted to make. I decided on a burlap banner to match the table tops and also to use up the leftover scraps I had. I layered it with paper printed with grey letters and used the same yellow ribbon from the table setting.
Before you start I would recommend measuring the area you want to hang the banner from and how long the actual banner needs to be along with the excess ribbon on both ends.
I created the paper portion and letters in illustrator. (Don’t forget to leave an extra 1/2″ to 3/4″ at the top to fold over!) Then I printed and cut one out and added a 3/4″ border for the burlap layer. Each paper layer was hot glue gunned to the burlap layer then both were folded over the ribbon and hot glued to stay.
This banner was a bit heavy so we actually nailed them to the wall with thumbtacks to get them to stay up!
The Table Setting
Materials + Source: burlap [Joann, don’t forget to sign up for their e-newsletter for weekly 40% off coupons!], clear plastic plates [Party City], silver utensils [Dollar Store, 4 sets of forks, spoons, and knives for $1], white napkins [Party City], yellow ribbon [Michael’s], packing tape, safety pins (optional)
Since this was a larger party and we couldn’t use real plates and utensils, my goal for the tale setting was to make it look as real (and not disposable!) as possible!
The table itself were the 6 ft. fold out tables and we sat 8 to each comfortably, 3 on both sides, one at each end. Each table was covered with burlap. To save on time and money, I didn’t make table clothes but cut pieces for each table that just had enough at the edges to fold under and tape. We used LOTS of packing tape to keep it secure and it was easy to remove. You can also use safety pins to help pin together the corners that are folded and have extra fabric. I was really happy with how this turned out!
I picked out the best quality clear plastic plates I could find, silver utensils, and at the tables we did use actual teacups and saucers. I didn’t want the dining items to clash with the greens in the paper flower center pieces so I kept the color palette simple. The napkins were white and utensils were tied with a yellow ribbon.
I also made place cards for each seat. I made ones with the names for the bride and bridal party, and for the guests the place card said “Welcome!” so that they could pick their own seats. You can customize and purchase these place cards for your next event in Atiliay’s Etsy Shop!
I hope this information is helpful when it’s time for you to plan a shower or your next party! Part 2 and 3 of this post is coming soon!