As my mum was about to turn 50 years old we decide to throw a party for her. With my mum being a fan vintage dresses and afternoon tea it seemed fitting that we threw her a vintage tea party. We, or rather I decided to do the decoration ourselves so that I could make them exactly what we wanted but also to save a lot of money.
We decided on a local venue called the Normanby pub. As this was not the most up-to-date venue decoration wise, I knew that it was going to take quite a lot of imagination and lots of decorations. The first thing that I made was over 100metres of bunting to transform the walls. I used fat quarters which I bought on sale at hobby craft as well as some bits I already had in my craft drawers For speed and to conserve fabric, rather than sewing two pieces of fabric together and bagging it out I just used one piece and pinked the edges. Pinking the edges is great because it stops any fraying and it also looks very cute and kitsch.
I also made paper bunting from floral craft paper by drawing around a foam heart stencil and cutting it out with my pinking shears. I then threaded all of the bunting together with twine.
I love paper bunting because it is so quick to make and looks beautiful because of all the patterns. It can also be made into any shape and is quick to cut out if you use a stencil.
For centre pieces I decided that we would have jars of mini flowers as my mum really loves flowers. At first I was going to collect different sized jars but then we decided to purchase some from eBay which were hexagonal and really cute.
To decorate them, I wrapped them with a piece of hessian and lace and finished them with a twine bow and hot glued it into place.
Next up was filling the jars. Originally, my mums boyfriend was growing the flowers but unfortunately there was an infestation of caterpillars at his allotment and we lost all the flowers. So, for plan B me and my cousin Carley went to a few Aldi’s to pick up flowers. I can’t recommend Aldi enough for flowers – there’s a great selection of really cheap but beautiful flowers.
We filled Carleys boot with flowers and took them back to mine. Thankfully Eleanor was out for the day because making 28 bouquets was hard enough without having a baby getting involved too! After trimming, de-leafing and separating flowers, I set about putting them into the mini bouquets. I used a good selection of different flowers in a variety of colours so they looked really kitsch.
I tied the bunches with twine and sat them in the jars. We later filled these with water beads. We also used the water beads to fill bowls which we lit from the bottom with waterproof LED candles and floated flowers on top of. We put the bowls and jars of flowers in the middle of the tables on top of patterned doilies and scattered handmade heart shaped confetti -which I made from the paper scraps left over from the paper bunting cut out with a heart puncher – around them.
We thought about photographers for the party and thought a photo booth might be fun way to get some great snaps. With hiring one being so expensive – again we decided to go down the D I Y route. I raided eBay, a few pound shops and the wardrobes of friends and family and ended up with two boxes of props to work with. My cousin Craig really excelled with the photo booth and built a fully light up fake 50’s style jukebox to step inside and take photos in. This was a huge hit at the party and we got some great snaps inside.
Perhaps the hardest thing to find for the party was my mums dress. My mum can be quite picky when it comes to her clothing and with it being her 50th she wanted to make sure she looked extra special. With it being a fifties party, choices were limited and mostly online. My mum and I searched through the online offerings and my mum chose a dress, however when it arrived it just wasn’t like the picture and just wasn’t right – online shopping is always a risk! We were arranging to go away for the day to dress search somewhere bigger, when I popped into an alternative shop by the off chance and noticed it had a good selection of vintage style dresses that I thought my mum would like. After a visit to the shop together, mum found her perfect dress (at a bargain price too) from Hell Bunny.
I also looked online for dresses but couldn’t find anything that was special enough to spend money on when I have already had a wardrobe full of dresses and settled on a collectif dress I’d had a while.
I did however order Eleanor a new dress! I managed to grab one of Lindy Bop’s baby range of dresses in their mega sale for £5 and accessorised it with a cheap head wrap from ebay!
To accessorise my dress, I got a pair of Mary Janes from New Look which were reduced to £7 but scanned through the tills at an amazing £1 and I managed to get a £32 for £6 in Topshop.
As I knew we were going to be busy arranging and decorating the room, I booked for us to get our hair done at All Dolled Up in Normanby and our makeup done by Kim Blair MUA and was so glad that I had. We were both pleased with both services and felt super glamourising.
My hair and makeup was still perfect when I headed to bed at half five the next morning which was a testament to how great of a job both ladies did. I’d definitely use both again!
(I went to bed so late the sun was out!)
All our hard work was worth it and we had an absolutely fantastic night which developed into a great weekend as we had a family barbecue the next night. After another late night, we were all wiped out on Sunday – I think it took me all week to recover afterwards!
I really enjoyed all the work that I put in to my mums party and the effort was definitely worth it as the party was a great success and enjoyed by all. It was so much fun getting dressed up and seeing all the costumes and effort that people had made – it really made it all come together and made for a really memorable night which is just what my mother deserved.