How To Decorate your Tea Table
Tea Party Decorations
Imagine your table as your canvas and by adding
beautiful details like table linens, napkin rings, place cards, china,
utensils, silverware, flowers, centerpieces, candles and lighting you can set
the mood and theme for your tea party. So whether you are having a
formal tea party complete with elegant china cups, Victorian lace and silver
tea pots or an informal country garden tea outdoors, simply adding the right
accessories you can have a variety of ways of hosting your own tea parties!
Place mats and runners
The tablecloth you
choose will determine the mood of your table setting and will set the degree
of formality of your party. If your china is patterned with lots of
flowers, choose a solid color table cloth to match and compliment the china.
I prefer solid-colored cloths, like white crisp linens, damask or cotton.
Place mats and runners can be placed on top of the table cloth or on a bare
table. They provide an extra layer of fabric and detail that can enhance
your table setting.
Napkin and Napkin Rings
Napkins come in
all shapes and sizes and are an inexpensive way to change the entire look of
the table. They are so versatile and can add a splash of color and a
coordinated look to your table. For a garden tea, I like to add them in
bread baskets or trays as well to coordinate with my napkins and table
setting. For each table setting, napkins can be placed on the plate, or
on the left side of the plate with or without a napkin ring. Napkin
Rings are also a fun way to decorate and add another decorative touch to your
table. Napkins can be wrapped in a variety of ways, from fresh or
artificial flowers, fruits, spices, dried leaves, ribbons, raffia, long stems
of grass, Christmas ornaments, to the more traditional silver or gold napkin
Place cards, like
napkin rings, can take on many forms and are also optional. For a more formal tea party, you
can use embossed cards, placed on the table or in silver place card holders.
For informal parties, a piece of torn cardboard placed on the side of a pear
can provide a whimsical, yet functional way for place cards. Another
easy way would be to combine the place cards with the napkin ring.
First, make a hole at one end of the place card, then string a piece of ribbon
through the hole and then tie the ribbon to napkin. Then, simply insert
a fresh flower stem into the ribbon and you have an easy, functional, yet beautiful napkin
China - Plates and Tea cups
A common question
I'm asked often is, does your china have to match? No! One secret to mixing an
array of china patterns is to choose a common color. Gold is a usually
an easy unifying "color" used to mix various patterns. So next time when
you are out shopping, pick up some gold-rimmed pieces to add to your
collection without worrying if they will match.
Another one of my
favorite and versatile
color is white. It can be a foundation for your tabletop on which you
can build on and add accessories to complete your theme. You can also
mix and match various patterns of white china, porcelain and cream-ware, and
still have a simple, yet elegant and soothing table setting or by adding a
punch of color in your table linens, napkin rings, center pieces the table can
take on a whole new vibrant look.
There are 3 types
of flatware: sterling silver, silver plate and stainless steel. The
common five-piece place setting consists of salad or dessert fork, dinner
fork, dinner knife, soup spoon and the teaspoon. Silver is like the
table's jewelry, adding sparkle and elegance to any setting.
Sterling Silver -
Hand wrought silver is hard to find but there are a few companies who still
continue using this traditional way of making silverware.
Old Newbury Crafters in
Amesbury, Massachusetts is one of them. They have been hand forging
silverware for fourteen generations and these methods and skills are still
used to this day.
Flowers and Centerpieces
centerpiece is very important to convey the theme for the party as well as
adding color to the table. The centerpiece should be below eye level so
that table conversations can be held around it. Containers for flowers
can be the usual vases, pots, etc. or the unexpected like soup tureens, sugar
bowls, pressed glass cups, wine tubs and coolers, urns, baskets, or even a
whimsical soup can. Another idea is to hollow out fruits or vegetables,
like melons and peppers and use them as flower containers. Next, the color of
the flower should be used to create punch and eye appeal. Always try to
use the freshest flowers on the market and arrange them as full as possible in
the container. Remember, your centerpiece on the table will be visible
from all sides so you need to make sure it looks good from all sides.
Yellow Roses: Cut lemon into slices and line clear straight-sided bowl
with overlapping lemon slices. Put floral foam in the middle and push
yellow cut roses into foam. Add water.
Roses: Fill vase halfway with cranberries, place red roses stems in
Wrap long stems of irises with elastic
band at the bottom and place in a long vase. Put kumquats in the vase
one at a time until filled. Fill with water.
Cream Roses: Scoop out middle of artichoke, place floral foam in the
middle. Push in cream roses in the foam. Fill with some water.
Wrap artichoke with misty rose gross-grain ribbon.
Take a teacup and glue to the saucer with ceramic glue. Insert floral
topiary foam into the cup and secure with some floral tape. Topiaries
can be readily purchased from crafts store. Use a glue gun to glue
flower buds on the ball. Finish off with a beautiful ribbon.