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Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

My ever-so-creative friend and frequent partner-in-crime Heather Crosby came up with a festive idea that encapsulates the two things we like best — making things and spending time with friends — by creating the tongue-in-cheek Upper Crust Social Club.

The UCSC is all about hosting a series of varied themed soirees that I’ll feature here to hopefully jump-start your own gatherings. First up: An Alice-inspired night-time tea party for some of our favorite Chicago ladies that kicked off the UCSC concept in style.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

Today’s tea party post features the overall decor, whimsical details and creative ways to set your tables and food display. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share more posts with free templates and step-by-step how-to instructions to make all of our tea party goodies: Shrinky Dink rabbit’s foot napkin holders that convert into keychain favors, super fancy tea sandwiches, handsewn tea bags for loose teas, magical “Drink Me”colored champagne bottles, edible flower ice cubes, homemade cake/sandwich stands, and more.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

An all-white base for tablecloths, napkins, flower and candles ensured that the colors really popped from mismatched tea cups, teapots, rabbits feet, “Drink Me” bottles — and of course the yummy food and “leaded” and “unleaded” teas.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

Each guest’s placesetting had a handmade Shrinky Dink rabbit’s foot napkin ring that converted into a keychain favor. I’ll post the free DIY instructions and templates soon.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

On the menu was a variety of proper tasty tea sandwiches (taken in the candlelight so sorry the photo is so dark): Fancy Almond Butter & Blueberry Jam, Carrot Ginger, Chicken Curry, Traditional Cucumber, Egg Salad, Pear & Stilton and Smoked Salmon & Wasabi. We cut them into triangles, squares, long rectangles, hearts and circles and lit up the evening buffet with dozens of tealight candles.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

Using children’s alphabet cookies, we spelled Alice-inspired phrases on serving plates including Eat Me, Pretty, Hearts, Rabbit, and Sassy.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

We created cheap and chic makeshift homemade risers on the fly for the sandwiches by spontaneously combining Heather’s own collection of vintage tins with her delicate bone china plates (again, taken in the candlelight so sorry the photos are so dark).

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

Every hostess needs to save time, so we “outsourced” our desserts to my neighborhood Alliance Bakery including bite-sized fresh fruit tarts, key lime tart, iced chocolate cookies, and hazelnut and pistachio thumbprint cookies.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer Featuring Handsewn Fabric Tea Bags by Heather Crosby

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer Featuring Handsewn Fabric Tea Bags by Heather Crosby

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer Featuring Handsewn Fabric Tea Bags by Heather Crosby

We pooled all our “leaded” and “unleaded” loose and bagged teas and all types of sweeteners…

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer Featuring Handsewn Fabric Tea Bags by Heather Crosby

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer Featuring Handsewn Fabric Tea Bags by Heather Crosby

…and made handmade tea bags for loose tea from fabric remnants from my living room curtains and Heather’s handmade tea labels with the UCSC logo on the front. Follow the free teabag instructions to make your own for favors or gifts.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

“Magical” Drink Me bottles filled with champagne, sugar cubes and food coloring in recycled bottles provided adult breaks from the teas.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

And the dazzling Alex Pruner hosted a super fun tea party game we made up based on her vintage feminist-slash-manners book crossed with a household favorite board game, Wise and Otherwise. The winner received this soy tea cup candle made by local Chicago crafter Marcie at Something Beautiful.

Like this nighttime tea party theme? Check out the free DIY templates for Shrinky Dink rabbit’s foot napkin holders that convert into keychain favors and lovely handsewn tea bags for loose teas …instructions for fancy tea sandwiches, “Drink Me” bottles of brightly colored champagne and edible fresh flower ice cubes to come soon. In the meantime, see more party photos at Inspired by Everything’s post and Flickr album.

Merriment :: Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party by Heather Crosby and Kathy Beymer

 
 




24 Responses to “Upper Crust Social Club Ladies’ Late-Night Tea Party”


  1. Reef Says:

    I love this post! I cannot wait to use your wonderful ideas. you seriously saved my life because I am planning on having an Alice in wonderland tea party I really needed an inspiration but I might do outdoors in my backyard. Thank you so much <3

  2. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Thanks, Wanda Weddings! Very sweet of you to say :)

  3. Wanda Weddings Says:

    The table settings and overall designs are astounding! There is as much care shown in this event as most people spend on their entire wedding, including wedding programs and thank you cards. The pictures are much appreciated.

  4. Mia Tea Says:

    This a perfect tea party set up. The sandwiches with different shapes are just gorgeous, everything is just perfect.

  5. Paul Says:

    Very nifty! Somehow ended up here after starting to read about cinnamon vodka infusions… The bone china pattern with the branches is great and I wouldn’t mind trying to find a plate or two with that pattern for my own vodka tasting… Who made/makes it?

    Cheers!

    PDM

  6. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Sadly, Bernadette, I have been very pokey about the Drink Me Bottle Champagne and flower ice cubes. The ice cubes are easy. First buy silicon (preferred) ice cube trays. Fill 1/2 way with distilled water, top with a flower, and freeze. It’s important to use distilled water to ensure the cubes are clear. Once the 1/2 ice cubes are frozen then top off with more distilled water and freeze your solid cubes. I do the 1/2 thing because the flowers float; this technique puts them squarely in the middle of the cubes. Pop out and serve. I will try to find some time here soon to dig up the Drink Me instructions. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Bernadette Says:

    More than a year later and I have a question for you… Do you have the instructions for the Drink Me Bottle Champagne and flower ice cubes? I am going to throw a tea party this summer and would like to use these two things as well. You can email me too. Thanks!

  8. Jenny Erb Says:

    Although it be a year late, I just found this post and loved it. I’m looking for inspiration for an Irish baby shower theme – a classy, subtle one, not a gaudy St. Patrick’s Day fiasco.

    This tea party was just the inspiration I needed! So much that I reposted it on my blog.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

    Jenny

  9. Ashley Jennings Says:

    Oh my! The details. You ladies nailed each and every detail right down to the alphabet cookies.

  10. Kathy Beymer Says:

    @Holly :: My favorite thing about the “drink me” bottles was how subversive they felt. If we would have just put out champagne our guests wouldn’t have gotten such a kick out of pouring and drinking it. Just added your super fun blog to my RSS feed…

  11. holly Says:

    you are so creative! i especially love the “drink me” bottles.

  12. Christina Says:

    This is such a cool party idea! Thank you so much for sharing, Kathy.

  13. natalie Says:

    This is absolutely adorable! How fun and neat of a party! Thanks for sharing the great ideas!

  14. Zee Says:

    What a neat idea! I love how creative and whimsical you and your friend made this party.

  15. Margaret Says:

    Wow! Debbie told me to check out this post – must have been a wonderful party. I can’t wait to borrow some ideas for my sister’s upcoming baby shower.

    Keep the great ideas coming!

  16. Heather Says:

    Sweet memories! Great Post, Kathy.


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