For my daughters first birthday party, I was inspired by a pin that I saw that said “Alice in ONEderland” and was so excited that I was on the ball enough to start planning the theme plenty in advance to make some props and crafts. The party was to be held 2000 miles away from us though, and we would be travelling by plane. So any craft had to be carefully planned as to what I could purchase/make here, and what had to be done there.
First of all, I purchased costumes on eBay. My husband was the Mad Hatter, I was the Queen of Hearts, and my daughter was Alice of course. Her costume was difficult to find, and I did not have the time to sew one myself. They don’t sell too many Alice costumes in 12 month sizes, and the ones they do, are not very nice. I finally found ONE on eBay and had to stalk the site for 6 days to make sure I didn’t get outbid. I won it for $6 total! It did need some cleaning, starching, and a few repairs, but I got it! Our costumes were from the Johnny Depp version of Alice in Wonderland movie, but only because they looked great, and they are for sale everywhere. I am so happy we went all the way to paint our faces too. It added so much to the costume.
I encouraged guests to dress a part of the movie. Most did not dress up, but of course after they got to the party, and saw us with our faces painted and fully costumed, they had their regrets! Luckily I had some props for them!
I ended up piecing together lo-res Alice in Wonderland graphics and recreating this invitation with Photoshop.
I wanted Large Stand up Card Soldiers around the yard which I had seen some great ones on Pinterest. I bought red bristol board to cut out the hearts. I printed out large serif numbers to make stencils to trace onto the red bristol board for the numbers. It was a task to get the scale right, but I eventually got it right! The faces were made of different size hearts. The soldiers needed to be stiff enough to stand up, so I used white foam board. I used thick metal BBQ skewers taped to the back on the foam board so I could stake them into the dirt. The feet were folded hearts.
I placed three guards on the walkway to the door. These ended up being one of my favorite decorations of the party.
I made one of my custom printable banners in Photoshop to make a Happy Birthday banner. I printed it onto cardstock, cut it out and strung it onto organza ribbon.
CAKE TOPPERS & TABLESCAPE
I could not find good enough resolution graphics online, so I ended up endlessly working in photoshop to recreate Alice in Wonderland graphics. I took screenshots from the movie I watched on my computer, and colouring books, then retraced the graphics into photoshop, and painfully repainted each and every colour. I ended up with full scaleable files vector files from the exact scenes I wanted. For the Cake Toppers, I printed 2 copies of each individual character onto cardstock, cut them out in a circle and glued each side to a bamboo skewer. These ended up as my two sided cake toppers.
I had other table décor characters which I printed on cardstock, cut out, and glued a traingle paper stand to the back of them so they could stand up on the table.
I made party hats with a hat pattern I found online. I printed off digital scrapbook paper in fun Alice in Wonderland type crazy patterns onto thick cardstock. Each hat can be printed on a 8.5″ x 11″ page. I cut them out and glued them into a cone shape. I also printed onto cardstock a character, and used crepe paper to make a circular ruffle, and glued that onto the front of the hat. I glued a pompom to the top. For the bottom edge, I sewed/baste stitched down the centre of a long strip of crepe streamer paper. I then gathered it into a ruffle. I folded the strip lengthwise in half. At this point the thread should be on one edge of the folded strip, and I hot glued that onto the bottom of the hat. I then took elastic thread and glued it to the hat for a chin strap to hold it on one’s head.
PHOTO OP BOARD
I wanted to have a Photo Op Board, where the faces of the characters were missing, and guests could put their face into the hole. This was a blast of fun taking photos of each guest in the Photo Op Board! A huge hit at the party!
Getting a graphic to be printed in huge format and high resolution was impossible! So I ended up watching the whole movie carefully picking any scene that had 2-3 characters together, their faces roughly the same size, had a good background scene and all of them looking forward towards the camera! I ended up taking a screenshot of the movie at the exact ONE frame that had those criteria! I then retraced out the lines into a vector format, and repainted each and every colour similar to the movie colours. This took forever, but I now have a scaleable graphic scene of the movie. I bought 6 foam boards. I taped them together into one huge board with thick masking tape making sure that they were firmly tight together. I divided my HUGE graphic into 10 clips, and I printed my graphic at a professional printing place on 10 11″x17″ colour laser printed pages. I then spray glued each page onto the giant foam board. Please note, this huge printing size was necessary because I had to make sure that a human size face could fit into the cut out animated face. Measuring and calculating that was a pain too!
I finished it off with taping a plastic tablecloth to the bottom of the graphic to hide their legs. I then strung it up where the faces where at standing level, and I could take photos of them, which ended up being on our front porch. I took photos of every guest and sent the pictures to them as a thank you keepsake from the party.
This project was a lot of work (mostly work for the scene selection and photo editing) but totally worth it for all the laughs and excitement it created at the party! I will be selling the graphics I designed if you would like to have an Alice in Wonderland Party too. Email me to inquire.
I love my parents house. After living there for 60 years, there is always some junk that will create a great craft project if you look hard enough. THIS next project was thought of and completed by my husband!!! He was so excited to help out with decorations after he saw some of my projects coming together. He found some old wood in the garage, and painted these signs. He also did all the work with getting my giant Tea Party graphic printed too. These turned out fantastic as we nailed these to a tree at the bottom of the driveway. All the neighbors walking along the street had a blast peeking in on our party and instantly knew it was an Alice In Wonderland party!
It really made for some nice portraits of us.
Speaking of finding stuff in that house, I ended up finding an old 1909 antique book in our basement library of Alice in Wonderland!!! What a find!!
For my flower arrangement, I purchased a red and white rose bouquet that was available from Costco. I thought it totally suited the “Painting the Roses Red” theme!
We had both the classic Disney Alice in Wonderland movie and the new Johnny Depp Alice in Wonderland movie playing on tvs in the house during the party for the people who had not seen the movies.
I ordered antique style Alice in Wonderland playing cards on eBay. When they arrived, they were much smaller than I had thought. I ended up scanning them, and reprinting them at proper playing card size. I then cut them out and scattered them on the buffet table.
My sister had found a few Alice in Wonderland style teapots at a garage sale. They really added some nice flair to the tablescape.
I had an old set of playing cards that I took all the “hearts” cards from, and paperhole punched the tops to run a red organza ribbon through to make a hanging garland at the front door.
I had some quotes from the movie printed on random printed signs around the house.
Ideas that I had, but vetoed (as time and costs were getting over my budget) were purchasing 10 plastic pink flamingoes on eBay to place in the front lawn.
Now that you see all the crafting I did for the party, I was so thankful that I had my mother prepare ALL the food for the party. The food almost never crossed my mind except to tell her make tea party style foods! Cooking is not my favorite thing to do, crafting is obviously! Thanks mom!
I had sooo much fun organizing and dreaming up crafts for this party theme! We got lots of photographs for my daughter to remember her first birthday. Next year is going to be hard to top this!