A Sense and Sensibility Inspired Tea Party
My favorite author, Jane Austen, has once again inspired me to create a novel-themed tea party. I’m not sure yet if I’ll design a tea party around each of her novels, but I’ve enjoyed designing parties for my favorites. A Sense and Sensibility inspired tea party provides so many ideas to create a beautiful and whimsical scene and menu, but most importantly is the DIY craft. Marianne Dashwood is the musician, while Elinor is the artist. She’s a humble artist and seems to create for the mere enjoyment of it, and that’s one of the things I love about this character. Before the decor, menu, or invitations were designed, I knew I wanted to do a watercolor craft at this tea party.
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My friends were absolute naturals at watercolor painting! I was so impressed and in awe at their lovely paintings. If I could paint like that, I’d probably do little else.
A Sense and Sensibility Inspired Tea Party – Decor
As with many of Austen’s novels, nature is often a focus whether it be discussed on walks, admired from a window, or just the scene that is set. I wanted to decorate the tea party in a way that brought a bit of nature inside for a whimsical feel, and to highlight the use of wildflowers and plant life in Austen’s works. I used decor that I already owned as well as creating a natural frame made from fallen branches and dried flowers from the recently passed summer season. Repurposing my branches again, they framed the entrance into this party space. One of the central themes in Sense and Sensibility is the Dashwood’s financial situation due to the passing of their father and law of heirs. You may notice some darker colors from the tablecloth to the attendees’ apparel to give a sense of mourning and grief. The dark rich colors also offset the gentle colors of plant life throughout the room. Some of the inspiration for the party design is interpreted in subtle ways, but it’s those details that I enjoy the most.
I repurposed the book page table runner from my first Jane Austen tea party by cutting it in half to create two runners/place settings. The moss place setting was a treasure found at 417 Vintage Marketplace in Branson, Missouri. And while I love copper accents, these mugs get super-hot when filled with hot tea – beware~
Yes, all of these plants are fake, but don’t they just scream English garden living. I love redecorating and styling with stuff I’ve had for years to give it a new look. The only new piece in this set up are the antlers and they were purchased for my bedroom design, not for this party. If you can clear out your party room and then shop your home to intentionally add back items that fit within your theme, it’s like giving your decor new life and these details can add so much to your party space.
This dining chair decoration was repurposed from the book page chandeliers used in my first Jane Austen tea party. When created for the first tea party, I really wanted them to be huge, but they were time consuming, and I wasn’t sure they would look good too large. So, I settled on creating several smaller ones and hung them from the ceiling. I’m so glad I made them this size, but they worked perfectly on the backs of the chairs. I added a book cover and some ribbon, and the effect was just so sweet.
This ruffly paper garland was easily created using coffee filters, $2 worth to be exact. I tinted them with tea, spray painted the edges with gold, and then pinched them into these paper flowers. Some baking twine and a stapler was all I needed to finish the pretty little strings. This garland was then repurposed for my Christmas tree, and it is currently in some large paper Mache bowls as a filler.
Each place setting is another opportunity to personalize and create details. This place card is a layer of vellum paper with the names printed in a pretty font, placed over a piece of watercolor paper that I did a quick watercolor ombre technique to. The napkin is a hand embroidered vintage handkerchief. Don’t worry, I washed them by hand, very thoroughly.
A Sense and Sensibility Inspired Tea Party – Invitation
Party invitations are one of my favorite things to design. And since I only needed to create a few invitations, it opened up a world of possibilities to create something beautiful and unique. In keeping with the watercolor idea, I found a beautiful graphic on Canva.com and then created my invites. In Canva, you can create the size of your document, upload your own graphics, photos, and fonts – or use the ones included. Once my invitations were printed on a thin cardstock, I began the process of decoupaging the paper to a small canvas. With the Modge Podge dry, I then added some gold leaf accents to the top and bottom of the canvas. There is something mildly addicting to gold leafing. I love that it shouldn’t be perfect, and each creation is unique. The final canvas was then set upon a small wooden easel. I just love how cute they turned out. I placed the entire creation into a small paper bag and closed it with a ribbon.
A Sense and Sensibility Inspired Tea Party – The menu
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I love brunch menus, so for this tea party, mini brunch items were the perfect combination. For the Sense and Sensibility inspired tea party, I served mini breakfast casserole, mini garlic ranch smashed potatoes, caprese tomato bites, and muffin tin monkey bread. The menu was absolutely delicious, and each recipe was so easy to make. Here are the recipes that created my menu:
- Breakfast casserole
- Caprese tomato bites (herb cheese spread stuffed inside grape tomatoes with balsamic drizzle)
A Sense and Sensibility Inspired Tea Party
A Sense and Sensibility inspired tea party was such a highlight for me, and a wonderfully good time spent with friends. I hope this tea party inspires and encourages you with your own party planning. Designing parties has been great fun and I completely enjoy spending quality time with great friends – what more of an excuse does one need? I’d love to know what you think or if you have questions, please feel free to leave me a comment below.