PARTY ELEMENTS THAT INSPIRE:
- Yarn Pom-Pom Topiary Cupcakes and mini yarn pom pom garland cake topper.
- Paper Crafted rosettes, gift tags, flowers, banners and vase wraps with stamped details.
- Fresh florals, forced bulbs, potted flowers and garden bulbs.
- Birdcage elements used throughout the overall design.
This shoot has to be one of my favorites to date. I came up with the concept when trying to figure out how to use spring items for a shoot that was going to take place in the dead of winter. After surveying what was available in my party stash, lots of baskets, bins, floral moss, and a random faux terrarium that I found at a thrift shop, I decided an English garden inspired theme would be perfect. I was trying to lean a bit on the Victorian side of design, as best as I could and incorporated lots of birds, birdcages and topiaries,
I used a lot of my paper crafting skills to create various decorative items like small rosettes, paper flowers and gift tags. I also wanted to use vintage seed packets, but couldn't find any, so I grabbed a few packets from Home Depot and aged them with ink. I love the color green and I happened to have a lot of green scrapbook paper on hand and knew that it would come in handy one day. I also wanted to incorporate white and earthy browns into the color scheme so, I used burlap, some woven grass baskets, wooden crates and some spring bulbs that I had stashed away in my basement.
For the main dining table, I used a very good quality gift wrapping paper to cover the table, the runner is a simple cut of oversized burlap ribbon. One item that I initially didn't have on hand, but I really wanted for the table set up, were white birds. I ended up making a few using white spray paint and ceramic birds from the dollar store but they were really not what I wanted. Well, there's nothing like manifesting what you want, the same week of my shoot, I was at Michaels and found the most adorable white ceramic birds and white bird cages....they cost under $12 total! I love a good party stash deal!
I added the birds and the birdcages along the center of the table with forced bulbs that I found in the floral section of my grocery store (another awesome score)! I also wanted to use vintage seed packets, but couldn't find any to match my color scheme, so I grabbed a few herb seed packets from Home Depot and aged them with ink. I placed a packet at each place setting to serve as 'place cards' and a lovely take home gift.
For parting gifts - I love making altered paper bags; it really creates a personalized custom item that you can send your guests home with. So, for my 'guests' I added decorated bags to each place setting. I created the gift tags on the bags using my Cricut machine and just stamped some images onto them and added the cutest bird charms (another Michael's find) to them. I also made paper flowers to finish the look of the bags and attached them with clothespins that had a stamped sentiment. I took pictures of how I made the flowers and will get a tutorial posted int he next week or so - you're not going to believe how easy they are to make.
I styled a dessert table using store-bought items from the grocery bakery and presented them on pretty stands and platters. I also baked chocolate cupcakes and placed them into mini terracotta pots, then topped each one with a small green yarn pom pom to look like a topiary. A few sticks of rock candy were embellished with a stamped flag and placed in a glass apothecary jar.
My overall goal in setting up the dessert table was to create as many handmade items as I could using supplies I had on hand. I created topiaries using floral moss, styrofoam balls and branches that I spray painted brown (fyi branches cut from trees in the winter look dead......very dead) and anchored them in aluminum tins. Each one was decorated with a small hand crafted and stamped banner. I also created a Spring mini garland on my Cricut machine, that I hung across a birdcage wall decoration that I found on clearance a few days before my shoot! I added a few tissue paper tassels and rosettes to finish the look. For my backdrop, I created a banner that I made, once again, using my Cricut machine. One other fun project was created twine eggs. I grabbed a handful of plastic Easter eggs and wrapped them with jute twine and placed them in a fancy jar with floral moss. Since these were items I already had on hand, this project cost me absolutely nothing.
As tables go, there was an empty space under the table. I really wanted to utilize that area so, I created a vignette under it with wooden crates, bulbs, baskets and garden tools. My sweet cousin let me use an antique bird cage she owns to add to the decor. I placed a potted primrose plant inside of it with one of my upcycled birds. This area just made me happy and I love how it came together.
Like I said earlier, this is one of my favorite shoots and the idea of a gathering like this is perfect for a small group of girlfriends, a book club or even a tea party for little ladies. I hope you were inspired by something you saw here! HAPPY SPRING!