Red Wine & Glue Sticks

A Wellie Wishers Inspired Tea Party

Beth Pacyk2 Comments

Did anyone hear there was a royal wedding yesterday? Well it just so happens that it was (equally importantly) Maddie's sixth birthday party as well. She chose a Wellie Wishers themed tea party and started planning it pretty much the day after her fifth birthday party. I was terrified to agree to a party at home; traditionally we've gone to plays with a very small group of friends, but I finally agreed if she promised to keep it to six friends. 

 The happy birthday girl!

The happy birthday girl!

Have you heard of the Wellie Wishers? They are a very sweet American Girl collection focused on friendship and nature. We've been enjoying reading the books and Maddie has acquired almost the full set of dolls thanks to saving her pennies and generous family gifts. When she requested a Wellie Wishers themed tea party, I knew it had to be in the garden and include crafts, dress up, and nature play. We had the benefit of time as she started discussing her ideal party a full year ago, allowing us to pick up pieces we thought would work with the theme as we found good deals. Even so, the bulk of the planning took place in the past month. I love taking a theme and running with it and this was a fun one to pull off! 

 The invitation set the tone for the party. We designed this invitation then printed and mailed it to the party guests. Who doesn't love receiving fun mail? 

The invitation set the tone for the party. We designed this invitation then printed and mailed it to the party guests. Who doesn't love receiving fun mail? 

Maddie had the idea of stations set up throughout the yard, so we discussed different activities that could take place at each one and realized we ended up with five — the same number of Wellie Wishers! We named each station after one of the dolls — Camille's Painted Birdhouses, Kendall's Flower Crowns, Willa's Tea Party, Ashlyn's Bingo Game, and Emerson's Dress Up Parade. As party guests arrived, they played in the playhouse and colored these wellie printables available as a free download from American Girl. 

  These free printables available on the American Girl website provided the perfect activity while we waited for all party guests to arrive.

 These free printables available on the American Girl website provided the perfect activity while we waited for all party guests to arrive.

We found inexpensive birdhouses at Michaels and purchased an acrylic paint (fast-drying and washable!) color to represent each doll. The party was two hours long, so we hit this station first,  giving the birdhouses time to dry before going home. 

 We named this station "Camille's Painted Birdhouses." Each guest had a birdhouse to paint, a paint palette and a brush at the ready. 

We named this station "Camille's Painted Birdhouses." Each guest had a birdhouse to paint, a paint palette and a brush at the ready. 

 I think the success of a themed party is all in the details. It cost only my time to create these paint labels naming each color after a Wellie Wishers character.

I think the success of a themed party is all in the details. It cost only my time to create these paint labels naming each color after a Wellie Wishers character.

Next the girls moved to the flower crown station. We used kits made by American Girl that had all the materials for each child to make a flower crown for herself and the doll. This activity required a bit of parent participation, but they got the hang of it fairly quickly. Most girls decided to not make the flower crown as full as the box directions suggested, so we had lots of leftover materials (you would need to pick up some extra elastic if you want to stretch the kit materials out).

 We used a boxed kit from American Girl for Kendall's Flower Crowns station. Each guest made one for herself and one for her doll. The wood rounds were purchased back in January at Kitchen Kaboodle - they were Christmas decorations available at a steep discount. We intended for them to be used as chargers on the tea party table, but both the birthday girl and I decided they didn't look right. They made charming workspaces for flower crown construction instead. 

We used a boxed kit from American Girl for Kendall's Flower Crowns station. Each guest made one for herself and one for her doll. The wood rounds were purchased back in January at Kitchen Kaboodle - they were Christmas decorations available at a steep discount. We intended for them to be used as chargers on the tea party table, but both the birthday girl and I decided they didn't look right. They made charming workspaces for flower crown construction instead. 

 I cut and pasted the directions onto cardstock that matched the other party signs. This is the only sign we didn't frame so it could be easily passed around the table. Flower crown materials were lined up in small Ikea buckets. 

I cut and pasted the directions onto cardstock that matched the other party signs. This is the only sign we didn't frame so it could be easily passed around the table. Flower crown materials were lined up in small Ikea buckets. 

The tea party! Undoubtedly the cutest and sweetest part of the whole party, and looking over the photos melt my heart. We found this mismatched floral china at the resale shop connected to our local library. They happened to be having an amazing sale the week we wandered in so we scored all the tea cups, saucers, platter, and tea pot for $15!! The floral plate set and tablecloth were Goodwill finds - we had a lucky scavenger day! We picked up two dozen pink roses from Costco and displayed them in a cheery yellow watering can we already had on hand.

 We were fortunate to find these tea cups and saucer sets at a local resale shop. The plates and tablecloth were found at Goodwill and napkins were leftover from a vintage chic baby shower I had thrown over a year ago. 

We were fortunate to find these tea cups and saucer sets at a local resale shop. The plates and tablecloth were found at Goodwill and napkins were leftover from a vintage chic baby shower I had thrown over a year ago. 

The girls were adorable snacking and sipping tea with fine china. A flower cookie cutter made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches fancy and we snuck in some vegetables before the cupcakes came out. We held a family tea tasting party the week before the party and my kids decided on Trader Joe's Berries and Cherries herbal tea which I brewed extra strong for flavor before refrigerating.

 A flower cookie cutter made ordinary peanut butter and jelly sandwiches fancy and guests enjoyed Trader Joe’s Berries & Cherries tea.

A flower cookie cutter made ordinary peanut butter and jelly sandwiches fancy and guests enjoyed Trader Joe’s Berries & Cherries tea.

After lunch the girls moved over to the lounge area for a wild game of bingo. I created these bingo cards using a free bingo generator I found online (I unfortunately can't remember which one I used but there are a bunch available) and different Wellie Wisher images. The girls had so much fun they played quite a few games and I was unprepared by not having extra bingo cards at the ready! The game gave me enough time to clear the food off the table and wipe down the platter to display the cupcakes. Now we were ready for the yummiest part!

 I created this Wellie Wisher themed bingo card using a bingo card generator found online.

I created this Wellie Wisher themed bingo card using a bingo card generator found online.

A local market provided the cupcakes and the birthday girl picked out lemon cake with white buttercream frosting, sprinkles, and these cute butterfly toppers which were actually rings. Maddie really wanted to include a wishing ceremony — her idea was to have each chid write a wish and bury it with flower seeds in a pot full of dirt. When the flower bloomed, the wish would come true! As adorable as this ceremony sounded, I reminded her that candles burn quickly and kindergarteners don't tend to write fast. We decided instead to ask each guest to make two wishes in her heart, one for herself and one for Maddie, before the candle was blown out. 

 The birthday girl requested a wishing cermeony in which each guest made two wishes in her heart - one for herself and one for the birthday girl before the candle was blown out. 

The birthday girl requested a wishing cermeony in which each guest made two wishes in her heart - one for herself and one for the birthday girl before the candle was blown out. 

Once everyone was full of sugar it was time to run it off! We placed a bunch of dress up clothes in a basket next to our Wellie Wishers tent and the party guests changed before parading through the yard. They kept swapping costumes and creating games — many of the party guests commented that this was their favorite part of the party! 

 The birthday girl received this Wellie Wisher tent (that doubles as a theater on the back side!) as a Christmas gift. We repurposed her laundry basket to old dress up clothes - everything from butterfly wings to a pirate costume were found inside for pretend play and a parade. 

The birthday girl received this Wellie Wisher tent (that doubles as a theater on the back side!) as a Christmas gift. We repurposed her laundry basket to old dress up clothes - everything from butterfly wings to a pirate costume were found inside for pretend play and a parade. 

On their way out the door, each guest was given this American Girl goody bag that included a doll balloon, doll shirt, stickers and a party journal. We also added one of Maddie's favorite Wellie Wisher books, "The Riddle of the Robin."

 The party was held in the back yard, but party guests entered and exited through the front door where the Wellie Wishers garden party rules sign and goody bags were stationed.

The party was held in the back yard, but party guests entered and exited through the front door where the Wellie Wishers garden party rules sign and goody bags were stationed.

We all had fun and my favorite part is when Maddie threw her arms around my neck and thanked me for throwing her this party! It was a perfect Wellie Wisher day - full of friendship, laughter and fun! 

 Yard set up from tea table looking on. The Maddie's Clubhouse sign was a nod to the birthday invitation. I painted it a few days before the party after finding the plank sign deeply discounted at Michael's. It is now hanging on the door to her room. 

Yard set up from tea table looking on. The Maddie's Clubhouse sign was a nod to the birthday invitation. I painted it a few days before the party after finding the plank sign deeply discounted at Michael's. It is now hanging on the door to her room. 

 Our backyard isn't very large, but we had ample space for the five stations and plenty of room to move about. The banner in the trees is made of felt and was made by me for Maddie's first birthday party. I loved that it got some use again! 

Our backyard isn't very large, but we had ample space for the five stations and plenty of room to move about. The banner in the trees is made of felt and was made by me for Maddie's first birthday party. I loved that it got some use again! 

 I purposely set the painting station far away from the others in case of a paint catastrophe. The adorable scalloped edge tablecloth is made of thick paper and was found on clearance at Target. 

I purposely set the painting station far away from the others in case of a paint catastrophe. The adorable scalloped edge tablecloth is made of thick paper and was found on clearance at Target. 

 This playhouse and chairs are always in our back yard, but new flowers and the painted planked sign made it feel a part of the party's whimsey. 

This playhouse and chairs are always in our back yard, but new flowers and the painted planked sign made it feel a part of the party's whimsey. 

 Party guests painted birdhouses at the first activity station.

Party guests painted birdhouses at the first activity station.

 The flower crown kits available from American Girl required some adult assistance to get started, but then the girls were able to complete the craft on their own.

The flower crown kits available from American Girl required some adult assistance to get started, but then the girls were able to complete the craft on their own.

 The kits include enough materials to make two flower crown for each girl - one for herself and one for her doll.  

The kits include enough materials to make two flower crown for each girl - one for herself and one for her doll.  

 It was my pleasure to serve this sweet group of girls! 

It was my pleasure to serve this sweet group of girls! 

 Look at that pinky finger!  

Look at that pinky finger!  

 I used a plank sign found deeply discounted at Michaels and Sharpie markers to create this sign the day before the party.

I used a plank sign found deeply discounted at Michaels and Sharpie markers to create this sign the day before the party.

 These goody bags are available in the American Girl online shop - they included a doll balloon, doll shirt, party journal, and stickers.

These goody bags are available in the American Girl online shop - they included a doll balloon, doll shirt, party journal, and stickers.

 As a grown up, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of the party and lose sight of who the party is for. This little one collaborated all throughout the party planning process, even providing me a map of the backyard for station locations! 

As a grown up, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of the party and lose sight of who the party is for. This little one collaborated all throughout the party planning process, even providing me a map of the backyard for station locations! 

Are you planning a Wellie Wisher themed party? I'd love to hear about it! 

XO,
Beth

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