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High tea birthday party on a budget

high tea party on a budget

My eldest daughter turned 6 last year and asked for a high tea with a few of her friends from school. While this sounds like a super cute idea, we didn’t want to spend 100s and 100s of dollars on her party. So, we set out to turn this high tea party into a super memorable one for her… without breaking the bank. So here’s how we had a high tea birthday party on a budget.

1. Invitations that Spark Excitement

We created anticipation for the celebration by sending out charming invitations. I designed these ones up in Canva and then just printed them on my home printer. Don’t forget to include all the essential details like the date, time, location, and any special dress code or instructions that will add to the party’s magic.

2. Tea cups and party favours

I have quite a few fine china cups at home that I inherited from both my Grandmothers. No way did I want to use these for a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds though, so I had to come up with another savvy way to make this work. I started browsing the op shops in Dunedin and found that a set of a cup and saucer was about $3.50 each. This was a little more than I had intended to spend, so I kept looking.

I got a little lucky when I stumbled across a box of 40 cups and saucers for $10! FORTY! Okay, this was a little more than I needed, but WOW, I couldn’t pass up this bargain. They were only ceramic ones, but they were painted with a cute floral design which totally tied into my theme. The girls would never know the difference either, so I very quickly snapped up that box. I only ended up using 10 of them for the party, so I gave a few away to a friend and some more to my daughter’s kindy. The others are now stashed away in the garage for when I might need them again.

Those tea cups were such a score that I decided to use them as my party favours for the guests to take home. I went one step further and used my cricut to cut vinyl to personalise their names on them. The girls absolutely adored this!

2. DIY cake

I’m no cake decorator by any means, but I’ve always made my own kids birthday cakes. Each year I gain a little more knowledge on cake decorating and am slowly able to put those skills to practice. Doing the cake yourself is such a money saver.

To fit in with the high tea theme, I attempted to make a lambeth style cake. This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but it was a fun challenge and I learnt a lot. I absolutely adore the colours that my daughter chose. I finished the cake off with a handmade cake topper.

3. Scrumptious Treats (Cucumber sandwiches anyone?)

The highlight of any tea party is, of course, the delectable treats and it’s not a high tea without cucumber sandwiches. I simply cut the crusts off some bread (which I saved to turn into breadcrumbs later to avoid waste). I then mixed together cream cheese, mayo, dill and lemon juice and spread that over each piece of bread before topping with the cucumber and another piece of bread. Every single sandwich disappeared very quickly! I call that a win when I can feed children vegetables with zero effort at a birthday party.

I also spruced up some wafer biscuits to give them a little wow factor. Wafer biscuits cost $1.50 in NZ and I semi-dipped them in a pink white chocolate ganache and topped with some sprinkles. They definitely looked the part of a children’s high tea.

We served child-friendly tea (AKA warm Ribena) in cute little teapots. To avoid spillage, my husband and I poured each cup of tea.

4. Cupcake Decorating activity/party favours

During the party we also took time to do cupcake decorating. This was a hit! I had made a few different colours of buttercream in advance and they happily added sprinkles and decorations. I made some fun little teapot cupcake toppers to finish them off with. The girls placed their finished masterpieces inside their personalised cups at the end of the party and were able to take these home as a fun keepsake. I know some girls are still using their teacups 6 months on!

5. Tea Party Games

We then tried to engage the young guests with interactive activities that tied into the theme. Pass the parcel is one of my least favourite party games, so I wasn’t keen on incorporating that. But we did have a game of “Pin the lid on the teapot”. I printed out a large teapot on an A3 piece of paper and then printed out some matching teapot lids. I just used my own template, but I’ve seen posters and downloads on Etsy if you wanted a little shortcut.

We finished off with a game of “Freeze” to the “I’m a little teapot” song. Kids love this game as it just ends up being a dance party, so we played this for quite some time.

My 6 year old had an absolute blast and loved how we themed her high tea party to make it that little bit extra special.

Hope that helps as you plan your next high tea birthday party on a budget.