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We just love a Mad Hatter Party at the Moxie Sisters! Check out Jill’s party for Madeline’s 13th birthday. There are so many fantastic ideas on the internet that anyone can make this theme truly special. For our daughter’s 16th birthday, we planned a surprise party and had an overwhelmingly positive response with her friends. Teenagers (as I’m sure you know) are a tough group, too!
What Type of Mad Hatter Party Will You Choose?
First, you have to decide what kind of Mad Hatter Party you’d like to throw! We like to base that decision on the group of friends that we are inviting. Also, do you want a more traditional bright and colorful Alice in Wonderland (possibly for younger children)? Or do you want a darker, steam punk type of party similar to the Johnny Depp version of Mad Hatter? We decided to mix the two a bit for this particular age group, not to young, not too edgy (although we love them all).
I’m also a big fan of picking out a few complimentary colors. For this party I chose turquoise blue, hot pink and lime green. If you’re going for an edgier theme, maybe choose a grey, brown and black. One of our all-time favorite color schemes (color schemes! Sometimes I really can’t believe that I use words like that!) is red, black and white in honor of the Queen of Hearts.
This is where the fun begins! Get creative. Tell your guests not to be late for a very important date. Have them wear their craziest clothing and hats (I like to include a little blurb about costumes are welcome and encouraged, but not necessary!). There are some beautiful handmade invitations on Etsy. Of course, if you’re super crafty you can always make your own.
Activities for a Mad Hatter Party
How do you keep a group of teens entertained? Remember the owl in the lollipop commercial that says, “The world may never know”? Hey, guess what? We don’t either! However, this is what we tried and it seemed to work well. We really do want everyone to have a good time, so we had plenty of options!
When people arrived at the party we gave them cute, little mad hatter hats on headbands that Keana made. (Her imagination never ceases to amaze me!) She made them with small paper cups, cardboard and tissue paper. Then she added cards, feathers, shells, buttons, flowers…
Next, we set up a mirror with props for pictures. It’s a fun silly way to set the mood of a party!
In the back yard we had a croquet game going, complete with an army of oversized cards and pink flamingos. I wish we had set up a table off to the side with a chess game for more introverted types (I tend to be one…trust me, I get it. Sometimes it’s nice to have a little escape).
The Tea Party
Of course we had an actual tea party, complete with several different tea pots! One was tea, one was sparkling apple juice (they loved this).
We HAD to make small sandwiches! PB and J, people, PB and J! How funny is that? Or, if you’re a chocolate lover, Nutella! I used a butterfly cookie cutter and sprinkles to make it extra festive. They loved it!
The hit of the party was a bunch of little jars with labels that I brought to the table on an old silver platter. We put different liquids in each jar (pickle juice, fish sauce, maraschino cherry juice, olive juice, you get the idea!) Anything incredibly stinky or sweet. THEY LOVED THIS!!!!
Hands down the best part of the entire party. Before long, it turned into one kid daring another and running for the candy bar in order to get the taste out of their mouth. Super fun!
We also rented a karaoke machine that we brought out when the party died down a bit (also trying to save our neighbors and our adult ears for as long as possible). I remember thinking that it was too expensive. I’m so happy that we did it. In addition to it providing hours of entertainment, it was so loud that I was able to clean up the dishes from dinner without interrupting the party.
To finish the evening, we roasted s’mores in the fire outside.
Let’s start with the tablescape. If you can get an extra-long table with different sized chairs and armchairs for the head of the table, that would be perfect! Yay you! However, I’m a big believer in using what items you have at home. One must is a brightly colored table cloth, or even better, several. Mix it up. Playing cards tied on strings hanging from the ceiling make a huge impact.
Martha Stewart sells a cut out template to use for lanterns. They are wonderful! Using craft paper we simply cut them out and used string to attach them. We hung them over the table and around the room. They make a very whimsical addition! If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your own, you can get them here!
We used apothecary jars for brightly colored candy, too! I bought these years ago and use them every holiday and almost every birthday.
We hung white Christmas lights in the trees, attached huge red paper roses (with googly eyes) and hung lime green lanterns from them. They were beautiful at night! We also added pink flamingos. The best part were the over-sized cards. Super easy to make with cut out hearts in different shapes then we glued them to a stick.
Unlike Jill, cooking isn’t really my forte. I’m more of a grab-something-at-the-store kind of girl. But, I try to bake something each birthday for the sake of it being “homemade” because I think it makes it more special. Cupcakes are easy! I pipe the frosting on top in circles and it looks terrific on a pretty plate. I’ve also found if you put them in colorful muffin papers it helps, too (especially if you have a baking fail).
I’m a big believer that most kids really just want candy! I love candy tables.
Hope these ideas help for your next Mad Hatter Party, from my family to yours…cheers! – Laura