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DetailsBecause of their Eurasian heritage (or more so our love for yum cha) we decided on an Oriental Yum Cha theme. I custom designed the invitations for them with bamboo weaves as the background and dumplings in bamboo steamers.
We used a variation of shapes and sizes of red and white paper lanterns which we hung from the ceiling. We converted our dining table as the main food and dessert table and lined it with a khaki bed sheet (yes we did!) which was purchased from Target for about $15. I converted our IKEA timber bookshelf into a ‘goody shelf’ filled with treats, bamboo cutlery’s and take home favors. I purchased some super cute mini chinese lanterns during a recent trip to Malaysia and used that to decorate the party room (aka our dining room), the goody shelf and our ‘skype booth’. I also purchased gold old-style ‘money’ in various sizes to use as decoration for the main food table. Some were plastic and some were real chocolates (sorry for the confusion kids!)
We got some plastic red oriental flowers to use as a backdrop to the food table and since I already have quite the collection of chinese tea tins, I filled them with fresh flowers and used it as vases. I also used it to place all the bamboo chopsticks and another one to hold colour pencils for the colouring station. The tea tins added such a lovely depth of patterns and colors to the red/white/brown theme of the day. Another object I used in place of a vase was chinese tea pots. I do love my flowers in teapots- a bit of character, a little history- why not hey! I made custom designed the buntings to look like chinese lanterns and also made a mini version of it to attach with the birthday cake.
One of my favourite touch to the food table has to be my collection of miniature chinese tea cups. I wanted to serve the guests to have chinese tea in real tea cups but didn’t have enough tea cups of the same sort and thought my eclectic version could work together quite well. I especially love the varying heights and sizes- adding layers to the table.
We had some fun with the ‘goody shelf’ with some ‘happy juice’ for the blokes (tsing tao’s of course!). I roped my sister into helping me fold an entire jar of origami fortune cookies with personalised messages for the guests to have a bit of fun with. I printed the oriental patterns I used for the party and followed the DIY to assembling it found here (http://www.oncewed.com/7578/diy-wedding/favors/diy-fortune-cookie-favors/)
I also made chopstick sleeves using the patterned sheets and have them ready as a printable file complete with instructions now in my shop. Easy peasy! Another DIY which I did was making money bags (wontons) out of kraft paper. We filled it with gold coin chocolates and tied it with thick offwhite coloured twine.
We placed the party favors on the goody shelf as well. The packaged a variety of gold old-styled money and gold coins (all edible) in red organza bags with gold oriental prints. I made chinese scrolls in place of thank you tags attaching circular balsa wood to either ends of the note, rolling both ends together towards the middle and securing it with more twine. I used chinese characters where possible with english translation to really carry through that oriental flavour across the party.
When my parents told me how disappointed they will be to miss out on their grandsons first birthdays, I decided to create a ‘Skype Booth’ so that they could join in the party from overseas as well! That sure was a lot of fun! I decorated an old gold frame we had lying about the house with the red chinese lanterns and created a ‘Skype Booth’ scroll to go with it.
Some other details would be a little colouring section which we set out for the older children. I drew out 2 little dumpling men (supposedly Hamish & Luca) colouring sheet with the words “I LOVE DUMPLINGS” which kept the older children occupied whilst their mums and dad got to enjoy a bit more of the real dumplings.
Lastly, I turned out laundry trolley into a gift basket trolley where guests could place their gifts in. (It was a small trade off as my husband didn't allow me to hire a real food trolley-the ones you would find in chinese restaurants). What’s more fun is dressing the wheels of the trolley with the patterned sheet and turning cupcake holders inside out as a floral touch in the middle of the wheels.. Whee!