Planning and preparations for a fourth annual My Favorite Things Party are well underway, and the Alice in Wonderland invitation is out the door!

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The theme is chosen well in advance of the party, and reflects one or more of my favorite things. So, why an Alice in Wonderland theme you ask? Three reasons:

  1. I’ve always wanted to have a tea party, a vintage style one — like me!
  2. Did you know that the party in the story is actually an unbirthday party? This year, I have one of those ‘big’ birthdays, which also happens to fall on one of the two days I would normally schedule the annual event. It’s the perfect year for an unbirthday party — i.e. adds no more candles! Having family and friends join me to celebrate the years I have been blessed with, is the very best present I could give myself.
  3. The first year I was Queen Debbee, the second I was dubbed Queen of Theme, and last year I got my Holly Golightly on by wearing a tiara! So my reign will continue as Queen of Hearts!

I’ve had to wait to share the Alice in Wonderland invitations with you — until my guests were all in on the surprise. Come follow the White Rabbit for some show and tell on the DIY project.

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The Big Reveal

The arrival of mailed invitations is the big reveal for each year’s party theme. Until then, it’s a closely guarded secret in order to create anticipation and excitement for the annual My Favorite Things Party.

The Cheshire cat was out of the bag the minute my invitees looked at the outside of the envelope. Alice is about to follow the White Rabbit, and that’s the journey I want my guests to take by opening the envelope.

I’ve whited out actual addresses, but you can see the basic design template. I also was able to find red rose and floral Forever stamps at the post office.

Inside the envelope, invitees are greeted with a locked door, just as Alice is in the story.

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Fortunately, a special key is presented in order to unlock the Alice in Wonderland invitation and to enter. Will the Queen of Hearts be inside? Actually, an entire cast of Wonderland characters are preparing for a My Favorite Things Party.

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Let’s take a closer look at the center panel of the invitation for party details. Warning, you are about to fall down the rabbit hole (and endless bad puns are in store)!

A Rather Curious Affair

The center panel reveals that this year’s event will be an Unbirthday, vintage tea party for yours truly — aka The Queen of Hearts.

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Many of the most iconic characters and images surround the rather curious Alice in Wonderland invitation.

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The left side panel opens to reveal the White Rabbit heralding details of the My Favorite Things Party gift exchange. To learn more, see How to Host an Extraordinary My Favorite Things Party (Part I).

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This year, the per gift dollar amount was increased from $8 to $10, as requested at last year’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s Theme Brunch party. I’ve also given guests (any you!) a hint at some of the activities and games that will take place. Aren’t you curious?

It’s Going to Bee Fascinating

Do you know what a fascinator is? According to Wikipedia —

“A fascinator is a headpiece, a style of millinery. Fascinators were originally a type of lightweight knitted head-covering. Since the 1990s the term refers to a form of formal headwear worn as an alternative to the hat; it is usually a large decorative design attached to a band or clip, sometimes incorporating a base to resemble a hat...”

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I began making 18 fascinators last August (seriously, a lot of work goes into each one), and I’m absolutely dying to show them to you! But, you’ll have to wait until June to see. And yes, mine has a crown in it, and a bee, and roses, and it’s absolutely mad (we Queen of Hearts are very melodramatic)!

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Meanwhile, on the right-hand panel of the Alice in Wonderland invitation, the Queen of Hearts is issuing her own proclamations.

Off With Gift Giver Heads!

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In the strong likelihood most of my guests are reading this post, the Queen of Hearts is extremely serious about no Unbirthday gifts or birthday gifts disguised as hostess gifts. Five of you are coming in from out-of-town, some by plane and some staying in hotels. You being here is the very best gift of all!

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The Queen of Hearts wants to bestow her thanks on the 2/3rds of invitees who have already RSVP’d either they will be attending or send their regrets (sniff!). She also wants to let her two cousins know that while they will be vacationing at the beach, the party will be a little less mad without them…

Creating an Alice in Wonderland Invitation

Alice in Wonderland is a popular theme for showers, birthday parties, bat mitzvahs and even weddings! Invitations run from simple to fabulously illustrated and intricately designed. You can purchase handmade, customized invites or downloadable template files that you print yourself. And, at the end of this post, are links to several charming, readymade invitations available via Amazon.

But, I’m a maker and I wanted to create my own invitations — as I have for the previous three My Favorite Things Parties.

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Finding Inspiration

First thing I did, was comb Pinterest and Etsy for inspiration on wording, design, and layout for the Alice in Wonderland invitation. Check out Party: Alice in Wonderland Pinterest board, where I have a section devoted to invitations.

Then I set out to combine a little of this, a little of that. Plus, I needed to incorporate the Favorite Things element.

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The Alice in Wonderland invitation is by far the most complicated and time-consuming My Favorite Things Party invite I have made. It requires familiarity with desktop publishing and photo editing. I think I spent a total of 16 hours researching, designing and laying out the tri-fold card and envelope. Plus, another day printing out, addressing, folding and assembling them. It was a lot of work — frustrating at times — but the results are worth it. What do you think?

In case you’re still game to try, or just curious, here’s how I created the Alice in Wonderland invitation.

Resources & Materials

  • Hardware: HP laptop computer & printer
  • Desktop publishing software: Microsoft Publisher (usually included as part of Microsoft Office)
  • Photo editing software: PicMonkey (I use this for editing blog photos)
  • Imagery: Google search for copyright free, open domain
  • Fonts: Beyond Wonderland & Alice in Wonderland
  • Paper: regular white cardstock, 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets (Michael’s), printed on both sides, trimmed & folded
  • Envelopes: A7 size (5.2 x 7.2 inches) (Joann Fabrics)
  • Mini Keys: sets of 4 or 6 (Hobby Lobby & Michael’s)
  • Ribbon: actually embroidery thread (Michael’s)

Templates

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The basic template for the Alice in Wonderland invitation had two self-imposed restrictions:

  1. When folded, finished card fit in standard-sized envelope (no extra postage by size or weight)
  2. Ability to print using standard sheet size of paper (8 1/2 by 11 inches)

It took some trial and error (and some spatial advice from my husband the engineer), along with creating a few mockups to get the sizing right. In the end, the card layout in Publisher was 7 by 10 inches. The center panel is 5 inches wide, each panel is 2 1/2 inches.

Design

I created the center interior panel design in PicMonkey, before inserting it into the Publisher template. Originally, I used all color versions of the vintage graphics, but decided it looked like it could induce a migraine! In the end, I only used the main tea party image in color.

A note on graphics — only the vintage graphics are available copyright free, Disney images are not!

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In Publisher, I framed the panel with a black and white, checkered edge. I also created the layout and template for the two end panels, front side of the invitation, and envelope.

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It was tricky, and required numerous tries to get the positioning of the two keyholes right, so that when the page was trimmed and folded, the lock overlapped properly. Drove me a little mad working it out…

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Print, Cut & Fold

Two separate files were used for the exterior and interior sides of the Alice in Wonderland invitation. I printed out one side at a time, letting the sheets dry for an hour before printing the second side — to avoid any smearing of ink.

Then, I trimmed 1 1/2 inches off the top of each sheet.

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Another 7/8ths inch was trimmed off the White Rabbit panel edge, so that when folded, the key hole would overlap ever so slightly.

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After that it was a matter of folding, and tying the key around the Alice in Wonderland invitation. Please note: you must use a very small, flat key or the envelope will be too thick and require over $3.00 in postage, per card!

If you’d like the invitations adapted for your own Alice in Wonderland affair, but are unable or not interested in making them yourself, contact me. Now that I have the templates created, I could customize them to fit your needs.

Follow the White Rabbit to Debbee’s Buzz

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I hope you’ll continue to follow me and the White Rabbit as I reveal more party details in the weeks and months ahead.

Update: Since I originally published this post the Unbirthday Party has taken place! Follow the White Rabbit to:

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I’m also sharing more details on the three previous My Favorite Things Parties, including invitations, decorations, food, tablescapes, games, favors, gifts and prizes — with behind the scenes DIY instructions on projects. Learn How to Host an Extraordinary My Favorite Things Party.

Or, check out previous My Favorite Things Party features on Between Naps on the Porch, including A Breakfast at Tiffany’s Brunch Event, and You’re Invited to a French Queen Bee Theme Party.

Have you ever attended an Alice in Wonderland theme party? If so, please share!

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I regularly participate in: Metamorphous Monday, Share Your Style, Tablescape Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Saturday Sparks, Happiness is Homemade, and Love Your Creativity.

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