Today, I’m going to show you how to make an Alice in Wonderland cards and teapot centerpiece.
During Alice’s trial at the end of the story, the Queen pronounces, “Off with her head!” Alice responds, “Who cares for you? You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”
At that, an entire pack of cards rises into the air, and comes flying down and all around. Alice then awakens to find her head in her sister’s lap, who is brushing dead leaves from her face.
The Alice in Wonderland, Unbirthday Party project was inspired by this scene and a pin found on Pinterest.
But, no matter how much I clicked and searched online, I couldn’t find a how-to or tutorial on creating a cards and teapot centerpiece. So, with a little trial and error, I came up with my own method.
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Teapot Centerpiece Supplies
The rose motif teapot (coffeepot?) came in a box of vintage china (Goodwill). It serves as the base of the cards and teapot centerpiece.
Alice in Wonderland Table Party Favors were created using the bulk of the teacups and saucers. More tea cups hung from the chandelier overhead.
Initially, I thought it would be easy to find vintage-style teapots at resale shops; perhaps with missing lids or chips— not so. I didn’t want to damage any of my own teapots in creating party decorations.
As it turned out, my method for creating a teapot centerpiece is totally reversible. It could be used with any, but perhaps the most cherished of teapots. Just be sure to work carefully.
- Deck of cards
- Floral foam
- Plastic-coated wire
- Glue gun & plenty of glue sticks
DIY Instructions & Tips
First, here’s a close-up view of the cards and teacup centerpiece when finished.
To take a tour of the entire Wonderland tablescape, see Absolutely Mad, Summer Tea Party Table.
Step 1: Fill Teapot with Floral Foam
Pieces of floral foam were cut and squeezed into the teapot as tightly as possible. I was afraid that once I added the ring of cards, the teapot centerpiece might topple over — it didn’t. My backup plan was to counterbalance the weight by filling the foam-stuffed teapot with water. That wasn’t necessary either.
However, because the size, weight and other characteristics of each teapot and card ring will vary, work with caution. I suggest insuring the teapot is always supported while you work, so as to not topple over. That’s one of the advantages of working with a teapot that is not an heirloom or part of a collection.
Step 2: Insert Coated Wire
I went back and forth, trying to decide what type of wire to support the ring of cards. First, I thought I could use floral wire I already had. It just didn’t seem to be substantial enough to hold the weight of the cards.
A trip to my favorite hardware store, Rollers, resulted in me deciding on plastic-coated, steel wire. It was a $5 expense I hadn’t planned on, thinking my husband would have something in his workbench. But, the 25-pound weight wire was easy to cut and bend, yet firm and strong enough to support the cards ring.
Now, cut and shape a piece of wire in a size appropriate to the dimensions of the teapot you are using as the base. Be careful not to go too big — you don’t want the teapot centerpiece to topple over! Also remember to leave enough extra wire on the two ends to insert deeply into the foam.
Step 3: Attach Cards
As the Queen of Theme, I just had to have Alice in Wonderland cards in my teapot centerpiece! So, I purchased a pack with vintage illustrations from the classic book.
A worthwhile expense, as I used the cards for several projects; including creating a banner for the mantle and inserting one into each guest’s vintage teacup favor.
It’s also fine to use a regular ‘ol deck of cards you have around the house. Don’t worry if it isn’t a complete deck and missing several cards.
Starting at the base of the wire ring, apply a generous amount of glue along the wire. Be sure to have two cards ready; one each for the front and back sides. Press the front-facing card against the wire. With your free hand, apply more glue around the edges of the card (about 1/4 inch from the edge).
Now, take a second card (with image facing out), and firmly press the two cards together. Hold until the glue begins to set-up. I didn’t precisely line the cards up front to back, leaving them slightly askew. That allowed the red backs of the cards to peek through in places.
Use one or several clothespins to hold each pair of cards together. Work from bottom to top. Let dry overnight.
I elected to leave half of the clothespins in place until setting up for the party — just to be sure the card ring stayed together. Better safe than sorry, right?
Step 4: Don’t Forget the Spout
Insert a second piece of wire down the length of the teapot spout, and snugly into the floral foam.
Attach one or more pairs of cards ‘pouring’ from the spout.
Here’s the finished teapot centerpiece set on a black and white check table runner I also made.
“You’re Nothing But a Pack of Cards!”
The Alice in Wonderland theme decoration was displayed with a few scattered cards around. The teapot lid and matching vintage creamer were placed at its base.
On the backside of the teapot centerpiece, I used mostly black and white illustrated cards from the pack. That’s because the colorful cards were also used in the banner and teacup favors.
Here’s the teacup centerpiece on another Alice in Wonderland tablescape. Creating Alice in Wonderland Character Dolls shows how I made the Alice, Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter figures that also grace the table.
On either side of the teapot centerpiece are two more decorations made for the party; DIY Vintage China Tier Server Stand for Tea Party.
Another fun project decorating the table are a trio of floating teacups. Learn to make your own in, How to Make a Floating Teacup Centerpiece.
Time for Tea
On the day of the Unbirthday Party, the teapot centerpiece took center stage on the Tea Party Finger Sandwiches & Savories buffet. It was elevated on a small, white bunny cake stand to give it a little more height.
What do you think, is it absolutely mad?
Although the cards and teacup centerpiece sold almost immediately in my Etsy shop, DebbeesBuzzBoutique. But, several other party decorations are still available, including; the matching card banner, Queen of Hearts, Fanciful Wonderland Wreath, and one remaining floating teacup centerpiece.
Alice in Wonderland
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