Let’s Be Pen Pals

Every year in October our beautiful Jacaranda trees bloom. Last spring I made a resolution to start a new family tradition by having an annual tea party under these spectacular trees.
This birthday garden party was the inaugural celebration.

In September our precious  little Mary turned five and I could not resist throwing her a vintage “Mary Had a Little Lamb” party. After extensive internet research, I discovered that there aren’t a whole lot of parties out there in blog and Pinterest land with this particular nursery rhyme theme (but oh what fun I had looking!!). Not to be discouraged at all, as I had spent a lot of time thinking about the look I wanted to create and many of the details I wanted to incorporate.
Starting from the table covering up, I wanted the overall  design to be very textural and woolly. I used a large fluffy woollen blanket (thanks for the loan Mum!) and this super gorgeous  ruffle throw from IKEA.
Pastel pink and blue gingham checks (my all time favourite fabric) were chosen as the main colour scheme, complemented by soft lilac and white. I used a few different types of white wool to wrap around the milk bottles and on the fabric bunting. I had a vision to use mini white picket fences around the grass topped wooden risers for the cupcakes and larger fencing to frame the feature cake. While they proved difficult to source, I eventually found them online and thought they added to the display considerably.  My potted cottage garden flowers were perfect for supporting the flower cookie pops, adding delight to the little party guests as they discovered edible treats in unexpected places!
My talented daughter Alice made the birthday girl’s beautiful costume.
Hand made ‘Thank you’ bags were sewn in matching vintage fabric, with sherbet sweets inside. I also gave a vintage Little Golden Book to each guest.
A small lolly buffet was enjoyed by little guests who had personalised mini tin buckets to collect their treats in. Sweet mini baskets were also given to guests with a lamb cookie in each. Chocolate covered Oreo biscuits, marshmallow pops, mango and white chocolate cupcakes,  number 5 sandwiches and sugar cookies were all on the menu.
One of my favourite elements of the party was the hanging door backdrop. I picked up this old wooden door from the garbage  tip recycle centre for $30.  I hand stitched Mary’s name onto pretty vintage fabric panels with “..had a Little Lamb” on the last panel, putting a lovely vintage wooden  lamb underneath it. I made a paper bunting from an old ‘Mary had  a Little Lamb’ picture book to hang under the door.
I was inspired by these gorgeous vintage printables from Kay and May‘s Etsy store, and will definitely use their designs for future projects. I used them to make cupcake toppers, cake topper, ‘Thank you’ tags and name tags for the party.
This party was not without it’s challenges as the hot spring winds gusted through  the yard all afternoon, and the heat played havoc with my fondant and gumpaste! I take my hat off to the professional party people who make their outdoor events look flawless!! I nearly lost the cake more than once and those hay bales were anything but stable for my drink dispensers!

All in all, I was very happy with my Little Lamb party. I really wanted the whole display to be very textural and have a cottage garden appeal to it. I would love to do another nursery rhyme theme one day. I absolutely loved creating this sweet little event for my darling girl, and her delightful response to the whole afternoon was heart warming.
You may need a hot cup of tea as you look through these photos. I do apologise that it is a long post, but there are so many elements I want to share. I hope you like my “Mary Had a Little Lamb” party with a vintage twist.





  • Ann Fillers

    I am looking for a similar Picketfence for a party I am having. Could you tell me where you finally ended up finding it? Thank you so much and adorable party!

  • What an incredibly precious and sweet party! Love the tiny baskets and cute sheep cookies.

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