Styling an Easter Tea Party on a Budget

Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth

Hello April! I’m feeling an abundance of positivity and good vibes this week that I certainly haven’t felt for a while. The sunshine the last few days has been the tonic we have all needed after that long winter so I do hope you got to enjoy it wherever you are in the world.

And as of tomorrow the Easter holidays start here in the UK, and I’m very much looking forward to a long weekend of Easter fun, especially now that we are allowed to invite people into our gardens. With that in mind, for my final Easter blog post, I thought I’d share some ideas for styling a celebration without spending too much. There can be so much temptation in the shops at this time of year but equally, there’s a lot you can create with foraged flowers, twigs, and things you have lying around the house.

Let’s face it, these little holidays and occasions are what have kept us all going through these lockdowns and if there’s anything we’ve learned it’s that there’s ALWAYS an excuse for a proper celebration, even if it’s only for two! Here’s hoping that Easter might just be our last occasion in lockdown, and with small garden gatherings now allowed, there’s no better reason to go all out with decorations and fun this year.

Usually when it comes to table settings for an occasion, my mantra is to not get carried away with a ‘theme’ as that way you can re-use all of your items and adapt your styling to suit any event. BUT when it comes to Easter that all goes out of the window, as it’s just TOO FUN not to get involved in all things cute, bunny related and egg-stravagant (see what I did there?).

Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth

This year, I decided on a more whimsical tea party rather than a formal table setting, as while we will no doubt have a Sunday roast, my daughter especially is looking forward to the Easter treats far more. Of course, you can adapt any of these ideas to suit your own needs – add cutlery and remove some of the quaint elements like the tea cups and cake plates and you’ll have more of a lunch/dinner setting.

Where possible I’ve tried to use items I already had at home -and other than the napkin rings which were bought new – I’ve tried to only purchase small things that were fairly low cost to use. All of the flowers I used were either faux garlands which I’ve had from previous celebrations, or foraged responsibly from our local area.

I hope this gives you some inspiration for your own budget friendly Easter table setting this weekend, and I’ve included some links below to a few of the items used.

Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth

Flower arrangements

The great thing about flowers at this time of year is that you don’t need to spend a lot – lots of the seasonal blooms right now can be foraged (responsibly – try to pick from wild areas like woodland/sides of roads etc and never take them all) – you can do so much with a few twigs or a little posy of found wildflowers. For Easter embrace the natural world with fallen branches, blossom, daffodils, tulips, and even bulbs.

Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth

Posies – Collect a selection of small flowers while out on your daily walk – everything from daffodils to blossom to foliage looks great. Fill small vases with your finds and line them down the centre of your table for an easy and oh so sweet centrepiece.

Easter Tree – for a more statement centrepiece, try an ‘Easter tree’. Collect branches and twigs from the park or woods. Take them home and clean them up before painting or spraying them if you wish. Then simply fill a large vase or jug with a range of different sizes and decorate them by hanging Easter decorations or paper eggs. This also works really well with blossom branches, although do bear in mind that the blossom won’t last as long so do this as close to your celebration as possible.

Use bulbs – Embrace the – not quite grown – idea for spring and plant your bulbs in teacups or cute pots and have these as part of your table display. They will fit in really well with other easter props such as eggs and chicks, giving that idea of Spring and everything blooming for the new season.

Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Go Faux – Don’t be afraid to go faux too, especially if you are worried about flowers going limp before your celebration. I used a fair bit of faux foliage in my hanging display, would you have known? I’ve had that faux flower garland since Evie’s first birthday and bring it out for al,most every occasion. The little pink roses are also faux ones on wire, so great for using to tie on other pieces. I think the trick is to mix a bit of both, that way the faux will blend in and no one will ever know. My garlands are from Hobbycraft who have a really great selection of faux flowers online.

Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Budget friendly easter table setting, Jaclyn Ruth

Hanging Branch – This is what I opted for this year and it’s something I’ve never tried before but I loved the results. You’ll need a bit more time to faff, but once you get started it’s surprisingly easy and makes a real statement. Just suspend a lightweight branch (anything too heavy and you’ll risk it falling on top of your beautiful cake/ roast) from your ceiling, positioned over the table, using invisible wire or string. Again you could spray the branch first if you wanted a cleaner look, and I’d advise getting as much of the wrapped foliage on before you hang it, then once hung adding a few more flowers to hang off using florist wire – I wrapped blossom and faux foliage around the branch, then used hellebores flowers to hang. It looks beautiful above your display.

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Easter tea party setting, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Props

You really could get carried away with props at this time of year as there is so much to choose from, and it can be easy to go over budget and end up with a lot of bunny-shaped plates that you may never use again (although let’s just ignore the carrot plate in mine, I couldn’t resist and it was from Poundland) but there a few props that will make all the difference and subtly nod to Easter while still being able to be used again for other occasions. My favourites are;

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Fake grass – I bought a piece of faux grass from Ebay last year when I was doing a Peter Rabbit themed birthday party for Evie and actually, for the price it’s been really handy and used a fair bit. I cut mine this year to create a table runner, which I think adds that whimsy and fun to this whimsical tea party. I also noticed that the likes of Poundland, Home Bargains and Hobbycraft all sell grass table runners too so it’s something you can pick up very cheaply.

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Gingham – tablecloths, napkins or even plates in this sweet fabric look great for Spring. I’m a little obsessed with all things gingham at the moment and even have a dress that sees me blend in with the tablecloth. As a fabric though it’s very cheap to buy, and if you’re a dab hand at sewing you can even just pick up a length of fabric and hem it yourself for a tablecloth. Alternatively check ebay again, which is where I picked this one up for under £10, and I know I’ll use it lots.

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Pastel themed napkins and place mats – Because of my styling work, I have an abundance of linen napkins in various colours so I didn’t need to buy any for this, but my favourite place to shop for them is probably H&M home (which these ones are from). Do also check wholesale websites online though as they are often a lot cheaper, and Etsy have some lovely ones too. The one thing I did buy new this year was these bunny napkin rings from John Lewis which were too sweet to leave behind.

Plant pots – small terracotta pots are so versatile, fill them with sweets or mini eggs, add moss and bulbs or use them to house condiments on the table.

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Baskets – baskets and Easter go together perfectly so embrace them on your table too. From small ones as place settings to big ones full of flowers or stuff them with hot cross buns and Easter chicks like I have done.

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Cake stands, mismatched plates and teacups – as I was going for a more Alice in Wonderland/ Whimsical tea party this year, I dug out all of my vintage cake stands and quaint little plates and mismatched teacups to house things on. This alongside the baskets and little pots of mini eggs made for a really cute display.

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Place Settings

Creating a proper place setting is a must for any Easter table, simply because there are so many delightful options it would be wrong not to. I wrote a whole post on my four favourite Easter place settings and how to do them, but here’s a little run down.

Napkin rings – You can pick up Easter themed napkin rings easily at this time of year which are great if you want something quick and easy and don’t have time to faff. You don’t even need to fold your napkin, the looser the better.

Bunny Ear napkin place settings, Jaclyn Ruth

Bunny Ears – The bunny napkin is also always a favourite of mine – simply fold a napkin on the diagonal and roll up before folding the corner in. Then wrap around an egg (you could use a painted or decorated one, a wooden one if you’re worried about breakages or even a chocolate one as an after dinner treat) and tie with twine/ribbon to create ‘ears’. You can write the names of your guests on the eggs for a nice extra touch.

4 Cute ideas for Easter place settings, Jaclyn Ruth

Pots and Baskets – If you want to get even more creative, try filling mini plant pots with treats and tying them up with ribbon, or look for small baskets/ pots with handles and fill with faux moss or grass and little easter chick decorations.

The ideas are endless!

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

Embrace homemade

My final tip is to really embrace the homemade elements at this time of year. There are lots of things you can make and bake, and it doubles up as good activities to do with kids. For Easter I try to leave my inner perfectionist at home and just enjoy the messy paint, fingerprints and wonky shaped carrots.

Egg boxes are your friends – keep them and paint them in nice pastel shades before filling them with flowers or moss for your table. Create hanging eggs from coloured card and string, dip strawberries in orange icing or melted white chocolate coloured with orange food colouring and leave to set, creating ‘carrots’ your little bunnies might actually eat, and go to town with shredded tissue paper and fake straw.

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

All the links

Napkin Rings – John Lewis

Napkins – H&M Home

Place Mats – H&M home

Leaf Plate and Carrot Plate – Poundland

Speckled Dinner and side plates – The Range

Tea cups – a mixture of vintage and Royal Albert

Rabbit egg cups – Sainsburys

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth
Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

I hope that gives you some ideas to start with, and wishing you all a lovely fun Easter weekend!

Tips for an Easter tea party, Jaclyn Ruth

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