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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've started and stopped this post a million times, I think I'm just not able to really sum up everything I've worked on so long into one thread or post, but I am slowly doing recaps of each area/project on my blog - so I've decided I'll start a thread that can serve as reference for future party planners on all things Alice - be it a movie premeir party for the Burton flick, a Merry Unbirthday, Mad Tea Party, or a Halloween Bash like mine - I'll try to keep adding here as I remember tips & tricks.

Invitations: I made postcards through Vistaprint for about $6/100, using an image I had Etsy seller Solocosmo create for me - she took my headshot and turned it into the Cheshire Cat with a creepy moon & barren trees in the background. I added the eerie quote "we're all mad here" and party details on the back, sent them out in early September (after a facebook save the date in MARCH - HA!) and the early notice totally worked - despite our party being on Halloween night, we had TWICE the guests as the previous year, they all had AMAZING costumes, and people really went all out - most matching the theme. Pictures and step by step tutorial here.

Yard Decorations: I wanted guests to pass "through the looking glass" and attempted to build my own archway which didn't work out, ended up altering a garden arch and it wasn't exactly what I wanted, but still gave the general idea. It was flanked by decapitated heads on pikes - the queen's "victims" - made from foam heads, paint, wigs, and a little fabric. For the first time I got spotlights to illuminate them, and there was no question it set the tone that SOMETHING BIG was going on inside. Photos & tutorial to come on my blog.

Living Room: Queen's court - First thing you saw was a huge "WONDERLAND" marquee on the arch between the living and dining areas, made from unfinished paper mache letters, painted with a dark red & black, and hung via 3M strips. I used a lot of "poker party" decorations from Anderson's Giant Party Store - the ceiling decor with hanging hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades were AWESOME. I hung 3 branching out in all directions from over the DDR game, and it totally filled up the ceiling and really made it feel festive. I used the fringe table skirts to line the top of the walls, and hung plastic flamingos and quotes from the queen (printed in the Beyond Wonderland font) all over the room. Also used the card suit stringers and cascades - hung everything from 3M strips and it comes off perfect, even with my 1940's plaster walls. I covered one wall all in black & white checkered plastic like a chessboard (through the looking glass has the chess story) and went all out on the fireplace replacing my giant collage frame of family photos with ones of human hearts, a garland of bloody weapons, bloody roses (painting the roses red), playing cards, heart lights, chess pieces, and various skeletons. Pics & Tutorial HERE.

Rented DDR arcade game - this was a blast, despite a few glitches and the company being total assholes, the game itself is great for a party. It has music, it's both fun to play AND watch, and it lets people choose when they want to be participatory and when they just want to observe. Nearly everyone played at least once, there were lots of laughs. Highly recommend the game, but not the company I rented it from (Fun Jumps in MN - see my rant here).

Dining Area - Giant Evil Flower Garden: I transformed some of my existing giant Gerbera daisies with big google eyes, and got a load of giant paper daffodils from a party store a while back that I added scary foam eyes to. They covered two walls, were interspersed with green net lights like vines, and my Dept 56 spiders made from bells & beads. Quotes from the snarky flowers in the disney version were scattered around the walls too. This was a HUGE impact, but very cheap and easy to do. Pics & tutorials HERE on my blog.

Buffet Area: I used another of the poker party ceiling decorations, a cascade, and made a huge "EAT ME" sign to hang as a canopy. I had the quote "one side makes you smaller, the other makes you tall" under the "EAT ME" as well. Pics here.

Menu: I made more than twice as much food as I needed, but eventually I've pawned most of it off. I had originally cut back, but then the bigger # of guests scared me and I added a bunch of stuff at the last minute. Oh well, live and learn. Here's what I served:

Baby Bread Bowls with Shrunken Spinach Dip - full tutorial to come on my blog, bread bowl experiment here.

Tiny Tea Sandwiches - PB & J, Turkey Bacon, Ham & Cheese - I made 6 loaves of bread worth of sandwiches, chopped them into 1/4s, and then used little tooth picks with card suits on them as garnish & to keep them together. Details & Photos here.

Teenie Weenies in BBQ Sauce - served in a crock pot. I think these were too rich, they didn't get eaten very much.

Magic Mushroom Turnovers - from a pack of frozen appetizers you just heat & eat - I was happy to find something on the mushroom theme that was easy, and vegetarian to boot (I had several). Also came with mini cheese souffles & seafood cakes which were both snapped up. Review & photos here.

Peppered Pigs in a Blanket - the big hit of the evening! Found these in a random internet search, had my friend crank them out while I was getting ready, and man did people SCARF THEM DOWN. Super easy to make, and if you've read the book or seen the 1985 live action movie, they're perfect for the theme (we had 3 guests come as the dutchess!). Recipe and tutorial here.

Puking Pumpkin Veggie Platter - added this late and to appease my vegetarians and add more options, had my dad cut the pumpkin then just ordered a veggie tray from Target and arranged it. Cheating? maybe. Easy? HELL YES. Details & photo here.

Fresh Fanciful Fruit Platter - again, ordered it from Target. I've learned that washing & chopping fruit & veggies just takes a ton of time, and I shouldn't be frantically chopping anything when I'm already stressed out. Outsourcing can be good.

The Queen's Stolen Tarts - gorgeous but somewhat fragile & time consuming cookies, sneak peek & recipe here, full tutorial to come on my blog.

Skeleton meat & cheese platter - the meat head is too gross for me, but last year I used a 3' skeleton, laid him out on a bed of lettuce, surrounded him in cheese and stuffed his rib cage with summer sausage. It was a huge hit. When I started panicking about the larger # of people, I decided to throw this together again and added some rondele cheese spreads as well. Full tutorial to come on my blog.

"Eat Me" Sweets - my infamous cupcakes with "eat me" piped in frosting, brownies, cream puffs (costco), mini cheesecakes (tutorial here), home made peanut butter balls (tutorial here), a layer cake made by my neighbor, and Halloween oreos.

The hallway that connects the dining room to the bathroom I covered completely in black & white checkered plastic and it was awesome - see tutorial here.

For the kitchen I didn't want people to gather there since it's small and really a pass through to the lower level, so I dimmed the lights, hung white lanterns I snagged at the goodwill, and slapped little directional signs like in the disney movie that I just printed off of power point - saying things like "this way" "which way?" That way" etc. with arrows. Simple, not terribly original, but just fine.

I ran out of time and money and skipped the porch, though I did clean it - and thank goodness! It got so hot with all the people and baking and DDR-ing during the party that people really liked sitting out there. I did have an orange light bulb in, so they didn't think I had totally bailed on the area.

That gets me through the whole upstairs, I'll save the basement for the next post - I have this wicked feeling if this post gets eaten I'll throw a fit :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Whew! The first post worked!

Sorry this is so much text, I don't ever have success embedding photos - but if you click the hyperlinks my blog always has a photo.

Basement:

Cheshire Cat Area - used pink & purple tablecloth rolls to cover our bookcases in stripes, hung pink & purple cheshire cat quotes and purple lights around the pillars. Painted more (smaller) paper mache letters spelling "we're all mad here" in pink with a purple animal print, and made mome raths out of fun noodles & google eyes, hung with a "dont step on the mome rath" sign. Photos & Tutorial HERE.

Mad Tea Party - hung two big shop lights from the rafters - picked them and the blacklight floucescent tubes up at Menards (the bulbs were more than the fixtures!). Did a few experiments and found what glowed best was white paper, so I covered the bar in that then in clear plastic and it looked excellent. Hung more paper mache letters on the wall "Mad Tea Party" painted with Tulip glow in the dark paint, along with quotes from the tea party (in wonderland font) and glow in the dark skeletons. Had a huge tea cup the size of a punch bowl I painted at a ceramics place that held tea - long island iced :) That was chi-chi's pre mix and it was a huge success - so glad I didn't try to mix my own. They drained 5 liters halfway into the party. Also covered one wall in spiderwebs, which glow great too under blacklights!

Bathrooms: for the basement I used stacks of old teacups, saucers, & tea pots I had gathered from goodwills and glued together in haphazard stacks, painted black over white crackle - it didn't work so well, and when I decided on the blacklights I didnt need them at the bar anymore, so I stacked them in the bathroom, covered with spider webs, tucked in battery tea lights from costco and feather crows and it looked creepy and abandoned. Used orange lights in the sconces.

2nd bathroom I stuck with mostly stuff I had - bloody gel clings, added bloody hatchets, the weapon garland from the chop shop line, and replaced the lightbulbs with red ones. Ran out of time to really tie it to the theme, so I wrote "HEADS WILL ROLL!" in red lipstick in the mirror and I think it sorta got the point across.

Photos & tutorials of all these will be coming on my blog in the next couple weeks :)
 

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Wow. Love the theme.

4 days ago, stressing getting my own haunted hotel off the ground I was saying this would be the last party. I was burning out. But it turned out to be the best party of the 16 we have now done, everyone who came is abuzz, and I am thinking about next year.

Wicked Wonderland is such a neat idea. I like it 1) because I can imagine 100s of different "interpretations" for costumes and I think our guests would too, 2) I can imagine some decorations that could payoff really big for little effort (like your checkerboard and glass mirror) and 3) I could mutate a lot of lighting and sound SFX I already have to accommodate the theme.

We have never tried a "theme" H party before, but I like this idea. Guests are already asking me about next years party, they really want to be there....

Good work, thanks for the post on the details and pleas eget some more pics up!!
 

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Mostly Harmless
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Amazing HeatherEve1234!

If you are not a professional party planner.... you should be... you could charge tens of thousdands of dollars to plan a party like this. (Although maybe not in this economy... but definitely when the economy improves!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone - it's my dream to be a party planner, but sadly I'm just a "desk jockey" right now. Maybe if I win the lottery some day I'll be able to start my own business :) But for now, it's all just fun!

Your compliments encouragement really mean a lot to me - so thank you to everyone who has taken time to read about my party, visit my blog, or send me a message - you're the best cheering section a girl you've never met could ask for! :)

Tonight I got nearly all my decor taken down (though not put away) and just have a billion little 3M hooks to take down along with some gel clings. Got my normal paintings and photos hung back up, and boy does the house look empty without all the Wonderland! :) I'll post more of my pics and tutorials on my blog again tomorrow too.
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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Perhaps you should start out free lance in your free time and see if you can build up a customer base. Then once you have your base, you can start you own business full time. You really do have an eye for detail and very creative ideas! I love those goodie boxes!

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've added a rundown on my Queen of Hearts costume here. I didn't love it, I spent a lot more on it that it was worth ($100 in trim alone, I could have bought a much nicer costume for that!) but live and learn. It did the trick and I wasn't self conscious.

I'm also going back and editing the first 2 posts in this thread with links to the photos/tutorials as I get them posted on my blog. I'm finding myself hampered because I didn't get photos of everything I want to describe, darn it!!! I even put it specifically on my to do list and went around taking photos before everyone came (lessone learned over the previous year) but I guess I still missed some shots. Drat :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Added a bunch more posts with descriptions and pictures today!

Living room - Queen of Hearts Court HERE lots of photos

Just waiting on a few more areas to write up, hoping some of my friends got the photos I missed so I can finish them :) Also waiting on permission to post all of the amazing costumes people made - I was TOTALLY blown away by them!
 

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HeatherEve I enjoyed looking at your blog and how you did everything, thank you for sharing. I was amazed at the work you put into this party. Girl when you throw a party you throw a party!
 

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Your costume turned out fantastic!!! I love the wig also it really fits the look and colors of the outfit! Your make-up turned out great to. I know what you mean about almost gluing your eye shut lol.....I used new eyelashes this year and they were really hard to put on. You really work hard in everything that you do and when do you start preparing for your party not to mention all the great food that you make......I was exhausted just looking at it all lol! Looked like a great time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I posted a few more of the guest costumes here.

I'm still hoping to get permission to show lots more, so stay tuned!

And just FYI, I'm totally stalled in putting Halloween away. We might have a very interesting thanksgiving if I don't get moving soon - we still have "blood" dripping down the bathroom walls :)

I also have a giveaway on my blog through Friday - sign up to win one of my hand cut glass mosaic photo frames here.
 

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Could you explain the peppered pig recipe a bit more? I don't understand the part where the bacon and breadstick come together :) Do you twist a breadstick and a piece of bacon together? Can you use uncooked bacon to do this? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The bacon must be cooked - I purchased pre-cooked from Sam's club which was great because it was cooked but soft, but you could just cook your own, let it cool, and then use that. Uncooked wouldn't cook at the right speed and would make the bread part soggy with grease.

You twist the breadstick DOUGH and the bacon together. First lay them one on top of the other, then twist them both together like making crepe paper twists for a party.

My tutorial is here.
I used this kind of bacon (middle of post).
There is a photo from the original recipe on this post. that should make the shape more clear - the first photo.
 
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