Best Tea Party Ideas for Adults

Our best tea party ideas include over 20 tips to guide you through entertaining with tea. Includes decorations, fun twists to add, recipes, tea party favors, and more. Tea parties are perfect for any ladies celebration from mothers day to bridal showers to birthdays. Whether you’re serving hot tea or setting up a party with iced tea bar we’ve got you covered here. 

entertaining with tea - over 20 tips and ideas

Ideas for a Tea Party at Home

A while back I co-hosted an “Entertaining with Tea” event for Teavana in NYC. The theme was for mother’s day and I shared a ton of tea party ideas. Even though we focused on mother’s day, all the ideas are geared towards hosting a tea party for ANY occasion.

I’ve created over 20 tips and ideas that are simple enough to do but add great impact. I was inspired by watercolors and pretty blooms. A color palette of pink, lavender, and yellow is a lovely choice for spring parties.

mother's day simple place setting

21 Tips & Tea Party Ideas

Follow this guide for adding a tea party theme to any gathering or spring ladies luncheon

  • 1. Use a large square of pink scrapbook paper as a place mat at each place setting. Tea tables are so small sometimes, you need something that doesn’t take up too much space. The squares work well and provide just enough room for small plates and cups for each individual.
  • 2. Turn watercolor print fabric into small napkins for each place setting. Cut fabric with pinking shears for a no-sew edge. Tie each napkin with a piece of ribbon to accent it.
  • 3. Die cut word & names are trending now and I love the look. You can find packs of die cut words at the craft store and create the same look for less. The words are perfectly appropriate for special occasions {family, love, hugs, thankful, happy, etc}. Spray paint them gold and set one on each place mat. It adds a decorative touch that the guests can take as a keepsake, tie to a gift, create a collage with, etc.

Minimalist free printable mothers day card

Use free printable cards and tags

  • 4. For a mother’s day tea party I made these minimalist note cards that you can download and print, here. Fold them and write a note inside for mom, or send them to your girl friends, your sister, or any new mom. 
  • 5. To dress up the cards I attached these beautiful “watercolor” printable tags from Confetti Sunshine, using a tiny white clothespin. I was so thrilled when I found these free printables as it coordinated with my design flawlessly, AND it already had the tea party theme.

DIY mini pedestal with scones

Incorporate vintage china

  • 6. Use items you already have, in a new way. Classic white egg cups hold these large chunky sugar crystals from Teavana. Not only does it allow each guest to have her own container of sugar, but it also works as a place card when you use washable marker to write guests’ names.
  • 7. Create individual snack pedestals like I did in this little girls pink princess tea party. Use a small candlestick holder {painted pink} and a vintage saucer. Glue dots hold the two pieces together securely and you can put cookies, cupcakes, scones, or other bite-sized treats on top.

tea caddy flower vase

Use tea themed vessels as flower vases

  • 8. Use these decorative tea storage tins as vases to hold small bouquets of flowers. There are so many colors, patterns, and styles to choose from. Insert a small vase or cup to hold water and then add flowers.
  • 9. Use the lid of the tea tin to display some of the gorgeous loose tea blends that herbal teas offer. Doesn’t it look like potpourri! It smells amazing too.
  • 10. Another great idea for flowers is to use tea pots and tea cups. A tight bouquet of pink roses inside a plain white tea pot looks stunning.
  • 11. You can also create a decorative centerpiece using various heights of pillar candle holders and tea cups and saucers, as seen here via Green Wedding Shoes.

Entertaining with tea host a tea tasting

Have a tea tasting party

A tea tasting is served similarly to a wine or beer tasting and can be done in a few different ways.

  • 12. Choose one type of tea and serve it in 3 different ways: a hot version, an iced version, and a cocktail version. Here’s a bourbon iced tea cocktail to check out.

For tea cocktails I like to experiment with this basic formula: tea + champagne, bourbon, or dark rum + squeeze of citrus or a little fruit juice like strawberry, pineapple, orange, or blueberry.

  • 13. Do a basic tasting and serve a sample of white tea, green tea, black tea, oolong, and matcha. You could also add in chai tea if you like.
  • 14. Serve a flight of herbal tea blends. Teavana has a huge variety of flavor combos to choose from. I was like a kid in a candy store when I went to my local shop for a tour.

DIY 2-tiered dessert pedestal with tea party treats

What food do you serve at a tea party?

Mini quiches, puff pastry ham & cheese pinwheels, mini ham biscuits are all great choices.

  • 16. Make sure to have a mix of savories and sweets when entertaining with tea. Go for the classics like scones, lemon tartlets, and shortbread cookies and add in anything you love that’s bite size.

These spice muffins with oatmeal topping are a good addition.

An assortment of mini desserts will work perfectly here.

Stuffed strawberries and cream are a must at any tea party. 

  • 17. Create a diy tiered server to serve your treats on. This is especially smart if you’re on a budget, your storage space is limited, or when you need several servers for a party. Just as with the individual server above, I used glue dots to secure a large white dinner plate to the candlestick holder, and then add the small salad plate on top.

DIY teapot label tags

  • 18. When you host a tea party it’s a good idea to serve 2-3 tea options for guests to choose from. Making hang tags for the tea pots is a fun and decorative way to let everyone know what type of tea they’re drinking. I love to pick up inexpensive tags in the $1 section of Target, Michael’s, or any craft aisle. Here’s an array of tags you could use above, including my diy bottle necklaces.

Spill The Tea game for tea parties

“Spill The Tea” conversation game

  • 19. One of my favorite things for a tea party whether it’s a bridal shower or ‘just because’, is to play a game of Spill the Tea.” It’s a fun way to learn something new about each other and you can make it as silly, racy, or serious as you like. Just have each guest write down a fact about herself, anonymously. Collect all the fact sheets in an empty tea pot and take turns reading one at a time. For each fact, everyone tries to guess who it pertains to. She then has to “spill the tea” and tell her story.
  • 20. The game can also be turned into a printable bridal shower activity card. Just print 10 questions regarding the bride-to-be and let guests answer them to see who knows her best. You can have probing questions like, “what was Sarah’s first impression of John?” or “What was Sarah and John’s first date?” You get the idea!

DIY tea party favors

Tea Party Favors

  • 21. Finally, the idea I think everyone loves most is my diy “tea bag” cookie favors. Here’s the complete instructions for my tea party favors. I taught each guest to make her own and they all loved how cute and creative they were. You won’t believe how easy they are to make!

Wow, that’s a lot of party tips for entertaining with tea, right? You should be well on your way to host a fantastic mother’s day tea, a bridal shower tea party, birthday celebration, or other occasion with tea.

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  1. I love this! And the pictures came out beautiful! My favorite tip is to use what you already have laying around – the egg holders and candle sticks were definitely put to good use on that table.

    1. Thank you Chrystina. None of us have endless storage (or dollars) so we have to be creative with what we have. 🙂

  2. I’ve been waiting for this. Everything looks so great and so relatable. The little favor bags ARE clever!
    I’m craving Teavana herbal tea now, too. The store is just heavenly!

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