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How to Throw a Cheerful and Adorable Vintage Tea Party Picnic

This spring and summer consider having a vintage tea party picnic outside or inside. It's an easy event to plan for kids or adults and can include typical elements like tea sets, linens, and picnic baskets.

Vintage tea party picnic

During spring my daughter Savanna and I went to visit my great nieces to have a vintage tea party picnic. We gathered my Grandma Annis's tea set into an old picnic basket I found thrifting along with other nostalgic items and went out to play.

It was the perfect day except for a chance of rain. While making the picnic area it started to sprinkle and I thought this is it — we will have to pack up. But as soon as it started the rain stopped and we were able to have a sweet afternoon tea party.

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Vintage Tea Party for Kids and Adults

When my daughters were growing up I believed you should get out your fancy china when serving dinner or having a party. If something breaks it is not the end of the world, I would always tell myself.

Today I am glad we did that. Vintage china should be used and loved. I have a few tea cups that have chips in them or broken lids, like my teapot, but I have so many wonderful memories of playing with my daughters.

Here is a list of what you will need to throw an old-fashioned tea party with your friends, family, and kids. This tea party is perfect for all ages.

Supplies for a Tea Party Picnic:

  • Vintage tea set (you can find them in thrift stores or online)
  • Blanket
  • Tablecloth
  • Picnic basket
  • Tray
  • Cake stand
  • Napkins
  • Small bunny decoration or anything cute that is small enough for a tray

Now that you have all your supplies, let's look for a level spot in your backyard or at the park for your picnic. We chose a field close to my niece's house and nestled our picnic next to this gorgeous tree. It was the perfect charming spot.

Tea party picnic next to a tree with white flowers

Shop these tea sets:

Tea Party Picnic Blankets

The first thing you want to place on the ground is a blanket but before you place your covering on the grass make sure there are no ants or anything sharp where you are setting up. Once you have a good spot picked out lay your blanket down.

I love layering blankets when picnicking. It makes everything look pretty and makes sitting on the ground softer. After we placed the blanket on the ground we laid the block print tablecloth, that we used in our southern bridal shower table, on a diagonal and then a small tea table linen over that.

Layered tea party picnic blankets and tablescloths

This tea table linen is an extra element we couldn't leave out because my husbands' mother, Ann, embroidered it years ago. It is another element to this vintage tea party that makes it more nostalgic with a gorgeous vintage look.

Picnic Basket and Tray Decor for Tea

Next, let's use the picnic basket and tray you used to carry all your tea party goodies in as serving pieces or makeshift tables. Depending on the number of people coming to the tea party will depend on where you place them.

Since we only have four of us celebrating tea together I chose to place the old strawberry picking tray on one corner with the basket next to it. Now let's start placing all the treats and the tea set.

Setting up for a tea party picnic using a strawberry picking tray to serve on

Tea Party Food Tray Decor

If you have been around me very long then you know I spend way more time on decor than I do making food so this girl likes to go the easy route when it comes to food. This means I am going to share my easy tea party food recommendation and a cute way to style it on your tray.

First, place a cake stand on one side and pick up a tiny cake from the grocery store. Then shop around for macarons. You can find them in the freezer section at some grocery stores or contact your local bakeries to see if anyone makes them.

Decorating for a tea party picnic with cake stand on a tray

I found these delicious macarons at a local baker called Bakeology and they were amazing little works of art. They also make them gluten and dairy free upon request which was a win-win.

So place your small cake on the plate along with the macarons. These decadent treats looked so pretty and dainty!

Tea party cake and macrons

Now add some flowers to your tray. We chose baby's breath because the petals are dainty just like this tea party and the white color would match any decorations. Simply place a clear jar with one batch of flowers from your local grocery store onto the tray.

Flower arrangement decorations for a tea party for kids and adults

Next place finger sandwiches on a white napkin along with other store-bought goodies like these waffle cookies. Our tea sandwiches were simple peanut butter and jelly but there are endless options.

Some favorites are cucumber sandwiches and crab sandwiches. Finish the look with a cute gold bunny or anything that has sweet and precious written all over it.

Adding cute decorations like gold bunnies to your tea party decor

I like to place all the food in one location and then the drinks in another. Also, make those napkins handy for the finger foods so I placed the napkins on the tray too.

Decorating with food for a tea picnic

Setting Up Your Vintage Tea Set

Now let's talk about where to set up the tea set. The perfect spot is the picnic basket. If you have a tray you can add it here too but we forgot to bring one so we used the top of the basket to hold the teapot, cream, and sugar dishes.

Vintage dogwood pattern tea set

Remember me saying earlier that my girls used to play with this tea set? You may notice here that we don't have a lid to the teapot. So glad my grown daughter, who probably is the one who broke the top, is now enjoying the tea set with her little cousins.

Well, guess what? You have everything set for the tea party so let's talk about the rest of the day.

Time to Enjoy your Tea Party

This tea party was a simple afternoon tea outdoors with just us and the little girls. But you can make this a larger tea party by adding more blankets and setting up everything on a table somewhere close.

Tea party picnic with kids

We sat our plates on the blanket and let the girls gather what treats they wanted while Savanna poured tea. We knew the girls love good old fashioned cold sweet tea so we simply poured that into the tea pot. You can make your choice of tea based on your and your guest's preferences but there is no rule that says it needs to be hot tea.

Decorating for a tea party picnic

They loved every minute of it and we had to fill the tea pitcher up several times. And they looked adorable holding their vintage teacup.

Our vintage tea party was a wonderful after school activity. The perfect opportunity to have fun and pass on a wonderful tradition.

Checking the teapot to see if it has any more time

The girls dressed up in white eyelet dresses we found at Walmart which can be used easily for Easter too.

Kids dressing in white eyelet dressed for a tea party


It was such a pretty little tea party. The sun was behind the clouds and the temperature was just right. Our bellies were full and we were talking about packing up when all of a sudden we felt a few sprinkles of rain. Jumping to our feet, we started packing everything up when the rain started coming down.

We couldn't believe that the rain held off just enough for us to enjoy a short little outdoor picnic. We left in a frenzy, laughing in disbelief that it didn't rain while we were enjoying our afternoon tea. It made our perfect vintage tea party even more special. Here is another moment I want to make a core memory.

Vintage tea party decorating ideas

So now it is your turn. Shop your home or family members if they don't mind and put together an easy outdoor tea party picnic for your kids or friends. In today's world doing special things for others is so needed. And it will make you feel good too when you plan something for others that is also simple and seems like you spent a lot of time and money.

Vintage tea parties are the perfect chance to slow down and a great way to reconnect. The perfect tea party is the one everyone has fun at!

Let me know in the comments if you plan to have a tea party picnic with your friends or family. They are also a great option for a baby shower, Mother's day, birthdays or Valentine's Day. For more springtime entertaining decor ideas try my bee-themed dollar store spring tablescape or this garden party decoration ideas.

Happy Decorating!


Wednesday 8th of May 2024

I so love this idea and also your outdoor garden party ideas that brought me to this page! Thank you for some wonderful ideas, I have even dreamed up a few of my own!

Linda McDonald

Thursday 9th of May 2024

Thank you for sharing! I am glad you enjoyed these blog posts and ideas.