Steal these summertime party ideas

I’m a sucker for boutique bakeshops. For weeks, Cuppins, a concept bakery/giftshop in Lausanne summoned me from the cobblestone streets below. Though I had never been inside, I could see wooden swings holding collections of pastel bottles and sweet furnishings with feminine lines in the windows. It looked like an Alice in Wonderland fantasy land. I gave in to my craving–and my curiosity–this week and took a peek inside.

Cupcake cases at Cuppins

A display case of candy-colored confections greeted me at the door. Tiered cakestands and dessert domes practically screamed, “Eat Me.” Tables with paint-dipped bases and legs decorated the cafe space and flowers placed in vintage bottles sat on wooden swings in the windows. Colorful bakeware, tea sets and other gift-giving trinkets took up every other available surface.

Dip-dyed furnishings

The sweets, the colors, the presentation began turning the wheels in my head. I imagined the perfect setting for a baby or bridal shower, a girls-only brunch, a mother-and-daughter afternoon tea or a party for the kids.

Vases in window

Here, all the decorative trimmings for a delicate Wonderland fete, whatever the cause for celebration.

Cuppins party

* You don’t have to commit to paint-dipped furniture for an afternoon fete (though I think it’s fabulous!) Instead, wrap chair legs and table bases with stripes of colorful masking tape.
* You could comb Etsy for a wooden swing, or you could take instruction from the creative geniuses on one of my favorite blogs A Beautiful Mess, and make your own. Hang them from trees in the yard and use them in place of trays for showing off–and displaying your own sweet treats.
* To merchandise loose compacts in a salon I redid, I made tiered stands using inexpensive platters (check thrift stores or the clearance aisles of stores like TJMaxx, Marshall’s or Home Goods) and large, flat-topped candleholders. (For larger plates, you should definitely use candlesticks suited for pillar candles as taper holders can shatter under the weight of a filled plate.) Apply epoxy that’s intended for glass and ceramics according to the package instructions and let dry 24 hours before using. I’d display a collection of pretty bottles and blooms on these cakestands for something unexpected.

Cakestand Step 1Cakestand DIY