A savvy mum transformed her kitchen into this Alice in Wonderland-themed Mad Hatter’s party for her daughter’s birthday – for less than £20.
Carley Holman, 34, pulled the rabbit out of the hat and transformed her kitchen for daughter Jessica Holman’s 10th birthday bash.
She worked tirelessly for three days to transform their home into a tea party fit for ‘Alice’ and her pals.
Mum-of-two Carley made toadstools from a satin pillowcase, a postal tube and packaging, recycled from an online delivery.
The tree-lined entry to the party was made from their old Christmas tree, and she collected all the clocks she could find to decorate the banquet table.
Extra branches from the artificial tree were also turned into a heart-shaped tree, just like the rose buses in the Queen of Heart’s garden, in the Lewis Carroll classic.
Software engineer Carley made the flying teacups out of paper, sewed the flying kettle from felt scraps and old beads, and made a big kettle from a pillowcase.
Playing card soldiers were made from white card and Jessica and her sister Sophie, seven, painted old plates, due to be tossed out, as a special birthday activity.
The only thing Carley paid for was card, paper flowers and glue – which cost less than £20.
Carley, from Chelmsford, Essex, said: “Last week I started working out what to do and collecting things.
“I was messaging friends and family asking for things they were throwing out and seeing what was listed for free on Facebook.
“Then I was making things for three days up until the day before the party!
“I am creative so it’s a bit easier, but I don’t like spending lots of money or wasting things.”
Carley started planning the party for her daughter on January 5, ahead of the big day yesterday (12).
The crafty mum added: “The heart shaped tree was my squashed Christmas tree.
“It was my inspiration for how I was going to decorate the room, as when I took it down on January 4 it was flat as a pancake but the bottom looked like a heart.
“I decided to make everything a bit mismatched so I could make it quickly.”
Carley also printed out pictures of the iconic Lewis Carroll characters, and made some toadstools from a satin pillowcase, a postal tube and packaging from some dinner plates.
She said: “It’s genuinely my recycling! I created tables on different levels from different boxes from packages.”
The only things Carley purchased were some big white poster boards that were on sale, ten A4 pieces of card and some extra flowers and glue sticks.
She said: “The glue was the most expensive part- like £8!”
Carley revealed Jessica was “really shocked” when she walked downstairs.
She was given an Alice costume as her present, while sister Sophie, was the Queen of Hearts.
Carley said: “I luckily got Sophie’s costume for just £2 on Facebook!”
Sophie turned seven in April last year and her mum did a rainbow-themed party, making decorations from an old bed sheet and duvet set.
Carley said: “I felt like I had to decorate more, so even though the girls know to expect something for their birthday, they weren’t expecting this!”
The girls enjoyed the room by having a tea party, dancing round the kitchen and pottery painting.
Carley said: “I’m just thinking about all the tidying up now, but I know one of my friends is having a birthday next week so I’m hoping to pass the decorations on!”