How to Host a Fancy Hat Luncheon

Plan a ladies’ luncheon for a midsummer afternoon, and add a special touch. Yours will be a “Fancy Hat” luncheon with the theme carried out though an entertaining activity as well as the meal itself.

Make and send invitations. In keeping with the theme, draw a face on the front of a folded note card. On the top of the head, place a large flower sticker. Your “lady” will appear to be wearing a hat. Under her, write “You are invited to a Fancy Hat Luncheon.” On the inside of the invitation, give the details as to place, date, and time. At the bottom add the following: “Wear a Fancy Hat.”

Take photos. As soon as all of the guests have arrived, arrange to have someone photograph all of you in your fancy hats (as these will be removed later in the party).

Serve the luncheon. Finger sandwiches are a good choice for this “fancy” party. Simply cut the crusts from a soft bread, fill with tuna, salmon, and/or egg salad, and then cut into squares or strips. Along with the sandwiches, serve a bowl of fresh fruit, and a cheese and cracker tray. Accompany with sweet tea or wine.

Bring out the dessert. Make a “hat cake” by baking two round layers using a lemon cake mix. When the layers are cool, cut one of them into a smaller circle which will serve as the “crown” for the hat when you place it on top of the other layer. Frost the cake with canned lemon frosting and, if you are into cake decorating, add flowers you create yourself. Otherwise you can find various candies to use as polka dots or other decorations.

Bring out materials for the “millinery shop.” Give each guest a straw sunhat. (These can be purchased very inexpensively at craft stores.). On the middle of a large table, heap all the “trim” you have been able to accumulate. Here are some possibilities: --assorted colored remnants of ribbons and lace --assorted colored squares of felt to be cut into flowers, leaves, and other shapes --feathers, --“jewels” (odd pieces of costume jewelry, perhaps purchased from garage sales or thrift stores) --assorted beads --assorted buttons --plastic and silk flowers (again, check garage sales and thrift stores)

Set out a basket with bottles of white glue, scissors, needles and thread and invite guests to create their new “fancy hats.”

Take more photos while guests are decorating their hats and, again, try to have someone to take a group photo of all of you once the hats are finished.