My daughter's request for her belated seventh birthday party couldn't have been more welcome. She didn't want a theme (as in the past), she just desired an afternoon of art and crafting with her closest friends. She asked for a "make it" party. That's my girl! I didn't take a ton of photos, as my daughter was quite happy to have the focus of my eyes and not the lens. Any pictures with children have been kept anonymous with some intentional blurring. Photo-laden or not, I can share the steps, because seven is really the perfect age for this type of party and I encourage you to give it a try.
The stage was set for their creativity by organizing separate stations for each kind of material with signs hung from above:
- Drawing Door
- Beading Bazaar
- Sewing Station
- Painting Place
- Glitter and Glue
Three of my favorite moms, who also happen to be good friends, stayed and helped. Between their able hands (all master needle-threaders) and my husbands fire-tending and snack prepping skills, we had a smooth and cozy three hours. I had a personal moment of bliss (rare in the midst of holding a children's party), when everyone gathered for sewing simple felt pouches and purses. So good! The girls each made something unique and amazing. My only regret... not having a record of their completed projects. It must be a sign that I need to start hosting a little girl's sewing group.
I made 8 project/party bags in the final hour before the guests arrived- silly me! They were whipped up out of an old sheet with a cheery twill tape handle and printed with my old scissor stamp that I still love so much. Not my finest stitching, but they did the job as they hung on the mantle to await the piñata goodies and assorted craft projects to take home.
I had made that super duper quick piñata in the top photo at midnight the night before. Under pressure crafting seems to be my favorite kind. Tissue paper, shredder scissors, glue, and a paper bag- that's all it took. The glue dried to form a nice hard shell and it was quite pretty for being so simple. An indoor piñata with big, strong seven year olds had me terrified once we got to that final moment. My husband saved the day with a wooden spoon! No blind fold (kept them from random whacking) and the smallness of their tool, made for controlled chaos and loads of fun! I'd actually do it again next year... even with bigger eight year olds!
7 craft party tips:
- Beads- use elastic beading cord and help make the final knots.
- Sewing- felt, felt, felt.
- Paint- use real artist canvases in small sizes and emphasize filling out the info on the back which includes date, name, signature, title, material... it gives a sense of reverence to each small masterpiece.
- Music- quiet piano solos and such keeps the mood mellow, but a few dance tunes at key moments is good for shaking it out.
- Snacks- have a scheduled buffet, and then gather children on a picnic blanket on the floor (fun and keeps the project tables from needing to be cleared... until cupcake time.
- Cupcake Decorating- little dishes with little spoons for sprinkles, craft sticks for spreading frosting.
- Piñata- wooden spoon instead of a bat (had to say it again!)