Girl’s Crafting Party
by Jo Ann Wentzel
A great theme for girls is a crafting party. Any kind of craft or skill could be utilized as long as it is of interest to all the guests. The main things to remember is that the craft should be appropriate for the age of the guests. Another important concept to keep in mind is that this is a party so you must have fun. If it is just learning and turns into hard work it could never be an enjoyable party. The third thing about crafting is that individualism and creative expression should be valued much higher than perfection. Mastering the craft is not the idea of the party, but learning about it and enjoying the introduction is what the theme should be about for the first contact with a new craft.
If you are planning just one craft, design your entire theme around that; otherwise use elements from several crafts. For example, if your craft is beadwork, brightly colored or painted objects or actually strung beads could be used instead of streamers, but in the same ways. You could make giant beads from bathroom tissue rolls and paint the oblongs in bright colors. You could do the same thing by painting or covering Styrofoam balls on a ribbon or string.
Are you going to be painting, you might consider using library loaned pictures or copies of famous painting from clip art on your party walls? Add palettes and brushes for another design element. If you could round up enough easels and smocks or old paint shirts that would be fun. Add a beret to wear for your little artists. Those touches are often the difference between a so- so party and a delightful remembered occasion.
Teaching sculpting try to find some inexpensive plaster busts or statues to inspire your little sculptors and use those as decorations.
Maybe, you wish to transfer your love of sewing or quilting to young girls. They might create very tiny quilts for their dolls and bears. Quilted patterns of paper or cloth or the actual pattern themselves can make lovely decorations or place mats for the tables, possibly hangings for atmosphere.
You might cover little margarine tubs with cloth, making a pincushion for the lid as favors or the actual project. Fill the tub with some inexpensive and basic sewing supplies like needles, thimbles, and brightly colored thread. There are many ready- made stitching, beading, or other projects for a variety of age groups. Do you remember the sewing cards or stitching cards they may have been called? These were colorful shapes of dolls, animals or everyday objects on very heavy weight board with holes punched around the outline. These were laced with yarn laces. These are wonderful for tiny girls. It is great for dexterity and you could make your own. Find some poster board of a heavy weight and use shoelaces for the ‘sewing.’
There are so many craft websites where specific holiday ideas are presented. You could combine the party to celebrate that holiday while still keeping a craft theme. Look online to find craft ideas and patterns and directions. Sometimes adult crafts can be toned down to a simpler level so girls can get the idea of how to do a craft or learn a skill without getting frustrated by it being too difficult since not age appropriate.
Have all supplies on hand or ask someone to help gather them for you. Check with thrift or dollar stores for a great source of inexpensive projects and supplies. If you want some of the craft items could be brought by the guests themselves. You will want to limit the number of guests for this type of party. This is the not the theme to use if inviting the whole third grade. Remember to ask for lots of adult help for this type of party. It needs supervision and lots of guiding hands. One on one supervision and assistance might be the perfect adult to child ratio. Be careful, if this becomes a mother and daughter project, it might turn into a monthly club idea. (A wonderful bonding tool.)
One other thing to remember is to extend the party a bit longer than usual parties so everyone can enjoy the whole party and get their own projects done in time. It is usually best for the projects to be ones that can be completed before they leave and they can take the finished project home when they go.
Make sure to provide the usual type of party foods decorated to reflect your theme. Use lots of colored blotches of icing on a cake to represent an artist’s palette. Decorate ice cream scoops wit ‘beads’ of cookie toppings. You get the idea. Serve party foods you want to serve, just adding an element to make it fit your theme. If nothing else name it something that fits your party.
Add a game or two. Make a large cardboard needle and make the guests thread the needle with ribbon or yarn while blindfolded. Instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, paint the nose on the seamstress. You will need several copies of the same pictures and put each artist’s name on their attempt. For this game guests would also be blindfolded. Do a relay game with balls of yarn carrying them on a spoon or use pincushions to use as a ball for a game where they are thrown some distance into a sewing basket.
If you are planning on prizes they should be given according to the craft. Water paints, to poster paints, finger paint sets, brushes, acrylic paints, paint by numbers, beads, sewing cards, modeling clay, stitching sets, etc. all make wonderful prizes and favors.