Tween Girl turned 10!
If you have tweens, then you know how fickle they can be, especially when it comes to their birthday parties. In previous years, we have done small parties, classroom parties, movie parties, Chuck E. Cheese parties and big parties with family.
I was SUPER excited about this year's party because it involved things Tween Girl and I both love: Crafts!
Disclaimer: I am not a Pinterest perfectionist. The party was Pinterest-inspired, however, you may witness some great Pinterest wins, so-so's and fails.
With that said, this year's birthday party was a great choice for most tween girls. The girls got a chance to make things with their own hands, laugh, talk, giggle, talk and it didn't require a lot of me!
Here's how the party plan unfolded.
I started tossing birthday party ideas to Tween Girl a month prior to her birthday month. Once she decided she wanted a crafting birthday party, I let her decide who to invite by having her write the a names of 8 friends on slips of paper and putting those names into a jar for her to select from. She had a choice of picking 5 from the jar. Once that was settled, she needed to decide on which crafts she and her friends would make. I sat her in front of Pinterest and she selected 5 crafts, which she wrote on slips of paper, put in the jar and selected 3. We needed the crafts to be cute yet simple. Here's what she picked: jean purses, DIY lip gloss and decorating the first letter of their names. Next, she crafted the party menu: wings (various flavors), chips and dip, fruit and veggie tray, punch. My Hubs came up with the great idea of buying cupcakes, no icing. Buy the icing separately, place in sandwich bags and set out different decorating edibles for the girls to decorate their cupcakes, keeping the crafting theme alive.
Since we had a party theme, the invitations needed to fit the theme. And I already knew that since this was an at home crafting party, I would DIY the invitations.
The invitations were SUPER simple because I used Canva to design. Canva is a free design tool that allows users to create professional layouts. I use the paid version of Canva for all of my blog designs.
Want your own copy of the invitation? Click here to download.
Party invitations can be printed at home using either cardstock or Avery note cards. I chose to use cardstock because the note cards are rather expensive.
Since it was a craft party, the obvious choice would be to have the party at one of the craft stores like Michael's, Joann's or Hobby Lobby. Checking the pricing of all those, we decided to have the party at our home to make it more comfortable and personable.
Aside from the balloons on the mailbox (to let guests know they were at the right house!), we had more balloons inside the house.
Tweens love having their pictures taken and so having an Instagram photo prop with emojis seemed obvious
I ordered an Instagram digital file from the Etsy shop Art No Particular Order. Krystal, the shop owner, quickly created the file based on the specifications I indicated when ordered. Once she emailed me the digital file, I uploaded to Staples in a poster size, 24 x 36. The poster was ready the next day for only $19.99. I purchased a foam board from Hobby Lobby for $5.99. I used spray adhesive to glue the poster to the foam board and used my handy dandy cutter to trim away the extra foam board. Here are my results:
I actually used the hashtags on Instagram, making sure that I received permission from the girls and their parents.
Tween Girl also wanted emoji photo props to use with the Instagram photo prop. We used this tutorial for emoji fans to make our photo props. I used our home printer to print and then cut the emojis so that Tween Girl could glue them to cardboard circles. She glued colorful popsicle sticks to the emoji circles so that she and her friends could hold them while photos were being taken.
Our menu consisted of :
An assortment of wings (lemon pepper, hot, bbq, teriyaki)
A great punch, which I found on Pinterest. WARNING: This punch packs a lot of sweetness. I rushed the kids outside to run around for a bit after drinking a couple of glasses. I also had lemonade and water.
I found this cute beverage dispenser from Kirklands, helped that it was marked down!
Chips with dip
Veggie and fruit trays
Cake and ice cream
We purchased the cupcakes without any icing and had the frosting on the side in four different colors. Of course, this was a big hit, everyone loves frosting.
When each girl arrived, they were greeted with a chipboard letter of the first letter of their first name. I purchased the chipboard letters at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, so 99 cents for each letter. I purchased the embellishments weeks before at a Michael's closeout sale, each costing about 75 cents per pack. We also picked up glue sticks, hot glue sticks and markers from Michael's and Dollar Tree.
This was a hit, the girls loved this craft because they concentrated on making it a representation of themselves.
The girls were a bit skeptical about making a jean pocket purse. Before they arrived, my sister and I cut the pockets from jeans collected from friends, family and thrift stores. We used our tray of decorating goodies and got the hot glue gun going.
So, remember my Pinterest disclaimer about me not being a Pinterest Perfectionist? The DIY lipgloss helped to really drive that point home! In my party research, I found several tutorials for making the lipgloss. Most called for coconut oil and Kool-Aid. I am not a Kool-aid drinker, never have been, so I forgot to add sugar to the mixture. I figured this out when I applied the first batch of lipgloss to my own lips. The third batch turned out ok, so I did package it in these cute little containers I ordered from Amazon. If anything, it provided a great laugh fest with my Hubs and sister.
Guess I was never truly confident in my lipgloss making abilities because I couldn't even bring myself to having the girls help mix the concoction. Notice I didn't even include a picture? But if you are feeling brave here are some great tutorials.
The beauty of a crafting birthday party is that each guest makes their own party favor! In addition to their party favor crafts, each girl received a photo booth strip of the pics taken with the Instagram and emoji props. Here's a great template I used to create the photo booth strip pictures.
It's always been a tradition for me to purchase Tween Girl a birthday shirt. This year's shirt is a milestone since she's entered double digits:
I love Etsy, so of course, I found a great vendor to work with. Once I ordered, Madgrrl quickly created and shipped the shirt to me. The shirt arrived days before Tween Girl's birthday so that she could wear it to school on her actual birth day. She also wore it the day of the party.
The party was a success in my book, however, I am all partied out! This was our first at home party and I definitely missed having a party assistant from Chuck E. Cheese.
Would I do it again? Yep. When I was growing up, I only remember one birthday party, think that was my only one. Tween Girl's party was a great time, not only for Tween Girl and her friends but also for my Hubs, my sister, and my nephews.
What was your best birthday party as a child or an adult?