In the hustle-and-bustle of our daily life, it’s so easy to take our friendships and connections with loved ones for granted! It’s one of life’s true blessings — good friendships — and what better way to celebrate them than with a craft party, where creativity and good vibes are contagious?
So I set out to see if those sweet friends of mine would be up for such an adventure! With them on board, the planning began. Here’s my adventure “how-to” so that it might make it easier for you to plan such a joyful gathering (not everyone has summers off like I do, I know!).
A printable shopping list, tips, setup ideas and photos are all here for the taking!
Of course, the theme and craft can be tailored to your liking – ours was a summery wreath with options for making it coastal, patriotic, neutral, or colorful, which made them all very unique and customized in the end. It ended up being an incredible way to celebrate friendships and create something beautiful too.
So, without further ado, here’s the how-to:
PART 1: PLAN IT
1. To get feedback about whether anyone would be interested, I created a Google form questionnaire. I recommend either sending something like this or simply an email to poll your friends to see if this is something even up their alley.
2. Once I saw that the idea was warmly received, it was time to decide what craft to make. The key is to find a balance between not-too-challenging or involved, but involved enough to make it truly crafty! I chose to do a wreath with lots of options for add-ons and crafting their own unique touches. It worked out really well for plenty of creative leeway, but wasn’t too intimidating either. Here are the pieces:
- vine wreath
- burlap and white artificial hydrangeas
- each stem had 10 individual flower bunches that could be separated. I divvied up 4 individual bunches of each color per person, so with 7 people, that meant I needed 3 stems of each color.
- small wooden letter for each person’s last name
- I gave the option to use a pre-made bow or to learn how to make their own from ribbon.
- hanging chalkboard plaque to decorate with chalk markers and hang in the middle of the wreath
- optional accessories (here’s where much of the uniqueness came into play!):
- wooden laser cut bird ornament (came in packs of 6 for $3)*
- leaves from artificial flowers
- small American flags (found them 3/$1)
- galvanized metal stars (found them 2/$1)*
- seashells (already had a stash!)*
*For the wooden pieces (the letter and bird ornament), metal stars, and seashells, crafters had the option to paint them using acrylic craft paint.
3. Once you have a plan for the craft and date/time for the event, get in touch with your crafters to have them RSVP. This will help you know how many people will be attending and therefore how many to buy crafts for. The wreath craft ended up being around $15, so I asked the girls to bring this the day of the event to cover the cost. I sent an email reminder about the party the week before the event.
- Check out your dollar stores and dollar sections of Target or Walmart to find some pretty wreath accessories.
- Make your craft store purchases during the end-of-season time. For a summer party, mid-June was a terrific time to shop and get much more for our money. (For example, a gorgeous pre-made bow was on sale for $3 from $8.)
- Look for neutral combinations, like whites, linens, browns, and tans to appeal to most tastes.
- Add the opportunity for pops of color with the option to paint a wreath ornament or accessory.
PART 2: SET IT UP
You’ll need a spot for the crafting materials so that the crafters can pick and choose their accessories. I used our buffet in our dining room/entryway for this purpose and organized the crafts with a platter, glass bowl, and some cute metal pails I found in the dollar section.
TIP: Chalkboard tags came in handy to mark what each item is and what the limit is on how many each person can take.
Since the wreath craft had a combination of painting, chalkboard decorating, hot gluing, and bow-making, spreading the rest of the materials out on different tables was a must. Stations worked really well (see pictures below)!
TIP: I recommend getting a roll or two of craft paper (I found a runner-width roll at Target that was just perfect) so that you can protect your tables. I taped it down with clear packing tape.
Here was the setup for the four different stations:
1. Paint station (small but tall patio table that I brought inside):
- Materials at this station:
- jar with water and 3 paintbrushes
- lid or plate to dispense paint onto
- 3 colors of acrylic craft paint: white, burgundy, and aqua
- small pieces of paper towel
2. Chalkboard decorating & wreath assembly station (dining room table):
- scrap paper & pencils (for chalkboard practice)
- bowl of water, sponge, and cut paper towels (for chalkboard practice)
- chalk markers (I had 1 white marker and 1 brown marker; white was the most popular)
- chalkboard plaques
3. Bow station (end table):
- basket of pre-made bows (all that was required here from the crafters was some elbow grease in working out the creases)
- platter with supplies for the make-your-own-bow:
- wired ribbon of your choice cut to 27″ long (I cut a few ahead of time, but waited to cut more until someone wanted it – I kept the roll in another room so the crafters wouldn’t have to worry about measuring/cutting it and to ensure we’d have enough to go around.)
- pieces of twine cut to 12″ each (one piece per bow)
- twist-ties or pieces of floral ribbon (one per bow)
4. Hot glue station (kitchen table):
- 2 hot glue guns
- handful or two of extra glue sticks
For doing a wreath, stations worked fabulously, but if you’re doing a different craft, it may not be needed. I recommend setting up the tables at least the day before the event so you can get everything, including your mind, organized.
TIP: Chalkboard easels worked out great to give explanations or ideas at each station. Apparently, though, the ones that I found for cheap didn’t want to erase after a few days. I plan on re-painting them with chalkboard paint, but just FYI – you may want to wait until the day-of to write out your inscriptions just in case.
You may also want to have some munchies available, so consider if you want your crafters to bring something to nosh on or sip, or do a small spread yourself. I opted to do grapes, crackers + guacamole, cheese slices, nuts, and chocolate. We sipped on strawberry infused water and strawberry apple wine, perfect for our hot Southern summer!
PART 3: IT’S CRAFT PARTY TIME!
With the planning and setting up all complete, now comes the day of fun! Here are some tips for making the event the treasured time for you and your guests that it’s meant to be:
1. Go for the food first! Especially for those who haven’t met before, getting the chance to chat, get acquainted, catch up, and be social is the perfect way to start.
2. Put on decade music in the background for an atmosphere that gets you groovin’.
3. Put your guests at ease by reminding them that this is more about friendships and being able to share each other’s company and less about the craft. Yes, it’s about the craft too, but more importantly it’s a chance to celebrate and share an adventure!
4. Assure everyone that they are in safe company! Meaning, craftiness is all about trying things out, seeing how they like it, and not feeling like it has to be perfect. Sometimes “mistakes” end up leading you to something even better.
5. Once you’ve all had some munchies and are ready to get crafting, give a run-down of each station (or overview of the craft if you’re not using stations). Anything you think is important to communicate, do that now so the crafters have a good vision of where the craft is going. You may want to give suggestions, like:
- “Just an idea, you could either put the wooden bird ornament on the wreath, or even make a Christmas ornament out of it and tie a metal star to it.”
- “When you’re ready to start arranging the wreath, grab one from the stack, and start by putting the bow where you want it. Then balance it with your other add-ons, and play around with it until you’re happy with it. Then take it to the glue gun station.”
- “For the paint station, put a few drops of paint on the lid, and then get more when you need it. Also, when you’re finished with the paintbrush, put it back in the jar of water so the bristles don’t get crispy.”
6. At the beginning, offer to help with anything they run up against so they have a green light to ask for any support if/when needed. The level of confidence in their craftiness varied, so I was more than happy to help the girls make a bow, write out an inscription, or give help whenever needed. Even though I’m not an expert on these things, just knowing that they weren’t totally on their own helped make it less intimidating for those who say they’re not crafty (even though they really are!).
7. Let them loose and let the crafting begin!
We got into a groove with decade music in the background, and of course went back for more munchies to feed our craftiness. I didn’t take any pictures during the event — we were just having so much fun, and I certainly didn’t want to add any anxiety either — so I’ll jump right to the finished wreaths. They all turned out so unique and beautiful all, a testament to just how creative we all are!
We had an absolute blast and each crafter went home with a beautiful work of art all their own. Knowing that they’ve displayed them proudly on their doors to welcome guests is such a great feeling. It was so much fun that I’m already thinking of other possibilities for a craft party!
I hope you find our adventure helpful if you go about hosting your own craft event. Live porpoisefully and seas the day!