We all need a little cheering up during winter; getting creative with a few friends is a great way to pass a cold Sunday afternoon. Craft parties can also be good time fillers when the in-laws are in town, or can be modified for smaller hands when the kids are on school vacation and need something to do. Although your own special, creative touch will be what makes your particular party great, check out our following tips for having everything run smoothly.
1. Plan—With Reasonable Ambition
Make a list of your favorite, easily-managed-in-a-single-afternoon crafts. If you’re excited about a new project, test it out before using your friends as glue-gun guinea pigs. Then narrow down the list to several crafts—perhaps four or five, depending on your number of guests—and separate them into stations. Map out where these stations will be in your house, and determine how many adults could reasonably work and move about the stations. That should be the maximum number of guests you allow.
2. Open Your Doors
It may sound too obvious to mention, but if you want people to come to your party, you’ll have to invite them first. Facebook is simple; handwritten notes are classy. Make sure to include a teaser about what kinds of crafts your guests will enjoy. RSVPing is the name of the game here—you want to know exactly how many people will show up so you can buy an appropriate number of supplies. You can always invite more friends than you can actually host, as long as you indicate First Come, First Served on your invitation.
3. Stock Up on Supplies—And Budget for Them
Once you know how many guests will be trampling your Oriental, head to the store. If you need to order things online, you should nail down the final guest list well in advance. Always buy slightly more supplies than are strictly needed; you can always use leftovers later, and everyone will applaud your foresight when you can replace the handmade pulp paper after your Aunt Nellie spills her tea all over Station Two. Consider asking guests to pitch in for materials. As long as you’re upfront about the plan, there’s nothing awkward about having your friends help out, given the amount of fun they’ll be having.
4. Feed the Hungry Beasts
Food is an easy way to make people feel comfortable and welcome; chocolate is a good way to get endorphins buzzing and keeping your estranged high school buds from ruining their manicures on each other’s faces. Anything else you like for ambience—music, mood lighting, embarrassing pictures of guests—will only enhance guests’ enjoyment.