Arts and Crafts Party

Groovy Craft Party -11yr- Tie Dye T-Shirts




Julie in Davenport, Iowa, USA


February 2010


Special Mention

My daughter wanted to have a Groovy Craft Party" for her 11th birthday.  She invited 13 girls. 

INVITATIONS We printed the invitations on white paper and used a seventies-style font with rainbow effects in the bubble letters and included some images of tie-dye T-shirts smiley faces peace signs and flowers around the text.  The party was from 1 to 4 so we wouldn't have to mess with a meal.  The text read in part You are invited to a Groovy Craft Party for ___________s 11th Birthday.  Crafts snacks and fun!  

 COSTUMES We advised party guests that we might get a little messy with the crafts and that we'd be outside if the weather was decent and suggested they not wear new clothes.  When the guests arrived they chose an empty colorful paper bag for themselves so they could put their crafts in as they were finished. 

DECORATIONS Decorations were pretty simple a smiley-face pinata with a peace sign on the back was hanging in front of our house and inside were balloons and streamers in neon green pink and orange.  We also had some disco music playing.  When everyone arrived they broke the smiley-face pinata filled with candy.  (We made the pinata in the week before the party so it had plenty of time to dry--used a punching bag instead of a balloon inside and tore newspaper strips and used a recipe for the paper mache glue.  We covered it with yellow streamers made the eyes and mouth from black construction paper and made a black peace sign for the back of it.) 

ACTIVITIES For activities we had craft stations:  tie-dye T-shirts (we used the squeeze bottle tie-dye dye and found cute fitted plain white T-shirts at a fabric/craft store--we showed the girls some basics of how to rubber band the T-shirts so they could create their own designs and my husband and I did the actual squirting of the dye with them telling us which colors go where it's  a messy process but we had covered our kitchen counter with garbage bags and wore plastic gloves) hemp bracelets(my daughter chose small glass beads and larger wooden beads with flowers painted on them--we cut the lengths of hemp before the party and made up several sample bracelets to give the girls some ideas) painted sun catchers (they said "smile" and had a flower my daughter chose the neon sparkly paint) and made tie-dye soap (grandma helped with this! we used the bottoms of 16-ounce pop bottles for the glycerin soap molds because they create a flower shape and they are free! melted the glycerin in the microwave and poured it in the molds--the girls added drops of fragrance and swirled in the colors they wanted).   All of the craft materials were found at local craft stores.  We purchased the materials over several weeks as there are often 40% or 50% off coupons in the paper each week.  I also watched the sales and was able to purchase the T-shirts for $2.00 each! 

GAMES Since it ended up being a nice day we walked to the park down the street and had a scavenger hunt.  I had the girls draw for colored strips of felt to form the teams--they wore the strips on their wrists during the hunt. Each team was given the same list of about 30 items (a piece of trash gray rock something that starts with the letter E stick that looks like a Y etc.) a bag to collect the items in and a pencil to mark off items as they found them.  We gave them some basic rules about not disturbing others teams staying together etc. and the boundaries (wanted to be sure we could see them!) and let them go.  After about 10 minutes we blew a whistle to end the hunt.  We left everything from nature at the park and threw the trash they found in the garbage can. They enjoyed running around trying to find everything and were very creative in their interpretations of the items.  The winning team members each received a small prize a neon-colored squishy ball. 

PARTY SNACKS/CAKE We then headed back to our house for brownies and build-your-own ice cream sundaes with butterscotch caramel and chocolate topping whipped cream sprinkles crushed chocolate sandwich cookies cherries etc.  The girls had a lot of fun with the spray whipped cream we went through three cans!  (There are recipes out there for tie-dye cake but my daughter wanted brownies and ice cream!) 

FAVORS After eating presents were opened and the guests packed their goody bags with their now-solid soap now-dry sun catcher and T-shirt and a neon yo-yo.  We sent the wet T-shirts home in plastic zipper bags with instructions for washing the next day (a hit with the parents who appreciated the instructions!).  If the weather hadn't been nice that day we had some back up plans--bingo a tray with items on it--see how many you can remember after looking at it for a minute etc.  We also had grandma on hand to help out.  She helped with the crafts and set out the sundae bar when we went to the park for the scavenger hunt.  The girls had a lot of fun and almost a year later are still wearing the T-shirts! "

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