Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry and Bright: Kid's Christmas Party Decor and Crafts

The second Saturday in December we celebrated my daughter's 4th birthday. She turns four on the 29th of December, but a Christmas party doesn't work well after Christmas, so we did it a little early. I will not lie, a party in mid-December is much more stressful than in January. I feel like I couldn't focus on Christmas until after her party and that made me feel behind. However, her party was lots of fun and I loved creating it!

Here is my sweet family just moments before her party started... can you tell she was excited for her friends to come over?

Her past parties have focused more on food (Milk and Cookies, Dolls and Doughnuts), so I wanted this one to be less food and more about fun crafts! There are so many cute crafts on blogs and Pinterest, that I had a hard time narrowing it all down.

Since I created the stove top cover and moved the buffet into the kitchen, we used the formal dining room as a craft area. Almost everything in here was purchased 50% off last year! I wanted it to be light and fun. I hung big tissue balls from the light along with inexpensive snowflakes from Target's ornament collection.

The side table in the dining room held our regular Christmas trees, but I added picture of Abby from her first, second, and third birthday parties. I bought the white plastic frames at IKEA for $1 each. You'll see them in numerous places throughout the party.

The formal table was covered with a large piece of wrapping paper and taped down with painter's tape. It house foam crafts for the kids including ornaments and door hangers. I bought these last year also, making it an inexpensive and simple craft for the kids.

I printed out directions using the digital kit that matched her invitations and framed them in my IKEA frames. The red buckets held trash and fake snow was added for fun!

We had two additional crafts in the kitchen. These snowglobes were my favorite craft and the kids loved making them, too! I forgot to take any pictures of the set-up of this craft- boo! 

They were made with baby food jars I collected from church. I sprayed the lids red and added glitter spray as well. The snowmen (ornaments from the miniature collection at Hobby Lobby) were all hot glued into the lids before the party. At the party, kids simply had to pick a snowman, add glitter and glycerin to the jar (helps thicken the water so the glitter moves slowly), and then fill with water. I also had ribbon and jingle bells they could use on the jars. 

The final craft was making a tree with their handprints for Abby to hang in her room at Christmas time. My Mom so nicely managed this craft for me. I bought a large canvas, green craft paint and a big tub of baby wipes!

The kids added their handprints one by one to the tree. After the party, my Mom went in with Abby's hand and filled in the tree. I plan to add ornaments, a star, and a verse to the tree to complete it. I'll share that soon! Here is my inspiration tree. 

Along with crafts, we ate yummy food and Santa came over (literally!) and took pictures, sang songs, and read stories to the 20 or so kids at the party. He was the hit of the party, for sure! I'll share food and my new favorite punch recipe next!

Since the kids made crafts as take homes, I wanted something simple for them as they left. 

I bought Christmas cups on clearance last year and filled them with straws, yo-yos, little plastic people, and whistles.

 I also found this cute Christmas countdown printable on Pinterest and had it printed at Office Max. I bought a large bag of cotton balls and filled little pastry bags with 24 balls for each kid. I tied them off with tulle and the kids had something fun to craft at home! 

 I had so much fun planning Abby Lu's sweet party! I know she had a blast with her friends and that makes it all the better! I don't have any idea what I will do next year- I am fairly certain she will pick her theme. I sure have enjoyed my four years of independent planning!