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5 Tips for Hosting A Craft Afternoon Party For Adults and Kids

by - Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Ever since we completed our modern coastal craft room last year, I've been dreaming of hosting a crafternoon party. So what is a Crafternoon (or Crafternight)? A craft afternoon is an activity that combines crafts and games in order to provide entertainment for children and adults alike. It is usually done on a weekday after school or during the weekend. Otherwise known as the most fun day ever ;)

The holidays were the perfect excuse to host a Christmas craft party. Every December, I gather with girlfriends I've known for 35 years. As you can imagine, our get-togethers have run the gamut, from casual picnics sitting on the floor of a rented apartment, to large restaurant dinners with our families, to refined tea parties (ladies only!). Whatever the kind of celebration, the best thing is just getting the chance to spend time together. I enjoy entertaining during Christmas so I was excited to do something different for this year's get-together and invite my girlfriends and their kids over for some creative fun.

This conversation is brought to you by Canadian Tire. All opinions and ideas are my own.

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How To Host a Christmas Craft Party For Adults and Kids

The holidays can be a busy time of year but a Christmas craft party gives you a reason to slow down, reconnect, and have great conversations. Unlike other Christmas party themes, this one allows you to sit, relax with old friends or get to know new ones better. I thought I would share my crafternoon party ideas with you along with my 5 tips for hosting a craft party. If you've ever considered hosting a craft night of your own, I highly recommend it!

1. Set Up Early

When you're the party host, you're likely juggling a million things just before your guests arrive. You're doing last minute cleanups and making sure there's toilet paper in the bathroom. You're cooking and listening for the oven timer. You're filling the ice bucket and hunting for those extra napkins you know you have somewhere! Save yourself some stress by setting out your party decor and serving accessories early.

We don't have a large house so we set up the food buffet on the dining table. I like to fully set up my dining table the night before so that all that needs to be done is for the food to be put on the table at the last minute.

Here's a few tasks you can do ahead of time:

  • Iron and cover the table with a tablecloth
  • Make sure that lightbulbs in the room work
  • Put out any table decorations or floral arrangements
  • Move unneeded furniture out of the way
  • Have all the food serving items (e.g. platters, cake stands, tiered serving trays) in place
  • Put all plates, cutlery, and napkins in an accessible spot so guests can help themselves

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2. Have Fun With Your Decor

A Christmas crafternoon is all about creativity so why not set a fun mood with your decor? But keep things easy and carefree - craft parties should be the opposite of fancy! Since this party was for both kids and adults, I wanted the decor to be fun and colourful. A pretty plaid tablecloth sets the cheery tone. I carried the plaid onto the walls with the Merry Christmas banner from my Christmas Fun Bundle.

On the table, I kept things casual with my enamelware platters, Christmas plates, and set my miniature truck as a centrepiece. I filled the truck with party crackers from Canadian Tire to be given out at the end of the party, but in the meantime, they added sparkle and whimsy to the table. I like the idea of a "make and take" for a craft party; you get to make your craft but you also get a small token to take home.

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For parties, I use my sideboard as a servery to hold the plates and cutlery. Aren't these the cutest snack plates? Their sweet woodland motifs were a hit with the kids. I loved the irregular shape of the plates which made them feel hand made. Decorations that appeal to kids (and the kid in all of us) suit the light happy mood.

3. Supply Crafternoon Treats

As with any gathering, be prepared to provide some food and drinks for your guests. I scheduled my crafternoon for 2pm-4pm in the afternoon, in between meal times, so the menu didn't need to be heavy or elaborate. We would start off with light snacks and appetizers, do some crafting, and then come back to the dining room for dessert. Of course, everyone had a good time and the party kept on going so we ordered a few different pizzas for an easy, early dinner.

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It can be a challenge to plan a food menu that caters to everyone's tastes and diets. At this craft party, I had guests that were gluten-free, vegetarian, somewhat picky, some not at all, and kids! To satisfy everyone, I settled on a basic menu of fruits, veggies and dip, a charcuterie board, and pies and cupcakes for dessert. I used my Christmas placecards to label some of the foods. Guests appreciate small touches like that and it keeps the host happy knowing that your guests aren't eating anything they're allergic to!

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4. Pick Appropriate Crafts

When planning a craft party, one of the most important elements is to have crafts that are both age appropriate and suited to the skill levels of your attendees. You don't want to have crafts that are too easy and done in 5 minutes, nor do you want something so complicated that you have to spend your time as a host sitting down with each individual and walking them step by step through the process.

Ideally, you'll want simple crafts to make that your guests can complete in about 20-30 minutes. Of course, you'll want your crafts to be Christmas-themed as well.

Craft Party Ideas for Kids:

For this party, I had six women and six kids between the ages of 5-15 in attendance. There are lots of craft ideas for kids and adults to choose from but here are the ones we made during our crafternoon:

Mason Jar Snow Globes

This very simple craft is easy and fun for young children. For supplies, you'll need:

Use the dots to affix the figurines and trees either to the inside of the jar lid or jar side (lay the jar horizontally). Add fake snow and ta-da, you have a simple snow globe

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Reindeer Ornaments

We used this reindeer handmade ornament tutorial for our next craft. The tweens and teens in attendance LOVED this craft. They all hopped onto their phones to find inspiration for their reindeer faces and spent a good 45 minutes meticulously painting away.

For this craft, you'll need:

PRO TIP: I like to use this enamel tray as a paint tray. It's easy to clean up and the larger size works well when you have two or more people using the same paint.

You can follow this tutorial for this very cute and fun craft. We made one substitution and hot-glued pipe cleaners for the antlers instead of using twigs.

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Craft Afternoon Ideas for Adults:

Modern Metal Wreath Arrangements

For the ladies, I set up this wreath making activity. I found the wreath rings at Ikea and we used floral wire to attach the greenery, ornaments, and ribbons to the rings. It took a while for some of the ladies to get the hang of bending and shaping the greenery, but they all enjoyed the process and ended up with unique and personalized wreaths they were proud to display in their homes.

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crafternoon, christmas craft party, craft party ideas, tips for hosting a craft party

5. Create Crafting Stations

Once you've decided on what crafts you'll be making, find an appropriate space to make those crafts. When you're doing any sort of DIY activity, it's good to have a clear, well-lit area to work in. Having room to sit or stand, and having all your materials nearby, will make crafting easy and fun.

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In my home, I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated craft room. This room is outfitted with banks of drawers that contain all of my crafting supplies. There is also a bench and craft table where people can sit and not have to worry about making a mess. The kids and teens claimed the bench seat and were happy to busy themselves with their crafts in this room.

To make things easy, I prepared the room ahead of time by:

  • covering the table in a plastic tablecloth that could take paint spills and glitter mishaps
  • ensuring there were enough paintbrushes and supplies for each child
  • keeping everything they needed for each craft in separate bins
  • brought out just what they needed (e.g. only the paint colours needed to make the reindeer faces) instead of bringing out all of the paint supplies
  • having cleaning supplies like rags and jars of water for paintbrushes ready
I also had a few extra colouring sheets on hand in case the littlest kids got bored (and they did) but otherwise, the kids were very self-sufficient!

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My girlfriends and I were set up at a long table in the adjacent room. Supplies for our craft were ready and waiting at each seat. I also prepared a "finished product" - the wreath hanging on the wall - to demonstrate what we were making. It was easier to explain the steps when I had a finished wreath to show them.

I set up a 'materials station' (a desk with a tablecloth on top) where each person could go and take what they needed. The station was stocked with fresh and faux greenery, ornaments, and ribbon needed to complete the wreath. It would have been nice to have a larger area to move around, but this setup worked fine.

These people - I love them all! By the end of the afternoon, we had our fill of crafting and created some of the cutest Christmas decorations! I loved spending time with my friends and seeing our kids grow their friendships too is such a treasure.

Ultimately, a crafternoon party or crafternight is just a fun way to explore your creative side.  It makes for a unique Christmas party theme but will work for any time of year. I think a spring time craft night might be in my future!



Looking for more crafty ideas? Check out these projects:

Mini Felt Stocking

A Grinchmas Tree

DIY Holiday Hand Warmers

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