With lockdown easing, I’ve been thinking of inviting my close friends and family over and organising a little get together. My friends like being creative, and we often do craft courses together. Since most craft schools are still closed, I thought it would be fun to meet with friends and do something creative at the same time.
Here are my top tips on how to organise a craft party
1. Choose your date and time
Let you friends know what you are planning and then decide on the date and start time to fit with the majority of the group and also what suits you best. There will always be some people who can’t make a particular date, so don’t spend too much time on endlessly picking a time to suit absolutely everyone.
2. Decide on a party size
The size of your craft party depends on how much space you have for everyone and what your budget is. Each person will need a good table space to work on their own particular craft project. You will also need extra space for a side table for refreshments and perhaps for craft material and suppliers.
3. Party Budget
Just because this is a friends get together, you shouldn’t underestimate the cost, which could easily spiral out of control if you are not careful. Based on the number of people you would like to invite, decide on the budget and then work out the amount of money you need for each person.
4. Choose your craft project
Ideally, it should be something that you are already familiar with and have completed before, or that you (as the party host) are willing to spend a few hours beforehand to learn. You’ll be then able to pass on your knowledge to your friends and help them if needed.
Pick a project that is easy and can be completed (or mostly completed) in a couple of hours. You don’t need to work on the same project together, but it will make it easier to choose something that you can help each other with. For example, you can learn embroidery, where people can choose a few different projects from a decorated picture frame, cute keyrings or floral hoops designs.
A few tips on starting with embroidery
- Starting with embroidery is very easy and online resources with printed embroidery designs make each project simple and easy to follow.
- Pick an embroidery design you like, from online creative platforms like Design Bundles, Creative Market or Etsy.
- The description gives you a clear idea of what the finished project will look like and how many embroidery threads and colours you need.
- Download your chosen design as a PDF document, which will arrive instantly to your e-mail inbox. The design pattern will include the actual pattern with symbols, embroidery thread colours legend and any other tips on how to complete your project.
- You will need Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader to view the design pattern. Adobe Acrobat can be downloaded for free.
- It’s best to print your embroidery design and even enlarge the pattern, so that you can clearly see the step by step instructions and embroidery thread colours.
- Print a few different embroidery projects, so that your friends have a small selection to choose from.
Buy craft suppliers & equipment
To complete your craft project, you will also need:
- Plain fabric (these could be smaller off cuts of light coloured or white fabric, which should be washed in hot water (to pre-shrink) and then ironed to make it easier to work with.
- Scissors (small sharp ones are best)
- Selection of embroidery threads
- Few sets of embroidery needles (any large needles will be fine)
- Fabric marker (these are usually water-soluble and useful to mark your fabric with before you start your embroidery)
5. Refreshments & Food
I know the main focus of your afternoon will be your craft project, but it’s also a great opportunity to catch up with your friends and share a cup of tea and a slice of cake! To keep things simple, you can set up a separate table with sandwiches, fruits, cakes and biscuits and let everyone help themselves as and when they want to. To save time, you can also make coffee and tea into a thermos flask. To keep your party planning on budget, you can also ask your friends to bring a few snacks to share with the rest of the group.
6. Set the scene
To make sure your craft party goes well, prepare your room well in advance to avoid a last-minute rush to get everything ready. You will need to think about:
Table & Chairs
Cover your table with a protective plastic sheet or an old table cloth. Make sure you have enough chairs.
Choose soft background music to allow people to talk and to fill any quiet moments.
Decorate the room
It’s always nice to have extra decorations around the room, like a pretty bunting, fresh flowers or ornaments.
Prepare these in advance, cover with cling film or keep in plastic containers.
7. Be the perfect host and enjoy the afternoon!
Allow yourself plenty of time on the day, by setting everything up the night before the party. Make sure that everyone feels at ease when they arrive and introduce mutual friends that might not know the rest of the group.
Explain what the craft afternoon is all about, what projects you’ll be all working on, arrangements for refreshments and let everyone know where the bathroom is!
Enjoy your crafty afternoon with friends!