How To: Host the Best Crafternoon Ever

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HOW-T0-CRAFTERNOON

Are you the craftiest or most Pinterest-addicted of your friends? Show off your skills and get your friends addicted to making with you this summer by hosting a fun crafternoon. Even if you’ve never taught anyone else before, this party is a guaranteed blast because you’ll be surrounded by familiar faces.. and (probably) glitter! Here are our tips for throwing the best crafternoon ever -

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(Hostess with the Mostess)

1. You’re Gonna Need Snacks

Wait, shouldn’t the first tip be something craft-related? No! The key to any good party is always food and drinks. People are crazy about free food and drinks! It causes them to abandon all rational decision-making skills and any feelings of stress in favor of a mimosa and something delicious involving avocado. (In fact, when I first started Whimseybox I convinced friends, relatives and even strangers to come and help pack Whimseyboxes -essentially manual labor- just by offering food + drinks.)

However not just any snacks will do for a crafternoon. With a table full of craft supplies already, this is not the time to break out any complicated recipes that will distract from the main event. Stick to small bites (chips and guac, finger sandwiches, mini cupcakes) and save your grandma’s famous souffle recipe for another day. As for the drinks, whether you decide to go alcoholic or non-alcoholic, take the time to pretty them up. Some colorful striped straws, a fun DIY drink stirrer or cool coasters will set a festive and creative mood.

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(SF Girl By Bay)

2. Pick A Project

Unless your friends are super crafty, don’t ask them to bring their own project ideas + supplies. Some DIYs just don’t travel well (as a person who has lugged her sewing machine around to her friends’ apartments, trust me on this) and other friends need a little more help finding the inspiration to express themselves creatively. Choose a project - anything that gets you excited will probably inspire your friends too – and gather the basic materials in advance. The key to choosing a good project for a group is to keep it simple! Most projects take longer than you expect (you can only craft so fast in between noshing on snacks and discussing the OITNB finale, right?) and super-crafty types can aways put their own spin on a simple idea. Needs some project ideas? Check out our Party Packs!

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(Anthology)

3. Location, Location, Location

If your 650 sqft apartment isn’t up to the task (or your crazy roommates make everything awkward) don’t be afraid to take your crafternoon on the road. Right now the weather is perfect for a picnic – all you need is a pile of blankets and a park. Prefer to keep it indoors? Don’t be afraid to ask your favorite local restaurant or bar about using their party room, or snagging a few tables in the back during non-peak hours. As long as you’re willing to purchase food and drinks they are usually happy to host.

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(Etsy)

4. No Pressure

I’ve found that the #1 objection people have to getting crafty is that “they aren’t creative!” If you have friends that have declared themselves “not creative” (so silly – we’re all creative!) help them along by putting all the focus on having fun and none on the results. Do they want help with a step, or for you to do it for them? Go ahead! This isn’t chemistry and no one is getting graded. Encourage everyone to relax and do as much or as little as they’d like. I’m always impressed – usually by the end the “not creative” ones are having the best time showing off what they made!

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(Mohawk)

5. Recruit Help

It’s hard to be the hostess, the chef, the waitress and the instructor all at the same time. Find a trusty friend to make your point person and put them in charge of a few things. If you’re having more than 6 or so guests, you might recruit 2 or 3 helpers and have them come by in advance to run through the project with you. It will make the day much more fun for everyone involved if you aren’t trying to clean up spilled wine (or is that just my friends?) while instructing people in the finer points of how to apply (and pronounce!) Mod Podge.

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(Hostess with the Mostess)

6. Don’t Go Decor Crazy

I know, you’re already pinning cool craft party decor ideas and dreaming up your photo backdrop. Am I right? While fun party decor is always welcome, don’t let some Pinterest-inspired madness become a burden that keeps you from actually getting around to having your party. Remember – parties are about PEOPLE, not how many hearts you get on the Instagram pics of it :)

Bonus Tips:

  • Pick A Cause – Looking for some more ways to make your crafternoon rock?  There are tons of great non-profits and other organizations that would love to benefit from your creative energy. How about making cute cards to send along with the next Meals on Wheels delivery in your town? Or ask each of your guests to bring a few food items for your local pantry!
  • Pick A Theme – While you certainly don’t need a theme or occasion to throw a crafternoon, holidays and big life events like new houses and babies make for great reasons to celebrate DIY-style.
  • Bring A Friend – I’m convinced that there is no better way to get to know people than sitting around a table making. It breaks the ice and takes all of the small talk weirdness away leaving room for real conversation and connections. Want to expand your social circle? Encourage each of your guests to bring a friend along and soon you’ll have twice as many DIY buddies.

Have fun, and if you host a crafternoon be sure to tag us at #whimseybox so we can check it out!

Alicia DiRago is the founder and CEO of Whimseybox. She has led DIY events across the country and been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Alicia is a lifelong crafter and former chemical engineer obsessed with making everything from bracelets to (homebrewed) beer! You can find her personal DIY, fashion and design blog at dismountcreative.com.

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