When women ask me about making friends in a new church, season of life or neighborhood, I always encourage them to host a craft party. It doesn't require you or your guests to be smart or witty or fashionable. It only takes a little bit of prep work and planning and a dining room table.
I have been hosting craft workshops for years and I absolutely love it. It has now turned into my business but even if it wasn't, I would still have friends over to craft. Today I'm going to give you a few tips and suggestions on how to host a party.
Over the next few weeks I'll give you a few projects in different price ranges and skill levels to get you thinking.
Get out your pen and paper and let's get started.
1. Make a list of women you would like to get to know or want to spend time with. Include old friends and a few new ladies. I always say to invite four over what you anticipate might come. That will give you a cushion for the no's and still allow you to squeeze in everyone if they all say yes.
1. Decide on projects that are easy enough for even beginning crafter's. Remember guests are coming for the connection to other women as much or more than the crafts. It's important the projects are cute and serve a purpose but having fun trumps that every time.
When you send out the party reminder message, email or text, let your guests know what common things they might need (for example, scissors, a glue gun or glue stick etc.) I always say bring it if you have it but don't go and buy one because I will have supplies we can share. I usually try to have two or three of each supply (bottles of paint, glitter, foam brushes) per table. It's not necessary to have one for each guest, sharing encourages connection.
2. Plan ahead. It is pretty hard to wing a craft party. Trust me, I know this...first hand. In order to finish the projects you start, the prep work has to be done by you ahead of time so take that into consideration when you decide on projects. I always tell my guests that each project will be similar but different, so don't worry about getting it just like the sample. Make it your own.
3. Keep your munchies and beverages simple. I will usually put out three easy appetizers and three easy desserts. Store bought cookies count as a dessert. No one cares. A bottle of red wine, one of white, some lemonade, ice water and hot water for tea or coffee.
4. Make the area you choose to host the party in as cute as possible. String white Christmas lights, paper flowers or a garland. Buy some paper straws and cute paper plates. Add some fresh flowers from the garden or the grocery store to the bathroom and food area. Light a candle. Making it feel like an event doesn't have to cost a lot of money. I keep mason jars on hand as glasses for parties they are inexpensive and easy to store. I also let my guests choose one of my favorite mismatched coffee mugs for their hot beverage. Everything does not need to match. Again...no one cares.
Consider renting a few chairs if needed. I can rent them locally for $1.10 each. I also keep a card table on hand for extra supplies or extra guests. Cover the table you'll be working on with inexpensive packing paper. It will protect the surface and make for easy clean up.
5. Most importantly, once your guests arrive become one of them. Have fun, no one will miss what you didn't get a chance to do. Let it go and smile.
I hope I didn't forget anything. If you have any questions, please ask. If you're thinking it, I'm sure others are, too.
Hope this was helpful. Give it a try, it isn't nearly as scary as it seems.