Throw a DIY Ornament Party!


The holidays are upon us and everyone is searching for something … anything … to give as a gift. Something small and meaningful, too. Here’s a way you can hang out with your friends and still accomplish that gift-giving goal – host an ornament making party!


First, come up with a list of your crafty pals – those who enjoy a little bit of glue or glitter on their hands. Depending on your working space, six to eight might be the right number. Schedule a time that’s easiest for them to get away from their obligations. Maybe a Sunday afternoon or a weekend night so you can stay up late.


Scour the internet for the best and trendiest ornaments to make. The simpler the better, especially if some aren’t as adept at crafting as others. Use the OLFA Craft Blog as a springboard for ideas, too. Aim for three to four ornaments - you don’t want to pick anything too complicated. Try and find some that only need minutes to make as well as several that have a few more steps. Before you choose, be sure to make practice ornaments!


What’s your budget? Are you supplying everything, or will your friends be chipping in to sharing the expenses? If everyone kicks in $15 or so, you should be able to get lots of what you need, especially if you shop the holiday sales. Extra supplies will let those who want to, make another.


The next important thing is to create lists! Write out everything you’ll need for each ornament, even the stuff that overlaps, such as glue guns or ribbon. Make a master list of supplies and equipment, then make a shopping list of what you’ll need to buy from the store. Don’t forget several thin-line markers so your friends can sign and date their creations.  If you’re a crafty person in general, shop from your own supplies first!


To make the party go smoothly – and to keep from having to repeat yourself – write out the steps for each ornament. Make several for the table to share among the crafters. If you want to be extra nice, you can type the directions and supply list for all of the ornaments and print them out on cute holiday paper so guests can make more later. Hand those out as everyone leaves.


Gather extra tables and clear your counter so that you can make assembly stations. Glue guns and bottles at one place –  paint and wet supplies somewhere else. Cover the surfaces with craft paper or vinyl tablecloths to make clean up easier. Find a shallow box for glittery products to try to control the mess. Use foam plates for paint or under glue bottles.  Multiples of brushes or markers will speed up the process. Spreading out the assembly areas gets everyone up and out of their chairs.


As the host, try to prep as much as possible before everyone arrives. Cut ribbon to length, precut fabric or shapes, thread and knot needles. Put components on trays or use empty bakery containers to keep them together. Anything you can do ahead of time will make your ornament party for fun for you! Of course, there will be chaos but that’s half the fun of crafting with your pals.


Ok … and it’ wouldn’t be a party without food, right? If your friends are coming after work, do a sandwich buffet with tasty breads, meat and cheese, veggies, and all the fixings. Or what about a taco in a bag? Non messy snacks are great if people want to snack while they work. And you can’t forget about beverages, with our without alcohol, depending on the crowd. Word of advice – keep the food and drink away from the crafting areas!


If you want to add one more layer of fun, ask everyone to bring a wrapped handmade ornament to the party. When the crafting and eating is over, play a left-right-left game (Google it … so many choices) or number them and have guests draw a number to win. It’s one more fun way to have lasting memories of a great time!


Finally, take lots of pictures! Because you’re going to want to record every minute of the fun with your friends so you can relive it later. Especially next year when you bring out your ornaments again. Have fun!