Letting Life Lead
10. Nothing says party like the gift wrap aftermath. Don’t be too hasty and throw out the tissue paper–especially the stuff that has a coating on it that keeps micro tears at bay. The paper can be re-purposed into fluffy party ball decorations, gift wrapping, and or a table protector for kid crafts.
9. Consider using actual toys for a homemade cake topper or store bought cake rather than paying an up-charge for the themed plastics that can’t be played with. If there is any concern about putting them on the cake even after washing, wrap the bottom in plastic or cut a piece of wax paper to size to fit just under the item.
8. Want to make your decorations look like they are floating, don’t want ugly string visible, tired of tape not sticking, or want to change out decorations without having to re string every time? Try fishing line. They come in different weights that can withstand more or less stress.
7. Keep losing that gift list? Cards keep getting separated from their packages? Since the primary gift opening coordinator ends up with all the cards anyway, turn the card over and write the gift on a top corner with the name of the giver if it isn’t clear, the gift they gave, and the child’s name and year if you plan on archiving.
6. Misplaced the scissors, pen, and tape two seconds after you used them? Tie some string around the items then tie the other end to your pant loops. You now have a constant reminder much like putting a string on your finger, but better than a post-it on your forehead.
5. The cost of invitations, cards, envelopes and postage getting you down? Check with your local post office. Here a 4×6 print (glossy or matte) can be sent through the mail without an envelope for the price of a postcard postage stamp which is significantly cheaper than full postage. Such a savings in paper alone! Prints in 4×6 size can be printed so cheap it will cost more to send them than to produce them! You can use a free online program like PicMonkey to create your masterpiece to print on your own photo paper or upload to your local drop-in photo center. Good for the environment and good for the wallet!
4. Got a hoard of artful handmade cards? Maybe you plan to save them in a box, scrapbook them, or maybe not (but feel guilty about throwing them away). Whatever you decide, you can archive them all for free. Take pictures of the inside and outside and upload them to your favorite photo space to share as a photo gallery for family and friends with thoughtful captions. Everyone will get to see the cards and the kids will love seeing their work shared.
3. Don’t want the kids to run off with the kid scissors from the craft table? Tie each one to different points on the table with curling ribbon or string. There maybe a resourceful kid who will just cut them off, but most of the time it will be a snap to find the scissors.
2. Got one table that needs to do double duty for crafts and the cake? Lay down your main party table cloth down first then layer on another one on top of it. Let the kids go wild with the glue and glitter and stickers and scissor scraps. When it is time for the cake, grab up the top table cloth and take it away. Poof! Table clean and ready for the cake! You can sort through the craft carnage later.
1. Fill in the blank Thank You Cards. If you aren’t good at writing, have a youngster that can only write their name, or an early writer that can transcribe if you spell it for them, then create your own thank you card with blank lines to fill in. Pen a clever poem or include the group party photo on one side. As a bonus, if you make sure it prints as a 4×6 you can mail it for the lower postcard postage price! (Find the original I used here)
Feel free to share this list or to add your own tips to the comments below!
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Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.
...and devoted cat enthusiast.