I’m not a professional party stylist or event coordinator, but kids parties are one of my favorite projects. I only really do it for my children, nieces and nephews but on occasion, friends ask for my help and if they could hire me for their children’s birthday parties. Just like a few months ago, when our friend Viva Guzman asked me if I could facilitate some craft activities for her son Alonzo’s first birthday party, I most gladly obliged. And eventually, as we exchanged emails, she decided to have me make some decoration as well. It was great that she brought it up with me months in advance because they gave us enough time to prepare.
Viva wanted an art party for her son and the main factor she wished for me to prepare were craft projects for the little guests. So I proposed a list of activities which could be done by both small and big kids. Viva selected two: mini canvas painting and art mobile making. We set up an art area at one end of the hall where the activities were divided into two stations. The materials were laid out in the middle of the tables so they can be easily seen and used.
The actual art making is fun but, honestly, I also really enjoy setting up. I enjoy fixing craft materials and laying out the pieces before they’re put together. And a table filled with various art tools and colorful knick knacks, like what we did for Alonzo’s art party, is a lovely sight because it instantly encourages creativity! I particularly loved the mini blank canvases propped on mini wooden easels. There were clay shapes, balls of yarn, pom poms, quirky beads, foam feathers and pipe cleaners provided to make art mobiles.
As the kids came in, they were immediately drawn to the art stations, eager to make something. And once satisfied with a painting or mobile, they left their projects to dry and proceeded to their tables to eat. I actually thought it was a fantastic idea! Instead of the usual party game or a magic show, Viva decided to keep the children busy creating things and making art. Even parents of the youngest children sat with them and helped them work — something I always love to see!
For the decor, Viva wanted it simple but in theme. So I decided to just make table centerpieces out of empty tin paint cans which I filled with large paint brushes, balloons and wrapping tissue. I bought large plastic sheets and used them to make “paint drips” around the tin cans. I also made “paint spills” which I placed at the center of the tables underneath every centerpiece. We also printed out Alonzo’s photos in 8×10, put them up on wooden easels and placed them in different places around the room.
The cake table was simple yet colorful. It consisted of a crepe paper curtain backdrop, painted cardboard letters of the birthday boy’s name, balloons and of course, the cake!
Next to it, Viva set up a large blank canvas and, with a little bit of paint, had each child make an imprint of their hands on it as a remembrance to Alonzo of his special day.
My favorite element in all of the decor pieces at this party were the buntings made out of a pile of vibrant abstract paintings by Alonzo’s big sister, Lexy! This was also Viva’s idea and I thought it was so sweet to have her daughter’s artwork surround everybody. Viva sent me the paintings and I simply cut them into triangles and strung them together. We hung them around the hall and across the room. It looked wonderful! I made sure not to waste any of the artwork. I even collected the scraps from when I cut them and turned them into mini flags. These ended up in the table centerpiece for additional color and happiness!
It was a simple party yet all the children obviously had a good time. I think it’s because arts and crafts is easily something enjoyable for them to do…I think even the parents and yayas enjoyed the activities just as much.
Congratulations to Viva and her husband (Doc) Mark for coming up with an awesome party theme for their beautiful son. I thought it was such a clever idea and now I’m thinking maybe I want to do something similar for Summer’s upcoming birthday. Hmm…we’ll see! And once again, Happy First, Alonzo! 😀
I would like to thank Viva and her precious family for trusting me and allowing me to geek out on kids crafts at Alonzo’s party. I’m so happy to have been able to do this and contribute to this memorable event! I also thank Eyette, my best friend, for helping me with preps and my neice, Freana, for assisting me during the event. Special mention to Ed De Guzman, a long time friend who is also a very talented painter, for custom making the mini canvases.
List of Suppliers:
Venue and Food – Mom & Tina’s Bakery Cafe (branch along C5)
Wooden Easels – Papemelroti
Mini Canvases – Custom made by Ed De Guzman
Air dry clay for clay shapes – Hey Kessy
Cardboard 3D letters – Bee Happy Crafts
Art Supplies – National Bookstore