10 New and Different Birthday Party Bag Ideas
for fun mementos that don’t cost the earth
(This post was in collaboration with Packqueen)
It was Ned’s 6th birthday this week, and we are planning a little outing to Crystal Castle in the Byron Hinterland during the holidays to celebrate with a few of his close friends. I love birthday parties, birthday cakes, making up games and things too, but probably my favourite thing is to create birthday party bag ideas. I do love a bit of a lolly bag, and it reminds me of my childhood. BUT I’m not one to buy cheap plastic rubbish fillers such as yoyo’s, blowers, plastic bracelets or necklaces, or junk that breaks or gets thrown away after an hour or so, in order to give out an end-of-party gift, . What a waste of resources, all of which ends up in landfill.
Instead, I like to do things that can help my mission of ‘firing up the creative spark!’ of friends, young and old. Presentation is important too. I’m always inspired by the treats on offer at creative conferences or workshops I attend, where organisers go out of their way to come up with something a little different or quirky, to bring you a little sunshine and smiles into your busy workshop-filled day. I LOVE to do this for children at birthdays, and for the adults in my crafty workshops too. (I can’t wait to bring some of this sunshine and smiles goodness to our new educators at our Rainbow Bridge Family Day Care workshops too. Oh la la!)
Anyway, recently I was introduced to Packqueen, a Melbourne-based packaging supplier with an online store who sells items such as moving boxes, fancy gift boxes and bags, wrapping paper, ribbon, food packaging and much more. Inspired by their range, and the possibilities that I might now create, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite birthday party bag ideas.
10 New and Different Birthday Party Bag Ideas that aren’t necessarily in a bag!
Why not take a little snap of inspiration from a professional gift hamper maker, and present your goodies in a mini hamper trays, like the one pictured above? While they come in all different sizes, I think little children would love the mini one filled with a whole bunch of theme inspired goodies. Here’s a few ideas to match your possible birthday party themes…
1. Girly high tea: A selection of herbal tea bags, tied up in a bundle with a pretty ribbon; a flower tea bomb ready to bloom in a clear glass pot; a posy of dried flowers or a few lavender stalks, a dainty chocolate in a box, and a personalised decorated gingerbread biscuit, made by the children during the party and wrapped in cellophane
2. Dinosaur party: DIY dinosaur eggs (coffee grounds or used tea leaves mixed with a cup of flour, with a shiny crystal hidden inside, baked in a hot oven for 30 minutes until hard), sitting on a bed of desiccated coconut ‘grass’ (dyed with green food dye) and a few ‘digging’ tools (clay decorating tools found in art shops or variety stores in different shapes and styles) and a pair of cotton gloves. For 25 other cool ideas for dinosaur-inspired parties, visit my Dinosaur Party post.
3. Fairy party: Make a handmade finger-knitted fairy headband with rainbow wool, and complete it with a cardboard gold star embellishment; add a set of handmade SNAP cards using fairy pictures, packaged up with string; or fashion a tiny toadstool made from FIMO, hung on a leather thread for a fairy necklace
4. Crafty party: Why not pop a bunch of rainbow rubber bands and a small crochet hook into your hamper tray, along with hand written instructions on how to crochet those bracelets that are all the rage at the moment. You don’t need a loom. It’s simple. Add a tiny glass votive candleholder, a baby food jar with a dollop of PVA craft glue, and some small pieces of coloured wax paper so they can make their own ‘mosaic’ style container for their special hair bands or trinkets too.
5. Car or Truck party: Use a coloured permanent marker to draw a ‘landscape supply shop’ on the base of the hamper tray, and include a parking bay for a fun play scape. Blue tac two or three matchbox cars or trucks in the car yard as inspiration. Fill a baby food jar with tiny pebbles, and another one with fine sand, so that children can have a ball moving sand and pebbles around their yard. Add some green wool off cuts for grass, and some sticks or twigs for logs and this self-contained play idea will have them engaged for hours of free fun.
6. Another different idea is to fill the four squares of a chocolate box with themed tokens of love. I think Ned’s friends would love a little box of personalised crystals. I might just let them chose their own from the Crystal Castle gift shop and pop them in here to take home. But you can use anything. Cute stationery like fun-shaped paper clips or themed rubbers/erasers, or tiny post-it notes. Marbles or dice. Ceramic or felt stars to be made into bunting. Earrings or beaded bracelets. Stickers. Stamps. Or things that children are collecting such as patches, or badges.
7. If you are hosting a ‘Sew Your Own Plushie‘ party, you could encourage children to continue with their new skills by filling a Candle Tin Box with a mini sewing kit- include a thimble, a few needles and pins on a piece of brown paper or card, a mini pair of scissors, a few threads of cotton or embroidery thread wound round white card. You might even pop in another mini-project for them to begin- perhaps all the felt pieces and paraphernalia already cut out? A cute felt cat or mouse, or a bookmark, or a tiny felt pocket to go on a blanket-stitched cord to make a mini bag that can hold a coin or two would be a quick and easy package.
8. If you are hosting a ‘Masterchef‘ or ‘My Kitchen Rules‘ style cook-off party, you might fill one of these food trays with all the ingredients they will need to make a replica of a particular dish at home for their families? Remember to include a recipe card!
9. You can use the same food trays to hold painting supplies and send the children home after a ‘Make and Take‘ party with a few colours of paint in mini pots, and the smallest size canvas you can find. Add a paintbrush, and a clean baby jar to hold water, and a new sponge to clean up spills, and what a lovely way to inspire the budding artist within!
10. Another way to inspire budding artists or creative entrepreneurs (my favourite thing to do in the world!) is to stamp the front of a brown or plain white paper bag with the child’s name using wooden alphabet letter stamps in rainbows. And then fill it with a bunch of small wooden stamps and one small stamp spot to kick off their collection. I picked up a box of cute elf and Christmas inspired quality wooden stamps from Spotlight last week for just $5. There is enough in there to fill at least three bags with a selection. Keep on eye out for bargains like this in your travels too. Seal the bag shut with a mini-peg. How cute! (These white paper bags are a staple in my crafting cupboard. So many things you can use them for! I buy in bulk.)
The earth without ART is simply ‘eh’
And as a fellow crafter, you might like to know that Pack Queen has heaps of other craft supplies! In bulk and at good prices too.
Raffia in all different colours!
And wrapping paper. My favourite, plain brown craft wrap, (I use it to wrap my books before I post them to lovely readers) and plain white craft wrapping, just right for painting and decorating projects too.
I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love for birthday party bag ideas at Packqueen too.