The Last Minute Birthday Success- A Party At Michaels Craft Store

Kendall has recently found a love for birds. So much so that he asks me to do things like look up what a bluejay sounds like, and we listen to bird calls together on Wikipedia. Oh, child of the digital age.

It’s a refreshing change from Skylanders.

That said, when he told me he wanted a bird birthday party (and not the easily produced Angry Birds kind), I was a little stumped. The last few months have been rough and busy and exhausting for many reasons. I originally thought we’d have a movie viewing party here at the house.

“Movie viewing” is just fancy talk for renting a movie and popping popcorn, and inviting kids to come over in their pjs.

“What if we all paint birdhouses?” he suggested. I began to maniacally cackle before he could finish the request.

“No. Nope. Nobody is coming to our house to paint anything.”

A few days later, I remembered that Michael’s Craft Stores offer birthday party packages where you can rent their craft room and do stuff exactly like paint birdhouses. And then leave all the mess there.

I know this because one of my first jobs after college involved running events like this for their stores. I managed many a party of 12 6-year-olds making “gum ball machines” from clay pots, held together with hot glue, and slathered in wet paint. This was back before I even wanted kids, so clearly the brilliance of a plan like this from the parent’s point of view was lost on me.

Because clay pots and hot glue and wet paint and small children.

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So a few weeks ago I booked the party at our local Michael’s store. It was $50 to reserve the room for 2 hours, and included a party attendant who would set up and break down for us, and some basic supplies (like aprons each child could use- but not keep).

In addition to this, I had to purchase the supplies for the craft. I got enough wooden birdhouses, brushes, and a variety of paints (more than enough) for 10 kids. I used a 15% off entire purchase coupon, and spent about $60.

As for the invitations, I found a sort of bird-ish one on Postmark.com. They have some really adorable designs that are customizable, and I’d say a step up from the free Evites. I paid $5 for 15 digital invitations. Yes, digital. They are strictly emailed to your guests. But they look all fancy and stuff, so bonus points for the last-minute slacker mom.

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I did not do a single thing for this party until the night before. At Target, I got basic green and blue plates, napkins, and forks. Then I found some black chalkboard paper bags, some teal masking tape, these bird stamp stickers, and a silver sharpie. That was all in their scrapbooking section.

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The goodie bags simply included a bag of bird seed, and a bag of teal popcorn from a local shop.

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Okay, yes. The kids technically made birdhouses not bird feeders. Details… such silly details. I’m sure they can pour the seeds in the houses, right? Whatever.

There was no fancy cake. I had visions of making candy nests to rest atop cupcakes but then life and stuff happened. Instead, I wound up sprinkling candy-coated sunflower seeds (sold at the popcorn store) atop store bought cupcakes, served right from the plastic box. NO1CURR.

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And of course, there were birdhouses.

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And paint. And children making messes.

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It was totally fine because most of the children weren’t mine, and the ones who were mine were wearing clothes I didn’t care about.

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And none of it happened in my house.

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Y’all, I’m serious when I say I gave this party about 2 hours of my time, including the time it took me to drive to the stores to get stuff. And it was way less than $200 for 10 kids. And it was a BIRD birthday party! It was everything my 6 year old wanted, and he has no idea how much I phoned it in.

Okay, sure, this is probably not going to go viral on Pinterest for party inspiration, but that’s not what I’m getting at here. What I’m saying is work smarter, not harder.

I love putting fun details into parties- like the goodie bags that matched the invites, and giving my kid exactly what he wants. But it doesn’t have to come at the cost of my sanity.

This is not me being anti-big-over-the-top parties. If I get my way, Lowell’s 1st birthday will be bananas (except, not real bananas because he doesn’t really like them). This is just me reminding you to do what you can with what you have and be cool with that. Love it. OWN IT. Your kid will know no different.

This post is not sponsored. I don’t know much about Michaels birthday parties other than what my personal experience was. Check with your local store for details and stuff.

 

  • Joanna - great party! I did pottery painting for Maddie’s 3rd bday party and same thing, it was so easy and is STILL Madison’s favorite. She asekd to do one again at the same place this year.

    My time hop app just came up with pictures of Maddie at Kendall’s 3rd birthday party at the exotic cat place!!!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - My 4yo son is obsessed with our yard birds. We have a bird field guide at our house. It has a checklist in the back, so we tick off the birds we’ve seen.ReplyCancel

  • Myndee - I may or may not have just called Michael’s to book my daughter’s next birthday…in October.ReplyCancel

  • Celeste Bowen - Awesome sauce. I’d say that’s my kind of birthday party! Do next to nothing and have everyone happy = win! Good job!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney Helms - This is absolutely brilliant. This is right about at my effort level for parties, and I’m sure the kids all loved it. Again, I say brilliant.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Couch Moyer - i’ve been taking the “smarter, not harder” route on birthday parties for quite some time. four kids = LOTS of parties that i don’t have the time nor patience for. if it costs me a few extra bucks, i say it’s worth it considering the execedrin migraine i won’t have to purchase.ReplyCancel

  • kim - Love that idea! We have a new Michael’s opening this fall literally 2 miles from our house – there will certainly be a party or two there in the bear future for our kids.ReplyCancel

  • Jenna Leduc McGraw - My daughter has had her birthday party at an indoor play place for the past two years. Yes it’s a bit more money, but no one is in my home and she LOVES it. The extra money is so worth my sanity.ReplyCancel

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  • Yamie Chess - @babyrabies Love this, last minute parties are sometimes the best.ReplyCancel

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    The Last Minute Birthday Success- A Party At Michaels Craft StoreReplyCancel

  • Alisha Daniels-Duckworth - If only all Michael’s stores birthday rooms looked as nice as this one. I’m sure the kids won’t remember it but our store looks like a 2 compared to this room.ReplyCancel

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