Crafting can be just as fun in the teen years as it was as a young child, but you'll have to use a little creativity to find a craft that will keep an entire party group of young adults entertained. Since your teen probably helped choose the theme for the party, use it as a guide to the perfect party craft, and then get some feedback from the birthday boy to make sure the activity will be a hit among your party crowd.
Send the teens home from a spa or beauty-themed party with their own handmade beauty treatments in hand-decorated containers. You can show the group how to make a simple hand and foot scrub from one part olive oil to one part granulated sugar. Mix the two together and decorate small, sealable containers for the scrub. Have the group prepare a jar of sparkling bath salts from one part Epsom salts to one cup baking soda. Add a few drops of food coloring and have the kids add a few drops of their favorite essential oil before sealing the salts in another decorated jar. To make a simple body glitter, fill a jar with aloe vera gel, stir in some glitter and food coloring, and the beauty craft is complete.
If your party group is full of beach loving guys and gals, include crafts that will help them make their next trip to the beach in style. Let the teens give a pair of ordinary flip-flops or sandals a makeover. Have the guys write their name, nickname or favorite saying across the straps with puffy paint pens and then add a few sports- or music-themed decals. You can spread a non-toxic acrylic sealer over the straps to keep the adornments in place and water-resistant. The girls might prefer ribbons, buttons and imitation gemstones to decorate their new shoes. You can pick up some plain beach towels from a discount store and let the group decorate them with fabric paint and pens, and turn the towels into beach wraps by gluing or sewing strips of hook and loop fastener along one long edge. Other beach-worthy crafts include transforming plain sunglasses into glamorous shades or beach tote making and decorating.
Surprise a group of sports fanatics with their own handmade memorabilia to take home. You can pick up some plain white jerseys and have them transform these blank canvases into a tribute to their favorite team, or help them commemorate your teen's birthday by writing “Team (Birthday Boy)" across the back. Pick up a few sports or birthday decals for the teens to choose from and iron them on when the group is busy with other activities. For a less expensive birthday craft, pick up discount store baseball caps and have the group decorate these instead. You can also try to bring on a little laughter by encouraging the group to test their beginner sewing skills through football- or basketball-shaped pillows.
You can keep a jewelry-loving party group occupied throughout an entire celebration with bracelet and necklace beading crafts, or slip in a five-minute ribbon necklace craft in between activities to provide each guest a special keepsake to take home. If you're celebrating in the summer, skip the beads and provide the group with drilled seashells to make bracelets and necklaces instead, or skip regular jewelry altogether and go for something a little out of the ordinary. Barefoot sandals are a trendy summer accessory. Show the group how to make these by wrapping elastic string around the second toe, bringing both strings up the top center of the foot and then finally behind the ankle. Bead the entire length of the sandal and then tie the ends together. You can make ring bracelets in the same manner; wrap the elastic string around the middle finger, down the top center of the hand and then around the wrist. Bead the string and tie the ends together.
- EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends; Lauren Cox, et al.
- FamilyFun Crafts: 500 Creative Activities for You and Your Kids; Deanna F. Cook
- Girls Wanna Have Fun! Fun Fingers, Fancy Feet; Jane Glicksman, et al.
- Anthony Ong/Digital Vision/Getty Images