Just because we're all currently isolated doesn't mean births, birthdays, anniversaries & other celebrations are on hold. Now more than ever, we've got the time to GO ALL OUT. But not necessarily the supplies on hand.
So it's TIME TO GET CREATIVE.
Birthdays aren't typically a huge deal in our household, but the other day I woke up like a kid on Christmas. The night before I baked a cake (funfetti of course), decorated our dining room (AKA hung a shiz ton of tassels on our kitchen table) & a couple weeks before sent out invites & goody bags to a few gal pals & I couldn't freaking wait to virtually celebrate.
By sharing this, my hope is that it inspires you to make a big deal out of the next event you're not able to physically be at. Here's how it went down:
First things first- a little behind the scenes planning: where do you want to celebrate?
There are tons of free downloadable apps to connect with friends through a screen. Most notably & easy to use- Zoom, Google Hangouts & the route we ultimately decided to use: Houseparty! It's a video chat app that also doubles as a place to play games.
Pictionary, Heads Up, trivia, a modern version of Apples to Apples are a few of the choices. Afterwards, a few of the girls mentioned it felt like we were really all together in the same room playing games like we usually do!
Explore a few different apps & see what will work best for you & your guests.
Speaking of guests- TIME TO INVITE THEM! This can be as simple as a text or an email informing friends/family of the date & time you want to party, or you can go big & mail participants a few supplies they'll need to par-tay.
PRO TIP: if you're planning on celebrating with locals, coordinate a drop off/pick up/zero contact situation to get these to your "guests"!
I wanted to include my favorite celebratory essentials:
Cake (made it easier with this make-it-in-a-mug version)
Drinks (a mini bottle of wine... complete with party hat which doubles as a mini human hat)
Accessories (duh!) & sprinkles all in one (a pair of earrings inspired by funfetti)
As well as an invite with all the details.
I carefully packaged each one & wrapped (with sprinkle paper, obvi) & sent these off to a few friends & family.
Side note: I also asked that they record their reaction to opening the package because all this preparation brought me a weird amount of joy. I also highly recommend this plot twist.
Time to decorate! And can I just say that setting the tone with decor is a game changer! It makes it feel like a real party. Check out my Paper Fringe Skillshare class for a few easy DIYs for making colorful & fringey party decor. It's free to watch through April! No catch, no credit cards.
Can't make a run to your local party store? Here are a few things you can scrounge up at home!
Doesn't everyone have a pile of gift bags lying around for those "just-in-case" moments & last minutes gifts? Grab the crumpled up tissue hiding in the bottom, iron it out (on the lowest heat setting) & turn it into a tissue tassel garland! Instructions in my Paper Fringe Skillshare class. I've also got a quick DIY on my Instagram highlights.
No tissue? No problem! Just dig into your plastic grocery bag stash- the one you keep to use as garbage bags or dog pooper scoopers. Use the same technique (but no ironing, please!) used to make tissue tassels, but with plastic bags instead.
Pom Pom Garland
Rifle through the inevitable "drop off at Goodwill pile" or your PJ drawer & grab a few old tshirts. The more colorful, the better! Follow along with this DIY to turn them into pom poms, then string along a piece of twine and hang for instant party vibes.
OR unravel an old sweater & salvage the yarn (I talk more about that in this Skillshare class).
One last notable material: plastic bags (again!). Check out Instagram for a quick DIY.
Yep, we're gunna get resourceful with those, too! As recycling centers are closed, our plastic bag pile is piling up. Grab an old produce bag (the one you use to buy lettuce at the grocery store), gather the opening in one hand and blow into it. Leave a bit of a tail as we'll need to tie it in a knot. Voila! Makeshift festivity.
The night of the event: Show up, dress up (or wear sweats), eat cake, HAVE A BLAST.
As friends dropped in to the virtual party, we shared stories, old photos, my sister wrote a freaking poem & I set the tone with our first game- "No C-Words!" The rules: anyone who says, "Covid" or "Corona" has to take a drink ;) The point: to forget about what's going on in the world for a couple hours & relish in time spent with loved ones. It worked!
One more notable activity: the scavenger hunt! I gave guests 3 minutes to search their room/home for items starting with each letter of my name. Points were awarded for successful completion as well as creativity. My favorite find: eyeliner for the "i" in Carli ;)
Hours went by as stories continued to fly & we laughed and laughed over silly Pictionary scribbles & our lack of knowledge of current pop culture as we played games on the Houseparty app. More wine was poured, more songs were sung & overall it was probably one of the best birthdays I've had in awhile.
I'd love to hear how YOU'RE celebrating life's milestones right now. Fill me in via the comments below or tag me on Instagram to show off your stunning party decor.