You can make crafts from souvenirs a teen's birthday party.

Teen Crafts for Birthday Parties

by Dana Hinders

Teen birthday party crafts provide a way to guests busy while doubling as souvenirs from the event. To make sure things run smoothly, set out all of the supplies and a sheet with written instructions before your guests arrive. Having everything they need readily available lets guests take their time crafting and socializing with their friends.

1. Decorated Coffee Mugs

If your teen guests love coffee, personalized mugs will be an appropriate birthday party craft. Look for plain white coffee mugs at a dollar store or thrift shop. Use oil-based paint pens to decorate the mugs with each guest's name, a favorite quote or a freehand doodle. When everyone is finished, bake the mugs in your oven according to the instructions provided by the paint pen manufacturer. This step helps set the paint so the mugs can be safely washed.

2. Modern Tie-Dye

Have each guest bring a plain white T-shirt or buy inexpensive white canvas reusable shopping bags in bulk at your local craft store. Draw starburst designs on the items you wish to decorate using three or four different colors of permanent marker. Lightly spray the starbursts with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will make the colors run together, creating a unique tie-dye effect. Add any other desired decorations, such as a name or short phrase, to the T-shirt or tote bag. When the alcohol is dry, toss the items in your dryer for about 20 minutes to heat set the color. It is important to wait for the alcohol to dry completely because alcohol is flammable when wet.

3. Washi Tape Notebooks

Washi tape is a type of Japanese masking tape that comes in many different colors and patterns. Teens can use this tape to decorate plain composition books to use for taking notes at school. They can either cover an entire notebook with a striped washi tape pattern or use strips of tape to form a flower or heart design. Let each guest write their name on the front of their finished notebook using tiny alphabet stickers or rub-on scrapbooking letters.

4. Handmade Bath Salts

If you're looking for a quick and easy craft for teen girls, you can't go wrong with handmade bath salts. Pour Epsom salts into small glass jars. Add two or three drops of food coloring in the desired color to each jar. Add essential oils to create a custom fragrance, using about 1/2 teaspoon oil for every 1 cup Epsom salt. You should not use fragrance oils for this project due to the risk of skin irritation. Lemon and orange essential oil or lavender and rose essential oil are two good standby fragrance choices, but feel free to let the girls experiment to determine what blends they like the best. Stir the mixture well. Make pretty labels that describe the scent of each jar.

About the Author

Dana Hinders is an Iowa-based writer. She earned her B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa in 2003.

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