Crafting is more fun with friends! Assembling a group of your favorite creative friends for a craft night is inspiring, convivial, and can give you the impetus to get going on a new project. And the best way to bring all those friends together, of course, is a craft-filled party.
But how do you go from wanting to host a craft night to actually doing it? These tips are designed to help you plan a successful and fun craft night, regardless of the type of craft and size of your crew.
Step 1: What's the party for?
Do you want to learn a new skill, or get together with like-minded crafters who will bring their own respective projects? Are you hoping to create a weekly meet up, or are you just planning on a one-time event?
There's no right or wrong answer, but it's worth thinking through and can give you more direction as you get further in your planning.
Step 2: Find out if your friends are interested.
Put some feelers out there with your friends to gauge interest in a craft night. This could be by phone, text or by putting out a social media update.
Does it look like it might be a very intimate group of three for four, or is the interest much greater than that?
This can help you choose an appropriate time and space for your group to meet. For example, you might be comfortable hosting five people in your home, but not thirty, in which case you'd want to seek out a more appropriate spot.
Step 3: Solidify your plan
Now that you've done some thinking and some research, begin to solidify the plan for what you're doing on your craft night. Often, you'll gain more clarity on this after you talk to your friends.
Now is the time to decide the scope and theme of your evening, whether it's a guest crafter giving a tutorial, a bring-your-own knitting project party, or if it's open to all sorts of crafts. Determine how many people are going to be invited, and whether it's a private party or an open invite to the community.
If your craft night is open to different types of crafters, consider the logistics. For instance, some types of crafting, like baking, don't necessarily mix well with others. Some, like oil painting, can make a mess. Be sure to think about any crafts or supplies that might be "off limits" on your craft night!
Step 4: Pick a time and place
If you're just inviting a small group of close friends, you home is an easy venue option! If you have a larger group, or are opening up the craft night to the community as a meet-up, chances are you'll need a public venue with more space.
You might be surprised by how many resources are available at little to no cost. Often, libraries have public rooms available if booked in advance. Some cafes or coffee shops may be open to the idea, too, especially if the crafters will be bringing business in to the establishment. Be sure to make a reservation or booking if needed so that you can guarantee that the space is available.
Remember: If hosting at a public venue, you'll probably have to adhere to certain times, and may be responsible for cleaning up.
Step 5: Send out invites!
Send out your invites! Sending them online, via Facebook or email, will make for the quickest and easiest monitoring. Make it clear in the invite what the parameters are of the evening, including supplies to bring, whether they can bring a guest, and any other relevant details. If it's your first-ever craft night, you might consider making an RSVP mandatory so that you can plan appropriately.
How far in advance you plan your craft night depends on the scale and your own personal style. In general, a casual craft gathering in a home with friends will require less notice than a larger or more public craft night.
Step 6: Set up
Before your craft night, take some time to set up. You'll need plenty of surface area for people to spread out their supplies, and you may need newspaper or butcher paper to protect table surfaces.
While every crafter may be bringing their own supplies, it's not a bad idea to have extras of some commonly needed (and frequently forgotten) items, such as scrap paper, pencils or scissors.
While it's always pleasant to have refreshments, know the limits of your space, and don't choose anything too messy or that could stain or damage crafts!
Step 7: Meet and greet
Be sure to greet everyone as they arrive to set the tone for friendliness and collaboration. If people don't know each other, as long as the space and amount of people permits, you may want to reserve some time for everyone to introduce themselves. If the amount of peoples larger, it may be a good idea to have name tags.
Step 8: Get crafting!
Set to crafting! If you're the hostess and it's your first craft night, know in advance that you yourself might be doing less crafting than the crowd as you tend to various hosting duties. Don't worry, this is normal! If this becomes a regular event, this is one reason why it's nice to rotate hosts.
Step 9: Make cleanup simple
Be sure to have trash bins prominently placed for easy clean-up. This will help ensure that you're not left with a big mess!