Do your kids love arts and crafts? Now you can throw them an arty crafty birthday party!
Get creative with an arty theme. Carried through to the food and décor, here are some cool ideas!

An arty party is easy to arrange at home, if you do some forward planning. The trick is in choosing a craft activity that is sure to appeal to the guests. If you get it all set up before hand, you shouldn’t be madly busy on the day.

Crafty parties work best for a smaller crowd; if there are too many kids they tend to get distracted.


Use artist-inspired items like palettes and paint brushes. The paint splodge is an impactful motif. Cut them out of different coloured paper and use them on invitations, table-settings, even walls.

We also provided fabric paint and paintbrushes, for party artists to paint the table cloth as a keepsake for the birthday child.

Party games

Cake decorating

Turn the birthday cake into a party game. You provide 2 cakes, icing and decorations, laid out separately. The children are divided into 2 teams, each team trying to make the most beautiful job of decorating the cake.

But here’s the trick: one person from each team is blindfolded and has to do the actual decorating. The rest of her team has to guide her in picking the decorations and putting them into the right place. It’s hilariously good fun.

Craft ideas

There are many options, ranging in difficulty and in cost. Take a look at your local craft store for ideas.

  • Takkies

Decorate plain white canvas takkies using fabric paints, glue and sequins. The fabric paint that comes in pen form is easiest to work with on small areas.

  • Door sign

Buy blank signs from a craft shop or have the hardboard precut to size at your local hardware store and use string to make the hook. Have plenty of small brushes available. Acrylic paint is recommended. You can also varnish the door sign once the paint and glue have dried.

  • Alice band

Give each girl a cloth-covered Alice band in a neutral colour. Offer a selection of things – silk flowers, bits of lace, glitter – to glue on to pretty them up.

  • Pencil tops

Buy a box of pencils and various colours of iClay or Bostik’s Crazy Clay. Children can make animals and other designs for the tops of their pencils.

  • Mosaic mirror

Buy one mirror tile per child. Ask you local hardware store to cut hardboard squares about 5cm's bigger than the tile, all round. Precut mosaic tiles are easy to use and give a nice effect.

Hire an entertainer

There are lots of great craft parties available, making everything
from dreamcatchers to jewellery.

  • Candle dipping keeps girls and boys occupied for ages, as they dip and redip their candles into the wax. As there is hot wax involved, this isn’t suitable for very young children.
  • Ceramics painting is a nice option. The children paint the plates, cups or whatever you have chosen, the party organiser fires them and returns them to you a few days later.
  • Browse or for options.

Venues for arty crafty parties and party planners

  • Moyo, Zoo Lake, Johannesburg (011) 646 0058
  • Kinglets and Queenies, Roodepoort 079 736 7113
  • Peace of Art, Port Elizabeth 082 770 9994
  • Smudge, Craighall (011) 501 0234
  • Hedgehog Lane Party Place 072 469 3638
  • Elliefun Events, Cape Town

Sandwich bar

In line with the creative theme, let your guests create their own eats:

Selection of breads

White or brown sliced bread (provide an assortment of cookie cutters)

  • Soft hot dog rolls
  • Mini pitas

Selection of fillings

  • Chicken mayo with walnuts and apple
  • Tuna mayo with avo
  • Peanut butter, banana and Nutella
  • BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo)

Extra bits

  • Baby tomatoes
  • Cucumber ribbons (use a potato peeler and peel lengthways)
  • Cold meats
  • Cut out shapes of cheese slices using cookie cutter shapes

Paintbrush cake


  • Store bought vanilla cake
  • Vanilla butter icing
  • Chocolate butter icing
  • Selection of sweet decorations: liquorice, Smarties, jellybeans, silver balls, chocolate vermicelli
  • Colour syrups
  • Extra coloured icing
  • Palette knife for icing

Vanilla butter icing


  • 150g butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsps milk


  1. Beat the butter until white.
  2. Gradually beat in half the icing sugar.
  3. Add the milk.
  4. Beat in the other half of the icing sugar.
  5. Beat until smooth.

Chocolate butter icing


  • Add two tablespoons of cocoa and three teaspoons of milk to ¼ of the vanilla icing.


  1. Beat until smooth.

Assembling the paintbrush cake

  1. Cut the cakes to resemble a paintbrush.
  2. Ice the bottom part in vanilla icing and the paintbrush tip in chocolate.
  3. Place strips of black liquorice down the tip to resemble bristles.
  4. Place colourful ribbon around the platter and tie in a bow.
  5. Place small bowls of sweets for selection around the cake.
  6. Your cake is ready for the decoration game.

Sundae bar


  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Ice cream cones, glasses, wafers and brandy snap cookies
  • Fresh fruit, eg strawberries, bananas, kiwi fruit
  • Colourful syrups
  • Chopped almonds
  • Chocolate malt sweets
  • Fresh fruit juice lollies


  1. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom of a glass.
  2. Let each guest add fresh fruit, syrup and nuts. (Good combos: strawberries, nuts and strawberry syrup; banana, chocolate malted sweets, caramel; kiwi fruit, lime syrup, pecan nuts).

Ice cream sandwich

  1. Place a big scoop of ice cream in the centre of a round brandy snap biscuit.
  2. Place another biscuit onto this and gently push down.
  3. Serve immediately.


Bubbly bottles

Place fresh fruit juice mixed with soda water into small bottles with drinking straws and place in a colourful bucket with loads of ice.

Cheat’s Pink lemonade


  • 1 litre lemonade
  • Fresh lemon slice
  • Ice
  • ¼ cup grapefruit juice
  • ½ tsps red colouring


  1. Mix the lemonade, grapefruit juice and colouring together.
  2. Pour into a glass jug.
  3. Finish it off with ice blocks and slices of fresh lemon.

Do you have any other cool ideas for an arty crafty party theme? Tell us by emailing to and we may publish your comments.

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