Easy kids birthday party craft using upcycled packing paper

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, October 02, 2014

From time to time my husband receives supplies for his cabinet business wrapped in long sheets of white packing paper.  He knows better than to recycle this paper (or any packing paper really) before asking me if I want it for craft and D.I.Y. projects.

This thrifty do it your self-er usually says yes!  Sometimes I get brown paper, sometimes I get tissue paper, but my favorite of all is the perfectly white pieces of packing paper.  I roll them up and squirrel them away for special occasions.

Inspiration struck when we were planning my tweens birthday party. Anybody who has ever hosted a birthday party/sleepover knows these wonderful tweens can power through activities almost as quickly as they can hoover a bag of Doritos. Almost. 

So a Mom’s got to be on her A game or she will hear the dreaded “I’m bored” or “what else can we do?” words. Not good when one is celebrating a birthday. So my daughter and I jammed packed their schedule, but my ace in the hole was letting them write on the table!

easy birthday party craft for tweens #upcycled paper
Doesn’t this paper just beg to be drawn and written on? Even our cat couldn’t resist it.

 Craft Set Up:

Setting this craft up was easy-peasy.  First, we placed a festive plastic table cloth on our dining room table. Then rolled out the white packing paper and taped it down on the ends and sides. Don’t worry if your upcycled paper has a hole or two in it, just tape over it. Next, set out your writing supplies. We had a bucket full of markers and a pencil case full of colored pencils and pens. There may have been a few crayons in the mix as well.

bucket of markers for craft time

You are good to go! Once all the guests arrive, let the birthday child announce that they can write on the table and be ready with your camera for their reactions! The girls attending my daughter’s party practically knocked each other over to get to the table to start. 

Out of respect for privacy, I won’t share their happy faces here, but I will show you the end product.

happy craft table

As you can see, these girls LOVED this craft. They came back to it again and again. They wrote and laughed and talked their way through dinner and dessert here. They came back after playing flashlight tag and they sat here again doodling while eating their breakfast and waiting to be picked up. 

The best part for me was seeing their faces. Once the party guests had gone home, my daughter and I saved a portion of the paper with special birthday messages on it. 

Finding free packing paper ideas:

If you haven’t started recycling the packing supplies that come in with your products, now is a great time to start with the holidays rapidly approaching. You can also ask your family members to save longer sheets of packing paper for you.  You could even ask a local business if they receive boxes with packing paper. I’m sure they would be happy to give you some as most businesses just recycle it.  

However you come by your paper, I hope you and your kids will get a chance to write on the table soon! 

Please share in comments: Do you set up craft/activity stations at your kids birthday parties? If yes, what kinds?
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