December 23, 2013
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DIY and money-saving bar mitzvah party ideas

Craft attack!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A host never wants a guest at a party to stare into space, or worse, respond with a fake smile plastered across his face when you ask if he’s having a good time. Yikes! Keep your guests as inspired as they were during your child’s bar or bat mitzvah ceremony with some memorable and meaningful activities they can partake in during the celebration. Sara Rivka of the Israeli blog CreativeJewishMom.com gives us some tips:

Do-gooder diversions

• Assemble small gift packages for children in a hospital. Set up a long table, assembly-line style, and have guests fill small containers or gift baskets with an assortment of treats. Fill them with candy, small toys, or cards with a happy, personal message from the person who assembled the gift.

• Make bouquets and take them to a nursing home. Bring some cheer to the elderly by delivering large paper flowers made by your guests. Hire a crafter to teach your guests how to make large colorful flowers with simple supplies such as crepe paper or a combination of cupcake liners and paper. Have large vases or baskets on hand to assemble the bouquets as they are made.

•Renting a photo booth may not be in your budget, but you can still set up an area on a blank wall where guests can don silly accessories and have their photos taken. Designate a friend or family member with a good eye as the official photographer to snap the party pictures and have him email the photos from the party to the appropriate guests (or make a Facebook page) after the bar or bat mitzvah. Provide small chalkboards and colorful chalk so guests can write personalized messages as part of their photos. You can also create your own fun backdrop with a giant, folded, accordion medallions (learn to make them here).

Plant the seed for positivity

• Have guests help you make a wishing tree! Provide leaf-shaped pieces of card stock in gorgeous colors, ask party-goers to write you a special note, and then tie them on to a bouquet of branches with beautiful pieces of ribbon. The leaves should have pre-punched holes in them, and you’ll want to set up a little table with pens, scissors, and ribbon. Depending on the number of guests, you may ask them to write on at least three or more leaves, so that afterwards you’ll have a rainbow-colored tree that you can display in your child’s room. And if you don’t have a place for your tree, you can always untie the leaves and keep them in a special box, or make a scrapbook along with a picture of the tree.

Play with your food!

• Who doesn’t love a self-assembled dessert…or a dessert in general? A s’more, doughnut dipping, sundae, or decorate your own cupcake bar are always finger-lickin’ fun. If you decide to go with cupcakes, you could also provide some little take-out boxes so that guests can take their cupcakes home as a party favor.

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