Cardboard and Kraft Kids' Birthday Party

This bash can be thrown together in no time.

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Photo By: © ©

Kids' Birthday Fun

Entertaining a group of kids can be tricky, to say the least. Between the menu, the decor and the activities, things can get out of hand (and expensive) in the blink of an eye. This party concept simplifies the process by limiting all decor to projects that can be made using inexpensive materials, and since the party is based around a cookie-decorating activity, kids will be well-fed and entertained throughout.

By Camille Styles, photography by Melanie Grizzel

A Warm Welcome

All the signs needed to host this party can be made in a flash using — what else? — kraft paper and cardboard! Create a hand-painted banner that reads, ”Please come in!” and then hang it on your front door to greet guests upon arrival.

Get Artsy

With just a few bottles of acrylic paint, you can transform regular packing boxes into project-ready material. Simply choose your color palette, then use a paintbrush to splatter paint on cardboard. Once it's dry, you’ve got a hand-painted material that can be used to make just about anything.

Decor for Days

Nothing says “party ready” quite like pennant bunting. Make your own by cutting your painted cardboard into equally sized triangles, then attach the pennants onto matching cord or twine with a hot-glue gun. The longer the garland, the more festive your space will look!

Trick of the Trade

This industrial kraft-paper dispenser might seem more suited for a commercial kitchen, but it’s actually an invaluable tool for any home cook. Keep a roll in the pantry or on the countertop, and tear off sheets to use as packing material, wrapping paper, a table runner or anything else that comes to mind!

Neutrals and Neon

Since this party concept is designed with kids and cookie making in mind, kraft paper makes for the perfect impromptu, recyclable placemat. Simply tear off equally sized rectangular pieces, and tape one down with brightly colored tape at each place setting.

Everything They'll Need

Get each child’s place ready by topping the kraft paper placemat with a neatly folded napkin and a large craft stick for cookie decorating.

All Systems Go

Your table is set! Guests will enter a party-ready zone brimming with bright pops of color, festive bunting and a table that’s perfect for both crafting and snacking.

Pretty Plates

Kid-friendly tableware doesn’t have to be flimsy and unattractive. Melamine plates are sold in a variety of colors and sizes, and above all, they’re totally childproof. Opt for a shade that matches the rest of your party decor, then stack the plates at the end of the table for easy serving.

Lunch Is Served

Get the party started with a balanced meal. Set out an assortment of small sandwiches (with the crusts removed, of course) for kids to grab themselves, and a pitcher of fruity lemonade as the perfect way to wash it all down.

Fruity Lemonade

Pour lemonade into clear acrylic glasses, and garnish each serving with a slice of lemon and a striped paper straw.

Get the Recipe: Fruity Lemonade

DIY Desserts

While the kids are lunching, set out all the ingredients they’ll need to decorate their own desserts. Bake a few dozen sugar cookies before the party, then arrange them on a low serving platter within arm’s reach. Scatter small bowls of chocolate chips, sprinkles, marshmallows and icing for kids to use as they desire.

Get the Recipe: Sugar Cookies for Decorating (and eating)

Easy as Cake

Of course, no birthday party is complete without a delicious cake to celebrate the guest of honor! This store-bought version has bright yellow piping to coordinate with the decor and is topped with a vibrant homemade cardboard topper. Set it out on a cake stand for kids to admire throughout the party, then cut it up and serve for the grand finale!

Send 'Em Packing

Send kids home with a sweet reminder of the day’s creativity. Regular brown paper lunch sacks get an on-theme makeover with just a few splatters of white acrylic paint, and when sealed off with bright pink tape, they make the perfect carriers for the kids' cookie creations.