How to host a sleepover with sparkle


Many thanks to Kizanne Walker for writing this article.

I have to confess, I am one of those curious, creative people who loves nothing more than planning an unforgettable event. I love the list making, the late night research on sites such as Pinterest; the little details; the cost saving DIY projects and the anticipation that grows as the event draws closer, almost as much as the event itself. Special parties for adults are great fun but its kids’ parties that get me really excited (yes, I know I’m odd!).  I understand not everybody is like me, in fact, I know of some wonderful mums who dread the thought of having to organise a picnic, let alone a party.

A question for you: When you think back to your childhood, what parties or events bring back fabulous memories? For me, it’s hosting or attending sleepovers. I loved them! There were always plenty of belly laughs, late night whispers and giggles and plenty of time to hang out with my pals.

Here, I’ve put together four simple DIY ideas gleaned from Pinterest that add a wee bit of sparkle to the good ol’ childhood sleepover. They would be perfect for a birthday party to remember!

DIY #1 – Sleepover Invitations

Spotlight (and other craft or cheap shops) sell plain white, Boy and Girl shaped cardboard cut-outs (similar silhouette shapes could be printed & cut out at home to reduce the cost). Any scrapbooking lovers among you could easily jazz these up or having your child decorate them with snazzy drawn on pyjamas perhaps, would be fabulous too. Party details can be neatly scribed on the back of the cut-outs. Sleeping bag envelopes can be made by folding a square piece of paper (that’s the same length of the cardboard person) in half and carefully gluing along the bottom and half way up the side where the two edges join, being careful to make sure the person will be able to slide into the sleeping bag. The top corner of the sleeping should be folded back toward the fold in the paper to reveal the cardboard person sleeping inside.

DIY #2 – Tents

An easy way to take mattresses on the floor from boring to brilliant is to make individual tents! I promise it really is easier than it sounds, so long as you’re able to saw a few lengths of dowel and use twine to knot them together.  For the ‘A’ end pieces of each tent: cut four equal lengths (make sure they’re long enough to stand either side of a mattress/foam bedding). Place one piece on top of another to make an ‘A’ and wrap twine around them to hold securely. Repeat for the other ‘A’ end piece.  Cut another length of dowel for the ‘roof’, joining the two ‘A’ pieces and allowing the structure to stand freely. Lay a flat sheet sideways over the roof of the tent and tuck spare fabric under the mattress to create tent effect, or drape over two tents if long enough. Fairy lights or glow sticks attached along the timber ‘A’ frames add a definite touch of awesome. Bonus: these are easy to dismantle and store.

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DIY #3 – Photo Booth + Frame

Have you noticed the photo booth phenomenon that is taking over special events? These days, they’re not just for weddings, which is great! Thankfully, a sleepover ‘photo booth’ is really easy to create. Lay a large flat sheet out on an even, floor surface. Choose a range of physical or printed props to lie on the sheet (e.g. colourful cushions or stuffed toys), so they face the correct angle when the photographer (i.e. you!) stand on a chair above the scene.

Another simple, effective and in my experience, immensely popular photography prop is an empty, ornate photo frame that is large enough for a few heads. Kids and parents alike enjoy this simple idea of holding the frame themselves; the photograph should include the detail outside the frame too.

DIY #4 – Breakfast Bar

Another great way to add sparkle to your sleepover is to make breakfast bright and cheery. You do not need to go overboard with a big buffet to make this special; in fact, setting up these incredibly simple details is what will help make the occasion memorable to your guests.  Similar to lolly buffets that are all the rage at the moment; creating a breakfast version not only requires a small amount of effort, but it also allows for guests to serve themselves (dependant on your guests age, naturally). The Reject Shop sells a fabulous range of cheap glassware (apothecary and cocktail style) that will guarantee you get 10/10 for your wonderful breakfast display. Otherwise, salad bowls full of Coco Pops, Fruit Loops, Nutri Grain and oats would not only look great but save on costs too. Yoghurt; fruit; chia seeds – the options are vast and exciting!

I tend to think that kids in general are pretty easily pleased. I’m certain that using these simple DIY ideas, or a selection of them, will impress not only your precious kidlet, but their friends too. It’s the humble childhood sleepover, with sparkle!

We’ve got lots of other great Party Ideas on the website, including Low Stress & Healthier Savoury Party Food and Cool Party Bag Ideas.

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