Harry’s birthday party is at the end of the month and he is already beside himself with excitement. Befitting a boy who is passionate about knights, swords, acts of heroism and needy princesses, it will be set in a castle (or rather a draughty village hall, but we’ll make do), and will involve mostly lots of running games until the young partygoers are just exhausted enough to collapse at the table for tea.
For Harry, the invitations are one of the most important bits; he loves to hand them out to his friends and tell them all about the party. Last year we had a pirate party and made message-in-a-bottle invites. This year we’ve gone for medieval castle scrolls and feather arrows, making use of the 6 billion empty toilet rolls we find ourselves with after an extended period of festive entertaining..
I took each cardboard tube and covered it with a piece of this cool wallpaper, fixing it in place with double-sided tape..we’ll use the rest of the roll to cover the tables for tea on the day. I rolled up an invitation and slid it into each tube..
To make the glitter feathers I used inexpensive duck feathers from a local craft shop (Hobbycraft in the UK and Michaels in the US sell these), and sprayed the tips with CraftMount glue before sprinkling liberally with glitter. Do this in an area with no wind, and where a small boy is unlikely to come hurtling through at great speed, displacing even heavy objects and certainly a tableful of glitter. I offer you this as a learning from experience.
Finally, I tied on the feather with ribbon and added a faux wax seal leftover from Christmas supplies (mine are snowflake ones I ordered from here for holiday envelopes; I love them and they stick ferociously, generally surviving the mail).
To make the decorative arrows, I used lengths of dowel and attached a feather to one end with bright paper tape. For the tip of the arrow, I glued on pencil eraser caps which I painted silver; the rubberiness helps if you get accidentally impaled during an over-zealous bout of play-fighting, and also means it’s almost impossible to poke someone in the eye, and Lord knows that’s an occupational hazard at most children’s parties. Life is too short to produce these in large quantities (by which I mean that my attention span is too short), but a quiver-full is fun to play with and running repairs can be made in an instant simply by adding more tape.
For the invite itself I used powerpoint and some clip art, and this lovely medieval font which is free to download.
(It obviously had a bit more detail on it than this!)
I should point out that making Harry’s birthday party invites is an annual small labour of love, and that if I had more than one child the effort would be by necessity scaled down immensely. Also, that it is the most effortful aspect of the party itself, which requires little more of us than filling a large hall with balloons, sugar, loud music and small children and retreating to safety as soon as possible.
Did I tell you that I am required to dress up as a princess? My birthday present from Harry was an adult-sized Maid Marion costume which looks alarmingly insubstantial and should certainly never be waved near a naked flame. In his eyes though it is beautiful, and I must play my part in agreeing to be rescued valiantly by the birthday boy. And who am I to argue with such chivalry?
Wish us luck…