Saturday 11 October 2008

Party Preparation

I hope I don't sound like a complete git trying to give anyone party tips, but I thought I would pass on some of the ideas I have used and some of the things that have helped me money.

The basket of bangles is basically full of bangles that I and my sisters don't use. I still had the cellophane left over from the gift baskets I made from my cousins wedding, so used it to package the bangles (I am beginning to find that cellophane is the answer to so many of life's little problems). The small sets are ones Little Lady has outgrown (she has her dad's ham-fisted hands) and as there are a few Very Little Ladies attending the party, I thought I would ask their mothers if they would like to take the bangles. I will also ask the guests if they would like to take a set for themselves.

This basket has some henna cones left over from Eid. I was given two boxes of cones by my Uncle when I was in Pakistan in the summer and shared them out between family and friends, I have the ones left over in the basket. The patterns in the basket I cut out from the bottom of the box of cones and the henna book I picked up from a boot sale for 50p along with tattoos and a henna cone (which I binned because it looked old) all in a gift box. The book under the basket is a slim file full of blank pages onto which I have been pasting designs. Some of these are from newspapers and magazines, others are temporary tattoos. You also get patterns in the box when you buy henna sometimes and I have saved patterns from jewellery or just pretty prints and borders. I have also stuck in photos of friend's hands from past Eids and weddings and even a few hand-drawn pictures. Kooky Little Sister says one of her friends can do bridal henna and another is very good at applying it too, so I may ask them to do mine. Fashionista says she has found a henna that takes 10 minutes to set the colour to deep burgundy and the colour lasts two weeks. She was sporting some yesterday and the colour was just perfect. I have asked her to bring some over and I will have a try and report back.

The gift boxes are the only thing that really costs much (about £10 for 40 on ebay, which was the cheapest I could find for that many). I used things that I have been saving through the year that I have picked up from bootsales and from store sale clearances. I picked up these buckets from a boot sale also (and used them for kids loot bags £1.80 for the lot) and cleared out the kids toy boxes to fill them. Other boot sale finds were candles, soaps, pens, make-up and mini toiletries for 5P to 20p each and four packets of party poppers for £1. I used the party poppers, sweets and balloons left over from Eid to bulk up the gift boxes and buckets. I made small stickers that thanked guests for visiting us (I included all four of us sisters and Little Lady) and stated that this was a box of treats to remember us by. I put a sticker on each gift box.

If you don't have a bootie near you but would like to try something like this, another option is the local £-shop or dollar-store where you can pick up multi-packs of pens, candles, hair accessories and soaps and split them. Samples packs and bottles are good to stick in too.

The other thing is preparation, mums with small children find it hardest to attend and to enjoy these affairs, so I have a baby mat, wipes and nappy bags set aside in my bedroom and if anyone needs to feed their baby in peace or baby has fallen in asleep again they can use the bedroom. I always have black bags, wipes and kitchen roll tucked away to one side.

The other thing that helped me was that the four of us sister's do this together to split the costs on food and drink, plates and cutlery and prizes for the party games. I also asked guests to bring a dish if they can to reduce costs and work for me. It also means we get to try a variety of different foods. I can't wait to see what people bring along insh'Allah.


  1. That's it...I am taking the plane...I'll be there in a jiffy, InshaAllah!

  2. Eid Mubarak sister, I hope inshallah that you and your family enjoyed Ramadan and Eid. I am sorryfor being so totally absent.

    I just love your crafty entries. i keep stashing these ideas away, and I hope inshallah to use them someday. Where on earth do you find the time and patience for this? Im about to loose my mind working full time and taking care of baby-

    I so admire you. Wish we were neighbors!

    Say hello to Fashionista for me!

    Assalamu alaykum ;)


  3. MashAllah,it all sounds so nice.
    The party,the gifts ,the preparations..-)

  4. Assalam-alaikam Sister Umm Nassim, you're more than welcome (will you help me with the washing up later?)

    Assalam-alaikam Sis iMama,
    Eid Mubarak to you too, congratulations on iBaby's first Eid. Well the only way to do lots of different things is to do them all half-baked, plus I have no TV which frees me up lots of time. Oh and as Mary Poppin's says:

    In ev'ry job that must be done
    There is an element of fun
    you find the fun and snap!
    The job's a game

    Sorry, I was watching it at my mum's last night, so much for no TV.
    I would love to be your neighbour, I could come see iBaby and my kids would beg to take him home.
    Course I'll say hi to Fash, she's exhausted as she has started her teacher training.

    Assalam-alaikam Sister Ummsaaz,
    it was fun alhamdulillah, suffering from anti-climax a bit now (does that even make any sense?)

  5. Assalamu alaykum sister,
    mash'Allah i love your party gifts and all the preparation! You really worked hard for it! Mash'Allah.
    I wish I could have time and patience to do all that you presented. :(