If you can’t get together in person, you can host a virtual craft party with your friends and spend time chatting and being creative together!
When you can’t get together with your friends in person, but you still need some social interaction, video calls and FaceTime can be so helpful. But you don’t have to call your friends and just chat.
In fact, I found that when my kids FaceTime friends and family members, the call goes SO much better if there’s an activity planned that they can participate in together. Sometimes, they play games, sometimes they play pretend or read stories. In my son’s daily classroom meetings, they play easy games like 20 questions to keep things calm.
Basically, if there’s an activity to go along with the video call, it keeps people engaged and still leaves plenty of time to talk and chit chat. Plus it can take away some of the awkwardness of video calls!
Why should I host a virtual craft party?
- Crafts are fun!
- Creating and crafting are therapeutic!
- When you’re stuck at home, seeing friends can help with mood, happiness and feeling connected!
- Video calls can be a little awkward if you’re just sitting there staring at your own face in the corner. Having an activity to do while chatting can help!
- Just like a regular party, a shared activity is great for bonding. Maybe you’ll both have the same problem with the project or one person will be able to help another, either way, shared experiences bring people together.
How do I host a virtual craft party?
1. Pick a platform
Decide if you’re going to host your virtual craft party on Zoom, or Google Hangouts or FaceTime or some other digital platform.
2. Choose a project to make for your virtual craft party
When choosing the project you have 3 strategies to pick from:
- Choose a project using supplies that pretty much everyone already has at home. Options include things like book page paper flowers, pumpkins or stuffed animals made from socks, string art, yarn wrapped cardboard letters, a clothespin wreath or even an adorable cactus garden made from rocks!
- Choose a simple project and send the supplies to everyone who’s coming. For example, if you want to make a cute rainbow wall hanging, you can send each friend some wood beads, white yarn and wire. Order online and have them shipped directly to each friend’s house!
- Choose a pre-made craft kit and send the same one to each person attending your virtual craft party. Super fun options I found include: felt succulents, mosaic stepping stone, decorative paper bowls, boho bracelet kit, paper flower art canvas, painted porcelain bowls, and cute thread bowls!
3. Pick a date and time for your virtual craft party and invite your friends!
I suggest choosing a project before picking a date and time because, if you go with project strategies 2 or 3 above and need to order or send any supplies to your guests, you have to make sure your party is scheduled after all of the supplies will arrive.
Otherwise choose a time when your guests are likely to be free and their children (if they have them) are in bed!
A good number of people is probably somewhere between 3 and 6. Too many and it’s really hard to figure out what people are saying on video calls. (Trust me, we’ve had a LOT of elementary school Zoom calls with 20 kids in the last few weeks…it’s chaos!)
Make sure your invitation includes:
- Date and time
- Virtual location including URL and any relevant passwords or logins needed.
- What the craft project will be.
- Whether or not you’re sending any supplies.
- A list of any supplies or tools your friends need to gather before the party. This might include things like scissors, a ruler, a pencil, tape, newspaper to cover the table etc.
Tips & Tricks for a Successful Virtual Craft Party
- Try the project out beforehand. Not only will you have an example to show your friends what the finished project should look like, you will be able to see if there are any additional supplies needed or any tricky parts that need better explanation
- Pick a craft project that’s pretty easy. Seriously, the real point of any party, whether it’s in person or virtual, a craft party or a cocktail party, is actually social. The crafts are just a means to an end. So make sure the project is easy enough that there’s still plenty of time to chat!
- Invite friends who know each other or at least one other guest. A virtual party is probably not the time to try and get friends who don’t know each other together because side conversations and small talk are pretty much impossible.
- Consider a theme. Maybe ask everyone to wear a funny hat or fancy jewelry or make their favorite fruity cocktail and share the recipe. Anything to keep it lighthearted and add to the bonding will work!
- Minimize background noise. This is not the time for music, barking dogs, spouses or partners on a conference call, or other distractions.
- Make sure the room you’ll be in has good lighting that works with your camera. For example, my office is great for video calls in the daytime, but at night, even with lamps on, it’s too dark for anyone to see what I’m doing with a project.
- Forget the virtual backgrounds. I know virtual backgrounds are fun but to do crafts together you need to be able to see things people hold up or what their hands are doing, and virtual backgrounds can do weird things like cut off your arm if you turn the wrong way. Plus, you’re with your friends, they don’t care how messy your living room is anyway!
- Set an end time. Seriously. Otherwise it’s hard to signal in a video call when you’re ready to go to bed. It’s not like you can start cleaning the kitchen or turn off the music to let guests know you want them to leave.
My last bit of advice is, don’t put too much pressure on yourself as the host. If the craft project you pick is a total fail then you can all laugh about how bad it is together. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out exactly the way you planned. The point is to spend time with people you like and have a little fun with a shared experience!
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