Idea No.


Surprise Party -13yr- Backyard Bonfire



September 2001


Heather in New Castle, DE USA

Honorable Mention

Surprise Party

Recently, I had a surprise birthday party for my sister, who was turning 13.

I invited about ten girls, sending them all homemade invitations that were instantly elegant with the use of pretty floral paper and decorative scissors (about a dollar at any craft store). All the invitations had a send back envelope (kind of like wedding invitations) with an address where my sister wouldn't see any mail (I used my P.O. Box). Each invitation contained directions to the party, a suggested gift list (at the top of the list was a note that said, "Although gifts are not requested or required, these are some ideas if you don't know what you would like to bring"), and a reply card with envelope.

All the replies were collected and used in a scrapbook she received later as a birthday present.  At the beginning of the party, when she arrived, all of her friends hid inside of the house, and since she expected the party, we had the family yell "surprise" in the backyard.

She wasn't the least bit surprised or excited, so making sure she wasn't facing the door, we had her friends quietly slip outside and when she turned around to go inside, they all yelled SURPRISE. She was actually shocked to see them.  

During the party, each girl made a tie-dyed bandanna and two candles (colored "sand"-like wax and glass votive candle holders from craft store). I wrapped the candles in cellophane before they left to prevent spilling on the way home. The girls went swimming and those who got "bored" were given the "Big Bucket of Beads" to make beaded keychains.  

After the party, a few girls stayed the night, and we had a bonfire, complete with roasted marshmallows. The girls all loved the invitations, and everyone had a blast. Since the girls had plenty to do, there was no nagging or bothering the parents who stayed to enjoy the party!

When the girls left, the got a goody bag with nail polish (on sale for 50 cents), lip gloss (came six to a pack for $1 at Odd Jobs), candy and gum (mostly from dollar store), and butterfly hairclips ($2 for a box of 30-40 at craft store). This went in a gift bag (3 for $1) with their bandannas (with instructions on finishing the project -- rinsing, washing, etc.) and candles.

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