Birthday invitations seem like one of the most mundane parts of the actual event, but you have several creative options when it comes to them. You may choose to have them printed, you can match them to your themed party supplies, or you may choose to create and send them electronically via an e-invite website. Most of us don’t look at birthday party invitations as much more than an essential ingredient in birthday party planning, but the truth is you can have loads of fun with birthday invitations and make them a major part of the planning and the event itself!
In this guide to making the most amusing, functional and fun invites, we’ll cover how to come up with clever design ideas, how to create optimal birthday invitation wording, and other fun party invitation ideas.
Creating Birthday Invitations That Are Games
If the idea of integrating the birthday invitation into the event seems like a good fit to your child’s preferred theme, it’s actually fairly easy to do so. Consider these fun, creative ideas:
- A secret puzzle. Create colorful-but-simple card stock birthday party invitations in a classic postcard format. With hot glue or a small staple, attach a bit of ribbon to one corner. Attach a puzzle piece to the loose end of that ribbon. Instruct each attendee to bring their puzzle piece with them, and as a great ice breaker, the kids can use their individual pieces to complete the puzzle. Use a fun, creative design. Consider the following cool ideas:
- Folded/decorated paper. Whether you send a bit of origami or a classic “cootie catcher”, birthday invitations can double as a fun game before the party has even started. There are free, easy-to-follow templates online with instructions on how to make an old-fashioned cootie catcher and or simple ideas for fun origami designs. You can fold up invitations like a love note and have large, child-looking writing to help make the birthday invitation more enticing and fun.
- Top-secret codes. Kids love puzzles! A cool idea especially for boys is to turn the birthday invitation wording into a secret code. This makes the birthday invitation a fun and intriguing thing for any friend (and parent) to receive and decode!
Birthday Party Invitations You Can Wear
Consider making your birthday invitation into a wearable piece of your party theme! Some great examples of this concept include:
- Paper masks that coordinate with your theme;
- Costume items matching your theme (pirate’s eye patch, baseball cap for a sports party, spa slippers for a spa theme, and so on);
- Making a birthday invitation a paper hat. YouTube offers some great video tutorials teaching you how to quickly fold a paper hat triangle into a creative wearable birthday invitation;
- Including fun t-shirts customized with your party invitations. Whether your teenager is taking a few friends for a friendly game of golf or your 5 year-old is enjoying a Minions-themed event, creating themed tee shirts for each guest can be a fun, creative way to ensure that everyone is involved in your event and will help create a lasting memory and take-home favor for your guests.
Themed Birthday Party Invitations
Invitations that introduce your theme to potential guests are always fun and appreciated! While you can certainly make invitations with the theme right on them, you can also create invitations that hint at your theme. Even better, make them into props that can/should be brought along to help expand the party theme! Consider the following ideas:
- Clues. Scavenger, treasure and even mystery-themed parties can kick off perfectly by making the invitation an actual clue. One expert says this of the concept, “If you’re planning a scavenger hunt party, mail your invites in small brown sacks. Ask the guests to bring along the bag to collect their loot.” Include a list or clue in your birthday invitation about what the hunt is going to involve.
- Small beach balls. With colored Sharpies and low-cost beach balls, you can send both a birthday invitation and a party favor at once. Jot down the party details on one panel of the ball and let everyone know that they can bring their favor with them to the pool party, beach party or water park event.
- Sleep masks. If your child is having friends sleep over, affordably-priced sleep masks can be the ideal birthday invitation and favor. Encourage attendees to bring the masks and (just maybe) go to sleep for an hour or two on the night of the party!
- Scorecards and other scoring paraphernalia. Whether a child has opted for a bowling party, an all-night D&D or other gaming event, you can use basic score keeping tools as birthday party invitations. Just be sure to write on the backs of score pads so the guests can use whatever is supplied to keep track of the scores.
- A map. Are you going hiking, doing a treasure hunt or even going to a place like the mall for your event? If so, you can make a map-themed birthday invitation that also includes a functional map for the event. As an example, if it is a pirate-themed event, make the map one that leads not just to the location, but also an actual spot you set up as the ice breaker activity or spot. If the party involves walking the mall with your daughter and her friends, make the map invitation to show the “no parent” zones where the kids won’t have you involved in what they are doing, but make those zones a surprise. For instance, destination one might be the nail salon, spot two might be a restaurant where they get to dine on their own, and so on.
- Craft supplies. Is there some sort of art or craft being done at the event? If so, you may want the invitation to be or include a hint about it, and even help a guest get ready for that activity. For example, painting parties are all the rage, and you can make the invitation a miniature sketch or paint pad, even accompanied by some paint pencils or a tiny tin of watercolors with a brush. Everyone can show off their art when they arrive or just get busy painting or creating something new.
It can be lots of fun to make and receive these sort of creative birthday party invitations. However, you should be careful not to get so busy being creative that you forget to use the best birthday invitation phrasing and wording.
Birthday Invitation Wording 101
Can you easily identify what the basic birthday invitation wording has to include? Here are the the basics that need to be in every invite:
- Your child’s name;
- How old he/she will be this birthday;
- The date of your event;
- The beginning and end times of your party (this helps potential guests plan better);
- The location of your party;
- Your party theme, if there is one;
- RSVP information. Offer multiple ways of responding and a no-later-than date for a response. Offer a phone number, email address, etc.
An RSVP deadline will help assist you in planning. It will help you know how much food you need, how many favors to buy, how many place settings you need, etc. Plan for extras in case you get a few people who aren’t great at communicating and show up without RSVP’ing.
As far as multiple response methods, it makes a bit more work for you to keep track of parents’ RSVP’s, but it also gives busy parents options for replying in the way that makes them most comfortable or that is easiest for them.
You must also give more information in the RSVP if you’re going to welcome parents who wish to stay. For example, one expert suggested you also:
- Indicate if adult food is being served
- Ask about potential food allergies
- Ask about specific details of attendees if it can make the activities more enjoyable (i.e. age, favorite food, etc)
- Letting parents know if they’re also invited, if they must stay with the child or if they’re welcome to do a drop-off
Try not to be too wordy, but pass on significant information to spare yourself lots of time on telephone calls and emails answering things that the invitation itself could handle.
Birthday party invitations don’t have to be dull or mundane. There are many avenues to create fun, interactive birthday invitations and to help get your guests excited for your upcoming event!
Use Discount Party Supplies for Your Party Needs
We carry many types of invitations, from plain to themed. We carry supplies to help you customize your party invitations, and you can always get more ideas from our other blog posts!
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