Karin Brooks is not only mom to two daughters, but she’s also a Brownie Troop Leader, a teacher and head of her church’s religious school. It’s in her nature to be creative, organized and prepared. So when her daughter, Amelia, requested a pampered spa party and sleepover to celebrate her 8th birthday, Karin remembered she had saved the July/August 2015 issue of American Girl magazine (just in case…prepared for anything, remember?) That issue profiled a DIY spa party and offered suggestions from facials and sugar scrubs to finger soaks and snack ideas.
Personally, this writer and mom of three finds the mere idea of executing a spa party overwhelming and daunting. However, Karin happily offers the following tips for success:
- Shop ahead. “I purchased many of the items over time from Oriental Trading Company, Birthday Xpress or Amazon.com, though I did buy a few things from the Dollar Store, Target, Michael’s (look in the dollar bin!) and Walmart.”
- Always have an activity when guests arrive because no one comes at the same time. "I had everyone decorate their own makeup bag – pencil cases that they colored with Sharpie markers which also served as goodie bags. They added that to a little bath basket they took home, which included a nail file, nail polish, eye shadow, mini hair brush, mirror, sleep masks and terrycloth headband."
- Keep the food and drink simple. “I also bought water cups with inserts so the girls could each pick a fruit to diffuse in their water. It was a spa theme, after all!
- DIY with the table decorations and invitations. "I found big colored crazy daisies for decorations, spa-themed paper goods and a nail polish cake stand, all online. The invitations? Pink paper from the dollar bin and labels made from pictures I took of the spa-themed paper goods I found, which I then cropped.”
- Be organized. It's ok to take short cuts! “We made lip balm but to make it easier, I purchased a kit online. It came with 12 pots and 12 tubes for $35, plus bee’s wax beads to melt, shea butter and almond oil - with labels for each of them.”
- Recruit help. “My sister came to help with the manicures and pedicures – you absolutely need that second set of hands. She took six of the girls to soak their hands in milk and lemon juice while I brought the other six girls into the living room where I had positioned white basins (line the couches with towels too!). The girls got to soak their feet with bath salts made from baby oil and sugar.”
- Have fun.“When it came to facials, I gave each guest a white face cloth and terrycloth headband. They didn’t like the mask because it was sticky – just oatmeal and honey mixed together – but they had a great time and laughed about how weird it felt.”
- Be flexible, most of all. Know that you may not get to all the activities you planned and that some of the purchases may fall flat (“The flip flops and toe separators were too big, even though they were kid-sized,” Karin explained) but as long as there’s plenty of laughter and smiles at the end of the day, consider it a success!
This post was written for a pre-teen's birthday party....but can you imagine?!!
- Cozy Chapters: It is all spelled out above and we bet your member's will have more ideas! And make sure to send Savvy HQ an invite!
- Growing Chapters: Take this a step higher and host a round robin at your library or community center of local services - Reiki, chair massages and a high school volunteer bartender offering flavored waters....
- Members: Let's continue ideas for this Gathering in the Savvy Cafe under Gathering Ideas!
- Not a member? Take a look at what we offer:
Recipes and tips from American Girl magazine, July/August 2015 issue, which inspired Amelia’s spa-themed party:
For the moisturizing honey-oatmeal face mask, mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 tablespoon uncooked plain oatmeal. Pull back your hair and apply this mask to your wet face, avoiding your eyes. Lie down with a towel under your head and let the mask dry. Risk after 10 minutes, or sooner if your face starts to itch.
To moisturize fingers and cuticles, pour ¼ cup olive oil into a small bowl. Soak fingers for one minute, and pat them dry with a tissue. Want to brighten nails and keep them strong? Soak your fingers for five minutes in a bowl filled with 1 cup of warm milk plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Sugar foot scrub
Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of baby oil to make a paste. Moisten your skin and gently rub the scrub in a circular motion all over your feet. Rinse thoroughly with warm water for smooth, soft feet.
Drink at least five 8-ounce glasses of water each day to keep your skin hydrated. Add slices of strawberry and lemon to the water for flavor. For a hassle-free snack, layer vanilla yogurt with fresh berries and granola.