Party planning should be fun and easy, so get things done in 15 minutes or less.

The 15-Minute Party Planner's blog breaks down basic party-planning tasks into simple actions that take 15 minutes or less. We're not here to make you the next Martha, we're here to help you be crafty quickly!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Simple momentos you can create at a going away party

When you're throwing a party for a friend who is leaving town, it's nice to give your friend something to remember you by. These momentos allow your party guests to participate in the gift giving and require little prep work. The end result, however, is a trio of gifts your friend will treasure.

Scrapbook of memories

Scrapbooks are a wonderful way to preserve memories.  To create a going away scrapbook, first, purchase a decorative binder that will hold 8.5 x 11 paper.  (Choosing a traditional paper size, rather than a scrapbook paper size will make it easier for guests to contribute to the scrapbook.)  Then, ask guests to prepare their scrapbook pages before the party.  Encourage the craft-impaired to write letters if they don't feel comfortable decorating a page.

In addition, you may want to provide paper, stickers, photos, etc. at the party so that people can continue to add to the scrapbook throughout the evening.  Once people finish their pages, slip them into plastic sleeve protectors and clip the whole lot in the binder.  Instant scrapbook!

Ideas for pocket photo albums

If you want to make it easy for your soon-to-be-leaving friend to keep in touch, create a practical keepsake.  Ask each guest to bring a 4x6 photograph of himself or a picture that shows both the guest and the guest of honor.  On the back of the photo, each person should print his or her contact information.  Include everything from snail mail addresses to Skype user names.  Then, stick the photos in a pocket-sized photo album.  The album will serve as both souvenir and address book. 

Need another photo album idea?  To remind your guest of honor that she is well-loved, collect cards that let her know why she'll be missed.  Give each party guest an index card, and instruct her to write "[Name], I’ll miss you because…" on them, followed by the reasons the guest of honor will be missed.  Once completed, put the cards in a small photo album.

Collecting messages and signatures
Once a favorite of elementary school children with tee shirts and sharpies, the idea of personalized gear has crossed over into the realm of weddings and other celebrations.  Instead of a tee shirt, consider having guests sign a photo mat (then frame the mat with a photograph from the party), write their contact information in an address book, or compose messages inside a gift book or greeting card.

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