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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Musings - Book Themed Party

I recently went to a birthday celebration for an adult where her children honored her love of reading with a book theme.  I loved the idea and wanted to share it with all of you.  

Step 1 - Find Your Theme

The party I attended had the general theme of books/reading, but you could pick a specific genre, like mysteries, Sci-fy, romances, or history,

You could use a specific book for the theme, like The Great Gatesby, if the party's guest of honor is a fan of the book.  Imagine a Dune, Hunger Games, or Harry Potter themed party.   Just make sure the book has lots of recognisable content for your guests. 

Perhaps focus on the favorite author who has a lot of books the guest of honor loves, like Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Tolkien, Dan Brown, or Anne Rice as a few examples.

Or you could go with a BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) theme where guests can dress up as a character or bring something representative of their favorite book.  At some point everyone can try and guess what is each guest's book.

Step 2 - Invitations 

Once you have your theme the invitations can be designed to follow that theme either with book covers or a prominent key item from the story/author.  An example might be for a Harry Potter themed invitation having white owls on the front.  Get creative but stick to recognizable items from your theme to use on the invitations.  Don't forget to include the place, time, and dress code.  The invitations I received were done with pages to a book as part of design and a photo of the birthday lady when she was a child. 

Canva and Crello can also be used for party invitations that you can download and print out on card stock yourself or find a print shop.

I found this website that has a few that you can download and print (click here).  Also look at Etsy for more downloadable invitations that will fit your theme.

Step 3 - Get Planning 

The cake or cupcakes (edible cupcake toppers) can follow your theme at the very least.  But if your theme (book, author, genre) has recipes featured in the books you may want to make some of those.  For example, mystery authors have done a few recipe books with dishes featured in their books such as the cook books I featured in these blog posts (click here, here, and also here.)  Check and see if there may be a cookbook that coincides with your theme in some way.  See all the cakes that are fashioned like books below.

Besides food, think about a few book-themed activities.  Two to four will keep things moving and provide some laughter and fun.  I found these on some blogs about party activities and adapted for book themes.  

Book Trivia/Charades

Trivia or charades are classics and easy to play.  If you have a lot of guests, split them into teams.  Do a google search from quizzes on your theme to easily put your trivia together on a master sheet.   For charades, think of things from your theme that could be acted out and write on strips of paper to be picked out of a hat. 

Scavenger Hunt

A classic that may take a little more coordination and is always good no made the ages of participants.  Of course you hide items related to your book theme or maybe books that coordinate with your theme and  provide a few clues to help teams/individuals get started in the correct direction.  You can have a prize for the winning team/person.  This blog gives some good directions for setting up a scavenger hunt (click here.)

Bookmark Making 

You can make bookmarks fairly easily with some heavy cardstock cut into 2” x 6” and print out theme-related graphics or from magazines (remember those?).  Affix with craft glue (click here) or double-sided tape, punch a hole and thread a ribbon or tassle through to finish.  For an extra touch, attach a theme-related charm to the ribbon. 

Book Balance 

This is a very basic idea, balancing books on your head while walking.  But you can make it more challenging by balancing while doing an activity, like doing five squats or walking a line. Kick it up a notch by making it a race, or a relay.

Costume Competition 

If you had guests show up in costume in accordance with your theme, a simple competition is natural.  

Step 4 - Decorations  

Check your local party supply for things that may fit with your theme.  The collage above shows a large wreath that was made with book pages and a basket of party favors in pockets made from book pages.  The wall hanging is available on Amazon (click here).

Here too Etsy may have some creative items that can fit your theme.  Check out images related to your book through a google search and print out and hang around.  Other ideas for decorations include book pinwheels (click here), book banner flags (click here), book page paper flowers (click here), book page paper chain garland (click here and here), or book page paper treat bags (click here).  If you don't want to use actual books, photocopies of pages can work too.  

Step  - Party Favours  

Naturally a physical book related to the theme is a good idea, and if you can find copies second hand-even better.  

I hope you enjoyed this overview of throwing a book themed party.  You can make it as simple or elaborate as you like, but these resources and ideas will give you a starting point for creativity to run with.  Enjoy.

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