Reader Request

I got an email from Lindsey in Georgia (I think….correct me if I made that part up). It says:
I am hosting a birthday party for a friend in just a few short weeks. Her fiance will be in town so she requested our event be co-ed. I really REALLY want to do a couple’s craft that 1) won’t break the bank, 2) won’t make the boys miserable, 3) won’t take all day (and maybe even is a competition… not necessary though.)

All I could come up with is “boys like power tools”, and let’s face it…that doesn’t really help.

So, what have you readers got? And to make it a little more interesting, the poster of the winning idea wins a camera strap (your choice, ruffled or patchwork)!

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  1. Carla Hegeman Crim says:

    What about pique assiette mosaic? The guys can smash cheap tiles and thrifted dishes, the girls can glue them to stuff (bird houses, plaques, trivets, etc.)in a pretty fashion, and then the guys can grout.

    I NEED a camera strap, by the way…

  2. tinahead81 says:

    this is a tough one! lol boys are so difficult. what about the ladies decorate a wine glass and the boys decorate a beer mug?(i'm guessing if beer is involved, the men may be more interested! lol) there are tons of glass paints/markers out there that are probably inexpensive, and the mugs and glasses couple probably purchased on the cheap at maybe a christmas tree shoppe or something! then they can judge the best looking couples' set for a little prize?!

    there are my 2 cents ! lol

  3. Make parachute men/toys something like – once they're made the blokes can drop them from great heights & see who's works the best…!

  4. Heidi@TheCraftMonkey says:

    ok, either something with food/chocolate OR these would be fun (& sexy, haha) those "not so spicy" dice that Michelle at Someday Crafts made for Valentine's day

  5. I had a similar party. We did rubberstamping and the guys loved it. I did the craft part as a workshop….had everything ready for a couple of cards….and taught my guests as we went a long. It was a lot of fun and the guys were sooo proud of their work!

  6. crafterhours says:

    Supplies: A variety of sacrifice-able magazines + those thin, scissor-cuttable self-adhesive magnetic sheets. Everyone cuts out words they like or are funny to make a set of custom magnetic poetry. With the guy friends in our group, it could get pretty ridiculous. And could go on for quite a while. Each couple could take home their own or compete to make the funniest set for another couple. Or give them all to the birthday boy/girl.

  7. How about you make those mustache sticks and then have an awesome fun photo shoot where everyone is wearing their mustache? I could see guys getting into the cutting with a bandsaw of the balsa wood, and then painting it. And holding it. If drinks were involved.

  8. A long time ago, we went to a party, and did this surprisingly fun activity: l we had to take an Egg and work together to create a safe way for it reach the ground, from the top of a few flights of outdoor stairs. Our tools/supplies were a bunch of household items that were going to be recycled. (egg cartons, grocery bags, bubble wrap, water bottles, milk jugs, packing peanuts), using just duct tape, scissors and this stuff, we had to see whose eggs would survive the longest or most drops.
    The men really got into the building part of this activity, and their were markers and stickers and things for the women to use too.
    There were two awards given: For the most durable and the prettiest!
    Good luck!

  9. That's a tough one. You could have a little friendly competition between men and women. Give them a piece of wood or any medium to create on. Have supplies like paint, sander, saw, paper, and any crafting tool/ medium you think they might need and see who creates the best thing. Then you are not required to make any specific item and hope that everyone likes it. Plus, you leave room for creativity.To help with the creativity, you could have a few ideas and inspirations with photos or set up around them.

  10. Shrinky Dinks are *always* a hit. Large punches (man work) for circles, hole punch, decorate & shrink to make charms, keychains or wine glass tags (useable right away). A corner rounder punch makes smooth corners for squares and rectangles.
    Can also make pet tags, luggage tags, etc. Ya might want neat things for tracing for those of us who cannot doodle or draw.
    Toaster oven or reg oven to shrink.
    Also #6 plastic is shrinky dink (often is clear food containers)

  11. This isn't quite a "craft", but I've done this before with a co-ed group where we had cookie dough and had a design competition to see who could come up with the most creative designs with their dough (shapes, words, sculptures, etc. – then we baked them). It was hilarious, fun, and tasty!

  12. Mique (as in Mickey) says:

    When I saw this post my first thought was- Iron Chef or Chopped competition. At first the guys might whine a bit but they would totally get into it.
    Have a secret ingredient (or a few) and a time limit and then go for it and then judge at the end. Have fun (and funny) prizes. Best part about it that it's fun but you'll get food out of it too- it's a two-fer. ;)
    Good luck!

  13. Al, Wendy, Max, and Lil says:

    How about a cake decorating competition. Boys against the girls. Give everyone a theme and whichever team makes decorates the cake the best, wins. You could get really elaborate.

    I need a camera strap…and for other reasons…a ruffle one. You know why.

  14. I think that Gingerbread houses are so fun and a fun competition. Of course you probably don't want to call them Gingerbread houses seeing as how it's not Christmas but for the price of some candy, graham crackers and frosting you will have lost of fun. You could make it who can make the best scene or the best castle or something like that.

  15. I came across a fun idea. Check out the blog He takes wire, random objects (glasses, scissors, cans of food) and turns them into humorous and fun objects. I would have fun with this, as would my husband. All you would have to do is provide wire, random household objects and pliers. He has a guide on his site to bending wire. To give credit where credit is due, I found the idea here: . Dollarstorecrafts on its own has lots of ideas, but I thought this would provide the most "adult" fun.

  16. Get a bunch of party hats and a bunch of other stuff – tissue paper, pom poms, little plastic army guys, giant googly eyes, etc.

    Have the couples make party hats for each other that they then must wear through the duration of the party. I shudder to think what my husband would make for me, but now that the thought is in my head, we'll probably have to find out at his birthday party.

  17. Fraser's and Co. says:

    TIE DIE!!! Easy… hard to mess up. There are several sites to find different ideas for those that are extremely creative to those that are slightly craft handicapped.

  18. Melissa at says:

    Going a step farther than just magnet words. Take head shots of your guests as they arrive. Print & cut out. Have guests blindly choose one from the bowl to accessorize. Have lots of different fashion magazines on hand to create some unique looks. Glueing the heads, bodies, accessories, etc. onto the magnet sheets. Vote on whose magnet "friend" looks the most humorous. Bonus: Guests take their own magnet character home as a party favor.

  19. How about something as simple as t-shirt decorating?

    It can be done with fabric paint or latex paint (which is what I always use). You could supply some sharpies for detail. And a roll of freezer paper for the ambitious to make stencils (or have everyone make stencils).

    Low cost, no special tools or ingredients that can't be used for other projects later on, and everybody wears clothes. Awards could be given for various categories: prettiest, manliest, most creative, etc.

  20. I have no ideas..but I am going to have to have a co-ed party so I can do like all of these! love them! PLEASE post pictures of whatever miss Georgia chooses!

  21. OK–as a mom of 5 boys, you would think that I would have better ideas . . . are you super committed to an actual craft? Here are a few ideas:

    1. Football themed party (and then have them design and create their own "team Jersey"). There are a ton of football themed items on clearance right now after the superbowl and you can get a package of 5 white shirts at Walmart for like $7.50 or so (cheaper if you don't live in hickville like I do). You can have each couple be a "team" and have them do their jerseys together . . . Email me if you want details on the activities we did.

    2. Another party we did was a science themed party where we had all sorts of competitions. We had them design their own labcoats (that can get pricey though) and do mentos geysers, and other activities where they were judged on best, most creative, etc.

    Click here to email me for more details and/or if I win (hint hint)

  22. The first thing I thought of was a Pinewood Derby! Can you tell I am the mother of boys? You can buy the car kits at a scout store, on line, or in some craft stores. A little sanding, some paint, and a little competition can be alot of fun.

    I would love a new camera strap. A ruffle one, 'cause I need something cute and feminine in my world. Since I'm surrounded by boys. And they cooties!

  23. My favorite as a kid was marshmallow toothpick structures…who can make the tallest? Super cheap with mini mallows and toothpicks. Ooh-we also made bridges out of them one year :o)

  24. Jennifer @ Back at the hive says:

    I think it would be fun to have everyone bring 5 different things that they found cheap at goodwill or where ever. But don't tell them what it is for. Put the items on a table and let each couple choose 5 things. It can be what they brought or something else. Only after they have picked out the items, tell them they have to make something with the items they picked out.
    The hostess could have all the basic supplies ready for them to use.
    Maybe a prize for the winners.
    Kind of like Iron Chef but with crap.

  25. My boyfriend got really into my melting records craft – pop a record in the oven at maybe 350 degrees on something (I used a cookie sheet sometimes and an upside-down cast iron pan sometimes) until it gets floppy, then you have about 90 seconds to form it into something once you take it out of the oven. It shouldn't be hot enough to melt on anything or burn your fingers unless your oven is set on Kelvins.

    We smooshed some between mixing bowls to make record bowls & others we bent over the spine of a book to make mail holders. The possibilities are endless (jewelry, desk accessories, lamp shades, etc) so it's a good craft for lots of people who have varied interests.

  26. A couple of ideas:

    *Duct tape projects (wallets, purses, etc.)
    *Glass Etching — like one of the comments listed above but the etching technique would add a new spin to it and is pretty easy.
    *Girls can make some sort of jewelry and men can make tie tacks or cuff links.

  27. Liz @ LivingMySweetLife says:

    buy a bunch of T-shirts for everyone and set out some fabric paints, knives, and potatoes. everyone can make potato print shirts! It's fun and it's not time consuming.

  28. Man, I see my shirt idea isn't the first. But I wouldn't do potato. Just doesn't seem as "fancy" to me. Get a whole bunch of different colored shirts for the birthday girl. They will be for the bday girl to keep. Have every couple design something. Have scraps of fabric available, buttons, zippers, paints, all sorts of things to decorate a shirt with. The b-day girl chooses the winner. Winner gets a gift card maybe to macy's or something for like 15 or 20 bucks…man, i want to go to that party just talking about it! oh, and it could be a bring a shirt bday party, or get some at michaels craft on sale?

  29. Use a man's best friend – duct tape – to create something fun, like a purse or a wallet. Whoever creates the most original, usable version wins. Men don't feel like they are 'crafting' with duct tape, and we women don't have to tell them differently! Duct tape is super cheap and comes in all sorts of colors now, too! :) Have a great time at the party!

  30. this is lindsey from georgia! holla! so many great ideas so far!!! so excited to pick one!!

  31. I would do something like (or go to) a paint your own pottery place. (in Utah we have colormemine… I think they are in other states too so you could look online). They have live bands or comedians or whatever… you can book them for parties and believe it or not but I know a lot of guys who have had fun taking girls there for dates and etc. something like that could maybe be fun for the competition side too?

  32. Dog tag key chains. I did that at a party one time. All it took was blank dog tags and hammers and metal stamps…we all had a blast and put messages on them…then the couples exchanged them.

  33. Holly Days Closet says:

    Ok I looked over everyones and didn't see my idea. My hubby got me started on this when we were dating many moons ago he made me a ring out a dollar bill. This craft is as cheap as you want it to be just how much to you want to spend on paper. It's Origami the art of paper folding you can make anything I have some books but have gooten alot of free patterns on line. We as a family made ninja stars once and then had a war boys vs girls it was a blast. Hope this helps.

  34. Chips and Salsa with Beans says:

    Hmmm…how about the ol' boyscout Marshmallow shooters made out of pvc pipe? The boys can make them and the girls can decorate. Then y'all could have a contest of some sort?

    Or maybe decorate a picture frame of some sort (chalkboard paint?) and be sure to take a picture of the couples together for the frame.

    Another option is to ditch the craft and have a birthday scavenger hunt. Games are always a blast.

    Have fun with whatever you choose!

  35. Chips and Salsa with Beans says:

    After reading my own comment I thought why wouldn't the girls want to make their own Marshmallow shooters? THEN you could have a boys against the girls shooting contest. Oh yeah, fun times.

  36. I'm thinking birdhouses. We all know how the men love to hammer and nail anything and the women can decorate them afterwards. Also, the couple has a first housewarming gift that both of them made together. How sweet is that?!

  37. A temporary craft I did once upon a time on a date was icecream carving. It was so fun (and COLD!), and we did turn it into a competition. You just take a carton of icecream, cut the container off, and start carving with your fingers (or knives if your fingers can't take it!). There was ice cream to eat afterwards, from a fresh container ha ha:)

  38. what about making cardboard furniture? most comfy chair wins?

  39. You could have a bake-off to see who can make the best birthday cake. The only rule is that you can't use a recipe. If you wanted each team could have a small budget to go to the store for decorations for the cake. We did this with some guy friends a couple of times in high school and it was pretty hilarious what people came up with.

  40. I would have a T-shirt contest. Put out freezer paper and fabric paint (or even spray paint as I have seen some people do) and let them go nuts. I don't know a guy that doesn't like a cool graphic tee.

    I don't know if anyone else has posted this idea. I am sorry…I didn't want to read through 43 comments.

  41. I would say that men LOVE to eat so it has to center around food! My idea would be pre-bake gingerbread or sugarcookie men and women and everyone can decorate their impression of the birthday girl, their boyfriend/girlfriend…or better yet, do a self portrait! Couldn't you see all the guys putting big muscles on their cookies with fondant. The birthday girl of course chooses the winner and everyone can eat their cookie for dessert!
    The cookie supplies should be pretty cheap and you can even make them ahead and stick them in the freezer. Then you can just pick up some icing, fondant, and fun other supplies at the store!

    I am excited to see what Lindsey picks but I'm super excited to think that I might possibly get my hands on the ruffle camera strap!

  42. I have seen a group activity like this before. They guys and girls could work in teams to build the strongest bridge out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows. Then, you pre-measure coins (pennies) in baggies and place the baggies on until the bridge breaks. Whoever's bridge lasts the longest without breaking wins. It's fun, and the suspense is fun while people go around the room watching the bridges break.

  43. Okay, I had an even better idea!! It found me, but it looks pretty easy & fun for both guys and girls.

    A suspension wine bottle holder. The guys get to drill holes and the girls get to decorate the wood. ;)

    Here's a link:

  44. Samantha says:

    Am I too late? :-) I love the duct tape ideas, by the way. I think that would be fun! But another idea that struck me is a sort of mosaic-collage type project. I did this with a ladies' group once and it was a lot of fun, but I think the guys would have enjoyed it too. First, you collect cast-off jewelry pieces, game pieces, puzzle pieces, tiny toys, trinkets, baubles, etc. It doesn't matter what they are or what they look like. Guests could be encouraged to bring whatever they have laying around. Thrift stores are a great source. Scrabble tiles have to be in there somewhere. Then you need wood pieces. We had crosses, but any shape would do. We spread a gooey layer of tile mastic on the wood and then began to squish all the little pieces into the mastic. You want enough on there that everything sticks and is locked down in there. Let them sit for a while and eat and visit. Then, after some setting up time, come back and add some paint if you like. Some people chose to paint the whole thing one glossy color which emphasized the texture while unifying all the different pieces. Others chose to do paint layers and effects. While others chose to only paint parts of it or to leave it unpainted. It was really a fun project and I think it is very guy-friendly. I could see it on trays or picture frames or garden stones or really anything you want!

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