Throwing a party for every occasion is a great way to celebrate an event with your family and friends. It is an opportunity to cook your favorites dishes, invite people you haven’t seen in a long time, receive various gifts from people attending, and share new and important announcements and life milestones.
One of the most anticipated parties that people love throwing and attending is a birthday party. People, of all ages, like to celebrate the day they were born no matter how simple or grand it is. Children, most especially, love to be treated to a birthday bash with their favorite games and toys. It is a party wherein everyone is inclined to participate because children like being involved in all party activities and they do it without reservation.
Children become carefree when they have fun and in time times like this, you just want them to give a little bit of the party with them when they get home. Most of the time, people get to have party favors and loot bags right when the party ends.
Loot bags are something parents love to give away after their children’s birthday party although some parents are sometimes hesitant to receive them because not all contents are something they agree on giving, especially so when they are filled with only candies and chocolates.
Are Loot Bags Necessary?
Not only children’s parties have these. It is all the more exciting for adult parties too because it is a rarity that they give something away after that kind of event when most just give souvenirs or birthday memorabilia. Many older people still find it sweet to give away loot bags even if it’s not common because they like to surprise their party-goers or just end the day on a fun note.
Although the content may vary depending on the age of the celebrant and the theme of the party, essentially, loot bags contain items that are reminders of the great party everyone had. Aside from the staples of candy and chocolate, it can include some toys, other food items, novelty items, and any other item you want.
It could range to the latest popular trends like play dough and slimes to books and stuffed toys. If you haven’t mastered the art of loot bag making, then here are the steps on how you can create your own for a birthday party:
1. Decide the Theme of Your Party
If you are a conscious party organizer then you must put this at the top of your list. Deciding the theme of your party will help you design your loot bags easier. A theme is not just needed for the organization, it will also aid in igniting the creativity of the organizers making their process run smoother and continuous. This makes selection easier for shopping and design purposes.
Themes are easier and have more variants in children’s parties, especially girl’s given the many sources you can draw inspiration from. There are always the Princesses that many young girls want when they watch cartoons or movies. Some also want a theme of flowers, balloons, or bubbles. For boys, most like cars, golfing, carnivals, or gaming.
And you don’t settle there, you choose a color or a palette that you want to dominantly show at the party or your guests would wear. Themes for adult birthday parties are kind of tricky because they want a more sophisticated ambiance at their party. Hawaiian, golden, masks, and formal dressing up are common birthday party themes for them.
You could easily forgo having themes if you want a spontaneous event wherein people come as they please but you still need some kind of an organizing strategy somehow. You could have a selection for the food the catering to serve on the menu -seafood, pasta, oriental, or other kinds. This will help you simplify the whole process instead of doing random things without any form of arrangement.
2. Make a Headcount
Making a list of who to invite might be stressful for some people especially for those who are on a tight budget and couldn’t invite everyone they know. It is tough to not include some friends, acquaintances or colleagues. One tip you can add here is to make the invitation an RSVP. In reality, not all people who get invited to a party can attend because of various purposes. It’s either a conflicting schedule or hesitation to attend.
Either way, you need to know who can come for sure and who wouldn’t so you can add the people whose presence is optional but can be given a chance to attend if some priorities opt-out of attending. You can proceed to count the anticipated guests and their additionals.
If you want to be thorough with your loot bags later, you may even put some name tags on them so you can make sure everyone has their own. Although this is rare, it makes it special because it is super personalized and makes the person receiving it feel special.
3. Create a List of Materials You Need to Buy
After having a headcount, you can now proceed to the most tedious part of this process: making the list. Although some prefer to skip this part because it is time-consuming, it actually helps in keeping up with your budget and avoiding overspending and buying unnecessary things.
First, identify if you will buy a loot bag or you will create a DIY. This is fun if you have creative hacks to explore. This will depend on how many bags you’ll make for the guests and some extras. You need to list what items you want to include in the loot bag. You can get crazy and ultra-creative here.
According to the salespeople at www.whowants2party.com.au, a party supplier based in Sydney, Australia, children’s party loot bags can contain simple to the most elaborate items such as action figures, art supplies, lego blocks, ice cream, and even fashion accessories. That is totally an upgrade from candies and chocolates. Adults usually like bigger but lesser items on their loot bags.
Usually, this is in the form of decorations such as picture frames and household items wherein the most common ones are mugs or drinking cups. This is preferred by an older age group because they can use them for daily living.
4. Purchase All the Materials and Supplies Needed
Shopping for your supplies of materials and content is easy if you know where to find the right place or if you already have a party supplier. You can go to any store near you or you can buy it online and have it shipped to your doorstep. The list you made will make this so much faster and easier because you have a concrete number of items and you avoid ordering by rough estimation only.
You may find that some stores offer cheaper prices if you buy items in bulk or if you avail of their packages and promotions. You save money if this is the case and you can buy other additional items or totally just save up the money instead.
5. Itemize the Content You Want to Include
This is like a customized instruction or guide so you can arrange things much easier later. This is also for the people whom you assigned to take care of the loot bags. You make a simple list of what goes in each of the bags so that there is an equal distribution of items.
For example, you need to include how many pieces of toys, candy, and toy kit is included. You can add additional notes like putting names of the guests in each bad or putting a thank you card or picture.
A simpler method is lining up the bags in one corner so you could just distribute each item in one go. You do this batch by batch. You can easily be done in an hour or so.
6. You Can Make Variations of Content
You don’t have to stick to all loot bags having the same items. This is good for having a standardized one but it could be boring. Make simple but fun variations in your loot bags. Make two to four varied types of contents so that those siblings who come to your party can have something unique of their own.
If the content of your loot bag is something fragile, you can consider packing it on its own and have the other items in a separate bag. You can have an indication of the differences or make every bag look the same with various contents each. To ensure that your guests will not be jealous because the others had better ones, make the variations justifiable and of the same quality.
7. Making or Designing Your Own Loot Bags
You can pick up plenty of ways of making DIY loot bags all over the internet. This is a fun project especially if you have all the time to spare and plenty of hands to help. This will make yours unique and memorable. You can be resourceful and find the materials needed at home or readily available at the supermarket because sometimes they are cheaper to buy and easy to make.
If you are planning to save money, you can totally do this. If not, there are plenty more options for you to buy in order to save time and effort. You could also commission someone creative to make unique loot bags for you for a special price.
8. Decide What Types of Loot Bags You Want to Give
Loot bags are usually given at the end of parties because it is something your guests would take home but some people give them at the start to welcome their guests. Welcoming loot bags may contain items that you should wear or use at the party as part of the theme.
For example, if you have a fairytale party then it contains the light wands, floral headbands, and floral necklaces. If your budget allows, you may opt to have loot bags at the start and at the end of the party.
There are loot bags intended to be prizes for the games. Here is when the variation is to be used. It is a strategy to entice your audiences to participate. It could have totally different packaging and content so that it would appeal to them more.
9. You Can Add Some Unique Final Touches
The final touches are usually just for aesthetic purposes only. You can put ribbons, name cards, balloons, or anything you like. You can be thoughtful in adding anything or you can leave it simple as it is.
For some people, they use this opportunity to endorse their products by putting their names and products in the loot bags. This is actually a great marketing strategy so that people who liked the party will know who to contact. They include special items in the loot bags just to promote their company. Common items like these are soaps, perfumes, pens, and others.
10. Put Up a Special Area Where You Can Display Your Loot Bags
With all the special effort you have put into your loot bag, the last thing you have to do is to set up a special corner where you can have them on display. It gives your guests something to look forward to at the end of the event and makes up a good photo backdrop for birthdays. You may put the corner at the exit part of the venue near the celebrant’s table. You can see the excitement of people, especially children when they see people distributing them after thinking that the party is over.
Leaving with a little piece of the party ensures that your guests will have something to remind them of the event for a few days more. This is also one way of thanking them for making it to your birthday celebration. This is a feature that can be added by birthday celebrants of all ages because who doesn’t want to receive gifts when it’s not your birthday.