This week finds me dreaming of fantastic beasts, from unique unicorns to mesmerising mermaids. The reason for these mythical musings is because I’ve been brainstorming with friends regarding upcoming birthday party ideas.
I recently held a prince and princess crafting party for a group of five year olds, where I set up little stations for the kids to try out different jewellery and crafts.
They absolutely loved it and it got me thinking about theming some of our parties here at Riverside HQ. As mythical creatures seem to be just about everywhere at the moment I figured what better theme to start with than unicorns.
The unicorn is historically described as a fictional horse-like animal with a single large, pointed horn protruding from its forehead.
The unicorn has been mentioned by various writers, as far back as the Bible where it describes an animal, the ‘re’em’, which some versions translate as unicorn.
It’s likely, however, that these stories were based on a real life Siberian unicorn that resembled a cross between a horse and a rhinoceros. This unicorn roamed Siberia, in northern Russia, alongside our pre-historic counterparts. Who knew that unicorns were actually real?!
Apparently the bods at the Natural History Museum say that these Siberian unicorns were around before the Ice Age. They lived at the same time as early humans, around 35,000 years ago.
This is an image of the beast. He’s a long way off of our European folklore version – no rainbows and white fur for this bad boy! He’s an ancestor of
the modern-day rhinoceros, but was supposed to be much bigger and heavier. Can you even imagine?
The delicate and pretty woodland creature image clearly came later, once the real unicorn had died out. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance unicorns were known as symbols of purity and grace, which could be
captured only by a virgin. This is perhaps a clue as to how they started being depicted as white, fragile creatures. Plus their horns were also said to have special healing powers, presumably how the unicorn’s magical reputation began.
From Harry Potter to Halloween the unicorn has infiltrated our world and become a staple costume in any discerning little girls’ dressing up box. Whether you’re five or fifty, whether it’s a birthday or a hen do, I think unicorns are the perfect theme for any party!
You can hire our workshop room, the Makery, for a party of up to about 15 people. We provide you with the materials and a tutor to ‘show how’ to do everything. Parties normally last two hours, though it can be longer if required, and they are broken down into three or four parts. Of course you can do this at home, or at another venue, just be sure to factor in all the costs and the prep time. All products can be purchased from our store, either online or contact us for mail order.
Découpage is a popular choice for part one, the art of paper layering with glue. I’m thinking that a lovely ‘make and take’ would be one of our special papier mâché initials découpaged with some amazing unicorn themed papers. You could even add rainbow gems to the initial afterwards, to make it super unicorn shiny!
For part two we’ll make Shrinkies. It’s a special type of plastic sheet that you can draw on and then heat up to shrink. I’d like to print out unicorns onto the Shrinkies sheets and then colour them in, punch a hole in each one, and shrink down into a jewellery charm.
Now we have the charm it’s time for part three, jewellery making. The little charms look great on a necklace or bracelet so we can then use nylon thread and rainbow beads to make one or the other. Once the threading is done it’s simply a few knots and hey presto it’s done.
There’s lots of other jewellery making ideas and Crafts that you could of course incorporate. Like unicorn slime making, a glittery, rainbow feast of glue and shaving foam, or unicorn hair band making.
A more advanced jewellery making piece could be made using jewellery wire, metal unicorn charms and beads and lobster clasps.
I also like the idea of making unicorn placemats. This is an easy one; just print off an A4 background of your choice and then personalise by either colouring in or add unicorn stickers (available in-store, natch) and/or other flat embellishments. Once finished you can pop them through a laminator to make a fully functional and waterproof placemat.
For the more serious crafter Dawn Bibby has just brought out an exclusive range of products with a unicorn motif.
We could build a whole party just around using these beauties!
The possibilities are endless. I’m so excited about it all. If you’re not local to our store then why not create your own party at home with your friends and family? Although we have been known to make home visits occasionally…
If you’re interested in booking a party (unicorn or non-unicorn based!) then why not give us a call on 01778 344 550.
I’ve just got time to mention that I’m back on your tv screens on Wednesday 13th of March at 9am, when I’ll be appearing on yet another fabulous live Create and Craft show. This week I’m launching a brand new Daisy Chain beadweaving necklace kit as well as a beautiful kit, created in conjunction with Chloe Menage of Pinkhot jewellery.
That’s all for now but I’ll leave you with a question to ponder. Do you think in another 35,000 years that we will be known as mythical creatures? The lesser spotted jewellery makers, with their magical Beading powers….oh I do hope so.