Author: Laura

How To Plan a Hen Party – For Beginners

How To Plan a Hen Party – For Beginners

Planning a hen party can be a daunting task, so if you’ve just been set the challenge then get started with these 7 simple steps!;

1- Ask the Bride

Give the bride as much control as she wants. Some people dont like surprises, so if she wants to know the ins and outs then plan it with her, and if she wants it to be a surprise get cracking on those secret squirrel antics. But make sure you ask her the important questions like if she wants an evening out or a weekend away, if she wants to go abroad and who she wants to invite.

2 – Making a Guest List

Even if it is a surprise this is something you will need to talk to the bride about. Get her to give you a list of all the people she would like to invite – and if you don’t know if them perhaps a bit of background info on them so you know who you’re talking to.  You can still keep who can actually make it a secret.

How you communicate with guests will probably depend on the size of the party and how well you know everyone.  If the party is small then you can probably organise most things over whatsapp, but Facebook is great for details and for larger groups.  If you want to communicate with each person separately then you can go down the email/direct messaging route, but I prefer to keep everyone included in most messages so you know everyone is up to date with the info.

3 – Picking a date

First of all figure out who your ‘most important’ guests are. It sounds a bit mean but generally there will be some people – such as bridesmaids/sisters etc that the bride-to-be wouldn’t dream of having the party without, and there will also be some people she would love to have there, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they couldn’t make it. Identify the must haves and decide on some dates that you are all available for that you can put to the rest of the group.  Then you can use something like a Doodle poll on Facebook to get the rest of the guests to confirm their availability. If you’re planning on a weekend away you may find that some people can do one day but not the other, so you’ll have to keep an eye on that and make a judgement.

4. Setting a budget.

This is a really tricky one because its hard to know what people will be happy to pay. But from my experience, if its going to be a whole weekend away then £200 including accommodation and a couple of activities is a good amount to shoot for.  Obviously make it clear to your prospective guests what the price is likely to be so they can make a decision based on this, and keep them updated throughout the process.  You should also let them know what additional costs there might be, for example they might need to pay for dinner, cocktails, taxi rides or entry to a club. You can save money by having food and drinks at the house as much as possible, and ask guests to bring food to contribute.

5 – Picking the location

This will be heavily based on what the bride-to-be said when you spoke to her. For the last hen party I planned the bride had said she didn’t want to be more than 2 hours drive from home. We wanted to hire a house so we were mainly looking on Airbnb, and then we narrowed it down even further by the budget we had set ourselves. Decide what is most important for you in accommodation and narrow it down that way. It could be location to a city centre if you want to be able to walk into town, number of rooms, if there is a pool/big garden/big kitchen if you want to spend most of the time at the house etc …

6. Picking a theme.

For me, this is the most fun part of the whole process! Of course, you don’t have to pick a theme but I think that it can make it feel more special if you do.  To pick a theme think about what the bride-to-be’s favourite things are, you can have a look at my pinterest boards for some inspiration on the themes that you could have.  For example, in the past I threw a ‘boot camp’ themed hen for my sister in law, who is a personal trainer, and a ‘travel’ themed hen for my friend who loves to travel. Getting a logo made that reflects the theme is also a great idea to make the party seem truly awesome – you can take a look at some of my customisable designs here.

7. Activities and Games

If funds allow it,  I think booking 2 planned activities over the course of the weekend is the best way to go. Ideally one being a bit more active like dance lessons, yoga, inflatable games, go-carting, escape room etc, and the other being more chilled such as visiting a spa or a crafting activity. For example for my friends we did bollywood dancing and then hired the private ‘cross baths’ spa in Bath. The options really are unlimited, and pretty much as far as your imagination can reach, so get researching and find something unique that your bride to be would love. If your budget doesn’t stretch to paid for activities, you can always prepare some games to get the party started. If you google it or look on pinterets there are so many game ideas to be found. So again, do your research and find something that suits your bride to be.  A great idea to accompany the games is to have a lucky dip box of prizes for the winners , they don’t have to be expensive, but could reflect your theme, and will make winning all the more glorious! Perhaps thow some booby prizes in there as well for the fun of it, such as silly hats/wigs/glasses that the winner must wear!  We had a mankini hidden amongst our prizes – it was to reflect the travel theme though – obviously that was kazakstan!

I’ve made a little info graphic to sum up all the points above. If you have a Pinterest account you can pin this and save it for later.

how to plan a hen party

I hope that has helped a little bit if you are nervous about getting started with the planning.  Don’t forget to check back here often for more tips and hen party DIY’s.

The Henthusiast x

DIY Hen Party Necklace

DIY Hen Party Necklace

If you type ‘Hen Party Necklace’ into google the results are – shall we say – somewhat lacking. Bright pink, shot glasses and fallic dangly bits seem to be the order of the day.  However, this DIY is decidedly not of that ilk! Colourful – yes, embarrassing-no!

I was inspired after I saw this ‘Make your own’ necklace at accessorize. I thought it would be a great gift for the bride-to-be to declare her status without being OTT. It would make a fab alternative to the usual hen do sash. Plus it can be changed to say something else after the hen party is over – so that it is still useable and not destined for the dustbin.

I then thought that it could also make great goodie bag gifts for the other hens or even a fun activity where everyone made their own! But I soon realised it would be rather expensive if you splashed out on everyone, so I set about creating a cheaper alternative! And this DIY is the product of that little experiment. So here are the stats if you want to give it a go yourself;

DIY Hen Party Necklace – The Stats

When I was shopping for supplies I was conscious to make sure that the beads I was buying would definitely fit on the cord, so bear the diameter of the hole in mind when spending your pennies.  Also, when buying the alphabet letters be mindful that you will probably quickly run out of vowels! They sent between 3 and 6 of each letter but there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to which ones I had more of. So if you are planning on making a more than one necklace you may need to buy several sets of letters.

Once you have the supplies the DIY is pretty self explanatory, but I’ve made a little video of how I made mine that you can watch here.

The only tricky bit is tying the knots so that the necklace is adjustable. I followed this tutorial on how to make a sliding knot, which made it much simpler.

The great thing about this DIY is that you can make the necklaces totally custom for your hen party – you could have a slogan or the hen party hashtag, or even make all of the guests necklaces with their names on it! If you didn’t want to make them for all of the guests, it would also be a fun and cheap activity to do all together. Let me know if you have a go at making your own DIY Hen Party Necklace!

 

hen-party-necklace-tutorial

The Henthusiast x

 

Free Printable Hen Party Quiz – Love around the world

Free Printable Hen Party Quiz – Love around the world

Hello fellow Hen planners!  Today I just wanted to give you a quick freebie – thats right its a free hen party quiz!

A few weeks ago I planned a travel themed hen party for my friend, and I put together a little quiz based on ‘love around the world’ in case we had a quiet moment.

I thought it would be nice to test everyones travel knowledge, and also learn a little something along the way. We played the quiz casually, accompanied by edible treats of macarons, brownies and cupcakes. The perfect way to play a quiz if you ask me! And the winner was awarded with one of our lucky dip, travel themed prizes!

Although we played it during a travel themed hen party, this quiz would be ideal for any hen really, as it has a strong love theme running throughout. It covers how to say ‘I love you’ in different languages, which countries great love stories are from, and traditions from around the world. However if you are planning a travel themed party you can grab your personalised logo to match here!

This is a great little quiz to have in your arsenal of activities, that you can whip out as needed. Its a good conversation starter and its also a good diversion tactic if you need to run off and get some other jobs done.free-hen-party-quiz

So without further ado, just click the links and download the files. Don’t forget the answer sheet as well, you’ll need that!

You can download the free hen party quiz here

You can download the answer sheet here

If you use this at your party don’t forget to let me know, I’d love to hear all about your hen and how you used it. You can share it on social media with the hashtag #myhenthusiasm

Have you got any other Quiz’s planned for your party?

See you next week!

The Henthusiast x

Vegan Unicorn Sweets Tutorial

Vegan Unicorn Sweets Tutorial

I’m really excited to share this with you today, not only are these treats super pretty, but they are also totally vegan, so they are an all inclusive hen party snack!  I’m not currently vegan myself, but my husband is vegetarian and I’d say I’m pescatarian although I only eat fish rarely, and never at home. We are, however, trying to seriously cut back on anything with animal products, so hopefully someday soon we’ll get there!

So onto unicorns, they’ve had a bit of a comeback haven’t they? My love for unicorns has developed over the last year or so, and I’ll let you into a little secret as to why. Some of my friends and I play Dungeons and Dragons together quite regularly (yes, I am a proud geek), and my character has a pet unicorn who I named… wait for it… Flump! So you may now see where I got the inspiration for this post from! In fact, this tutorial started off as a marshmallow recipe, which didn’t really go to plan. The marshmallow wouldn’t set so I decided to bake them like meringue and see what happened! And so a tasty treat was born!

So these are totally animal friendly – edible unicorn horns.  Lets just say that this particular breed of unicorn re-grows their horn right? They kind of taste like a cross between marshmallows and candy floss, sounds pretty good right? Ok, lets get cracking!

I’m not going to lie, this is a bit of a messy one, and it can take a little bit of time, although I think if you get organised it probably doesn’t take much more time than a the non-vegan recipe for marshmallow would do. So make sure you get super organised before you start, I’ve made you this cute step by step diagram to print out and follow, so make sure you download that before you start.It has a couple of unusual ingredients, but I managed to order them off of Amazon easily and fairly cheaply. The rest of the ingredients I already had, so I haven’t included them in my costs.

 

The Stats

  • Time to make : Allow  a good 2 hours for the making. In addition it takes 2.5 hours to bake and 4 hours of setting time.
  • Cooking utensils: 2 pans, 1 pyrex dish, electric whisk, sieve, 3 pint glasses, 2 bowls, 3 piping bags, toothpicks, baking tray, baking paper, spoons, thermometer
  • Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas), 2tsp agar powder, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cornstarch, food colouring.
  • Yield: You should be able to make 16 ‘horns’ if you use all of the mixture. I only made half that because I didn’t have enough room on my baking paper for more, so make sure you have enough space!
  • My Costs: agar agar £2.99, xanthan gum – £3.49, Light corn syrup – £6.49
  • Total spend – £12.97  It should be noted that I only used a small proportion of the ingredients I bought. You could probably make 3 or 4 times the amount of marshmallow I made, or use the ingredients for other vegan recipes, hurrah!

For the basic instructions to make the marshmallows I followed this awesome tutorial by party hard potato, who also supplied this recipe sheet. Once that process was complete I separated the marshmallow into 3 bowls and coloured them each yellow, pink and purple. I then put each colour into its own piping bag, snipped off the end and piped a 1cm thick line onto a surface covered heavily in a mix of equal parts cornflour/icing sugar. You should be able to make about 4 lines of each colour.

I left these for about 2 hours to set and then twisted 3 strands together then I left them overnight to set. I cut each twist into 4 pieces, then I popped them in the oven for 2 and a half to 3 hours at a low heat of 100c.

To see the full instructions you can have a look at the video below. And don’t forget to take a look at my step by step diagram here 

If you like this tutorial don’t forget to give me a like! I’m new to Youtube so it would really help me out 🙂

These should last about 2 or 3 days before they start to go a bit soggy. If you wrap them in cellophane then they’ll probably last longer.  If you want to make these for a party as favours then you can download the ‘magical unicorn candy’ labels here. Wouldn’t these just be the best surprise for a vegan, unicorn loving gal? Or any unicorn loving gal for that matter!

Thats all for today, see you next week for another DIY!

The Henthusiast x

Cactus Prop DIY Tutorial for a Mexican Fiesta Themed Party!

Cactus Prop DIY Tutorial for a Mexican Fiesta Themed Party!

Today I want to share a super easy and inexpensive way to make a cute cactus prop, or table centre for your party! I originally found the idea here and adapted it slightly to fit more with my parties colour scheme and style.  I made it as a centre piece for a Mexican Fiesta dinner party during a ‘Travel’ themed Hen Party. (If you’re having a travel themed party too you can pick up a logo here)

I love this project because it doesn’t require many supplies at all! If you are a hoarder like me you may even already have everything you need, in which case it is totally free to make! Although they are cheap to make, these little fellows can make a real impact when displayed as part of a table setting or as room decor. The template provided with this tutorial will make a cactus that stands roughly 9 inches tall, but it is really easy to adapt and make much larger ones if you fancy.

The Stats

  • Time to make : approx 30 mins (not including paint drying time)
  • Supplies : Cardboard – at least one and a half A4 pages worth, Downloadable template, Craft knife and ruler or scissors, Green acrylic paint (I used Reeves Acrylic Paint in Pale Olive Green which I got from The Range), Black marker pen (I used a Sakura Pigma Micron Graphic), small amount of tissue paper for flower.
  • Costs: Paint – £2.50
  • Total spend – £2.50

cactus-cutout

Use the cactus template provided to cut out the two shapes above in cardboard. I just used an old box that came from Amazon. Once done you will have one cactus shape with arms, and the other just the centre piece. I used a craft knife and ruler to cut the straight parts and then scissors for the bendy bits, which I think made it a bit neater, but you can always just use scissors and you’ll still get a good result.

You will need to cut a slit on each shape so they can fit together.  The slit on the cactus with arms should go down to where its arm begins, and the other should have a slit that goes up to the same place, as pictured above.  The thickness of this slit will depend on the thickness of your card. Mine was about 3-4mm, but it isn’t an exact science. Try slotting the pieces together and you will soon notice if it is too tight and you can just cut a bit more off.

unpainted-cactus-propOnce slotted together, make sure both pieces of card are even at the bottom, if it is wobbly you may need to trim one of them until it is a bit more stable.

Paint the pieces of cardboard and wait for them to dry fully, you may need a couple of coats.

Once it is dry you can start drawing the black lines as shown in the picture below, I used a thinner pen to make the little crosses/spikes.cactus-template-pieces

Make the little flower by folding 6 layers of tissue paper in a concertina, trim the ends to point, tie the middle with string and then pull each layer out carefully. Here is a more detailed video tutorial if you need more help with that. Stick to your cactus with double sided tape.

finished-cactus-prop

And there you have it! I think these little Cacti are perfect for a mexican themed party, or even just as a prop for a cacti lover!

cactus-dinner-setting

If you are planning a Mexican themed party then stay tuned! Because I have some printable Photo Booth props that I will be giving away for free in the not too distant future!

The Henthusiast x

DIY Crown Hair Accessory Tutorial

DIY Crown Hair Accessory Tutorial

Hello fellow hen party lovers! My name is Laura, aka The Henthusiast, and this is my very first post on this here blog! If you’d like to learn a little more about me you can check out my about page.

To celebrate the launch I’m offering my blog readers 10% off all items at my etsy shop until the 23rd Ma, (which you can find here) with the code BLOGLAUNCHDISCOUNT. Just enter the code at the checkout.

I wanted to start off with a pretty universal DIY that can be used whatever the theme of your party, as a cute hair accessory for your hens. Although it would definitely be ideal for wannabe princesses, or those with a passion for all things gold and glittery!

If you need an extra helping hand I’ve also made a video tutorial which can see if you scroll down. Happy crafting!

The Stats

  • Time to make : 5-10 mins per crown
  • Supplies : Gold Duck Tape, Glitter Wrapping Paper, A Bobby Pin, Crown Template, Gluegun, Scissors, Craft Knife, Pen
  • Costs: Duck Tape – £4 from Hobbycraft, Glitter Wrapping Paper – £3 from Tiger, Bobby pins – £1 from the Pound Store
  • Total spend – £8 (I made 8, however only a small portion of the duck tape and wrapping paper was used, so you could make a lot more for the same price, or these supplies could be put towards other crafts! Hurrah!)

Things you will need

How To…

Stick the gold Duck tape to the back of the wrapping paper. Then print off the
crown template (here), cut it out an trace around it onto the duck tape.

tracing-crownCut out the shape you have just traced, making sure that you cut inside the lines you have just drawn. Before you remove the template, use the craft knife to make two tiny slits as directed on the bottom of the crown. This is where the bobby pin will be fixed.

Securing the crown with a glue gun

 

Glue all the way down the ‘half point’ on the glitter side of the paper, and press together until set.

Glueing the crown together

You should now have something that looks like this;

Hen party crown tutorial

To fix the bobby pin in place you need to slide the straight side of the pin through the two holes you just made. Then glue into place. This bit is a little fiddly, try and keep the pin separated so that the glue doesnt stick to both sides of it.

 

Attaching the bobby pin

Once that is done it should look like this! If you found that tricky to follow I’ve made a video of the process so you can make it along with me.

If you want to personalise the crowns further you can always print off your hen party logo and stick them to the front. If you haven’t got a hen party logo yet you can find out how to get one here.

Gold crowns for hen parties with logos

Here we all are wearing our lovely crowns. I’ll tell you what, they’re also very handy to spot the people you’re with if you end up in a busy club or bar like we did! Just follow the crowns!

Hen party with crowns

If you do make yourself some crowns I’d love to see how they turn out, so feel free to hashtag #myhenthusiasm on social media so I can see them!

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back next week with another DIY!

The Henthusiast