Planning a DIY Birthday Party With Busy Philipps

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Busy Philipps wears the Ulla Johnson Ambre Dress in Midnight ($395) to Michaels' "crafternoon" event on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Philipps wants a craft for her 'Stranger Things' or 'Harry Potter' party to create "some valuable time that's not involving screens" for her daughter Birdie.

Two weeks ago, Busy Philipps threw a DIY birthday party for her six-year-old daughter Cricket and made a homemade rainbow cake with marshmallow clouds (all documented on Instagram stories, of course). Now she's in the midst of planning a bash for her eldest daughter, Birdie, who turns 11 in two weeks. 

In addition to a trip to Disneyland with friends and a New York family getaway complete with Broadway shows, Philipps is organizing a party for Birdie and her close friends in Los Angeles. But "the bane of my existence," Philipps explains to The Hollywood Reporter, is that "Birdie doesn't love cake, which is annoying." Instead, the comedian/actress/author gets creative with a sundae bar and a variety of toppings in cute bowls. 

Crafting and baking projects come naturally to Philipps, who often went to Michaels craft stores with her mom and sister growing up. "I just have very fond memories," Philipps says. "Back in the day, we made a lot of potholders and then when I was a little bit older, my mom taught me how to crochet." For years, she has partnered with Michaels and, Tuesday, co-hosted a back-to-school "crafternoon" with Michaels at 1 Hotel in West Hollywood for parents and teachers to make journals and succulent terrariums.

This year, Philipps says Birdie's party will be based around her favorite shows. "I thought it was going to be Harry Potter themed, but now I'm thinking maybe it's Stranger Things themed. She's obsessed. Obsessed!" she says. "I haven't really watched the show, so I have to like — something with ice cream, right? There's got to be something with ice cream."

She and husband Marc Silverstein (writer of I Feel Pretty) typically provide a craft at the party. For Cricket's birthday, they did pottery painting. For Birdie's, they might make Harry Potter robes and use the Cricut cutting machine to create Hogwarts House logos. Universal Studios' Harry Potter World was also "something she had pitched to me. And I was like, 'Girl how much money do you think I'm spending on this party?'"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To be fair, it was my fault for waiting until the party had been over for 2 hours to ask her to take this picture.

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Philipps is encouraging her daughter to choose a charity and ask her friends to make a donation or collect something for an organization in lieu of birthday presents. "Then her presents for her birthday will come from me and her dad and family members," Philipps explains. She gave Birdie a list of four charities she thought she would be interested in, and Birdie will pick one.

A couple years ago, Birdie collected backpacks to give to Baby2Baby for her birthday instead of gifts (the charity is also supported by Meghan Markle, Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner). "She's interested; she wants to do that again this year. I think that that's an easy way to get kids involved in the idea of giving back and wrapping their head around, 'What is it that I need and want? And then how can I help?'"

Philipps herself is a supporter of border crisis orgs This is About Humanity and Families Belong Together, started the abortion rights movement #YouKnowMe and lent her voice to an American Civil Liberties Union ad in May. 

She celebrated her 40th birthday in June with a "destination wedding" style party at Flora’s Farms in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, attended by stylist Karla Welch, Colin Hanks, Elizabeth Banks, jeweler Irene Neuwirth and makeup artist Kindra Mann.

But when it comes to planning a birthday party or doing homemade crafts, Philipps says it's not about the final product. "We get bogged down by Pinterest sometimes as people, and we get nervous to try a thing and fail at it," she says. "It's really about the process." 

That's one of the reasons she partnered with Michaels. Though she has several brand partners (including Olay and Old Navy), Michaels was an outgoing call from her agent, not the other way around, she adds. "They really understood that I am so passionate about the brand and what they represent and the possibilities of creativity for families and having some valuable time that's not involving screens."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Here are some details from my 40th! A lot of the design of the party originated from the invitations that @andreaghickey designed for me many months ago. I found Andrea because one of my favorite follows on social meeds @bobbyfinger shouted her out after the Buzzfeed layoffs where she had worked as an illustrator and I thought, “well this is perfect; maybe she would like to illustrate my invites while she finds another big job!” And she did! I had the idea that since it was a wedding to myself, the invites could be wedding like but a little f*cked up, I wanted all my favorite things wrapped up in flowers and vines and Andrea nailed it(scroll to the last pic for the invite)! Then we found @amyabbottevents who is based in Cabo (maybe @itsmeraypadilla found her? Probably he did ) and after a five minute call, she totally understood my vibe and made it all happen in the easiest way ever. I basically just wanted it to be an explosion of color, like what I feel like on the inside, I guess? Oh! A huge shout out to DJ Alex from Cabo! He was amazing and even played a Tori Amos remix of Raspberry Swirl for me, (probs against his better judgement) No one stopped dancing the whole night.The menu @florafarms put together was incredible (the potatoes) and if you haven’t been there I highly recommend it, it’s so insanely magical. And a huge thank you goes to @itsmeraypadilla and Marc, who figured out logistics so I wouldn’t have to.

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