King or Queen for a Day

What kids wouldn't want to be treated like royalty on their birthdays? Make them feel like a king or queen for the day by fashioning a birthday crown for their heads.

Present Tense

The tradition of making a birthday crown may have started ages ago in Europe, when birthdays were first celebrated. It was feared that people who were celebrating birthdays were especially vulnerable to evil spirits. To help keep them from harm, friends and relatives would visit the birthday person and bring him or her well wishes, good thoughts, and in some cases, presents. It was originally thought that only kings were important enough to have a birthday party, which may explain the tradition of a birthday crown. Eventually, children were included in birthday celebrations. The Germans celebrated the first children's parties and called them kinderfeste.

Time frame: Half hour

Level: Easy

What you need:

  • Nine-foot decorative garland
  • Six 12-inch pieces of matching curling ribbon
  • Six 20-inch strands of different-colored curling ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Piece of parchment paper
  • Fine-tipped marker
  • Three 12-inch pieces of curling ribbon
  • Gift bag
  • Tissue paper
  • Confetti
  • Matching bow
  1. Wrap the garland into approximately a seven-inch circle. Tie the six 12-inch pieces of foil ribbon into bows around the crown to hold it together.
  2. Tie the six 20-inch pieces of ribbon on one end of the crown, knotting them in half. Curl the ribbon with a pair of scissors.
  3. Grant the birthday celebrant three wishes. Using a fine-tipped marker, write down several categories of wishes to fulfill on a piece of parchment paper. For example, you could grant a “Restaurant of your choice” wish, a “Favorite meal” wish, a “Movie of choice” wish, a “Toy of your choice” wish, a “Stuffed animal of choice” wish, and so on. Sign your name and add “Grantor of Wishes” underneath your signature. Roll up the parchment paper and tie it with the three 12-inch pieces of curling ribbon. Curl the ends of the ribbon with scissors.
  4. Place the crown and scroll in a gift bag filled with tissue paper and add a sprinkle of confetti to the top. Tie a matching bow on the handles.

More on: Crafts for Kids


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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