What you'll need: Scissors, 3 to 5 colors of crepe paper or streamers, hot-glue gun, 8" paper lantern, string, cardboard tubes, wrapped candy, 2 colors of cardstock, strong double-stick tape, skewers, small wooden beads
Lantern: Cut crepe paper or streamers into 7 strips ranging from 10" to 30". Fold strips over 3 or 4 times and cut a 1/2" fringe with scissors, leaving about 1/2" intact at the top. Start at the bottom and glue the 10" strip around the lantern. Glue the next strip about 2" above the bottom one; strips will need to get longer as you reach the center. Repeat until the lantern is completely covered. Attach a string to the hanger.
Favor: Cut paper-towel tube in half and fill with wrapped candy. Cut a piece of crepe paper 12"x6" and roll around tube; glue to secure. Cut 1"x6" strips of crepe paper and tie around ends. Cut "1"s out of crepe paper and glue to tube.
Badge: Cut a 2" circle from cardstock. Cut a "1" out of another color and glue it to the circle. Cut about 25 strips of crepe paper, approximately 1/4"x1", and glue them to the back edge of circle in a sunburst shape. Attach to the birthday kid's shirt with double-stick tape.
Flags: Cut crepe-paper triangles about 2" wide by 1" tall. Glue to the top edge of skewer, then glue a wooden bead to the top point. Trim skewers if desired.
Napkin Rings: Cut 2"x5" strips of crepe paper. Wrap around rolled or folded napkin and utensils and glue at the back. Cut 1/2" strips of a contrasting color, wrap over top of 2" strip, and glue.
Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Parents magazine.