When I asked Charlie what he wanted to do for his birthday, he quickly told us he wanted to, "paint with [his] friends." Done, buddy. After a few trips to Hobby Lobby, Amazon, and Target, Charlie's art party came together relatively easily.
Hobby Lobby had...
- Tiny easels (4 for $5)
- Washable paint ($1.50 bottle)
- Paint pallets (8 for $5)
- Chip board letters ($1 each)
- Paint theme cupcake liners ($2)
- Paint splotch wall decorations ($3)
- Black butcher block paper ($6 roll)
- 144 paint brushes ($5)
- Brown paper goodie bags (5 for $2)
- Back to School sale markers, crayons, chalk, and paint brushes (various prices, all under a dollar)
All in all, I was able to purchase the snacks, supplies, favors, etc. for under $75. The back to school sales going on the months leading up to the party really helped out with the various art supplies used for favors and decorations. Crayons were a quarter a box, which I'm thankful for as we went through tons of them!
My favorite decoration for the party was the "cake." Since we planned to decorate cupcakes, there was no centerpiece to the food table. I saw this art supply cake on Pinterest and just had to recreate it. Thankfully, we had enough art supplies laying around to put it together at no additional cost.
Another fun Pinterest find were these "spilling paint" can decorations. The empty paint cans were about $5 each at Lowe's and the plastic table cloths were from the dollar store. I used tripods (one was mine, one I borrowed) to prop up the paint can to look like it was spilling paint all over the food table. The space under the "paint" tablecloth also made for a good place to stash extra snacks, cupcakes, and supplies out of sight.
To keep the kids occupied, we set up three activities for them - a chalk wall (black butcher block paper and chalk), a painting activity, and cupcake decorating. Alternating between the activity and free play time worked well for the kids and their parents. It seemed to mix things up and be just the right amount of entertainment while giving parents a break to eat and chat.
Each child's station had the first letter of their name, smock, brushes, and paint in cut up egg cartons. I grabbed some small canvases as well in case little siblings wanted to do hand/foot print art. We included instructions on the invitation to come dress in clothes appropriate to paint in, which was appreciated by the parents. The paint was washable, but things happen!
I wasn't sure how the cupcake decorating activity would go, but they loved it! A plain cupcake along with little bits of different decorations (sprinkles, candies, Teddy Grahams, mini marshmallows, colored sugar, etc.) entertained them for way longer than I could have imagined. Clean up was as simple as dumping the excess decorations in the trash and throwing the paint pallets in the dishwasher.
Charlie's favorite part was blowing out his "4" candle. He had so much fun painting with his friends and playing the afternoon away.
Each child got a splatter painted goodie bag with their name in crayons (tutorial on the way!) a scroll of paper, paint brushes, and of course their smock and painted letter. There were some beautiful masterpieces created that day!
The best part of this party theme is that the supplies to make it happen are easy to come by, inexpensive, and if you don't happen to need 100 tiny paintbrushes or big bottles of paint afterwards, can be donated to a daycare or preschool.
Thanks for checking out Charlie's art party (and being patient with it's slow posting!) Even now, 7 months later, Charlie still talks about his paint party and has kept up his love of everything art.