My girl loves nothing more than art projects. Therefore, it was only fitting that for her very first solo birthday party she would choose this as a theme.I was really surprised at how little I could find online about "Art" as a birthday party theme. Our decorations were limited to colorful disposable tablecloths, balloons and a clothes line for hanging our projects to dry. (At the beginning of the party I had squares I had painted brightly spelling out the birthday girl's name--had to distort them for her anonymity here.)
I was able to find supplies for a few projects at Michael's and at a great discount school supply website and a terrific local bakery made a cake that my girl adored.As the guests arrived they went to a table to decorate their canvas smocks. (I also warned them on the invitation that we would be painting so they could dress accordingly.) We used fabric markers for this project so we would not have to wait for them to dry.
After the aprons they painted canvas pillow cases and tote bags. Thankfully, I have a sweet friend who is an artist and a former teacher, so she offered some helpful hints. First, she suggested that I wash everything ahead of time and press it so there would not be fold creases to work around. (Great idea!) She also told me about something called textile medium that you mix in with the acrylic paint to make the projects washable. (Brilliant!)
At the third table, the guests were able to paint small canvas squares. My friend wisely suggested we paint the backgrounds a light solid color in advance. We did this one hour ahead and they dried in plenty of time.
The only thing she forgot to warn me about was my placement of snacks. I had small bowls of colorful treats in the center of each work table. I never accounted for the fact that creative little artists might use them in their art work. Skittles, gumballs and M&Ms wound up adhered to canvases and bags as decorations. The unintended consequence was a few extraneous ants stuck to the projects as well!
Finally, each guest decorated a paper shopping bag to use as their 'goodie bag' for their artwork. I thought 5 projects would take 60-90 minutes, but I forgot my audience. They were done in 30-45 minutes!
The kittens came out when the art projects were done and the girls fawned all over them until the kittens couldn't take it anymore.
All in all, it was a surprisingly easy, fun and quick party. Most importantly, the guest of honor had a wonderful time.
The fact that Grandmother and Granddaddy gave K a long awaited American Girl doll was just icing on the cake. (No pun intended.)
Contrary to the look on this face, even my boys had fun. Although it was clear that they couldn't wait for this party to end so they could morph into Mario and Luigi to celebrate with their friends. (More on that later!)