With our kids turning 2 and 5 just a month apart, we opted to do a joint party for them. But, 2020 being 2020, there were a lot more factors involved in planning. How can we keep social distance? How can we capture the magic of our previous parties? Turns out, an art party was the answer to all of our questions.
How do you throw an art party?
When choosing what type of art party you want, start by considering the ages of the kids attending.
For an older crowd, a step-by-step painting project will ensure everyone will walk out with their own masterpiece. Arrange art stations at least 6 feet apart, set up each space with their own cups of paint and paintbrushes so nobody will need to share. There are a lot of easy to instruct options for all ages, but I love the choices from Step By Step Painting.
If your group will be younger, like ours, a variety of art stations set up all around will allow kids to go at their own pace. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather, so everyone could stay outside. If your party is during colder months or you have inclement weather, make sure your plan B can still support lots of space between art zones. Our stations were:
- Easel with chalk and markers. I had purchased a marker spray gun for this area, but we never did get that to work. Guess that’s why it was in the clearance aisle.
- Table with blank masks to decorate. I cut small squares of laser copy paper, then with the magic of Cricut and their Infusible Ink Markers, each kid could design their own mask.
- Crayons and coloring books. Because who doesn’t love a good coloring book?
- Table with canvasses and paints. Pro tip: Make sure the paint is washable (ask my cousin’s shoes how we know this is of the utmost importance).
Have your decorations stand out
One of my favorite parts about hosting our art party was getting to go all out with the colorful decorations. Let your own creativity shine with all of the DIYs.
We let our guests know what to expect with our Art Party Invitations, then set up smocks out front to keep clothes safe.
My favorite DIYs for this party were budget friendly and still made a huge impact.
- Paint stripes onto cups to make labeling easier. I used 3 colors of Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Acrylic Paints. While these are non-toxic, I avoided painting close to the drinking surfaces.
- Paint the undersides of the handles of clear cutlery. Using the same paints as the cups, these upgraded my Dollar Tree silverware to statement pieces.
- Hang balloons in rainbow order across the ceiling. This was a highlight of the party for the kids. They felt like they were in a magical land, which made the effort of blowing up balloons for hours totally worth it.
- Make pom-pom and tassel banners to accent the food table (I also strung them on our playhouse and playground). Although the result was wonderful, it did take significantly longer than anticipated. I recommend starting early for this one!
- Sew multiple tablecloths to make one rainbow-colored runner. Dollar Tree came through by offering several colors of plastic tablecloths. I simply folded each color several times (if you don’t layer them the color is quite translucent) and did a simple stitch with rainbow yarn to hold them together.
Make your food part of the theme
Let your guests make their own individual pizzas. Not only does this work with the art theme, but it also promotes COVID protocols by avoiding shared foods.
I found baking sheets at the Dollar Tree, then using the same Martha Stewart paints I decorated one sheet per family (the sheets were used as trays and were never in direct contact with food). Every family had its own colorful containers of sauces, cheeses, onions, and pepperoni. I also made sure there was every color of the rainbow on each tray by adding sides of blueberries, peppers, and hummus.
We kept people outside and popped the finished products on the grill.
Our friends had a great time celebrating with us. I had been worried that COVID would have made it impossible, but luckily our art party worked perfectly.
Please remember to check with the CDC guidelines and local ordinances for the most recent updates and requirements before throwing a party. We had 3 families from our pod who have followed the same safety measures in the weeks leading up to the party.