How-To

How to Easily Plan Your Kids Art Party

Thinking about throwing a kids birthday party? Here’s a few tips and ideas on how to make the event planning easier and more unique!

Let’s dive right in.

Base the Party on Your Child’s Age

Yes, sounds silly and obvious but parents, please remember when you’re thinking of making your child’s birthday plans, make sure it’s age appropriate.

Would you believe:

We’ve seen parties for 1-year olds at “brazilian steak houses,” with guests (children) looking confused and uncomfortable in this bizarre setting. Think of your child and their friends. Would they be comfortable at a 4-star restaurant or would they prefer the cheesy “pizza party?”

Think safety.

Would your 3-year old be ok unsupervised at a golfing fun center? Probably not. We tend to want to make ourselves (the parents) live vicariously through our children and it sometimes isn’t a good fit.

Don’t be impatient.

If you really, really want your daughter to have a formal tea party for her birthday, let her enjoy it at a more appropriate age instead of 2-years. We know your husband would like for your son to have a birthday paintball party (but again, age is a determining factor.)

Age-appropriate activities make for a more relaxed event.

Please don’t put yourself and the chosen “establishment” in an awkward position to reject your plea for a birthday party for a child that is too young.

What is your budget?

In today’s age of inclusion, we’ve been taught not to leave anyone out and to invite everyone in your classroom.

That’s a Big commitment.

Is that financially feasible if your child’s class is 31 children and each child will cost the birthday parent $32 each? Look at creative venues instead of high-ticket activities. Are the kids ok jumping at an inflatable kids center instead of paying sky-high prices per child to “faux” parachute jump at the newest facility? Remember that your child has at least several more birthday parties in their future and you shouldn’t break the bank each year.

You might be wondering.

When planning your budget, will it be just for immediate family or friends? Will it be the child’s entire classroom? Is the party including a sit-down meal or is it just light snacks and refreshments? Does the venue you’ve chosen allow decorations? Some venues provide decorations and other venues may even allow you to bring outside food to save you money on catering or ordering food. Will you be giving goodie bags or will the event provide a take-home item? These questions will help begin structuring your budget.

Planning the Party: Venue

Don’t send out e-vites yet! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves before booking the venue. We’ve seen parents scrambling at the last last minute when they’ve forgotten to book a venue and not have availability after all. Venue tips for choosing your location:

  • Is it easy to find?
  • Is it close to everyone? Don’t choose a venue that’s too far.
  • How many people can it hold?
  • Do they allow siblings to watch or is it limited to just participants?
  • Are you allowed to bring your own food/drinks or must you purchase onsite?
  • What is the deposit required?
  • Can you bring decorations?
  • Do you have setup time before your event?
  • What does the venue provide? Plates? Napkins? Music? Assistants?
  • Is the room private or will you be sharing it with other groups?
  • What is your time limit?

Invitations

Now that you’ve chosen your venue, let’s talk scheduling. What time would you like to start your event? Mid mornings are great if you have a group of kids that aren’t busy with swim, soccer or baseball practice.

Keep this in mind when scheduling early.

Most children are more readily available during the late afternoon time such as 1 or 2pm. Noon is recommended if you’re providing lunch. If you’d like to avoid that aspect, plan for a later time so that you’re only responsible for snacks, cake, etc.

We’ve discussed time, but what about day?

Do you want to book the party on a weekday after school? Most parents prefer the ease of a Saturday afternoon party or even a Sunday late afternoon party.

E-vite or other emailable invitation?

Yes, some still use the old-fashioned mailed invitation and that will be your choice. Please note that you want to add rsvp contact info so that you can get an accurate count of guests for planning purposes. At least 3-4 days beforehand is recommended for a rsvp date. Emailed invitations are best as soon as possible (with at least a two week notification.)

Make sure

you have a second person proofread the invitation for accuracy before you hit that SEND button.

Decorations and more…

Invites are done, venue booked, now what? You’ve gotten the theme decision from your child. You’ll begin the online search for your streamers, themed-balloons along with matching plates, napkins, forks, cups and tablecloth(s).

Order online,

since these items may be more inexpensive online. Also, you may find a bigger selection for what you’re searching for.

Pinterest is a great site to get some decorating ideas. Just type in kids party decoration ideas and you’ll be amazed at what you find. This will also show you how to setup and present the food/snacks/drinks. Pinterest is great for showing you how to accomplish alot by designing or setting up on your own instead of purchasing expensive setups.

Bonus Tip:

Use this time to get your child involved in helping glue or assemble decorations for the party. It is their time and they may even bring up a great idea or two since they’ve probably been to a number of friends’ birthday parties.

Hungry?

Food choices are pretty easy for a child’s party. If an at-home party, make good use of fresh fruits, veggie cups, etc that can be refrigerated up until the party. If the event is at another venue, easy is the best! If it’s a party around lunch time, start with some cute cups of “goldfish” crackers or fruit as an appetizer. Chicken nugget trays with various dipping sauces are a favorite!

Now:

Pizzas delivered hot to your venue are also a no-brainer but please make sure to order at least one or two cheese-only pizzas since children are a bit more fickle about toppings.

Thirsty?

Drinks such as juice boxes or pouches are fun and easy! If event is at-home, a homemade punch with fruit is also a great choice. Parents tend to stay away from bottled sugary sodas for obvious reasons.

Cake or Cupcake?

With parent’s thinking outside the box, new solutions for birthday cakes have been popping up. Birthday cupcake towers are great since you know exactly how many children will be attending and your local bakery can theme the cupcakes easily and this is less mess for everyone too.

Unique and fun cakes add to the “silly” factor in a kid’s party

Birthday ice-cream cakes are also a new fav since some kids avoid the sugary frosting from a traditional cake. But let’s talk traditional cakes now.

Chocolate or vanilla cake?

Have your baker create a half-chocolate, half-vanilla cake for that picky group.

Remember

there should always be a cake or cupcake so that your child can blow out that birthday candle and make a wish. (Very important! Don’t forget matches or lighter for birthday candle(s).)

They can take home a piece of art they created or a bag of goodies!

The Take Away

Take-Home item for the guests are important! Depending on the theme of your party, it can be something as simple as the “painting” from a paint party or as yummy as a bag of assorted candies and small whistle or bracelet. Let them remember the good times with something “cool” to take home and either play with or eat. As always, use your judgement on appropriateness based on the age of the children.

Remember to take time to enjoy the day with your child. With good planning, the atmosphere should be relaxed and well-paced. Photos and videos should also include parents so that those memories are recorded and enjoyed by everyone!

Some important things to consider while planning your child’s party

If you live in Houston, TX and are looking for unique kids’ birthday party ideas,  Art Class & Milk Glass offers fun paint parties for kids 6 and over.

2 months ago No Comments Views

Day of the Dead Skull Project

In any culture, we are drawn to the beautiful, the unique and the different! With Halloween around the corner, we’d like to present the fun crafting of a “Day of the Dead skull” or also known as “sugar skulls.” No, these aren’t made from sugar (but originals are created with sugar in Mexico).
Supplies needed:

• Skull (styrofoam preferred): Where to get one? Find a local craft store such as Michaels, etc and check out their Halloween department. You’ll probably find some that are “shaded” to look spooky. If you find a “white blank” one, you’re in luck. If you found a “shaded one”, just bring home and paint white Gesso over it with a big paint brush. It may take a few coats to get rid of the dark shadows. Gesso is used to prime a surface for “acrylic paint.”

Blank, gessoed skulls ready to paint!

• Bling: This means any loose glitter, glitter paint, rhinestones or random broken jewelery parts

• Markers: Oil-based or water-based Sharpies are fine. Choose how many colors you’d like.
I recommend broad-tip since fine-tip are more hassle.

• Acrylic Paint: Recommend acrylic over tempera or oil paints. Easy and water-soluable.
Absolutely no watercolors!

• Pencil and eraser

• Glue for stones

• Anything else laying around your craft room: Random flowers, goldfoil, weird attachments
small mirrors, etc

Let’s get started!

Once you have your skull ready (and it may take a day for it to dry if you had to paint gesso over it), you are ready to begin designing it! I hear so many crafters say, “Where do I begin? What if I mess this up?” Time and time again, my answer is the same. The worst that can happen is that you mess up and REPAINT over your boo-boos. That’s it! Therefore, let’s move forward and begin! I start with a dull blunt pencil. If you have looked on the internet for a general idea, that’s great! If not, start doodling. You do it in meetings, at school and waiting for dinner. Now let’s put that doodling to good use. Start with the eye area. This will set the tone for your design. Literally draw on the skull! Yup, you can erase if your line is light and restart. Once you get your eye design, move to the nose and the back of the head. How to approach this? Think of shapes! Hearts, diamonds, pokers, swirls, triangles, fleur-de-lis and more! Curled lines are awesome! They can fill a space very well. Now that your done with the sketching part, let’s move on.

Begin painting, glueing and “glittering” to your heart’s content!

Paint, Markers and Glitter (Oh my!)

First of all, let go of your anxiety. This is a fun activity. Grab a paint marker and begin outlining your shapes and design. Colored markers are awesome and don’t get me started on “metallic” markers. Once you’ve outlined your design, we will begin filling our large shapes with our acrylic paints. If you have small areas, remember that you can use your colored markers to fill in.
Consequently, you can leave some of these shapes empty for your glitter paint or loose glitter.
Bright colors of paint are awesome. May I recommend my favorites? Turquoise, orange and white!

Bring on the Bling!
To re-emphasize, have fun with this! Grab your bottle of glue or brush on your glue where ever you will be placing your blingy stones. (Crafter note: be aware of where you are placing your stones. They will slide if they are on the side of the skull and not on the top area.) If you decide to place stones on the side of your skull, lay the skull down on the side so that the stones have time

Amazing skull eyes

to dry in place before propping your skull. Think of stone placement. We had a creative crafter who placed the biggest red stones inside the eye sockets and clear stones for the teeth….brilliant!

Finishing touches!
If you happened to mess up some of your marker lines, re-trace your shapes now! Also, don’t forget those flowers that are placed on the top portion of your skull. Since the skull is styrofoam, poking artificial flowers with plastic stems into your skull should be easy! Embellish and bling as much as you desire.  This project is certainly a labor of love and will probably be a favorite! Have fun and craft on!

 

7 months ago No Comments Views

How to Acrylic Pour Painting for Beginners – Houston Art Class & Wine Glass

Is there a support group for Obsessive Compulsive Pour Painting (OCPP)? If so, I’ve taken the first step, it’s admitting I have a problem with OCPP. One late night while I was browsing through YouTube, I saw a the most awesome technique and I’ve not look back since! Fluid Art Pour Painting is a great technique that anyone can do! Ok, ok, I’ll admit it, I’m the first to “call out” just splattering paint on a canvas and labelling it “art.” Having formally studied art/painting my entire life, I truly believe it just shouldn’t be so easy to paint, one must experiment, fail, try again, again and again. Practice, practice, practice along with having the discipline and character to try and “perfect” the method.

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Repurposed Ceiling Fan Blade Art

I’m at it again! Recycling any surface to paint on! We took down an old ceiling fan that not only wasn’t working any longer but also something that needed to be repurposed. I looked on Pinterest to see what I could do with the ceiling fan blades that my husband had so graciously taken apart. Continue Reading

3 years ago No Comments Views

Quick Trinket Tray

So you’re the crafty type that loves making gifts…here’s a fun one that takes about 20 minutes to prep and just 30 minutes to bake. The supplies will.run you around $3 per packet of PREMO Sculpey clay. I chose around 4 colors: periwinkle blue, white, antique gold and bright gold

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3 years ago No Comments Views

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