Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Art Party - Ella's 3rd Birthday!

For our daughter's 3rd birthday, I decided to throw her an Art Party.  She loves to color and paint, and even though I have no idea what she is drawing most of the time, she is always so proud to hand me her finished product.  I knew this was a theme she would really love.  However, my husband and I decided only one week before to have a party for her, so I had to act quickly to get  out invitations and pull everything together.  Here is what I came up with in a week...

Invitations: Since I had to act quickly to make all the invitations, I went with supplies I already had at the house. I typed up the text on the computer and cut around it to make the artist's palette.  I then used a circle punch to cut out circles and trimmed one side to look like a blotch of paint.  I backed the palette on red card stock and rounded the edges.  Simple.

Decorations:  At the entry door, I set up an artist's easel and made a giant crayon box Welcome Sign to sit on the easel. I used my Cricut machine to cut out all the letters and just enlarged the crayon photo from a Crayola box image I found online. I did have to do some photo editing with this to make it as large as I wanted, but I think the time spent on this was worth it. Love the way it came out. If you would like the image, just email me, and I can save you the hour editing!

I decorated all the tables with plastic tablecloths in primary colors.  As a centerpiece, I bought $10 worth of colorful flowers and arranged them into small vases I already owned. I borrowed large paint brushes from the art teacher at my school, and stuck 3 in each vase.

Above the food table, I created an art inspired banner.  I don't have a cartridge that has a paint can or paint brush, so I again used Google images to find a paint can and brush.  I traced these images on the card stock and cut them out.  The paint brushes served as the spaces between words. I have made several banners, but this one has to be my favorite.  Colorful and fun.  I also bought silver paint buckets from Home Depot and used a plastic tablecloth to  look like paint was spilled out and covering the table.  My intention was to hang these and have the paint spilling out onto the food table, but I ran out of time.  To label the food, I created tags using a paint brush font and a Clipart image.  I placed these on mini easels I found at Joanns for $2, but I also made some easels out of toothpicks (to save a bit of money).

I used a collage of picture frames on my wall to adapt into an art wall of my daughter's paintings, etc. 

Along the fence at the side of my back yard, I placed pieces of plywood together that I covered in cheap plastic tablecloths. I then used masking tape to create an art easel.  The kids used these for the painting activity (see below).

Menu:  I wanted to serve food in all colors of the rainbow to match the colors of the party.  I ended up serving:
  • Red: Strawberries and Cherry tomatoes
  • Orange: Orange Slices and Carrots (with ranch dip served in a hollowed out orange pepper)
  • Yellow: Pineapple slices
  • Green:  Grapes and Celery (again with dip in a hollow green pepper)
  • Blue: Blueberries and blue licorice
  • Purple: Purple Grapes and Blackberries
For the rest of the lunch, we had chips, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs. We had a wide range of drinks including lemonade with fresh strawberries.  As you can tell, my daughter LOVES fruit and vegetables!

Dessert: I got a little carried away with dessert!  Of course, first I made the cake.  This was such a fun cake...a rainbow cake! I promise to post the recipe in the next few days, and this was the coolest and easiest recipe!  I cut the round cake to look like a paint palette and added the paint splotches and brush.  I love the Crayon candles too.  I found them at Calico Cake Shop.

I also made cupcakes, Rice Krispie paint brushes and paint palette cookies.  We couldn't find a palette-shaped cookie cutter, so we used an empty can and bended it in to make the shape.  The rest is just frosting.  I used pretzel sticks as the paint brush on the cupcakes and just added a tip to it with frosting.  I bought some sticks at Michaels for the Rice Krispie treats, stuck them in after cutting the rectangles and then dipped them in various melted chocolates.

Party Activities:  The first art activity I had for the kids to do whenever they felt like it was Fruit Loop necklaces.  I set out yarn and Fruit Loops and let the kids make their own (and eat some along the way). It works really well to put a piece of tape around the end of the yarn so it doesn't fray and kids can easily string the cereal.

I also had chalk pieces set out for the kids to draw on the ground.

We used the easels for our first group activity. I gave each child an apron I bought at the Dollar Tree, a large paint brush (the ones from the centerpieces), and a paper plate with paint on it. I posted all the animals I had drawn on butcher paper up on the easels and the kids chose which one they wanted to paint.  SO FUN!  To make the coloring pages, I simply found an image on Google (choose line drawing) and then put it on an overhead projector to trace onto the paper.  I can't draw, so this was an easy way around it.  The kids loved these and it made great decor for the party.

The final activity was painting with their feet. I bought canvas from Michaels and used contact paper to put each child's first initial on the canvas.  The idea was that after the kids painted the canvas with their feet, I would remove the contact paper and the initial would still be the white of the canvas.  This idea did not work as well as I had hoped.  I think it would have worked great had I just had the kids use their hands to paint, but with their feet, they twisted which pulled up the initial on some of their artwork.

Favor: As a take home gift, I made crayon bags with card stock. I bought the bags in a multi-pack at Michaels, and used construction paper for the "wrapper".  I used black card stock and colored cardstock for the rest.  On the back was a tag that read "Thanks for helping to make my art party a masterpiece!".  Inside, I had a paint set I bought at the dollar store, 2 colored pencils, and a crayon I made.  If you've never made these round crayons...they are so easy and fun.  Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray, and break up crayons into each hole (I used four crayons per muffin).  Then put in a 325 oven for 8 minutes.  Take out and cool. I put mine in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.  Then they are done!!  Such a fun way to reuse old crayons.

Hope you're inspired to host an art party's so much fun!


km said...

soooo much fun! happy birthday to your little sweetheart! I think an art party is the PERFECT way to kick off a year of CREATIVITY!!!

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous party! Such creativity. I don't have my own children yet but I teach young children and have gotten lots of ideas looking at this. Thank you for sharing.
Geraldine, Dublin, Ireland.

Unknown said...

This is simply amazing and fabulous birthday celebration! Wow, great photos and stuff. I love the cute 3rd birthday invitation wording too. Amazing...

Cheers xxx

Anonymous said...

Wow you are an awesome mum. Well done for all your effort and creative talent. I have 4 daughters so know what it takes to produce such a special occasion, Susan, GC Australia.