Thursday, July 6, 2017


I threw an Art Party for my niece who turned 5 and while it certainly wasn't perfect... It was pretty close.  The birthday girl told me later that she had lots of fun and with no prompting from her parents she thanked me for her present!  She is growing up so quickly, my little artist. 

After my epic sunburn at the last outdoor party, we decided to use some portable shade covers in the yard.  It was a pain to get them erected, but it was totally worth it! I didn't even get a tan this time around.  It probably helped that it was a cloudy day, but I'm sure the shelters were a big part of it.  When you live in Australia, you can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day!

As the party was all about Art (the birthday girl LOVES painting and being creative), I went with "rainbow" for the colour palette.  This was easy and tricky all at the same time.  Have you ever tried to find a bright orange tablecloth when pastel patterns are all the rage for party themes?  Thankfully, it was easier to find all the streamers I needed.  The balloons didn't do so well in the weather either, but at the end of the day it didn't matter. 


I kept it as simple as possible (when you have a 5 year old it's more about the games and the presents).  Balloons were hung along the fence at the front of the house (rainbow of colours of course) to make it obvious where the party was going on.  When guests entered the gate they were greeted with a whiteboard resting on an easel that said "Happy Birthday" then they could go to various activity stations. 

The yard had a range of stations set out for guests to enjoy and each had a decorated sign with a cute theme name.  This allowed for about an hour of Free Play Fun.

Face Paint Parlour (obvious): check out some of our sample pictures for the kids to choose from.
Circle of Flowers
This rainbow was created with a rainbow split cake.
I seriously recommend you purchase one!

Selfie Stop (photo booth): one of our good friends is studying to be a photographer, so she brought her fancy camera and took some great photos of the kids.  The back drop was a simple curtain of coloured tablecloths.  I bought two black cardboard frames for the kids to hold up and stuck some rainbow pom poms (that I made) on the corners. I also had some glitter covered hats leis as extra props. 
This is the Pin that inspired the Photobooth I created. 

Colour My World (colouring in): I printed free colouring pages from the internet including Barbie and rainbows.
Sculpture Street  (playdough and found objects): I made three batches of this playdough recipe and divided into approximately equal portions to add colouring.  This way we had a rainbow of colours, without having too much playdough!

Click for the recipe.  I used the no-cook option.

Bubble Station (obvious): I bought bubble tubes from Kmart for $1 and taped the to the poles on the shelters that we had erected.  Grandmas helped the little ones with dipping wands into the tubes. This was inspired by this pin, pictured and linked below. 
Click for Source

Some organised activities included Pin the Ponytail on Barbie (Grandma created the poster and ponytails for this activity) and Pass the Parcel (various rainbow wrapping paper and pink/silver/ glittery paper). 
Pass the Parcel- each layer had a wrapped chocolate or wrapped lollies.
Prize in the middle was a CD case with coloured pencils and a small colouring book. 

That was basically it, for decorations.  I used a silver plastic tablecloth for the cake/gift table. The activity stations were set out on folding tables with a coloured plastic tablecloth (I used random colours so each table was different).  A few dropsheets that we have often laid out when the kids were painting were a great addition as well. 


We started with Free Play and while I planned for only 30 minutes we managed to stretch it to nearly an hour.  That's when everyone enjoyed the activity stations  mentioned above.  This worked very well for ensuring the face painting line was never too long and no one got bored while they waited for their turn.  At least one adult was stationed at each activity to help with materials and make sure none of the children were left looking lost.
When everyone had visited the face paint parlour we had a group shot at the Selfie Stop.  Guests were invited upstairs to enjoy a rainbow of fruit and some fairy bread! While they were eating, some elves (the best face painters ever) packed up the stations and set up the next two activities- Painting and Pin the Ponytail on Barbie.  The birthday girl happens to love Barbie too and originally wanted a Barbie party.  Considering that all her big brothers were attending the party we went with the art theme so everyone could enjoy themselves.  Barbie had to be included though! 
Everyone had fun painting and as they finished Grandma blindfolded them and spun them around to Pin the Ponytail on Barbie.  That was a good laugh.  Everyone trekked back upstairs when they were finished and we awarded prizes (a lucky dip of mini colouring in kits, packets of Smarties/ MnM's and mini watercolour paint palettes) to the top three "pinners" before playing pass the parcel.

We sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed a rainbow layer cake.  Guests were handed a loot bag before they left and the Birthday girl thanked them for coming to her party!  Everyone also got to take home the paintings which were dry just in time. 
Loot Bags were simple brown paper lunch bags. 
They were decorated with colourful washi tape.
Bags included Smarties, small notepads and coloured pencils.

Just a hint: It's very important when having this much activity at a party to have lots of adults on board to help out. The Grandmas were equally good at helping in the kitchen, packing away after an activity finished AND more importantly joining in with the games and fun.  I was so lucky that the BFF came along to help set up AND face paint AND clean up while I was entertaining the kids. She is beginning to become a fixture at the children's birthday parties and they love having her there! They think she's so cool. 

If you are looking for more inspiration and advice for your own Art Party check out my Pinterest Board. 

Ta ta for now!