How to get throw an amazing arts and crafts party for kids
It's time to get crafty! There's an art to throwing the perfect arts and crafts party for
kids. But don't worry, party planning doesn't mean you have to unravel the DaVinci
code! If you have patience, enough art party supplies and a few adults to help, you
can throw an amazing arts and crafts party for your little party Picasso at almost any
budget. As kids parties go, this party idea is always a hit!
Here's how to have a party for the young at art:
- Say "yes" to the dress: This is one party where it's okay to "mess with the
dress," so go ahead and mock a smock! Take a simple white cotton dress and
splash it with color for the party girl using fabric paints. (Natural fabrics are best
for splatter art). Try Badger fabric paint, above. It's an easy way to start crafting
- Set up a "sidewalk art" guest book: Involve kids instantly with an art project. Kids
can paint a square of the driveway or pavement at the park with chalk. Mark a
template like a quilt and assign each artist a square. Provide paint chalk and
enough buckets of chalk for several artists. You can also have kids dip their hand
into paint and leave their print on a canvas along with a signature.
- Explore your inner child for favors and treats. Serve colorful candies displayed on
artist palettes arranged by color. Now that's eye candy! Lollipops paint candy,
upper left, fits the art party theme, as does Painterz mouth coloring bubble gum,
also left. The gum leaves an explosion of vibrant colors on kids tongues.
- Brush up on art! Planning an art party for kids means you'll have to brush up on
some skills of creating with color texture and design. Kids Art Works, a book by
Sandi Henry, right, helps do just that through examples. Inside you'll find more
than 60 kids art projects that explore texture, color, and pattern.
- Come to Z gallery: Set up an exhibit of the children's work at the end of the party
for all to admire. Create a museum with an "exhibit space" to include plenty of
frames, easels, stands and walls to display masterpieces. Ahead of time, you
can set up a template to print labels to give titles to the art along with artist
names. To add to more authenticity to the event, serve "wine" (grape juice in
plastic glasses) and cheese.
- Canvassing for more ideas? The canvas for your art doesn't have to be paper.
Here are some interesting mediums to consider for your kids art projects:
- Tease them with T-shirts. Hang white T-shirts on a clothes line and when
you're ready, retrieve one for each kid to design with fabric markers. Then
hang again for display. Or try Tie Dye party kit by Alex, left. You can also
dye shoe laces.
- Have a face off with face painting. Face painting is popular at any party, but
it's apropos for an art party theme! Remember that face painting takes
time (roughly 15 minutes per guest, so hire enough helpers for the task).
- Nail them with art! The Klutz nail art kit provides photographs and
instruction to make dozens of nail art designs and includes non-toxic, peel
off nail polish.
- Tongue art. Tung-toos candy tongue art, left, is a novelty sour candy that
will leave quit an impression with the kids. Tattoos come with a Wacky
Mirror trading card, so kids can admire their Tung-Too!
- Kooky Cookie Art. Food is your canvas with Martha Stewart's Cookie art.
You won't have any starving artists when you see our other art party food
and cake ideas. So scroll down for more food ideas for a kids art party.
Setting an artsy-fartsy party scene
In planning an artist birthday, give thought to the design of your space. While there
really aren't any art party supplies available, but you can add an artsy flair with
creativity and a little shopping. Here's how to dress up the place for an art party:
- Chalk this one up: you can make your own chalkboard. It starts with chalkboard
contact paper, left, and with it you can turn anything into a writing surface. It's
durable, repels stains, and wipes clean easily, so you can use it again and
again. Pair it with Sidewalk chalk bubble gum, also left, for the tables. It's a
drawing utensil and it's gum!
- Splish-splat. The birthday kid will love to help you splat a white bed sheet to
make a colorful tablecloth for the party. Lay your sheet outside on the lawn or
hang from a clothes line, then splat various colors of paints. Allow to dry well in
advance of the party. Another option is to make a place setting from butcher
block paper. For each child create a "frame" for the location of the plate, then
provide plenty of markers and crayons. This will be the place-mat when the food
- Artist splat-plates! Melt crayons and splat designs on the backs of clear glass
plates or bowls to create the cool effect. Find an old mug and microwave two of
the same colored crayons for 2-3 minutes. Carefully splatter the melted crayon
material, allow to dry, then repeat the process with a new color.
- Don't be such a drip. With kids around, you don't need the flames, just the flair.
So to add to your artist party theme, set the tables with color drip candle sticks
that melt and drip in different colors to give your party an artful Italian.
- Flowers with power. Bright and happy sunflowers will give your artist party that
Van Gogh look. Here are more ways to enhance an art birthday party with
- Dye carnations in various colors. Kids will love the explosion of color and it
will spark a curiosity in science. Steve Spangler Science shows you the
science and art of coloring carnations.
- make your own Mexican-style tissue paper flowers
- craft colorful accordion rosettes.
- give your invitation an artistic element by drawing a vase and stems of
flowers, then affixing small tissue papers for the blossoms.
- teach kids how to make paper lilies by hand (and with a hand print).
Food as an art form
Food itself is an art form, so it's only natural to express food as art with an art party
theme. In short, let kids play with their food and help you create edible masterpieces.
Now here's how to feed those starving artists doing just that:
- Edible art, still life. Make a centerpiece with this funky fruit idea from Family Fun,
left. Simply mix and match different slices of fruits into a mouthwatering
masterpiece. Who knew you could start crafting with the kids and get them to
eat healthy foods with one activity?
- Think vividly. To enhance your art party theme, play around with colors.
- Color ice cubes for vivid drinks with a few drops of food coloring in an
array of pretty colors. Call it Picasso punch.
- Look for green candied cherries, which will make a statement!
- Dye egg whites to make rainbow devilled eggs with your favorite recipe.
Or make colorful crackled devilled eggs. Both devilled egg recipes look
fantastic on a painter's palette.
- Make Jello oranges.
- Draw on bagels (any dried, firm food surface) with edible ink pens, left.
This set of food writer pens is a great way to leave notes for school
lunches, too to get the birthday kid excited about his party.
- Eat S-mart! Sandwich art, an idea from Family Fun, left, is an easy way to get
kids to eat their lunch. Kids paint bread with food coloring (and new brushes of
course)! Other ways to get the kids to eat smart: make a rainbow fruit tray!
Start with kiwis or green apple slices, blueberries, oranges, pineapple and
- More sweet ideas to enhance your art theme:
- Candy making as an art form can start with an edible almond compound:
marzipan. Kids can make marzipan fruits and take home their edible art in
fruit baskets as favors.
- You might also have kids see what they can draw with Pixie Stix on a
clean surface. Then let them lick up their art!
- And kids will delight in knowing that conversation hearts candy can work
like chalk! So go ahead and give it a try, particularly if your party is around
- Make a work of bark! Modify this candy bark idea from Jelly Belly: melt white
chocolate chips into mini painters palettes, ( then top with an array of jelly belly
jelly beans to create scrumptious birthday bark.
- This noteworthy snack from Family Fun is a pencil made from cheese sticks, and
Bugles corn snacks. Lay out some napkins on an artist's sketch pad.
- Here are more unusual food ideas to represent different artists:
- Hear this one out: make Van Gogh ear candy! Using the candy mold, left,
you can craft home made chocolate ear lollipops. You could just as easily
make ear-shaped cookies. Yes, they make cookie cutter ears too!
- Serve a Pie-casso. Whether it's a berry pie, a pizza pie or a pi-casserole,
have fun and play with your food names. A Pie-casso on Flickr shows an
artists palette from a ready made pie crust and add globs of icing gel.
- Mona Lisa Lemonade. Any beverage becomes a "Mona Lisa" thanks to the
hilarious "Frozen Smiles" ice cube tray, left. And this novelty is even better
if there's a dentist in the family. A drop of food coloring adds to the effect.
You've probably already thought of baking an Artist's Palette cake, but for something a
bit more unexpected, try these fanciful options for a truly artful cake:
- Frame that masterpiece! Cadbury's Curly Wurly chocolate bar has an artful
appeal as a edible frame for your cake. Sometimes you have to go the extra mile
to find them, so get this Marathon bar on Amazon, left.
- Tie-dye cake. Give guests a colorful surprise with a tie-dye cake. Get instructions for
a tie-dye cake, by exploring our groovy hippy party.
- Confetti cake. You'll find the Pillsbury Fun-Fetti cake mix in your grocery store. It
will give your cake a burst of color. You can achieve the same look by baking a
vanilla cake and adding the confetti cake sprinkles at the very end.
- Brush up on this technique: a layered cake with a different color for every layer.
We agree that this is a super epic rainbow cake, left from the Whisk Kid.
- More colorful expressions for your art party cake:
- Light the birthday cake with rainbow candles.
- Write happy birthday right on the cake table by laying out Skittles or other
brightly colored candy to form the words.
Activities for the budding artists
There's no end to the fun you can provide kids with chalk, paint, markers, stamps,
markers, stickers, fingerpaints, pipecleaners and Play Doh. Even if you're not planning
an artists birthday, you'll want to stock up on some great art projects that you can
make together on a rainy day. Any of these kids art projects will make thoughtful gifts:
- Stick it them with Wikki Stix: These colorful, non-toxic wax and yarn sticks will
help stimulate imagination and creativity. This is a clean and non toxic activity for
your party. There's no glue, no preparation, no cleanup, and no mess. You'll find
a range of Wikki Stix products to choose from above, including favor packs, a
birthday party kit with games and activities, plus the Wikki Stix Book of Wiggles,
Squiggles & Curlicues, and more.
- Connect the dots with Dot-a-Dot Art: Washable,and with easy cleanup, Dot-a-Dot
Art, right, provides vivid paint in purple, green, red, yellow, blue, or orange that's
neatly contained on a sponge tip. The sponge creates a dot of paint about .5
inches wide, and the paint dries quickly so kids can layer colors easily. The
possibilities are endless.
- Get a green thumb with thumbprint art. It's unanimous: "two thumbs" up for Ed
Emberley's book Complete Fun Print Drawing, left. With colorful step-by-step
drawings, kids will learn to turn thumbprints into owls, pigs, fish, or basketball
players simply by adding the letters I, V, Y, L, O, and U. This will spur their
creativity and give them confidence in their artistic abilities.
- Give kids a "hands on" experience with art. The Klutz Hand Art book, left, is easy
art for kids. Remember how fun it was to make a hand turkey? This book will be
a keepsake for months after your party as kids explore how to make a hand
octopus, dragon, horse and many more.
- Explore color splats with Spin Art. Melissa and Doug Swirl and spin art, right, is
just $7. The set includes four colorful long tipped tubes of paint, twenty-five
design cards and a suction cup base to hold it in place.
- Come on over to my pad. Melissa & Doug washable ink pads are the start of
something really fun, left. You may already have a nice supply of rubber stamps,
if not, try Melissa and Doug products. But really no stamps are necessary for
your art party, because kids can use their thumbs! We give two "thumbs up" to
Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint drawing book. Kids can make an alien in a
spaceship with their thumb and a few simple pen strokes.
More Arts & Crafts Projects
- Rock on with this easy ten minute project: pet rocks. Nostalgic fun for parents,
kids can make a pet rock. Just paint rocks, allow time for drying, then glue wiggle
eyes and yarn. The kids can name and take home their rock. Now that's a pet
- Make a mural. Kids can collaborate their artistic talents onto butcher paper to
create a birthday mural. An underwater theme is easy and the waves you draw
will provide cohesion. Girls will love to draw mermaids, fish, sea stars, shells, and
boys will like to draw an octopus or other under-the-sea creature, plus boats,
anchors, islands, pirates and more.
- Don't get boxed in on kids craft projects. Have kids craft a collage on a brown box.
Weeks in advance of the party, you'll need to clip words and pictures from
magazines. You may like to provide stickers, gems glitter and other
embellishments to help kids personalize and create. All the kids art projects to
dry so you can stuff it with candy and give to them as they depart.
Art Party Invitations
There is an art to inviting someone to a party and here are some colorful ideas:
- See the true colors coming through. If you have a color printer, you can turn a
small box of crayons into an invitation. With this ingenious invitation, each
crayon holds a part of one brilliant message.
- "Post" modern art invitations. Point the fingers at your child to create his own
invitations. Get artist postcards and tape them together on the back side so that
they make one canvas. Now let the birthday kid finger paint a masterpiece.
When it dries, you're ready to remove the tape and mail your art party invitation
as postcards: each is a mini-masterpiece.
- Art birthday Invitations and party wording ideas:
- This is the st-ART of something really great,
- So roll up your sleeves, get ready to create,
- Alley's Art Exhibit is making it's way,
- And along with it a Happy Birthday!
- Gallery opens Saturday, May 15 at noon
- Exhibit Hall: 123 Main street
- Call 867-5309 to confirm your exclusive reservation
Art party favors
If you provide a traditional artist's beret as a favor for your party, make sure the
birthday kid gets a vibrant color to make him or her stand out. If your budget allows,
provide an inexpensive smock. Or better yet, instead of providing each kid with a
smock, go to the thrift shop and find some men's shirts, then cut and tailor to the kids,
or ask parents to dress their kids accordingly.
Even though the favors will the art works that kids create, and the attire you may give,
kids may be in the habit of expecting a parting gift. Here are some ways to give that
artistic touch to your party favors:
- Wikki Stix party favors fun packs. (See the Wikki Stix products above.)
- Itty Bitty brand easels and canvasses (find them at your local art store).
- Jumbo Wood Pencil, right.
- A Melissa and Doug stamp pad, upper left.
- Lollipop Paint Shop Candy, top left.
- Mouth Coloring Bubble Gum, top right
- Candy Tongue Art, upper right
Real art parties for kids...
- Arty farty party: Check out the amazing cake, left, at the "arty farty" party.
Download the plans to this art gallery party ideas from One Charming Party. For
$25, you can download 50 pages of party instructions, which will help you
welcome kids to an art gallery.
- Tangled art party: Kids "tangled" with art at Rapunzel's Art party, right. Kids got
the chance to take home a masterpiece: the over-sized canvas allowed artistic
expression beyond words. Yes, a picture really is worth a thousands words. This
real party takes the cake!
More resources for your art party:
- Picasso art party by Better Homes and Garden.
- See our Play-Doh party ideas, which is a great party to "model" after!
- Have fun making your food into mini works of art with our fun Chef's party ideas.
- Kids can also design their own cupcake masterpieces. See our cupcake party
- Art Party cake balls: How clever is this art party by Posh Tot Events below? Cake
Balls form an artists pallette of colors.
Tell us about your child's art party and share party ideas with us on Twitter. We love
connecting to other quality blogs.
All about an Arts & Crafts birthday...
(C) Copyright 2009-2012 by M.C. Nygard. All rights reserved. Updated 9/28/12.
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Above, this Tangled party featured Rapunzel's favorite hobby: