Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party

I planned a messy art party with a certain degree of naivety. "Kids want freedom," I declared to my husband. "They WANT to get messy, they will love it! We'll do it outside and clean-up will be easy!" Oh, Me of Two Days Ago. I shake my head at you. I would definitely do a messy party again, but there are a few things I would do differently. I'm going to tell you about what I messed up, and how to avoid my mistakes.

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


The activity I did NOT screw up was painting. We started with white poster board and some washable paint. We gave the kids the paint, and let them get messy. Instant fun!

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


Also instant mess. Thankfully, I got some free paper towel for this party. Viva® Vantage* paper towels are new to Canada, and the shape of the weave allows them to actually STRETCH. Yep, stretchy paper towels. It's cool.



How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


We wiped the kids down, and I was impressed with how durable these things were. We were able to rinse them and use them again, almost like a dishcloth. 

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


For our other messy art activity, I gave the kids some nice clean white shirts. I made sure they were wearing old or torn pants, since those were probably about to get wrecked. Then I gave them fabric paint. This started off well.

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


The actual painting part was great - the adults got in on the fun, too! Which leads me to Mistake #1: I did not ensure that the ADULTS at the party were wearing old clothes.


How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


The kids, who were covered in wet fabric paint, wanted hugs. We all inevitably got fabric paint on ourselves, ruining otherwise nice shirts and pants. You may want to have rain ponchos available to protect the adults.


How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays

After this, I quickly ran into Mistake #2. I had assumed that the kids would enjoy being full of paint, and would keep their painted shirts on until they dried. WRONG. The kids loved painting the shirts, but then they all wanted to take them OFF. While they were dripping with fabric paint.

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


We tried to remove the shirts carefully, but the kids' hair ended up full of fabric paint, which quickly dried into a plasticy, matted mess. If you do this, buy shower caps! You can use them to protect the kiddos' hair when you're removing the shirts.

Also make sure you have somewhere to hang the shirts while they dry. We improvised and used a tree.

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


So after I got the kids' hair full of paint, I thought I should feed them. Earlier in the day, I made some sugar cookies (from a mix - I'm not Martha Stewart). The kids each got a couple of cookies to decorate with various kinds of icing.


How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


I liked using the tubes of icing because they remind me of an artist's tubes of paint, and they were easy for little hands to squeeze.

How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


I had a cleaning station set up in the yard, which consisted of a bowl of soapy water and a TON of paper towel. I liked that the Viva Vantage paper towels were really durable, but still soft enough to scrub the kids with. Don't believe me? Click here to snag a coupon and try them for yourself!


How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


After the kids had been hosed down, Mistake #3 was staring me in the face. I had requested that the kids wear old clothes that could potentially be ruined, but I had NOT asked for a clean change of clothes. If you are having a messy party, make sure your guests have something clean to go home in!


How I Messed Up Our Messy Art Party  |  Best Birthdays


Check back next week for printable invitations and loot bag ideas for your messy art party. Now that I've done everything all wrong, YOU can have a really good one!



Full disclosure: This post was brought to you by Viva® Vantage*, THANKFULLY, because I really really needed help cleaning up during this party. The images and opinions are my own, as usual. For more information please visit www.vivatowels.ca.





4 comments :

  1. Cute party idea. I love the tips on what not to do. I think I would probably have the kids decorate their t-shirts while they were off.

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  2. What a fun idea, and good advice for the future. I'm sure the kids will remember the day there were allowed to get messy for a long, long time. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. This looks like a really fun party! My kids would be over the moon to do a party like this!

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  4. I love it! Painting the shirts while on?!?! Genius!

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