Grab the art supplies and gather around the table – it’s time for an art party! These are the essentials you’ll need + our tricks to make it a fun success.
When I was in high school, my art friends and I would wait until the last possible minute to complete our projects. At the eleventh hour, we’d gather in one of our homes, supplies in hand (including but not limited to sketch pads, pastels, kneaded erasers, ice cream and frozen pizzas), and we’d have our quarterly ‘Art Party.’ We found that our best creations came from those all-nighters and little sleep, with the help of a sugar high and good company. Memories.
Today, my definition of an Art Party looks a little different – but it’s just as fun, extra cute (hey, Lucy!), and like the memories of Art Parties gone by, I’ll cherish these moments forever. Our quarantine has seen its fair share of Family Art Parties, and since it’s one of our favorite ways to pass the time, we thought we’d share the simple tips and tricks we use to keep our 2-year-old entertained and our hearts full.
Gathering the Supplies
As an art lover, we have a lot of supplies on hand, but we keep it pretty simple. See: Lucy’s craft room. Kraft paper and simple twine double as both crafts and gift wrap, and foam + paint brushes are as much a necessity for DIY touch-ups as they are creating artful masterpieces! Here’s everything we used to bring our Family Art Party to life:
- painting smock
- kraft paper
- fat paintbrushes (easy grip for little hands)
- foam brush value pack
- paint palettes
- easel-sized paper sheets
- pencils + crayons + paint
- old t-shirt and/or towel
- drop cloth or old tablecloth
Setting the Table
I like to layer the table with a few preventative measures to set us up for success! I use a drop cloth with plastic backing (to prevent bleed through when things inevitably get messy), followed by a big sheet of kraft paper from our roll.
Paint, Pencils, Brushes
We bring everything we need to the table – paint, pencils, (paint and foam) brushes, and even coloring pages for the adults! We printed out Ashley’s challenging sheets for us, and I taped down a big sheet of easel-sized paper for Lucy. The latter isn’t completely necessary, but in this case, I wanted to save her art on a white sheet of paper. Otherwise, you can just go for it on the kraft paper!
Tip: If we know we’ll want to hang the artwork in our home, we’ll offer up paint colors for what we have in mind – such as greens, golds, creams and pinks. Lucy has a lot of fun learning these ‘new’ colors that aren’t the usual primary colors! (But we always include purple, because girl loves purple.)
Lucy has this adorable smock that she wears, and it comes in so many sweet patterns! There’s a pocket in the front and a velcro tab in the back, and she actually enjoys wearing it.
Because we have upholstered dining chairs, we throw an old shirt over the back of the chairs and a shop towel on the seat. If you really need it – hey, you know your child best! – you can also throw a square of kraft paper underneath the chair, to catch rogue paint splatters. We find that suiting up the best we can allows us to feel more relaxed during the process, and we can focus on Lucy – instead of the mess.
The Rules Are… There Are No Rules
With everything in place, we love watching Lucy decide which brush to use, which colors she wants first, and which part of the paper will see the first stroke! We follow her lead; when she feels frustrated or needs help, we either rotate the paper or point to the areas that could use an extra handprint, and when she’s content, we allow her to think and create. We love watching her brain in action.
When it’s time for the Art Party to pack up (you will know when it’s time, haha), we wash up and allow Lucy’s artwork to dry. I’m thinking I’ll frame this one for the hallway of frames I’m dreaming of!
Are you overwhelmed with toddler masterpieces? You can also take a photo of the art to save it digitally! One day, I’d like to create a book of Lucy’s artwork that she (and we!) can look back on.
Happy creating! If you host your own Family Art Party, we’d love for you to tag us @yellowbrickhome so we can see what you’re making!
In This Post:
Lucy’s smock | kraft paper roll | fat paintbrush set | foam brush value pack | paint palettes | easel-sized paper sheets | 100-pack colored pencils | 64-pack crayons | art bins with lids | flower sunglasses