Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Art Party | My Little Artist's Fifth Birthday

We don't do a friend party until we turn five. Turning five is a big deal and at that point the social has become so much more than just siblings and cousins.

It was easy picking a theme for Mercy. She is so much like me. She loves color. She loves creating. So when I came across the Art Gallery party at One Charming Party, I knew that we needed to do a variation of the theme.

I always make our own invitations. That's my thing and it I love how it can set the tone for the party. I printed them up at Bartell Drugs and then mounted them to a piece of colorful card stock. This was a great way to use up lots of scrap pieces of paper because I didn't have to have a dozen pieces the same color. Super easy.

Our guest list was quite long by the time we included siblings, which we really like to try and do when the siblings are within a year or year and a half of the guest of honor. We ended up with nineteen kids, ranging in ages from 2 to 8.

Decorations were the simplest I have ever done for a party. The weather was good so we set up tables on the porch.

Even before decorations I was planning the goodie bags. I decided to go with bright colored gift bags. I needed something pretty good sized so that all the art projects would be able to fit in the kids' bags. I did up name tags for the bags, laminating them so that they held up and attached them with colorful curly ribbon.

I started their bags out with a package of sidewalk chalk and homemade play dough. I think I had to make six or seven double batches of play dough to get enough. It's such an inexpensive fun thing to do. I made it a little fancier by making tags that that matched the invites that had been sent out.

Set up was super simple. The weather was nice, so we set-up the tables across the front of our porch. Eric had taken a 4' x 8' piece of OSB plywood and cut it down the middle so that I had two sheets. He reinforced the back by screwing the plywood to 2"x 4's" and then placed them on saw horses. It worked great. I wrapped them with brown packing paper. I placed their gift bags in front of them, along with place tags. It was bright and colorful.

I put all of the art supplies in plain glasses. I wrapped colorful ribbon around the glasses for a little more punch of color. Scissors and glue sticks that would be used for specific crafts were placed at the end of the table for the adults to pass out when needed.

I had a ton of art projects planned. More than would likely be needed for a two hour party, but you never know and I'm an over-planner. I just love how "paper chains" translated to handcuffs at the boy's table. The projects included:

  • Project One {Paper Chains}
  • Project Two {Party Hats}
  • Project Three {Mini-Books}
  • Project Four {Edible Jewelry}
  • Project Five {Bean Art}
  • Project Six {Self-Portrait Journals}
  • Project Seven {Masterpieces}

One activity I had planned that I was sad to not get around to using, but would have been so cute if I hadn't been distracted by the chaos of so many kids, was a hanging frame for Mercy to get pictures of her and each of her friends who came to the party.

My mother-in-law was indispensable when it came to keeping the big boys out of trouble. They were a whole lot less interested in crafts than the girls. My mother-in-law, who taught fourth graders for years, had them literally running laps around the house and LOVING IT!

One dynamic the party had was the little people. The kids who were two and three we had doing crafts inside. It worked out pretty well. Their attention span was shorter and their crafting abilities at a different level. The were most engaged in the Edible Jewelry and the Bean Art.

Decorations for the little kid table was extremely simple. I used wrapping paper from the dollar section at Target to make a colorful table runner. Crayons were the only art supplies they were given. I did make name place tags for them, which were a hit. I think they all wanted to take them home.

Finally, the food. I kept it SO simple. Cake. Ice cream. Juice.

I made a rainbow cake. I've made one before. If you want to see how I do it. See this post. Loved how it turned out except that I neglected to put in in the refrigerator a few hours before I served it. As a result it started to slide when I had gotten three-quarters of the cake served. But it still tasted delicious! This time I also made cupcakes in six different colors. Those were served to the littlest people.

That was it. Super easy. I highly recommend a craft theme for five year old girls!

Photo Credit: The good pictures were taken by my brother, Andrew. I will be posting more pictures from the party once I've gotten through all 602 that he took for me. I am one blessed sister!


  1. You are SUCH an artist and creative mother! Your children are blessed!

  2. So cute!!! I bet Mercy had a wonderful time.

  3. Love the theme, love that every child felt special and cared for, love it that you included us :) You are such a precious friend and such an inspiration! You have such a gift for this party planning thing, you really could just create your own business...I'd be your first paying customer! Love you! :)