Have you wondered how someone with a handmade business trying to minimize plastic in the world might handle a child's birthday party? Come take a peek at an Art Party I threw for my seven year old this past weekend. Yes, one mere week before a festival I am attending, and yes, I did a lot of sewing and crafting for the party. It was so worth it! I think I enjoyed it more than the kids!
(Note: you won't see images of the attendees or even my daughter, check back to the first post I ever wrote in case you want further explanation).
The forecast called for rain the day of the party. Not just rain, but torrential downpours and lots of humidity. Not a good combination for painting outside on the deck. So I transformed our ugly unfinished basement from the above hot mess to...
...a not-too-shabby art studio! I turn to fabric whenever I can. Most of this fabric I purchased the day before (flat sheets in primary colors that I can re-use in all sorts of upcoming sewing projects). The tables are covered in paper, and I made nearly all of the banners.
How do I prioritize limiting plastic at a party? I turned to Pinterest (feel free to follow me there, makes me feel popular), and started thinking creatively about activities. My daughter loves to paint and draw, so the activities were covered. Thank goodness for discount stores like the local Ocean State Job Lot who sell things like real artists canvases in bulk.
The rest of my photos will be in collage format so as not to bore you to tears. If you're willing to do some work, you can totally pull off a party that costs the same or less than something like Chuck E Cheese (cringe!), or Michaels which would be the nearest place that would throw an art party for me. AND, most important to me, the kids don't leave my home with a plastic baggie full of garbage from Oriental Trading Company that will break and end up in the trash or some forgotten corner of your car before they even get home from the festivities.
Paint chip garland; the low low price of free from the hardware store.
Rolled up apron made from Ikea tea towels, bundled with a paint brush and canvas at each table setting
Balloons hung from chandelier for the cake table. I don't normally like balloons, but the kids go nuts over them. Pick your battles, right?
Rice krispie treat paint brushes; these didn't turn out so hot. Probably because the examples I saw used pre-packaged krispies instead of homemade. They were pretty floppy!
Using our easel to direct guests where to go
Welcome wreath wrapped in rainbow fabric. I covered over a Christmas wreath we already had with scraps in my stash
Borrowed globe decorations
The other end of the basement
Everyone seemed to have a good time, I was thrilled with the artwork the girls were able to create in such a short period of time. They painted canvases, sketched with charcoal, sculpted with modeling clay, drew with chalk, and they even came together with oil pastel crayons to make a mural together. They each painted their favorite animal under a rainbow. It was beautiful!
With a little time and planning, plus a whole lot of inspiration from Pinterest, an at-home party that does not involve mounds of plastic is completely possible! Happy Birthday my dear 7 year old!
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.