The theme for Olivia's party was pretty much a no-brainer. There is nothing she loves more than art. The question was whether to have it at a paint place, or do it myself. Both had pros and cons. But ultimately I chose to go the DIY route. Almost all of the art places I found wanted the kids to be 6 and up to have a party. Obviously that didn't work for our crowd. I found one that allowed littles, but it was kind of expensive and the limit was for 10 kids. The cost for each kid after was pretty steep. Plus, I knew at this age that all of the parents would be staying, so I wanted room for them as well.
I looked into multiple places to hold the party. I kind of stumbled on the location on accident. A local grocery store, called Market Street, is kind of upscale and also has prepared food to buy. We eat there every once in a while, because Michael and I like the sushi and the kids will eat the chicken tenders. We were eating there in early May. We always eat up in the loft area, and I noticed a sign that said you could rent out the "event center"... which was essentially a large conference room with a full kitchen. The price was right. The floors were concrete (so no worry of mess). There was a kitchen with a sink. SOLD!
We went with a rainbow theme, because it just made sense.
Each spot was set with a canvas, wrapped with an art smock, a paint pallet, 3 different sized brushes, and a cup of water to wash brushes.
I tried to keep the decor simple and budget friendly. There was a TON I could have done, but ultimately it would have been for me and my love of decorating. I had to remind myself often that it was a 5 year old's birthday party and it wasn't that serious. :) I decorated with mason jars full of brushes, and I got the idea to use the pom poms and pipe cleaners at the last minute. Olivia is loving using them as part of her art projects lately. She's constantly gluing them on something. I went into her room to get something, saw them, and knew I could use them! I also had baby wipes in case of messes.
A lot of people asked if I was going to have a set design for the kids to draw. Um, we had 2 year olds, 3 year olds, mostly 4 year olds, a few 5 year olds and 2 older kids. No. I was not going to try to direct them how to paint a specific object. But I did buy painters tape in case they wanted to make a design on the canvas before painting.
Rainbow paint to choose from! There was squeeze bottle type paint that probably would have been easier, but I went this route because it is WASHABLE and non toxic!
I knew the painting wouldn't take up the whole party, so we had other art options for the kids. We had scratch off book marks, finger puppet butterflies with glitter glue...
Play doh to make "sculptures", coloring pages, and make a face stickers--which were a big hit!
Also, the chalkboard signs were from the Dollar Spot. Actually, so were those rainbow tins. The Dollar Spot came out with all sorts of rainbow back to school stuff just in time for my party. I thought it was cute because chalk is art y'all!
Michael made the crepe paper banner that is hanging behind Olivia. It was cheap, matched the rainbow theme, and helped to add some fun to the room.
I went back and forth about if I should serve food. I originally had planned to have snacks. But the party was at 3 in the afternoon, and it was only an hour and a half long. I knew the parents would have to help the kids with the art and would probably have their hands full. So ultimately I decided to skip the snacks, and just do cake. I was a little nervous about it, but I think it worked out well and was the right call.
Happy Birthday rainbow napkins, rainbow plates, forks in a cute Crayola tin, cupcakes on paint pallets with rainbow sprinkles, rainbow cupcakes on a huge painters pallet, and a rainbow art cake!
I actually bought the cupcakes from Market Street, which was convenient. The bakery was afraid the frosting would harden up and the sprinkles wouldn't stick, so they gave me bags of frosting to put on at the last minute.
This cutie didn't want to stay away from the cupcakes during party prep.
A close up of the rainbow paint pallet and my art cake. I thought it turned out great!
We had juice boxes for the kids and water for the adults. My mom actually covered the boxes for me, which was a big help because I might have scrapped that project. (Lots actually did get scrapped!) We used all supplies I had on hand, which is why the orange paper is not a lighter shade of orange... but it was FREE!
This little display was kind of a last minute purchase, but I think it ended up turning out cute for some extra decor. Those star picks are from Target. It came in a pack of 10 for $3 and the kids have loved playing with them all week now! It's the little things. ;)
The banner came from Hobby Lobby and was perfect! We had rainbow balloons that also came from Market street. Michael separated them out in groups of 3, and Olivia noticed right away that he did groups of primary and groups of secondary colors. I told you this theme was a no-brainer! ;)
These cute rainbow tags came from the dollar spot, too! The other side said, "Thank you for making my party a MASTERPIECE". Each favor bag had a set of watercolors and a tub of play doh. I used slightly bigger bags so that they could put all of their other art treasures in there--bookmarks, butterflies, sticker creations, and even their art smock!
She loved everything, was super excited, and couldn't wait to get this party started!
Oh, and when we came to see the room and put our deposit down, the lady was so nice. She asked me what the theme was of the party. I told her it was a rainbow art party and she said they would make a sign for the door. I was expecting something cheap or quickly written out, but this is what they made for us. How sweet!