Friday, August 9, 2013

All-Boy Art Birthday Party

  Note: If you're looking for the You Keep Me in Stitches Giveaway click here.

I can't believe my boy turned 6 this week!
Seth is in LOVE with art lately.  He and Becca go in his room and "do art" for hours at a little table we have in there.  I can't remember who suggested it, but when an art party came up as a theme for his party, he jumped at it. 

And I was super happy to have a theme with so many creative possibilities and that it was something we want to encourage him in.   We've told our kids they just get parties on certain birthdays (6, 8, 12, etc).  They get a cake and little family celebration (as in dessert right after dinner) every year, but not a lot.  So it's fun to put some extra effort into the parties we do have.

Overall the kids loved it.  And despite the title of the post, we did have girls at the party and they enjoyed the projects too, we just especially found projects that would appeal to boys.  It took a little planning ahead to make sure we had the art supplies on hand, but other than buying the supplies we really did pretty much everything for the party the day before.  (And remember I have my husband home during the summers, so I had him to help out getting ready and helping during the party.)

I'm really not a fan of party least not the kind where you buy cheap toys so the guests go home with something.  I am a big fan of party favors that serve as entertainment and/or props to the party itself, so the kids got to take home some fun art projects.  I wanted to do some kinds of art projects that used materials and techniques they might not learn at school (where they pretty much stick to paper, crayons, and occasionally tempera paint).

Here's what we did:

ART shirts - I the shirts on sale for $2.50 each and let Seth choose the color.  He wanted bright orange.  This was kind of the big ticket item for the party, but I'm SO glad we had them.  It was really nice and easy to just tell the kids to wipe their hands on their shirt as a way to keep them from getting paint on everything they touched.  I put ART onto the front with blue painters tape before the party.  Then as kids arrived, I put their name in the neck with a sharpie.  The idea was that as they got it messy the ART letters would stay clean and they'd have a word on it at the end.  Since most of the kids didn't get their shirts THAT messy, after the last activity involving paint, I had them take off their shirts, laid them
out on the grass, and spray painted them in their choice of red or gold paint (which happened to be the random colors we had in the garage.  The kids had a lot of fun peeling off the blue tape to see the bright orange letter underneath.

Outer Space Canvases from That Artist Woman.  We used canvases where she used paper.  They were using acrylic craft know the real stuff that stains.  I did the first step of painting the background black ahead of time and was really glad I did since it took two coats.  I bought the canvases at Jo-Anns in a 10 pack and used a Michael's coupon (because the fine art supplies are excluded from Jo-Anns coupons, but they'll take a Michael's coupon for them...thank you Jo-Anns lady for telling me that.)  The kids were able to do the stars, painting their planets and adding the craters all at one time.  Then we let them dry for most of the party and came back and added the cutouts at the end.  I didn't really think 6 year-olds were going to be able to make their own astronauts, so we printed some freebies from Sarah Jane Studios.  I should have planned ahead better and had some spray adhesive or glue dots to stick them on.  We ended up using tape.

Painting Rock Friends - (Idea from Confessions of a Homeschooler) - Basically I went out to our yard and gathered up a bunch of smooth rocks that we'd dug out of our lawn when we were putting it in.  I washed them off and then had the kids cover them in paint.  We let the paint dry for a while while we did some other activities and the kids came back and drew faces on their sharpies.  The boys loved them.

Painted Treasure Boxes - When I was at Jo-Anns with Seth choosing party supplies, Seth saw their little papers with project ideas and fell in love with a painted box and a a letter spelled with legos.  Well, he's newly into legos and doesn't have enough for us to want to glue them to the tops of boxes, so we opted for just doing the boxes.  They were $1 each.  I painted them white with a base coat the night before and then we gave the kids paint-pens and sharpies of all colors to decorate them.  (Paint pens were a mistake with 6 year old boys...they discovered if you shake them with the lid off paint splatters...but they had their art shirts on so no biggie.)  Over half of the boxes had hearts on them because they'd only had a couple non-heart boxes, so I was prepared for fights about which boys had to have heart boxes...but it turned out they were so in love with the boxes, they didn't even notice the hearts or that some were different.

Mini-Me Blocks - I got this idea from Sarah from Mimi and the Boy a few years ago.  She told me she'd made a "Charlie" block for Seth's half-brother so that when he built things with his blocks, he could put himself in the building.  I thought it was an awesome idea, but never got around to it, so we pulled out some blocks and the thinner sharpies and the kids made their Mini-Mes.  They were made even more awesome in the kids eyes because they fit pretty much perfectly inside the treasure boxes they'd just finished coincidence.

Painter's Pallete "Cake" - I've seen these around in different versions around the internet, but didn't pin the link.  This was a super easy "cake" to make..  The pallete is just a piece of cardboard which I drew and cut-out at the last minute (and hence the slightly wonky shape).
This was a party for lucky coincidences because I totally didn't think about there being 6 different colors and it was Seth's 6th birthday, but it worked out perfect.  (Well, accept that I forgot to make sure we had candles in the house, so it's a rather odd assortment of half-broken, different shaped candles.)

The biggest part of the work was just making all the different colors of frosting...which we needed for the next activity.

Cupcake Art - Each kid was given one white frosted cupcake and one colored frosted cupcake.  Then I had ziploc baggies with each color of frosting and a snip taken off one corner, so the kids could pipe the frosting out of them.  We also had an assortment of colored sprinkles (left from this activity) out and they got to decorate their cupcakes with as many sprinkles and as much frosting as they wanted to.  This was a HUGE hit with the kids as you can image.  (I knew from the beginning the palette cake was more to make me happy and that the kids would be way more impressed with the cupcake art.)  They had paper plates with a pretty good rim, so the sprinkles really didn't get very messy.

Glue Resist Dinosaurs from That Artist Woman - These didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped, but it was really in our execution of them.  I'd used the T-rex template from the post and then found two other simple dinosaur skeletons online.  I printed them out on cardstock and then cut them out using a razor blade to make a template for the kids to trace the shapes.  That part worked out great.  The problem we had came with the glue.  I only had one bottle of tacky glue for 8 kids and had them use Q-tips to apply the glue rather than applying it directly out of the bottle, so it really wasn't as thick as it should have been.  The project was still a success...but not as big a success in the kids' minds as the other projects.

Whew...I think that's all the projects.  It was a lot of fun.  Seriously, I don't know how people get a chance to take amazing pre-party pictures of everything because we just didn't have stuff ready in time and in some cases we improvised during the party.  There were NO party decorations of any kind...unless you count the white butcher paper over the borrowed tables...which made clean-up easy.  We had the kids do all the art projects accept the cupcakes outside, but mostly in the shade.

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  1. This looks like so much fun. Last year we did a "Build a City" party for our son. We weren't sure how it would go over, but our son was determined that he wanted to do it. So I went supply shopping at Michael's and Joanns. And the kids loved it. It is fun to see how creative they can be!

  2. What a fun party! We always prefered do it yourself craft parties when the kids were young, as they remembered the things they made instead of the cheap toys they broke! Such memories!

  3. Wow! So many fun projects for Seth's birthday party! I love the idea of using the t-shirts as a favor and a smock at the same time. I love having crafts for parties for kids. We've done dinosaur egg hunts, t-shirt painting, play dough making and cup cake decorating. It looks like the party was so much fun!

  4. Awesome party, Mom. Wish I was a six year old again.

  5. Looks like a fun party. So many great crafts to do anytime. The kids all look like they are enjoying it.

  6. The canvas paintings are beautiful. They would fit great into a unit study on the solar systems too!

  7. Such a fun party, there are so many fun activities. If you get a chance, please link up to my linky party going on now:

  8. What a terrific idea for a birthday party. I love how the space canvases turned out and thanks so much for the link back Polly! The cupcake presentation on the palette is charming, something I may have to this year.

  9. I love the cupcakes on the art pallet! Such a fun idea for a party!

  10. Love this party! You are full of good ideas. I've been thinking my daughters next party should be an art party so I will definitely be referring to this. I especially love the cute cupcake pallet.

  11. Love that you shared a boy art party! There are so many girlie art parties out there but few boy ones. Thanks for sharing!


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