I have come to this idea that my 8 year old believes I can do anything. The great thing about this is that I constantly find ways to involve her in the process, and hence, my hope is that she’ll come to believe that she can do anything. Then there are those golden moments when she gets involved without too much meddling on my behalf. She’s a creative one, so when she said she wanted to have an art party, I didn’t object. Somewhere along in the process, she also decided she wanted to include her American Girl® Saige Doll in the mix. We’re not well off by any means. I just find ways to make magic happen throughout the year. With that, I’m also not one of those moms that presumes that every child has an American Girl® Doll, so we compromised. We agreed to have Saige be the central artsy figure and that guests could bring their favorite doll to join them in the arts studio. We put her in a makeshift hot air balloon and I think it worked out quite nicely.
I started setting the tone for the bright colors and the artsy feel with the invitation. Clean, simple, and fun with a definite arts vibe.
The beauty of this party is that it involves several colors, allowing me to pretty much pull out my entire stash of tulle. I have small quantities in various colors that I saved from a Fancy Nancy party a few years back. Just as with my tablecloths, the tulle, plates, and sheer curtains, I find ways to reuse these materials for various parties. I store all of this stuff in a clear bin and it has essentially become my “party bin.” This bin has saved many parties, including a last minute scramble for decorating a quinceañera cake table that someone else dropped the ball on. True story.
My sister makes most of my cakes, and the 8 year old requested that her cake be simple and look like Saige’s dress. Instead of having my sister come up with a creative way of making the belt out of an edible substance, we just pinned the coordinating belt my child had right onto the cake. This just seemed like the easy and sane thing to do, and sometimes, you gotta take the easy route –even if a part of me was fantasizing about a royal icing beaded version. I do have to own up to my crazy ideas to confirm that I do indeed compromise from time to time. I also found some cute little Saige stickers at the craft store that were perfect for a simple cake topper. I wrapped a wooden skewer in colorful washi tape to give the hot air balloon some lift.
While I am not too shabby at decorating cookies for other folks’ parties, this is where I tend to drop the ball for our own parties! Even so, these store bought miniature cookies with sprinkles worked just fine for this theme. I also kept the favor bags simple and got a few multi-packs of multi-colored bags from the craft store. I always use coupons. I’m also pretty sure the bags you see here might have been nearly empty with the exception of little paint pallets we got from the ninety-nine cent store! We had a piñata with plenty of treats and the kids had tons of original arts creations to take home to fill their bags by the end of the party. We also had mini aprons for the kids, but not many of them used them.
The highlight was, of course, the art studio. All the kids loved it, and I pulled from our batch of existing arts and crafts supplies to stock each station. You can usually find plenty of supplies at the local dollar store, which is also where I found the brightly colored bowls. The brightly colored table cloths were clearance finds from years ago, and again, they are part of my “party bin.” If you glance back at my Mad Hatter Tea Party, you’ll see them there as well.
The one thing I did invest in (with coupons of course!) were these little chalkboard – whiteboard easels from the craft store. My kids love creating art, so it was worth the $20 or so I spent on four easels that I used throughout. They will definitely be showing up in other parties!