A Do-it-yourself Picasso-inspired Painting Party

The idea of painting with a group of kids in your home may seem intimidating – and for good reason! Visions of paint-stained tables and spilled water containers rush to mind. Even while making projects in The Art Truck’s mobile studio, we try to minimize mess. So, I designed the Party Like Picasso Paint Bar to guarantee maximum success with minimum mess! Follow these simple steps to transform your kitchen, garage or playroom into an art studio and turn a birthday party or vacation day into a work of art! Project party time is 20-60 minutes for one to three paintings.


1.       Chinette brand square paper plates – small or large.

2.       No 2 pencils.

3.       Paint brushes with small, soft bristles (avoid large brushes).

4.       A six pack of assorted tempera paints. I love Michael’s stores Creatology brand. Glitter or neon colors add instant glamour and kids love them.

5.       Foil cupcake tins with six cups.

6.       Three packs of hand wipes.

7.       Plastic table covers (disposable) or canvas painter’s tarp (eco-friendly) to cover work surface.

8.       Adhesive wall hangers available at Michael’s stores

Set the stage and follow these steps to a successful painting party:

Select a work table or floor that will accommodate all guests and cover with plastic or tarp;

Place adhesive hangers on back of plates to create wall-ready artworks. These abstract paintings make stylish wall decorations that will add a fresh, original touch to your décor;

Distribute pencils and plates – one per guest to start;

Ask kids to divide square plate into four quadrants using No 2 pencil;

In each quadrant, ask kids to draw at least one favorite shape in each square;

Once all guests have completed shapes, place paint in front of guests on work surfaces and explain the rules of the brush;

Pour paint into six cupcake tins – just enough to cover the bottom – one color per tin;

Place brushes (preferably in cups) in easy reach of guests.

Distribute a wipe to each artist and demonstrate how to clean paint brushes using wipes. Avoid water at all costs;

Instruct artists to dip brushes into one color at a time, wiping brushes with wipes between dips. This ensures that colors remain clean and fresh while avoiding the brown paintings;

Encourage kids to fill in all of their shapes and quadrants with different colors and to decorate the “frame” around the plate, too. Make multiple paintings to hang as a group and, most of all, have fun!

Please share your results on this blog or email me at maura@thearttruck.com.

Creatively yours,

Maura O’Shea