Sunday, July 21, 2013

Painting Party with Angelo DiGangi | Guest Blogger

Painting Party ñ Patio Style!

When it comes to hosting group activities with kids ñ whether you are celebrating your child's birthday with the entire class or barbecuing with the rest of the neighborhood ñ one of the hottest trends is throwing a painting-themed party.

Even if you just want a fun way to spend a Saturday with your own children, setting up a painting station on your patio is a sure-fire way to create fun for the whole family.

And the process from start to finish is relatively simple regardless of the number of participants you plan to invite. With that in mind, here are some basic guidelines to follow for maximizing the fun, highlighting the positive aspects of social camaraderie and keeping clean-up to a minimum.
Prepare for Success

The best parties are those that have been thought through well in advance of the guests' arrival. To ensure smooth sailing from start to finish, perform the following tasks beforehand.

Protective Measures

Even if you have the most spatially-conscious kids on the planet in attendance at your party, where there is an open can of paint, a knocked-over container is sure to follow. So to protect your outdoor patio furniture from those inevitable puddles, cover your tables and chairs with a plastic drop-cloth, a tarp or even on old sheet before you begin doling out the painting supplies.

Even if you have waterproof and weather-resistant outdoor pillows or patio cushions, due to the messy nature of this party, it's best to remove them entirely from the scene as opposed to tossing them off to the side. Place them inside the house, garage or even in outdoor storage bins with lids you may have on the patio for just such a purpose (or for storms, off-season storage, etc.).

Finally, no matter what you end up painting, when you set the item aside to dry, make sure to protect the surface of the table or floor with coverings such as newspapers or old magazine pages.

The Right Stuff

As in everything in life, projects are much easier if you have the right tools. For your painting party, there are only a few things to gather and you're good to go!
You'll need:
  • Brushes: Compile different sizes and widths ñ perhaps one larger and one smaller for each child ñ and place them in containers on the table or lay them out at individual seats.

  • Coveralls: Ask the kids to wear something they don't mind getting messy or have old t-shirts or smocks for them to use during the party.

  • Paints: Depending on what you decide to paint, there are types of paints that are better suited for certain projects. For example, puffy paints work better for decorating clothes (like T-shirts or shorts/jeans) and craft paints are good for items like flower pots.

  • In fact, let's stick with the outdoor patio theme and use hand-painted flower pots as our painting party project! For each child you'll need:
    • One terra cotta pot

  • One shovel (you can also use spoons in lieu of individual shovels)

  • Potting soil

  • Flower Seeds: you can set out several different varieties and give each child a few seeds of their choice or you can purchase individual seed packets and let them choose from them

  • Pint-Sized Picassos

    Now that you have everything you need, get out of the way and let their creativity take over!

    First, have the kids paint whatever designs they like on the flower pots. You might suggest they paint their names, or the names of their parents (if used as gifts), or even the type of flower they will be planting. Pets and sports themes are also great options!

    Once the pots are painted, place them aside to dry. Depending on your outdoor conditions, times will vary but just make sure they are dry to the touch before you move on to the next step.

    Once they are dry, have each child reclaim their pot and begin planting.

    Scoop potting soil into each pot and lightly pack it down to about 1 inch below the rim. Push your seeds into the potting mix to the recommended depth for the type of plant and gently cover them with soil. Water each pot before the guests leave and wish them luck with their newly-discovered green thumbs!

    What other ideas do you have for making sure you hit it out of the park with your next patio painting party?

    Angelo DiGangi, a Home Depot sales associate in the Chicago area, is a regular Home Depot blog contributor on outdoor decor projects and products. Angelo's interests range from providing homeowners tips on flower seeds to discussing the latest trends in outdoor patio furniture.

    Thank you Angelo DiGangi & Home Depot for being our Guest Blogger today!

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