Dang it! I swear, by the time I get the rest of my son’s latest birthday party posted, it’s going to be time for his next one! Where does the time go? That’s all the whining I will do, promise. To remind you, the theme was an art gallery opening. To keep kids entertained, we provided a bounce house (no art themes available. I briefly thought about creating a special graphic to Velcro on the front panel but decided not to get carried away…so we went with the closest thing to an arty theme as possible, a dinosaur.). I think that we are stuck with those at every party from now on. I’m coming to terms with it. I also wanted to have an art project but not one that you see everywhere or that they would probably make at home. As mentioned in the previous party post, the idea came to me when seeing a band play. There was a piece of art hanging behind the stage that was a patterned fabric with a graphic over the top. It was just what I was looking for! I ran to my fave fabric store in Orange County, M&L (holla!) and found a bunch of cheap fabric in colors and patterns that would appeal to boys and girls. I had been saving cardboard boxes for a while in preparation for the party and created each “canvas” with a piece of cardboard, the fabric and some Super 77 spray adhesive (Thanks for telling me about this, Carole. I never would have thought I could make these myself and wasted a TON of money on pre-made canvases that no one would see anyway). Aside from having fingers that stuck together on account of the adhesive, the project went super smoothly. With the base of the project finished, I set about finding the right fabric markers and stencils. I bought various sizes and colors from Michaels and a few others from Oriental Trading Company – by the way, if you didn’t want to make canvases, OTC sells just about every kind of blank item you can think of for decorating. I fell in love with the Stencil 101 book I found. There were several different books available but I thought these stencils were by far the coolest and were both feminine and masculine. I bought a few more stencils from Michaels to round out the selection and then just had to figure out how to display it all. I put the canvases in a plastic tote I found at Target, and provided men’s sized t-shirts as smocks in a plastic bucket from the Dollar Tree. I created signage, that matched the other signage around the party, to explain the project. I was super excited about the tablecloth that I found for the craft table. I didn’t want to rent a cloth because I was so afraid that it would end up getting stained. I found the black and white fabric at Ikea and had Carole hem it for me (don’t worry, I am currently taking sewing classes from Carole so I will be able to advance the fabric uses in my parties soon). My idea with this cloth was that the kids could also color in the white areas with the fabric paint and then it would be a keepsake tablecloth for our family to use. The cloth only ended up with one tiny red mark on it, but I still love it and can’t wait to use it. When the kids were done with their masterpieces (and by kids I mean quite a few kids and equally as many adults), they put them on a table to dry. We showcased a few more original art pieces by my son in frames in that area and this table was across from the favor table by the door on the way out of the house. This was a super fun activity and made each kid feel apart of the art show.