Tired of watching TV shows or playing cards? Coming up with new party ideas can be difficult for any host. Shake things up by throwing a paint and wine party for your friends.
You don’t have to be a great artist to enjoy painting. Painting is more active and engaging than streaming a movie and less competitive than board game night. Even your least artsy friend will enjoy seeing what they created after an entertaining evening.
Preparing for a paint and sip party is a little different than setting up a dinner party or game night. Follow these tips to take the stress out of party planning.
The perfect paint and wine party
You’ll enjoy an evening of sipping delicious wine and painting with your friends. Putting together a good paint and sip party takes a little planning, but with a little effort, you and your guests can have a great time.
Painting parties make it easy to enjoy a good playlist, banter about painting skills and have fun. Aside from selecting a few wines or making a good batch cocktail, you’ll need canvases, paint, and brushes. Include water cups or jars for cleaning the brushes, palettes for mixing paint, and aprons or smocks to protect your guests’ outfits.
Make sure you choose beginner-friendly paint. Acrylic paint is usually best since the canvas won’t require any special preparation. Watercolors are trickier than you think, and oil paint requires special drying equipment. Remember that acrylic paints stain, so cover your table or other exposed furniture.
Finally, decide who will lead everyone through each step of the painting. Are you or one of your friends comfortable leading the guests by painting a picture? If not, you can hire an instructor, find free online tutorials and virtual painting parties available, or even purchase an On-Demand virtual event. If none of the previous adapts to what you’re looking for, another fun and different idea is to queue up a Bob Ross video!
Gathering in person is a massive boost to our emotional health. Painting a picture gives you a safe place to concentrate on your artwork, express your feelings, and have fun.
Connecting with friends while learning to paint is a great bonding experience that improves everyone’s mood.
If you and your guests used to paint in school, a paint and sip party is a great way to revisit this old hobby. Choose a good picture and a tutorial that’s easy to follow. At the end of the night, you and your guests may be surprised at how well your paintings turn out, giving everyone a boost of self-confidence.
Painting helps improve your fine motor skills, allowing everyone to use their hands for something besides typing. Following instructions, carefully mixing colors, and composing your piece improves concentration. Many people enter a state of creative flow when really focused on their work.
Planning, planning, planning
Give yourself plenty of time to set up the party – and give your guests enough time to RSVP. Send out invitations earlier than you would for a movie night. A month in advance may seem too much, but everyone’s busy. Knowing the number of guests who can make it will help determine how many painting supplies you’ll need.
You can ask your guests to bring a snack or their favorite bottle of wine. People like to help! Don’t stress yourself out too much. You may be surprised how many of your guests are willing to bring snacks and help clean up.
Painting takes a while. You’ll need time to mix colors, paint, and breaks to let each layer dry. You’ll need at least two hours for the painting. If you and your guests enjoy tasting different wines, plan for the party to last around four hours.
Planning your outfit is also important. You don’t need to set a dress code, but if you’re doing a holiday-themed painting, why not have the evening double as a Christmas sweater party? Paint-and-sip parties are also great alternatives for bachelorette parties and baby showers, so your guests may want to dress up a little.
No matter what outfit or theme you decide on, make sure your guests know that painting gets messy, so everyone should wear clothes they don’t mind getting splattered.
Choosing a theme for your wine elevates any party. Select wines based on your favorite region, varietal, or winery. Traditionally, European wines are best, particularly if the wine is from France or Italy. Recently, wines from Argentina, Chile, and the United States have upped their games.
If your party is in the afternoon or early evening, consider going with something sparkling, like rosé or prosecco. Red wines and dry whites are elegant options for evening events.
If you’re serving snacks, pay attention to wine pairing rules. Food and wine should be kept at a similar weight. Lighter fare goes better with white wines, while richer food goes with heavier red wines. If you’re serving small desserts, keep in mind that the wine should be at least as sweet as the food, if not sweeter.
If you’re still not sure what kind of snacks to pair with wines, here are a few party-friendly examples:
- Dark chocolate with a dark red, like zinfandel or shiraz
- Milk chocolate with pinot noir or merlot
- A cheese board with a sparkling rosé
- Salty snacks with sparkling wines
- Popcorn with a buttery chardonnay
- Chips and salsa with riesling or pinot grigio
- Mini cupcakes with sweet moscato
If your guests enjoy trying new things, consider adding a blind wine tasting to your paint and sip party. Invite your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite red or white, and then cover the bottles with numbered paper bags. Tie the bags off with a ribbon to keep things festive, and provide cards so your guests can take notes. Everyone will be surprised by their favorites at the end of the night.
Of course, be prepared with a few essentials, no matter what kind of wine you serve. You’ll need at least one corkscrew. You might even want a couple available so your guests aren’t waiting their turn.
Wine charms help everyone keep track of their drinks. If you’re serving a white wine, make sure that it’s adequately chilled ahead of time. Most reds taste better after aeration, especially cabernet. Pour reds into a decanter a couple of hours before the party starts.
Choosing a theme helps narrow down what kind of painting you want to do. Do you want everyone to paint a holiday picture for Christmas? You could even go with a masterpiece theme and have everyone recreate a piece by Van Gogh or Monet. Following along with a Bob Ross tutorial will give everyone a peaceful nature scene at the night’s end.
You can even play a game with your paintings and pass the canvas. Set a timer, allow everybody to draw or paint something, and then pass the canvas around or switch seats. Everybody will have the opportunity to add something to everyone else’s picture.
Pass the canvas is an excellent game for bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and more. You can provide prompts to get everyone started or let your imaginations run wild.
To get the party started, you’ll need to set it up in advance. Make sure you have all of these supplies ready to go:
- Paint: Make sure you have black, white, and the three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. You can mix the three primary colors to get every color you need. Acrylic paint is beginner-friendly and easy to use.
- Brushes: Ideally, everyone should have a large brush and a smaller brush for detailing.
- Canvases: Get primed canvases so you and your guests can skip a step and get straight to painting the picture.
- Water cups or jars: You’ll need water to clean your brushes before changing colors. Make sure these are different from the drink glasses. Better yet, invest in lids and straws for your wine and cocktail glasses so that no one accidentally gets a mouthful of dirty paint water.
- Paper towels: Dry your brushes and wipe the paint off your hands.
- Palettes: You can get reusable palettes at an arts and craft store or use paper plates instead.
- Wine: Obviously.
- Table cloth: Protect your furniture from amateur painters.
- Aprons: Protect your guests from themselves! No one wants to ruin their outfit.
Setting up your space
Once you have your theme and final guest list, look around your house and decide where the painting will take place. Does your dining room table have enough space for everyone to sit comfortably? Or can you place chairs and easels around the living room?
Your guests need room for their painting station. Have everyone’s canvas, water, and brushes set up ahead of time. If you get larger tubs of paint, set up a paint station so everyone can choose their colors and set up their palettes.
Regarding snacks and drinks, you can start with everyone’s wine glasses at their painting station or set up your home bar. Create a simple, elegant tablescape at the wine and food stations. Gather some greenery or flowers and arrange them on the table with a good table runner.
A separate buffet or snack area allows everyone to wash up before snacking. Make sure the plates are small enough that your guests can bring them back to their paint stations if they want. Otherwise, it may be a good idea to encourage eating during paint-drying breaks.
No matter what your setup looks like, make sure it’s easy for everyone to move through the space. There should be a good flow between the refreshments, additional painting supplies, and individual painting stations.
Setting up in your backyard is a great option. In addition to renting tables and chairs, you’ll need proper lighting so everyone can see their work. Add a few hanging bistro lights to your patio, or invest in solar and larger porch lights. Cut the grass so it’s easy to cross your lawn. It never hurts to touch up the landscaping, either. Your guests will feel inspired by their surroundings.
Sometimes, as you survey your space, you may notice a few other projects you’d like to complete before welcoming your guests. If there’s too much work to get done before your party, or you’re too busy with party planning, remember – it never hurts to hire a local handyman. They can quickly take care of all the little projects you’ve been putting off, and you’ll feel more confident inviting guests into your home.
Preparing your home for an evening of painting and fine wine doesn’t have to be stressful. With some planning, your favorite wines, and the right crowd, your paint night will be a huge success.
Hosting a paint and sip party is a great way to break out of the same old party ideas. Turn up the music and mix your paints. Your friends will never forget your fabulous party since you’ll send everyone home with their work of art!