If you have been reading this blog for the past couple years then you know I am a HUGE fan of our annual Pumpkin Painting Party. It’s my favorite. Like I can talk about it any day of the week, any week of the year. Basically when I am old and my kids are grown, this party will still exist and it will be me and a bunch of my retired friends painting pumpkins and breaking hips on a hayride. And this past weekend, we had our THIRD annual party and it didn’t disappoint 🙂
If you want to go back and read about the past parties, here is the first pumpkin painting party from 2013…
And then the one from 2014…
So the basics are pretty easy to follow….we host a party and invite family and friends to invade the backyard with kiddos, food and pumpkins.
I have it down to an art form now. At least I think I do 🙂 We provide the chili and cornbread and drinks and painting supplies and we ask our guests to bring a pumpkin for their little one to paint and a side or dessert to share. In the past, I made desserts and sides too but I realized that there is always too much food anyway and it’s less stressful if I limit myself to a certain amount of food.
It’s always a good idea to have a main buffet table and then a cleared table for the side items or desserts.
I make a pretty mild chili and individual corn bread muffins so they are easier to grab and go. We also provide the paper products and I buy them the year before during the after-Halloween sales. Walmart, Michaels and Hobby Lobby are my go-to’s for the best deals. And I have started collecting empty cans because they are great for holding silverware, brushes, straws, etc.
I also try to get all the decorations the year before too. These paper pumpkin banners were ten cents each after last Halloween at Michaels!
And big plastic bowls are great (the orange one is from Walmart and makes clean up so easy!) and I got the pumpkin cornbread paper liners at Michaels too (for 90% off!).
One of the little decorations I loved the most was the pumpkin candy basket with the mums in it. It took literally three seconds to make. And all the candy that goes in it can now go in my mouth instead 🙂
Of course the kids love the desserts the best and this year the award for the most kid-friendly dessert goes to my friend Jess who made rice krispy treats into the shapes of pumpkins and used holiday sprinkles to make them extra fun 🙂
The tall planters on our deck also got into the spirit with paper decor….these fun paper lanterns are great for overhead or filling up random areas with color and festivity! Plus they are reusable year after year 🙂
This year we set the food up on the deck and then had everyone sit down underneath on the patio at our giant table and paint the pumpkins in the backyard. The finished deck has really proven to be worth it’s weight in gold!
The painting area is just two folding tables with drop cloths as table cloths. I buy three things of Crayola’s washable paint pots each year and my boys use the leftover paint all year long. This year I also popped two little mum’s on the table as centerpieces. They only cost a dollar each and I used old scraps to cover the pots 🙂
The eating area is big enough to socialize and eat and we also grab the adirondack chairs for the tennis court. I imagine that some day we will probably outgrow the table (when the kids will want to sit too) and we might need to set up more seating and tables but for now, this works out great.
Jeremy is always in charge of the hayride and it is one of the funnest parts of the day because we pile all the kids in the back and go around the yard.
The kids love it and Jeremy tries to make it as bumpy as possible so they squeal 🙂
This year Jeremy had a great cost cutting idea to use the same hay bales in the hayride as the seating for the painting area. It ended up being perfect and our biggest expense of the party was cut in half!
Also….this is Natalia….LJ’s love 🙂 She says that LJ is her baby and Weston is her brother’s baby. LJ literally lights up when he sees her and puts his arms out to get a giant hug….it’s the cutest thing ever!
After the hayride, we started on the pumpkin artistry. Each kid gets one brush (otherwise they go through a million a piece) and one plate for their paint. We found this is the best and easiest way to make every kid happy.
This is my favorite picture….all those kids creating 🙂
We always have to warn the parents that if you leave the pumpkin outside, the paint will wash off 🙂
I have been trying to get pictures of all the artists each year and so far, each year I completely fail. I always miss a few! They just move so quickly. It’s like chasing a swarm of bees with a camera….they go everywhere! Next year….next year I will get them all. That is the dream 🙂
So that is our pumpkin painting recap for this year! And I went back and read the post from last year and it was fun to see how Weston totally thrived this year (he lasted the whole day with no naps!) and how he rode in the back of the hayride too! I just love seeing these boys of mine grow and enjoy these parties as much as I do. You never know….maybe one day they will be throwing pumpkin painting parties for their own kids. :::SOB::: 🙂