Tuesday, April 30, 2019

How to Host a Bob Ross Party (With Adults or Kids!)

Looking for a creative and unique art activity to try with kids and adults?  Well, have you ever thought about doing a Bob Ross themed party?  Here's everything you need to know to paint Bob Ross with artists of all ages!  And bonus: expensive, fancy-shmancy materials definitely AREN'T required!

Everything You Need to Know to Throw a Bob Ross Party

(with adults and kids!)

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

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I recently saw this awesome article about an art teacher cheering stressed out art students by hosting a Bob Ross Painting Flash Mob The activity looked so much fun that I knew I had to try it out with some friends.

So, I invited some friends over one night and hosted my very own Bob Ross Painting.  Each friend brought $5 and a snack and I provided the venue and all the materials!  It was a super fun night and everyone left feeling happier and proud of their creative efforts.

Materials Needed to Host a Bob Ross Party:

Note:  I purchased my materials from Michaels using their awesome 40% coupons.  I've included links below to Amazon if you want to purchase things online.

  • Covered Tables and chairs
  • Sharpie marker
  • Paper Plates
  • This Bob Ross Painting Video (Free on YouTube!)
  • Foam Brush (1 per person)
  • Paper plate (1 per person)
  • Black and White Craft Paint 
    • Note:  I just got the super cheap kind to keep costs down.  Bob uses gesso, but craft/ cheap acrylic paint works just fine!
  • Rag (1 per person)
  • Cup with water (1 per person)
  • Paper Towel (1 per person)
  • Thin Brush (1 per person)
  • Black Canvas
    • Note:  Who knew that canvases come black?  I was excited to find them at Michaels!  You could also paint the canvases black beforehand, but you have to make sure that the paint is dry before you start.


How To Host a Bob Ross Painting Party


1.  Watch this Bob Ross Painting Video before your party to get a feel for the materials you'll need.  You'll just follow the first 15 minutes of the video until he finishes the black and white portion.  This is a great tutorial to do with a crowd because you only need 2 colors of paint and you DON'T need fancy oil paints.  Plus, it's a simple one that painters of all abilities will enjoy.
2.  Set up your painting area! Cover your tables. Put out your materials out so that artists can just grab their items.

3.  Welcome guests and eat snacks.  

4.  Once everyone is fed and happy, it's time to paint!

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

I wish I had some lovely, sun-lit art space to show you.... but this is real life and I held the painting portion at 8:30...  in my house... in the garage.  It was the only way we could accommodate all the guests!  In case you're wondering, we used this projector and it worked out great. The image was clear and we didn't need external speakers to hear what Bob was saying.

5.  Remind guests to write their names on the back of their canvases using Sharpie.   (You'd be surprised how easy it is to grab someone else's work by accident.)

6.  Once everyone has their materials, play the video and follow along. 

 My guests were mostly adults, so we didn't stop the video.  Personally, I think that it just helped the artists not to take their work too seriously.  Plus, the painting is simple enough that they don't need to follow very specific details.  

Most friends took their wet paintings home, but some left them at my place to try.  So I had an impromptu photo shoot. 

Look at these Awesome Bob Ross-inspired Paintings!


Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

I was so incredibly blown away by everyone's creativity.  It was neat seeing how each person interpreted Bob's directions and painted something uniquely beautiful and uniquely their own.  Here are some examples:

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!



How to Paint Bob Ross Paintings with Kids

My two sons were so bummed that they couldn't attend the party (it was held after their bedtimes), so I did the activity with them the next day.

1.  We didn't have any canvases, so we just used big pieces of cardboard.  First, we painted them black with craft paint.

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

2.  After our cardboard dried, we watched the video and painted along using all the same materials as the adults.

 (Note:  I kept the area clean by covering the table and giving the boys aprons.)

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!


Special Accommodations for Children:


Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!

My preschooler just painted whatever he wanted.  He left after 5 minutes with a lovely black and white abstract painting.

My elementary school son had no trouble following along.  Unlike the adults, I 
  • Helped him mix grey paint before the video started
  • Stopped the video after certain points (like after he painted the tree bodies, painted the branches, painted large cooked tree in the front, painted the grass, and painted the path) so that my son could catch up
  • I didn't do this, but I wish I just reminded him in the beginning how painting different ways with the foam brush would create thick lines and thin lines.  He had a tough time controlling the thickness of this crooked tree at the end. 
And here are our family's final results:

Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!


Take Your Bob Ross Painting Party to the Next Level:

If you want to bump up the coolness of your party, you could always include these fun items.


Put Your Own Spin on a Bob Ross Painting:

I loved my painting, but I found the black and white combination to be a bit dark for my taste.  So, like any good crafter, I just added my own spin on things and hot glued on a bunch of pom poms

I love how quirky and fun my painting now looks.
Everything you need to know to host a Bob Ross Painting Party for Kids or Adults on a budget- a great how to tutorial!


I really, really hope this inspires some of you to try painting Bob Ross with your friends. I loved watching him as a kid.  Now that I'm an adult, I appreciate him even more.  He embodies such a beautiful, creative spirit and makes painting fun, not-fussy, and accessible to everyone.  And that makes him a super-star in my book!

If you do try this out and you're on Instagram, pleaes tag me (Pink Stripey Socks).  I'd love to see how you made this activity your own.

Happy making, friends!

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