Last night, a group of teens congregated in our home to participate in a group dinner event we hosted. The setting was chill and lax. It’s a no makeup, hair up, shorts and T-shirts kind of night. I got tables and sofas/chairs set up in a 3/4 square, all facing the TV. What’s going on in our house? We hosted a Bob Ross night – Dinner and Painting – and it turned out to be fun on a dime. Well, it’s a little bit more than a dime expense but you’ll get what I mean.
Saving on Supplies
Doing some leg work and planning, we were able to save on supplies. Here are what to keep in mind:
- Most Art Supplies Stores have promotional coupons on their site, or sent by mail/e-email. For example, A.C. Moore had a 60% off coupon in my inbox which I happily used to save up.
- Paint Thinners melts plastic cups and so we headed to the Dollar Stores to get a glass jars normally used for home decor.
- I was not too worried about the tables/floor but if you are, the Dollar Stores have table covers too to protect them. (Gift wrappers should work too and the stores have those all the time. Newspapers are freely given at certain stores too.)
- I also saved on soda/chips by targeting sales at Food Lion this week: $0.89/1 2-Liter Sodas, B1G1 Chips, and $3 Fresh Seedless Watermelons
- Use Gift Cards, if applicable.
- Use Rewards Points, if applicable.
- Use Military Discount, if applicable.
- Let the participants contribute whatever supplies they already have at home or want to purchase.
- Split the cost among participants. Art supplies are not cheap. It’s a hefty expense for one person to shoulder.
First, Dinner and Cost
It’s not surprising that when the kids came, they were hungry. Teens always are. I made it super simple by ordering 2 Large Pizza = $19. I just picked one of the posted specials. With Tax, Delivery Fee, Tip, and Rewards Points calculated in, cost is $13/2 Large Pizza.
I also took advantage of a nearby grocery store and bought 2 bags of chips, 2 sodas, and 1 whole fresh watermelon = $11.57.
We used paper plates/cups to make for easier cleanup.
Total dinner cost = $24.57.
Art Supplies and Cost
- Canvases 10x – 16×20 (5/8’ profile edges – comes 5 in a pack) *For oil paint usage = $25
- Paint Thinner = $6.79
- Paint Primer (4 0z) = $5.94
- 1 Set of Oil Paint = $4.40 (You will need more than 1 for a large group; but, we do have other sets in the house.)
- Previously Used and/or Gifted Brushes = Free
- Gifted Oil Paint Set = Free (My kids are known to be the artsy ones in my whole fam, so we get plenty of art supplies and art store gift cards during Christmas and Birthdays Haha)
- Glass Jar for the paint thinner = $1
- Used spaghetti jar for the paint thinner = Free
- Paper plates = “Free” (To put/mix paints on)
Total art supply cost, with remaining A.C. Moore gift card applied, = $31.28
* Tip: If there are more than 1 of you making a purchase at the store, split the purchase. The A.C. Moore coupon can be utilized by 2 different consumers to save more. Coupons are posted on their website and can be scanned off the smart phone.
Finally, Putting the Event Together
I kept it as simple as possible.
This was going to be a stressless night because our AC unit decided it was not going to cool our house last night! The less movement, the better.
We accessed Bob Ross’ painting tutorial via YouTube and played it on TV. This should be free to do. I arranged the living room sofas, dining chairs, 2 coffee tables, and 1 foldable table into a U-shape arrangement, all having a clear view of the TV.
I set the dinner food in the kitchen. I rather not have the kids eat the oil paint on their hands so they go the kitchen to wash off and ate throughout the night. *Tip: Dawn dish soap is good at removing oil paint off hands, as is 7th Generation.
- Know which art to do ahead of time. This will allow for the purchase of necessary materials. We run out of white paint. So I will definitely buy a bigger size of those for next time. At the beginning of the Bob Ross video, he includes the paint colors he will be using.
- The finished paintings will need a few days to dry, preferably flat.
- Have the TV controls on hand to pause and play the video, as needed.
- Allow for time. The video tutorial was only 30 minutes long but the teens needed 5 hours to get it done.
- Clean up the mess on the tables/floors before the paint dries with plain paper towels.
- We used paper plates to put the paints on and mix. No clean up afterwards necessary.
- Everybody’s art level is different or limited types of brushes are available to achieve the required look, so the finished products will all be different to a certain degree. My daughter used her hands at some point to spread the colors around. haha That’s what makes it fun.
- Don’t forget to have fun. It won’t be graded. It’s not to win an award. No serious business here. The point is to spend time with friends/fam and talk and laugh the night off.
I had 7 kids scheduled for the event, one was not feeling well and did not make it. Dividing the whole cost of the event, it’s $9.30 per teen. Compare this cost to the paint and sip type of establishments, which is roughly at $30/person. We had 3 uprising high school seniors in the group last night. Pretty soon, they will be busy with their college planning. I just wanted to see the kids come together more often this summer. When it comes to it, I don’t mind shouldering some of the expenses for the kids, so, keeping the cost low is prime. I just had each kid pay $5 to absorb the art supplies cost.
I checked up on them once in a while to see their progression and hear their laughter. My GSD and I are in another room watching Point of Interest on Netflix, the newest TV series I’m currently watching. My boy wanted so much to be part of the party but there were too many things to sniff and knock off tables and in such a full room so he was stuck with me. He often forgets just how big he is.
There will definitely be a next time for this, preferably outside so they can do the famous Bob Ross brush slapping on the easel deal. The kids were mimicking it with a clean unused brush, of course. We will plan for that.
Until next time.