Published On: 05/08/20211749 words8.8 min read

Having a paint party as an alfresco experience is a great way to spend some quality time with friends and family. Still, it’s summer and we’re still enjoying the lovely sunny days.

A picnic is one of my favourite things to do with my family and for me, prepping for a picnic is as fun as the picnic itself. However, having some activities during the picnic makes this happy event even more exciting.

If you’re looking for ideas for what activities you can do during a picnic, here’s one lovely for you – a paint party. A picnic paint party is a great thing to do if you want to sit on your blanket, have some nice food and drinks, and at the same time do something fun and enjoyable.

So, if you want to plan something like this, keep reading as in this blog post, I’ll give you my pro tips on how to plan the perfect picnic paint-and-sip party. And if you read the post to the end, there’s a gift for you too.

I always advise everything to start with choosing the painting design. That is why first

picture od acrylic paintings

Choose the painting

Start with the style of painting you want to paint, as this can set the whole theme of the party – food & drinks, colours of the napkins and others. For example, if you want to paint one of our bestsellers, “Juicy lemons from Sorrento”, the picnic can have an Italian influence. If you decide to paint a bit more Caribbean style, like “Pinkie pop flamingo” or “Summer paradise”, you’ll have a bit more of a tropical or Latino influence.

painting materials

Painting materials

  • Easels & Canvas

Seating on a blanket and painting needs a bit more preparation. If you have easels with telescopic legs, it’ll be perfect as everyone will be able to set the level of their easel. In this case, you can use a normal stretch canvas. However, if you don’t have easels, the best thing would be to use a canvas board. Your guests will be able to place it on the blanket or their laps.

I recommend smaller canvas sizes like A4, but you can have any sizes you wish. Don’t go bigger than A3 though because it might be difficult for people to paint holding the canvas on their laps.

  • Paints

Acrylics are the easiest medium to paint with, however, they dry relatively quickly, especially outside and if the weather’s hot. You’ll need something to mix the paint, so they don’t dry that quickly. 

The best thing is to get a bottle of slow drying medium. Your guests will need to mix just a little bit from this medium with their paints and everything will be perfect.

  • Water containers

Consider a bigger container for water to rinse the brushes. It’ll be more convenient and will last for the entire paint party. You can use either a big plastic container or kids’ sand buckets.

  • Tablecloth

Plastic tablecloths cut into small-size pieces would be a great option to protect the blankets. Measure the size you think will be appropriate and cut the tablecloths into the number of guests you’ll have.

  • Aprons

You may want to have some aprons as well. Disposable biodegradable aprons are perfect for a picnic. 

Instructions on how to paint the painting

The best way to make this more relaxed and fun is to give each guest printed instructions, so they can follow the steps and paint at their own pace.

If you like to be a bit more organised, you could do the painting before the event and learn the steps, so you can show your guests how to paint.

picnic pictures

Food & Drinks

As I mentioned at the beginning, to plan an interesting and different picnic party, you can use the painting as a starting point of your ideas for the style and food & drinks.

I’ll leave the creative part of choosing what to serve your guests; however, there are a few tips I want to give you because I think this will make the experience even better.

  • Make a separate package for each guest

It would be lovely if you could make individual packages for each guest. You can use food boxes or paper bags. I personally think the boxes are more elegant, but in some cases, the bags can be more convenient. Individual packaging is a great idea for a few reasons:

  • If you have guests with dietary requirements or food allergies. Saying that you should ask your guests in advance if they have any preferences.
  • Individual packages are a more hygienic and healthy safe option as everyone will open the food they want to have at the time they want to have it, which means not everything will be open.
  • You can personalise the packages with the name of your guests. This is a little touch that will make them feel special. Wrap the food in paper napkins or foil, and tie them with colourful cords or tin ribbons and add little tags with their names.
  • Platters

If you don’t have the time to pack individual meals or if you prefer your picnic party to be more like sharing a food experience, you can make platters with some nibbles.

You can use a big paper plate or if you want to have a more interesting presentation, you could get one or two big wooden paint palettes and use them as serving boards.

Arrange the food before the party and wrap it up in cling film. If there are any sauces or dips, you can use jars with lids.

There are cool ideas on Pinterest. Just search for “picnic food ideas” and you’ll find tons of inspiration.

  • Plan to have savoury food and desserts

It would be fantastic if you could have both options. The desserts don’t have to be anything complicated. You could even have some biscuits or chocolate, but it’s always nice to have a dessert option for your sweet-tooth guests.

  • Drinks options

People often think that a paint-and-sip party is related to alcoholic drinks only, but this is not the case at all. You can sip anything from coffee or tea to homemade lemonade or fruit-infused water.

Of course, wine and Prosecco are the classic drinks for paint-and-sip parties and they are wonderful options for a picnic. However, you can also have a craft beer or flavour-infused gin.

It’s important to think about different options as not everyone will want to drink alcohol.

When you get your drinks ready, don’t forget to also take just pure mineral water. Always keep your guests hydrated.

Serving drinks is also an important part of the picnic. You’ll need a cooler bag to keep them cold. If you have two bags, fill one with the drinks and the second one with ice if you’d like to have an option for your guests to add some ice to their drinks.

If you need to use both bags for drinks, stick the ice bags around the bottles.

Additional things you might need

  • Napkins

Napkins for the food and for the brushes. So get extra to make sure they will be enough. Make sure you get them in colours matching the theme of the party.

  • Baby wipes

Wet disinfectant napkins or baby wipes are great for picnics, especially if you’re having a paint party.

  • Picnic cutlery

Some cutlery if you have food on shared boards, sauces or dips. If all your food is prepacked you may not need cutlery. So, it depends on your menu.

  • Eco paper straws

Straws are always a good idea if you have soft drinks in bottles. They can replace the need for cups or glasses. Also, if you have cups with covers (like the takeaway Coca-Cola cups) which, in my opinion, are the best option, you will definitely need them. They are also a lovely part of the theme setting.

  • Blankets

Of course for a picnic, you’ll need baskets; however, you could ask your guests to bring their own if you know that they all have them. If not, you can buy some. Depending on the size, you might need 2-4 blankets if they fit 4 to 6 people.

Of course, the number of your guests will make this decision easy.

  • Pillows

If you can bring some pillows, it would be awesome. Pillows always make the picnic look special and cosy. Sitting on a pillow will also improve your guest’s experience.

  • Music

Pre-select appropriate songs and have them ready on your phone. I normally use Spotify but you may have other applications. For a small picnic party, like 10-15 people, you can easily use your phone to play music. Just make sure you have portable chargers for your battery to last.

  • Rubbish bags

Take 2-3 rubbish bags with you as this will make your cleaning after the picnic super easy.

  • 2* 1 ½ litre bottles of tap water

You’ll need water for the water containers, so one of the bottles will be for that, and you’ll need one bottle of water for a quick wash after the paint party. You won’t be able to clean your brushes perfectly but you can try to get the most of the paint out. Make sure you clean them as soon as you get back home as they may get damaged if the paint dries on them.

  • Plastic zip bag for the dirty brushes

After you rinse the brushes with water, put them in a zip bag, so they won’t colour something else. This also will keep them moist and will prevent paint from drying on them.

  • Box or separate bag for the paints

Make sure that your paints are separate from other things, especially the food. I recommend boxes for them just because they normally come in tubes that can be easily squashed, but if you have room for a separate bag, this works perfectly well too.

Final thoughts

Before you realise, summer will be gone.

It’s already August and there aren’t many sunny and warm days left. Don’t miss out on them – plan an alfresco party with a twist.

A picnic paint party will be something exciting and different, and all your friends and family members will love it. To help you plan everything in detail and for you to be the perfect picnic paint party host, I created a picnic paint-and-sip party checklist for you. It’s free and you can grab it HERE.

Happy planning & painting!

Lot’s of love, Mariella 💖