How to Host a Paint War Party

My family will jump at any opportunity to throw a party, especially one where we can get a tad messy, ok A LOT messy. For example, growing up we LOVED the movie, Hook {I mean obviously...} and being the creative woman that she is, my mom thought it would be awesome to throw my brother a Hook themed birthday party. We had kids dressed up as lost boys, fairies, pirates, etc. "Captain Hook" came and we fought him off for his map and marched around town looking for a special birthday treasure. She made a cake THREE cakes and put them together to look like a crocodile and placed dry ice around him to look like he was swimming. {Can you see where I get my drive for being creative?} Then, the cherry on top was the big food fight we had. If you aren't familiar with the movie, the lost boys have a game to help Peter remember who he is. This game turns into the most epic food fights you've ever seen. Of course this was always one of our favorite scenes. My mom slaved alway all day making pounds and pounds of colorful mashed potatoes. She placed them on a giant table outside and let us kids go nuts. That will always be one of my all time favorite memories.

Let's just say we never outgrew it. A few years ago, when the Hunger Games came out, of course we couldn't resist the opportunity to have another fun family affair. So without further ado...

How to Host a Paint War Party...

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Step one- GET PAINT. I got Tempura Paint (WASHABLE!) bottles here. I got several bottles in different colors when they were on sale. I think a good rule of thumb is that you double the bottles per how many guests will be attending. We had approximately 11 people participating so I got 22 bottles. Seems like a lot, but I wasn't going to skimp out on a good mess. I even watered down the paint so we had even more. Step two- GET WEAPONS OF CHOICE. Since this was a Hunger Games party, I wanted to mimic the cornucopia from the story and have an assortment of 'weapons'. I got spray bottles, water balloons, sponges, squirt guns, paint brushes, etc. I even had buckets of paint as well and those actually turned out to be everyones favorite since it caused the most 'damage'. The water balloons looked awesome, but in reality were a pain in the rear to prepare and didn't usually pop on your opponent, but on the ground instead. Since then, I've seen pumps you can buy to fill water balloons that'd I'd image you can use with paint just as easily, but in my opinion, skip the balloons. Not worth your time or sanity! PicMonkey Collage Step three- SEND INVITES. This can obviously be done at any time, but make sure you give your guests enough time to RSVP and get time off, etc. Just make sure to mention that your guests a} wear white b} bring extra clothes c} something to sit on in their car, {ie. a tarp.} If you have people that want to come, but not get dirty, have them come as spectators {aka The Capital.} They will have a blast watching and can take photos from the sidelines. Step four- SECURE LOCATION. You may be a bit concerned where you will host your paint war party being as messy as it is. We actually just had a big field across the street from our house that was perfect. Plenty of space the paint didn't get on anything but grass and tree's then the first rain washed everything away. We even brought a hose to hose everyone and everything down afterwards. If you aren't as lucky to have a field across the street at your disposal, I'd suggest looking into nearby parks with soccer or football fields that are available to use. I'd also suggest reserving it through your Parks and Rec department so you dont show up the day of to a team of toddlers taking up your space. Also ask what their policy about paint is. Make sure to mention it's washable and wont kill the grass. If you do it in your backyard, have your hose handy to hose everything down so nothing stains. {The washable paint should wash away pretty easily.} Paint War Party Step five-{optional} HIRE PHOTOGRAPHER. Our good friend, Sarah, knows of our shenanigans ever since we got married. She's been such a trooper to put up with our crazy ideas and capture them in a way that we just adore. Your photographer will get dirty and be running around as well so make sure he/she knows exactly what they are getting into as they have expensive equipment. I told her what we were hoping to do and she was immediately on board. A trooper I tell ya! Utah friends, be sure to check Sarah out! We cannot recommend her enough. Step six- {optional} PLAN MENU. This is optional too, although running for your life will work up quite an appetite. So we did a potluck lunch immediately afterwards. I kept it really simple and had pizza and cupcakes. Step seven-{optional} WEAR WHITE. It's obvious that you don't HAVE to wear white, but we found out afterwards that all the crazy colors really pop against the white clothing. Make sure your clothes are not special or sentimental in anyway as you most likely will just be tossing them in the trash later, even if your paint is 'washable' your clothes will never really look the same again. We took a trip to our local thrift shop and found some cheap clothes that worked great. Paint War Party Step eight- GAME TIME! Finally! The time as come for your epic paint war party. Once everyone arrived I explained the rules. {Basically try not to hit each other in the face.} We had everyone line up away from the cornucopia, where all the weapons were, then had a member of the 'Capital' countdown from 10 and then it was a free for all. We took off and the paint started flying. All in all, it lasted maybe only 7 minutes but every second was an absolute blast! After all the paint was gone, we just laughed and chatted and took photos for awhile. Then we ate and started to clean up since we had tickets to see the movie afterwards. Paint War PartyPaint War Party Paint War PartyPaint War Party Paint War Party Paint War Party Paint War Party Paint War Party Step nine- CLEAN UP. As I mentioned before, we brought a hose to hose down the paint {make sure there's a hook-up beforehand} but since it was just on the grass, we just let the first rain {or next lawn mow} to take care of it. This is a complete judgement call on your part. If you are at a public park where others maybe walking across the lawn, leaving the paint may be an issue. Plan ahead of time what you will need to do to clean up the location. Since we lived across the street, we all took turns changing in the garage. Some family opted to drive to their own home {sitting on their tarp} and clean up on their own. And again, although the paint is 'washable' you may have some colored skin for a little while. I promise it will go away but it may be best not to do this before church or a wedding or something else where it'd be a bit awkward to explain why your face has a blue hue. ;)

So that's it! I will definitely need to find another opportunity to throw a paint war party like this again since it was such a hoot. Also, did you notice my baby bump? This was when I was pregnant with Poppy at the time and asked Sarah to take some maternity photos while we were at it. I think it's pretty cute, dont you? ;)

Good luck, have fun and....

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"

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