You love coloring, and you love meeting other people who also love coloring. So you decide to have a coloring party. But how do you make sure it’s a success? Here are ten tips to get you started.
First, remember that the point is to have fun! I’m not including this as one of the ten tips, but if you won’t have fun throwing a party, don’t do it! It’s not worth the stress for an activity that is supposed to help relieve stress. But aside from that, it’s really just like having any other gathering at your house, with coloring as a bonus!
- Decide how many people you can accommodate, keeping in mind that everyone needs room to spread out a little with their drawings and pens/pencils. If part of the space is couches/chairs, you’ll want to have either lap boards or clipboards so people aren’t struggling to color on their laps. If you can set up additional folding tables for everyone, make sure there is enough space for people to move around. You don’t want people banging elbows or having to contort themselves into pretzels just to get to the bathroom!If you don’t have room in your house/apartment for this, you may be able to co-host with a friend who has more room, or schedule a room at the local library or another location. Just be aware that if you use a more public space, you won’t have as much freedom for some things like food/alcohol or being too noisy.
- Add additional lighting or change out the lamps for brighter bulbs. You don’t want people getting headaches from trying to see in a room that is too dark.
- Make sure everyone knows to bring their own drawing supplies, and suggest they have some sort of container marked with their name so they can keep track of them. If you are inviting people who haven’t colored before, consider getting some crayons, pencils and markers from a dollar store so they can try different products to see what they like.
- Similarly, they can bring their own coloring books/pages. However, part of the fun of a coloring party is trying something new, so if you can, print out some free sample pages that people can browse through and color. My coloring group on Facebook has a lot of free samples in the Photos area. When printing, make sure the publisher or author contact information is included (or write it in) so your guests can find the artist/book if they really like the style.
- While it isn’t a requirement, having door prizes can be fun. Small sets of coloring supplies, or a gift-packaged set of free coloring pages can be just as welcome as something more elaborate.If you can afford it, you can purchase a variety of coloring books when they’re on sale to use as door prizes, or if you want to spend the time, you can contact publishers and artists to see if they’ll send you free samples. [But remember the having fun part! If doing that much work will stress you out, don’t do it!]
- Another way to have “prizes” is to have an exchange. Everyone attending brings something gift wrapped that relates to coloring. Put a maximum dollar value on the gifts so all the gifts have similar value. For doing the exchange, you can do something simple like everyone picks a number and then selects gifts in the order they picked. If you want to have more fun with it, though, you can have little surprise contests during the party and the winner selects one of the gifts.For example, every half hour or hour, have everyone take a break and move around. Then announce that the person who has used the most colors in their drawing gets to pick a prize. (You could also choose the person with the least colors, or who is wearing a shirt that matches the colors in their drawing, or that can name 5 coloring book artists, or who was the first back to her table after the break. Just pick something fun each time.)
- Speaking of taking breaks, do encourage your guests to do this, even if you don’t use it as an excuse for the gift/prize exchange. It’s easy to lose track of time coloring, and taking breaks ensures that people don’t end up hurting from sitting in the same position for too long, or having hand cramps. If you want, you could have a “shake it” break where people stretch and shake out any muscles that may be getting cramped. Consider setting a gentle alarm for yourself so you remember to remind everyone it’s time for another break.
- You can also have one or more of the breaks be a “food and drink” break. People coloring will tend to avoid eating/drinking around their work, for fear of spills. Have a separate area set aside for food and drink, where people can mingle a bit before going back to their coloring. You can provide the food, or have a pot-luck type gathering.
- Consider having mood music. If you want the party to be a time for people to de-stress and relax, put on some soothing background music that encourages relaxing. Music that is used for meditaion, or to help people sleep, is good, as is classical music. If you want the party mood to be more cheerful and sociable, have background music that’s a bit more lively, but still keep it at a background level so people can talk easily.
- If you like teaching, consider starting the party off with a mini-tutorial on some coloring techniques, or see if one of your artistic friends wants to do it. (If you live near me, I do this for parties if I’m allowed to sell my book during the party.) Be aware that whoever decides to do the teaching will probably be asked to demonstrate the technique(s) more than once, as doing a demonstration in front of a large group doesn’t give the same learning experience as sitting at a table with 2 or 3 people and showing them close up. So make sure the teacher is willing to do the demonstration multiple times during the party.
Have you thrown your own coloring party? Share your own tips in the comments!