Wondering how to host a wine and painting party if you’re not a professional artist? Don’t worry, you don’t even need to have painting experience to pull off the perfect paint and sip night. I’ll show you how.
After running out of new Netflix movies to watch, my husband and I started doing paint nights during the pandemic. It was a fun way to express our creativity (and keep our sanity!).
Now that social distancing is less of a thing, painting parties are a great way to spend time with our favorite people. It’s fun for any skill level. Plus, who doesn’t have a good time when there’s a little wine involved?
Read on for all the details you need to plan your next party that’s sure to be a masterpiece!
BTW, if you haven’t yet, make sure to grab my free Wine Tasting Planner. It has 20+ wine night theme ideas, including the exact ones I’ve used for my wine tastings. Plus, a timeline, food pairings, games, free printables, worksheets, and more. Get your copy here.
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First things first, you’ll want to decide on what type of event you’re having.
Is it a girls (or guys!) night? Family fun night? Or a date night with just the two of you?
Keep in mind the space you have. Your dining room table that seats 10 adults and 2 children at Thanksgiving (with a little squeezing) may only hold half that once you set up all the painting supplies.
I find it’s best to keep paint parties to 6-8 people or less so there’s enough elbow room and everyone can see the tutorial.
Pin for Later!
Once you’ve figured out your guest list, it’s all about choosing the right place for your event.
I recommend having it in the comfort of your own home. This way you don’t have to worry about driving after all that painting and Pinot Noir. Just make sure there’s a spot with good lighting and enough table space to spread out.
If it’s a special occasion or a work team-building event and you need a larger venue, you could check with your favorite restaurant to see if they have a room for private events.
For something like a date night, there’s no need for formal invitations (but if you really want to, you can do what I did and send your significant other an “official invite” via text from the next room).
If you’re having a larger paint and sip party, you can get creative with an evite, Facebook event, or even snail-mail invitations.
Etsy has some great options for ones you can download and customize yourself. I like this wine-themed one. Or this colorful artsy one. And this one is great for birthday parties.
Supplies for a Wine and Painting Party
Next, you’ll want to get art supplies.
If you’re wondering about painting party costs, it can get a little pricey for a larger group. One way to make it more affordable is to have your guests purchase their own kits to bring with them.
Here are a few options that can be ordered individually through Etsy:
Or this set on Amazon would be great for a group of six.
If you’d rather get individual painting supplies, here’s a list of what you need:
- Acrylic paint – it’s easy to blend, dries fast, and washes off your hands; you mainly just need a set with primary colors
- Paint brushes – at a minimum you’ll want three paint brush sizes – a large one for painting big areas, a medium one for creating shapes, and a small pointy one for the fine details
- Canvas panels – I like the 16×20 size, but you can scale down if you have less space
- Easels – the small tabletop kind work best; make sure they will fit your canvas size, otherwise they’ll poke through your canvas painting or fall over
- Aprons or clothes you don’t mind getting dirty – you can encourage guests to bring their own or buy a set
- Drop cloth and/or table covers – make sure to cover areas you want protected; canvas works well but you can also get plastic ones
- Water cups – Solo cups work great
- Paper plates – to use as painting palettes
- Paper towels – for cleaning up spills but also have a few at each station so you can wipe off excess water or paint from brushes
- Hair dryer – a good trick for speeding up the drying process between layers
Choosing a Painting
Now for the fun part! Decide on which painting you’ll turn into your own masterpiece.
YouTube has lots of options for video tutorials with step-by-step instructions that are perfect for sip parties. If you have a TV in the room where you’ll be painting, you can stream it from there. Or set up a large computer monitor in the space.
When choosing a painting, you’ll want to consider your guests’ skill level. Are they first-timers? If so, it’s a good idea to go with something simple that has a basic color scheme. On the other hand, if your crew has some Mona Lisas under their belt, then you can go for a more elaborate painting.
Plan on about 2 hours of painting time or more depending on the tutorial length.
Here are some options for beginner and intermediate tutorials:
How to Select Wine for Your Sip and Paint Party
While a paint and sip party may not be the best event for serious swirling and sniffing (hello paint fumes), you can still enjoy some good vino between brush strokes. Just be careful not to mix up your wine glass with your paint water cup!
On a side note, if you do want to throw a wine-tasting party, make sure to grab my free Wine Tasting Planner. It has 20+ wine night theme ideas, including the exact ones I’ve used for my wine tastings. Plus, a timeline, food pairings, games, free printables, worksheets, and more. Get your copy here.
For any wine party, a good rule of thumb is to have enough wine to cover one glass per person per hour. Make sure to chill your wines to the proper temperature. Yes, even the red ones! And open and decant any heavy-tannin ones an hour or two in advance if you can.
Serving a welcome glass of sparkling wine is a fun way to start the event. Then go from lightest to heaviest (i.e., white, rosé, red). Or you can let guests choose their beverage preference.
Here are some different ways you can incorporate wine into your gathering.
Match Your Painting Theme
Working on a Parisian scene? Explore wines from French regions like Bordeaux, Provence, or Champagne.
Painting a California beach seascape? Snag some bottles from Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and Sonoma wineries.
Or how about an Italian countryside landscape? Go for Tuscany, Piedmont, and Puglia.
It’s the perfect way to expand your taste palate while blending your paint palette.
If you’re hosting a summer soiree, sip on some chilled rosé. Or get cozy in the winter with some mulled wine.
Fall is a fun time for full-bodied whites like Viognier or fruity reds like Gamay.
Celebrate spring’s new growth with herbaceous wines like Gruner Veltliner and Cabernet Franc.
Do a Blind Tasting
Have guests bring a favorite bottle concealed in a bag. If you want, you can choose a specific type of grape, like Syrah, Riesling, or Tempranillo.
After sampling all the wines, vote on the best one. Then give a prize to the person who brought the bottle.
And don’t forget the prizes for the paintings! It’s not just about who can paint like Bob Ross. Make it a fun experience with awards for the most creative, best use of color, and fastest painter.
What Food to Serve at Your Wine and Painting Party
Finger food is easy to snack on while painting and sipping. Something like these antipasto skewers would be perfect to munch on since they’re on a stick. Or these appetizer ideas with Cambozola cheese.
Make it convenient for guests (and avoid spills) by assembling individual snack packs. Or set the food up in a separate room and let guests fix a plate to bring back to their painting station.
You’ll also want to think about what will pair well with the wines. Going with a specific country? What grows together goes together. So, serve local foods from the wine regions you’re exploring.
For a seasonal shindig, think about the weight of the food. You don’t want your cuisine to overpower the wine so keep it light in the summer and go heavier for winter wines.
For a blind tasting, you could do an appetizer potluck and have guests bring a dish that goes with their favorite wine.
If all else fails, here are some staples that always go great with wine:
- Cheese – a mix of soft and hard
- Cured meats – think salami, prosciutto, and coppa
- French bread
- Nuts – Marcona almonds are my favorite
- Fruit – fresh and dried work well
- Spreads – e.g., honey, jam, pepper jelly
Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a great time. Just set the mood with some music, pop some bottles, and get down to painting.
And don’t forget to share your masterpieces on social media!
What wine will you be having at your sip and paint night?
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