watercolor party

pssst: for all the freebies with this party, be sure to check them out, here!

Happy day, everyone! We hope you had a great weekend! We’re actually trying to recover from partay mania around here, and wanted to share a few photos with our favorite people today. Emerson actually turned the big 5 on the 16th … It blows my mind and it’s true what they say…one minute you feel as though you may lose your mind because of a screaming, severely colicky reflux nightmare baby while you try to balance life with two… then three… and the next, you’re interviewing for Kindergarten to join her big brother (who will be in the second grade next year (!!!!))… Don’t blink. It’s a wild, exhausting ride, but it’s absolutely worth every. single. moment. We’re grateful for our blessings, and trying our very best to soak it all up.

We decided to celebrate with something that’s one of my absolute faves… watercolor. Emerson loves to paint (a girl after her mommy’s own heart) and I have a bit of a love affair with color… I also firmly embrace my chance to have a little fun on the girly side of things with two boys in the mix when I get my chance… so we had a little fun running with the theme. Today, we thought we’d share a few photo ops from the weekend!


Emerson requested (her first) all girl party, so we decided to keep it simple, and invite a few of her sweet little friends for a good time. BTW, I’ll have sources and how-tos coming up this week, if you’re interested, but today just wanted to share the photos.

diy_invitationsEmerson was the art director (She is oh so opinionated on all things design. I have no idea where she gets it from) and we had fun putting together these invites.


We pulled in our table and chair set from the back porch, and it was the perfect little setting for their soiree.

diy_birthday_ideas homemade_party watercolor_cake

Y’all. I made that cake. MADE it. This is the girl who would rather use her oven for art supply storage and firmly believes in Publix. And it didn’t fall! TAFLIPPINDAAAAAAAA! (Cue small dance with top hat.) Don’t worry… I have a great tutorial on a great website coming up on that one, too. Because I SO did not make this up. I am what others may refer to as greatly lacking in the culinary arts.


Each little girl got her own spot with canvases and a watercolor set. Each little tag said “Thank you for making my party a masterpiece!” I’m sure it’s been said before, but there’s something about the inner dork in me that was totally patting myself oh so unnecessarily on the back for that one. I purchased plain white paper cups and plates and painted them quickly before the party. I may be a nerd, but it really wasn’t that much trouble. I kind of enjoyed it. Because I’m a nerd.



They had a lot of fun making their own little creations. It was so sweet watching them paint!

watercolor_painting_party painting_birthday_party

And then because it was such a mild day here in the tropics, we moved the party outside so they could run off the sugar rush in which they were about to partake.


Aren’t they just the cutest? Yes, let it be known that the cake was chocolate. (And yes it was a box mix.) You don’t get pretty and homemade with me. (Aint nobody got time for that.) I had to hand paint the cups, people! Priorities. P.S. You may notice I also don’t know how to measure out my cake so that it serves the correct number. It’s like spaghetti with me. So if you’d like a feast with 75 friends, come to my house. Because I make giant Leaning Tower of Pisa creations to feed a herd of people for no good reason other than I can’t eyeball. It’s how we roll. I’m just glad it didn’t fall off of the candlestick/glass plate thingy I hot glued together one hour before party time. (I didn’t have a cake stand. Whatever works, right?)


Stay tuned, if you’re interested, for sources/diy’s and freebies coming your way later this week. I have a few recommendations if you want to do this for your little one. I’d love to see the ‘boy version’ of this. I think it could be really fun!

Have an inspired day, everyone!

PSST! To read all about the details, click here!

watercolor_partyPSSST… for more inspiration + party ideas, be sure to visit BHG! Thanks for dropping by!



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Responses to watercolor party

  1. cassie says:

    oh it looks SO pretty!!! i love the soft colors! we just had my emerson’s party this weekend, too- it was a snow fairy party! it’s on my blog today, not as exciting as yours, but the girls had fun!

  2. Rachel says:

    I love it!! That’s the sweetest idea – a watercolor party! So cute. All of those girls are adorable. And seriously – I can’t bake to save my life. I am pretty darned impressed with your cake. And that cake stand.

  3. Denise says:

    What a lucky little girl!! Such an adorable party!!

  4. SOOO adorable! I love everything you did! What a fun idea! Can’t wait to learn more about it!

  5. Kristin says:

    Such a beautiful party!! Thank you for sharing!!

  6. Oh how I ADORE this. So beautiful and so FUN! Love.

  7. Emelyn says:

    I completely love this party! Great job with everything.. And that cake is awesome!

  8. Well, I certainly know what I’ll be doing for my daughter’s 6th birthday in September! Goodness, that is so cute! She got a big set of really nice paints and a fun apron for Christmas this year and is loving using them. And oh.my.gosh. That cake is SO beautiful! PLEASE do link to where you got that idea.

  9. Amber says:

    Wow! I absolutely LOVE this idea!! My daughter would love it. Her birthday is in November, so we always have to have an indoor party, and we usually go somewhere like ice skating or bowling. I really really love this idea though. Would be so fun to have in our home! She LOVES to paint too.

  10. Vicki says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I just loved this post!!!!Beautiful party!
    I too enjoy watercolor and love sharing it with my 3 little granddaughters.
    They call me Grandma Chocolate Cake, because they love my cake:)
    Let me know if you would like the easy all in one pan recipe, easier than a mix.
    Each summer I do GCC camp and we do art.
    Last summer we did shaving cream marbelizing.
    I’m just finishing a renovation, and when my art studio is done, the girls will be coming over for a watercolor party.
    Where did you buy the great watercolors?

  11. Lynsey Braggs says:

    This has got to be one of the cutest parties I have ever seen!!! You are so talented! So creative and unique!

  12. Beautiful! I think I’d like to have this as MY next birthday party!!! {Only with a little champagne throw in, of course!}

  13. Lacey Quebe says:

    How amazing are you?! Wow! This party is absolutely incredible! I applaud your creativity and how beautiful everything looks! I can’t wait to see the how-tos!

  14. Wow. I love everything you did. Love your whole set-up and the colors are so pretty! What an amazing party :)

  15. paige says:

    taflippindaaa. oh my word- that is hilarious!!! surely your family spends all day bent over laughing at you sister.
    im sitting here wishing i were 5 and one of emerson lilly’s sweet friends because how precious!!!!!
    way to go mama!!

  16. Dirose says:

    The most beautiful party–EVER! I love watercolor and never would think to do a theme party with that. Absolutely stunning. Thanks for the idea!!!!

  17. So ADORABLE! I love, love, LOVE it!!!!

  18. Dirose says:

    What a beautiful party idea. I would never think to use that as a theme. Stunning!
    Thank you.

  19. Baileywife says:

    AHHHH MAAAA ZZZZING!!!! You continually inspire me! Now, I wonder if my soon-to-be-this-summer 15 year old and her friends are too old for water color paints??? hahaa, I’m only half kidding here!! ~Kim

  20. I love this sweet party. I could see this working well for my boys as well. I might try something like this for my twin boys birthday!

  21. this is a great and wonderful idea-

  22. I love it. I love watercolor anyway, but I never thought of it as a theme for a party. I also love the idea of just having a couple of friends. Sometimes I think I have to invite everyone and it just gets too big. Adorable.

  23. So precious. Wow, the colors of spring and happy are just what I needed!

  24. Erin says:

    Beautiful ideas! It looks like it was a very pretty party. Great idea for painting – and the cake looks yummy!

  25. Bianca says:

    What a super cute party idea! I love all the details and that cake looks gorgeous!!! Can’t wait to read more about how it all came together :)

  26. Greer Barton says:

    Another masterpiece girl!! And the pictures are absolutely stunning as per usual!

  27. Camille says:

    Oh my goodness!! I hope you don’t mind if I do the gender neutral version this March? Love. This. So. Much.

  28. Wow, What a color, fun filled day! I would love to have a party like that for me….. and I’m 44!

  29. Tiffini says:

    ONE of the HAPPIEST birthdays I have EVER seen in the history of ever:)

  30. Allison Czarnecki says:

    The party details were so beautiful. You did an amazing job! Emerson has such a thoughtful and creative mommy. ~Allison

  31. Laura C says:

    adorable! I hope I have a girl who requests a watercolor party. Perfect!

  32. charity says:

    Just darling!!

  33. Dani says:

    What a super sweet idea, it looks absolutely gorgeous : )

  34. sabrina says:

    i can’t wait to see how you made the beautiful “5”… my MIL is turning 60 and i would love to make a sign just as pretty for her!

  35. Shauna B says:

    Love this! Especially the “5” backdrop – so fun and whimsical!

  36. elisa says:

    Awesomeness! I want to do this for my grandchildren when they come over for Valentines. Thanks for the inspiration.

  37. Lisa Frank says:

    Seriously GORGEOUS!!! Now I want to bust out the watercolors right this second. :) I’ll be pinning the heck out of this!

    Oh, I thought you should know…for the past couple days, I’ve been getting an error message that your blog is offline, both when I try to access it from Google Homepage/Reader and also just now via Pinterest. I clicked the “try again” button and it came up, but you might want to look into it if you haven’t already. :)

  38. Maria Trader says:

    I absolutely love it!

  39. Valerie says:

    Ahhhhh! Ashley, I knew there was a reason I love your blog! You are soooo a girl after my own heart! I did an art party for my little girl’s birthday too ( I used the colors of the rainbow, so a bit more gender neutral). We did stations, face painting, watercolors, a gallery wall in the garage, self-portraits, a homemade sculptures (though that part was a failure of sorts) etc. check it out if you like:


    p.s. I also totally copied your nest/egg painting and it’s hanging in my living room! you inspired me! (love the Publix reference, and for those who don’t live in the South, it’s a grocery store (where shopping is a pleasure. :))

  40. Jennifer S says:

    Everything is adorable! Fresh colors. A new idea for a party. Love it!

  41. Rachel says:

    Oh goodness – that looks so beautiful and so creative and FUN for the girls!

    Kind of makes my ovaries hurt… (our little miracle boy is 110% redneck junior… I miss these kinds of glorious girlie things!)

  42. amy jupin says:

    totally copying this amazeballs (and pretty simple) party for my eight year old in a few months.
    thanks so much for the ideas!

  43. Kim says:

    Ashley mills you are a genius and you are my idol! Hands down prettiest kids party I have seen yet! (and I too am obsessed with pinterest and have seen my share!) love this idea and will be stealing it! And it won’t be half as gorgeous as this! :)

  44. Such a cute party! I love that this theme could work for older girls as well. Adding this one to my Pinterest board! :)

  45. emily says:

    i love this very much.

    totally stealing all of the ideas.

  46. Lisa says:

    Ashley, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but this is my first comment because i think this is just so. darn. cute! My twins don’t turn 5 until June, but I’m a planner, so I’ve just started looking for inspiration. Thanks for your perfect timing…and the perfect watercolor painting party!

  47. WOW! I absolutely love this… everything about it. And, it seems to be just the right amount… sometimes it seems like people try too hard and go waaaaaay overboard! Love it… and I love your ” candlestick/glass plate thingy”… please, please, please tell me you’ll be telling us where you got the stuff and how to make it?? :o)

  48. Emily says:

    Gorgeous! I love your pennant banners and the “5” sign. Looks like Emerson and her little friends had a wonderful time! Pat yourself on the back, Mama. You deserve it! :)

  49. This was such an amazing idea! I’m a lover of watercolor so I think it’s just fabulous! I’m loving the watercolor 5!

  50. katie says:

    this is so precious!
    i love it all! the colors, the cake, the paint, the big 5!
    my 6.5 year old would LOVE this!!!

  51. Lindsay says:

    Ok, I must know every detail of this party! Where you got the canvases, how you made the banners, etc! This is precious!!!!! My 2 older daughters LOVE to paint and I’m sure my 9 month old (an Emerson also!) will love it too. My older 2 daughters have July and August birthdays so we are Lways looking for fun indoor options instead of the usual pool party. This party is too cute and super fun!!! Pretty sure ill be copying you 100%! I have no shame!!! 😉

  52. Nancy Bennett says:

    That looks like such fun!!!

  53. Marilyn says:

    I’m visiting via The Nesting Place’s weekend link to your teepee.

    Your party looks like great fun. Just wanted to share that when my kids were little (many years ago now) for their 6th birthday, my husband would make them a rainbow six layer cake–red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. He just took white cake mixes and colored each layer. I thought that would be fun to go along with a party like this.

    You have some great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  54. Miriam says:

    The party is SO SO cute! And so is your room! I’m wondering what the blue stripe wall paint color is???

  55. Julianne says:

    I just stumbled across this on Pinterest, and have found so much great eye candy and inspiration! The color blue of the buffet where the party supplies are…what color is that? I have been feeling like breaking out of the chains of beige and painting my dining room chairs that exact color!! thank you!

  56. Elizabeth says:

    I loooove this party theme! How much would you charge to layout the invite? I don’t have any layout and I’m needing to get my invites done by Friday. If I sent you the information, would you consider designing the text for me?
    Please let me know as soon as you can!
    Thank you,
    Elizabeth Mehlin

  57. illy junus says:

    awesome pictures and parties too! love the idea..

  58. Gillian says:

    This is such a fabulous party idea. I love the simplistic beauty of it. It’s one of those parties where you KNOW the kids will really have a ball and remember it for a long time. Gxx

  59. Jen says:

    Such a wonderful party! I was wondering if you sell invitations or invitations pdfs. I would love something like these for my daughter’s bday party.

  60. Anna says:

    I love this!! Wow. I just came across it on Pinterest and this is the prettiest party ever!

  61. Sandi King says:

    Love the idea. I am thinking it would be fun for an engagement party or bridal shower to do the pastels as decorations. I may even test it out with my book club friends.

  62. Susan says:

    Wonderful party!

  63. pam morgan gomez says:

    Such a refreshing idea, colorful, spirited and fun! I certainly vote for this one.
    It would be lovely for my granddaughters birthday party, I have an idea of a clear cup for each guest, filled with different colors of Kool-Aid to resemble water color. Thanks again for your inspiration.

  64. Kathy says:

    I think you have a “boys’ party” right there. Colors are just colors, and most of the boys I know wouldn’t even notice the lack of blue or whatever else is felt needed for a boys’ party. Go for it – no changes needed!

  65. This is the cutest, most terrific painting party I have ever SEEN! Ashley, you definitely deserve to pat yourself on the back. I’m always on the lookout for fresh, new ideas (even though I’m just seeing this post now) as my business is helping peeps create group canvases at parties. This is the sweetest theme yet! Watercolor—beautiful details everywhere I look. And the pedestal platter for the cake really is adorable. You even painted the stinkin’ cups!!! (The color of the cake frosting is perfect.) Wish my birthday wasn’t so far away (Dec.) because I want to throw this party for MYSELF (I’m 50-ish, well, okay–55). It would be fun to have a ‘Ladies’ Night In’ with some apps, cocktails and watercolor fun. Thanks for sharing your party!