Host A Halloween Craft Party – Paint and Glitter Gourds

by Niambi Cacchioli

When we have a party at our house, our friends know their kids are always on the guest list too. We like to keep the children engaged, and having a craft activity has become a staple for all my gatherings. In fact, it’s such a good way to take the stress out of hosting, I’ve turned it into a business.

Halloween is all about make-believe. What better way to celebrate than by making something that’s unique and unusual?  As a busy mother of two young boys, a small business owner, and chronic procrastinator, fun time in my house has to be simple. Inspired by The Crop Shop’s Erica Jones who teaches how to make exquisite decoupage pumpkins, I decided to have a gourd decorating party with my family and friends.

Here’s how I did it:

Gather or purchase these supplies

  • Gourds in varying sizes (available at the farmer’s market or grocery)
  • Acrylic paint or washable children’s paint
  • A mix of paint brushes and sponge brushes (available at the local hardware store)
  • Adhesive spray (find at large grocery stores)
  • Glitter, preferably in a shaker
  • Masking tape
  • Stickers

Painted Gourds

  1. Cover a table with newspaper or a disposable table cloth.
  2. Write each child’s name on the bottom of their gourd.
  3. Lay out an assortment of paint brushes, sponge brushes, and mini paint rollers. Wider brushes or sponge brushes are easier for small children to use.
  4. Pour several colors of paint onto each child’s plate. When possible, allow children to choose their colors and help squirt the paint.
  5. Also try stamping paint on the gourd with foam shapes, pencil erasers, bottle tops, etc.
  6. Let dry.

Remember to let the kids get creative! Young children may prefer to finger paint or – like my boys – spend more time swirling the paint on the plate. Especially for young children, the experience is more important than the final result. Plus, messy crafting makes great seasonal photos.

Glitter Gourds

Glitter gourds are super easy with a 1-2-3 step process for making. Use adhesive spray for a practically mess-free project. Just be sure to cover your work surface and floor to avoid leaving behind a thin residue. Children cannot resist glitter sparkles, so keep these supplies out of small children’s reach until you are ready to have a supervised glitter session.

1.  Spray the gourd with a light coat of adhesive spray

2.  Sprinkle on the glitter

3.  Let dry.

Patterned Gourds

1.  Take a plain gourd and create a pattern with tape. Children can use stickers instead of tape.

2.  Smooth down the tape edges.

3.  Apply paint/glitter as explained above.

4.  Once dry, gently peel off the tape.

For your gourd decorating party, have enough supplies for parents to join in too. Offer guests a mix of materials. If you don’t have a lot of time or resources for party prep, go “potluck” with the supplies. Suggest what to bring on the invitations you send. The potluck approach creates an inclusive atmosphere that allows parents to engage and help out too. If you have a favorite material (mine is obviously glitter!) then add that to your own personal shopping list.

After the gourds have dried, arrange them into a cluster as a table centerpiece or gather them in a basket, bowl, or wide glass vase. They will be a stylish reminder of a fun and relaxing gathering with friends and their kids!

Niambi Cacchioli is the founder of Storyboard Bath & Body, LLC and mom of 2 boys. While completing her doctorate in London, she also worked as a web editor for cultural nonprofits in London and Paris. In 2008, she returned to the US to teach at Rutgers-Newark. After the birth of her second child, Niambi decided to prioritize joy, balance and work flexibility. Storyboard is her first business and is gaining a reputation around town for its imaginative take on handmade bath indulgences. She also hosts a monthly DIY Spa workshop at Hoboken Women’s Wellness. Niambi delights in applying her background as a sociologist to make these public crafting socials into spaces for women to create together, share their experiences and find support.

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