Funky Frugal: Holiday gatherings

by Tanner Cangelosi

There is not much I love more than a sweet holiday gathering. I wanted to offer an out-of-the-box idea on a way to host a small to large gathering.

We recently hosted almost 60 women at New Life Church in Hot Springs for a ladies’ paint night. This was a low-budget but high-impact event.


You can find an artistic friend or maybe even hire a local art student to teach a simple painting. This could be done on many levels — for couples, your book club or an office Christmas party. Good food and laughter are something we all need more of in our lives.

First, we began with making invitations in about five minutes with an iPhone app called Rhonna Designs. This app is amazing. It is so easy to use and makes almost anything you create look so professional.

After I emailed the image to a printer, they produced a few copies at around 20 cents per invitation. For this, you try to put four or more on a page and then have them cut. Or better yet, just print them yourself!

The main money savers were having our guests provide their own canvas and make their favorite appetizer. They can purchase a 16-by-20 canvas at Hobby Lobby or Michaels with the online coupon for about $4. The women were happy to do this, and it saved us hundreds of dollars. It was also such a delight to brag on each woman’s appetizer and desserts. We ate well. Praise the Lord.

Then, we purchased some plastic table cloths, paper towels, cups and plates (for water and paint) at Dollar Tree. By the way, I love Dollar Tree; it just makes me happy.

What cost the most money were the paints and brushes. You could either order them online in bulk or wait for them to go on sale at Hobby Lobby.

You’ll need acrylic paint and whatever bulk brushes you can find. Just make sure you have varying sizes of brushes. The large (and cheap) sponge brushes are very helpful for a base coat.

Google simple painting images if you don’t already have an idea in your mind. Give that image to the person who will teach your grand affair, so they can make their step by step process. Having a hairdryer on hand to speed up the process is a nice touch as well.

Finally, the night of your event, just set up an hour before with your table clothes, cups of water, paint station, food table and varying brushes at each spot. Be sure to have some fun music playing in the background to set the atmosphere.

Then greet your guests with confidence that they will enjoy an amazing night of food, painting and great conversation. You will be the hostess with the most-est.