Art Gallery Birthday Party

A few months ago, my brother sent me a text with this picture. He was having his first art gallery showing in New Orleans and wanted us to get the chance to see what it looked like. I couldn’t wait to show Ethan because it has always been a dream of his to be an artist.

My son’s reaction to the picture was “I wish I could have an art gallery showing…”

It was with that one statement that the vision for his tenth birthday party was created. An Art Gallery Birthday Party was on our party agenda for this year and I started gathering ideas and materials to make this gallery showing special for him.

Today I wanted to show you how we pulled off his own Art Gallery Birthday party. This idea is the perfect party for a budding artist and gives them a chance to show off their work to a captive audience. It also happens to be a very inexpensive theme and gives your child a chance to be creative since they have the opportunity to help in the creating of the party itself.

Once our art gallery theme was decided, Ethan started gathering and working on pieces he would like to debut in his art gallery. I got inexpensive cotton twine and purchased mini clothespins to create the display for his art work. He worked on pieces for the gallery all summer long and then he selected the ones that he wanted to hang for the gallery showing.

I hung three balloons upside down over our kitchen table and placed a penny inside each one to help hold it down and steady over our table. I found that handy tip on Pinterest and it worked like a charm for creating a pretty display over our table.

Over our gallery display, I spray painted large paper mache letters to spell his name. I found them at JoAnn Fabric, on sale, for $1.99 each and then spray painted them in a coat of Krylon Metallic Matte Aluminum Colored Spray Paint (found at Walmart) to finish them.

I mounted the letters over our patio window with a little painter’s tape on the back to hold them into place. The same painter’s tape held our gallery display in place on each side of the window.

For the kitchen table, Ethan created a, “Welcome to a 100% Pure Epic Art Gallery,” sign and then we created these paint drip jars to add jars of flowers to our main table and the food table. The kids loved making these and they added a fun addition to our art theme.

Gallery showings always have fun appetizers and drinks so we wanted to create bite sized food to go along with his epic art theme. I served pulled pork sliders on little Hawaiian rolls, mac & cheese bites (recipe below), spinach balls, sides of potato chips in small coffee filters, and rounded out our menu with a little birthday punch, cheese ball, and a veggie tray.

I made all of the food the day before and had everything in my fridge ready to go for our party day. We had other engagements happening that day so that helped save a lot of time for me on the actual day.

No birthday party is complete without a great birthday cake. My friend, Nancy, made this cute birthday cake banner for us and I mounted it with two skewers I had in my grilling supplies. If you missed the recipe yesterday, this is a Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Almond Frosting. It was a delightful way to end an evening of delicious small bites.

Ethan told me that this was his best birthday party yet, which makes me so happy to hear! We loved giving him the chance to shine and show off his talent to his party guests.  This Art Gallery Party was a great way to kick off his big year of double digits!

Happy 10th Birthday, Ethan!

Mac & Cheese Bites
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
  • 12 oz. elbow macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups butter cracker crumbs (such as Ritz)
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 (5.2 oz.) package Boursin garlic herb cheese
  • 2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until just shy of al dente.
  4. Drain well.
  5. Meanwhile, lightly grease standard size muffin pans with cooking spray.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, ½ cup of the shredded cheese, and melted butter and mix with a fork until combined.
  7. Spoon a bit of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin well and tamp down with the flat bottom of a glass or other.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large mixing bowl with the remaining shredded cheese, the boursin and cold butter.
  9. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the eggs, milk, and sour cream and whisk to combine. Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the pasta.
  10. Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes and mix until evenly combined.
  11. Divide the macaroni mixture between the prepared muffin wells.
  12. Bake until light golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the muffin pans at least 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove from the pan and serve warm.
  13. TO MAKE AHEAD: Follow the directions above, but do not bake the macaroni bites. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. Bake as instructed.

Recipe Source:  The Deen Bros. on Epicurious via Annie’s Eats.

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Published July 10, 2012 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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