Paint and Sip with Friends at South Sound Painting Studios


By Jackie Fender

Blue Octopus offers public paint sessions, or book a private party.
Blue Octopus offers public paint sessions and private parties

There is nothing quite like gathering with friends to celebrate, regardless of the occasion. However, finding an inventive way to amp up the festivities when the weather does not allow for outdoor gatherings like picnics and barbecues can pose as an obstacle. And, in an era of Pinterest fails and DIY catastrophes, entertaining can be intimidating. Luckily for many, there are venues providing opportunities for a unique, well-admired memory and even some art with paint parties. Yes, paint parties. Gather a group of your friends, kids, family, or even pick some folks up on the way to carpool, and get those creative juices flowing with a paint party.

In most cases all supplies are included for a minimal fee that includes fun hands-on instruction and sometimes even wine! Even if you’re saying to yourself, “Meemaw Margie is not the artsy type,” stop right there. These parties are led by creative community enthusiasts that know how to make painting both approachable and fun. Trust me on this.

Here are a few local digs serving up paint party festivities in the South Sound:

The Blue Octopus
The Blue Octopus boasts “Tacoma’s Original Paint Party Destination,” in their Sips and Canvas events. Participants can choose the image of their choice and are provided with a 9×12 canvas and all the supplies needed to create their work of art. There are regularly scheduled parties open to the public that you can join in on for $45 per person, or book your own private party for $60 per seat. For an additional $10 banquet license fee you can BYOB and enjoy light refreshments and snacks during the festivities. Simply contact Blue Octopus to coordinate an available day and time slot. Private paint parties can hosts groups of 25 or less.

The Blue Octopus
5013 North Pearl
Tacoma, WA 98407

Wednesday – Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday: noon – 5:00 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays.

Creativity and wine are both on the menu at Uncorked Canvas.
Creativity and wine are both on the menu at Uncorked Canvas.

Uncorked Canvas
Uncorked Canvas is a paint and sip studio located in Tacoma’s Theater District. The name says it all: Uncorked, like wine bottles, canvas for in which to paint on. There are arranged images set throughout the month that you and your friends can sign-up to paint for $30-$40 a person, or you can book your own private session. Instructors are on hand to help walk you through process as you create your version of the same image. A variety of art styles are available, including everything from the abstract to landscapes, or you can even show your Seahawks pride with a selection of Hawk logo images in the queue. Uncorked can even host paint parties for the kids! A minimum fee of $275 for 14 kids or $300 for 10 adults is required to book your paint party. Fees include a 16×20 canvas, instruction and all the supplies. Or, you can even ask the Uncorked crew to come to you and host a paint party at your own venue.

Uncorked Canvas
711 Saint Helens Ave #202
Tacoma, WA 98402

Click here for a list of Uncorked Canvas’ class times.

Renton-based Arts-n-Carafes takes paint parties mobile visiting wine bars and establishments from Renton to Tacoma, hosting paint and wine parties at venues like The Swiss in Tacoma, Windmill Bistro in Sumner, and other popular locations across the region. The fee to paint is $35 and includes all art supplies. And, no need to acquire a banquet license or BYOB because restaurants are hosting the festivities. Check to find out where they’ll be next.

Various locations across the South Sound

For a schedule of where Arts-n-Carafes will be next, click here.

Want to paint on something other than canvas? Paint pottery at Tacoma's Throwing Mud Gallery.
Want to paint on something other than canvas? Paint pottery at Tacoma’s Throwing Mud Gallery.

Throwing Mud Gallery
Maybe painting canvas isn’t your thing, maybe the idea of a pure white blank canvas is daunting. That’s okay. Let’s paint pottery instead. Throwing Mud Gallery has been an Old Town staple for several years now hosting instructional pottery courses and serving as a gallery and retail space for beautiful pottery pieces for all budgets. Recently they underwent an expansion and now they also host paint parties. Blank cups, plates and knick knacks line the shelves ready to be personalized and beautified by folks of all ages. Fees depend on the piece of pottery being embellished.

Throwing Mud Gallery
2212 North 30th Street
Tacoma, WA 98403

Monday: noon – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays.

Tacoma's Nearsighted Narwhal provides a unique opportunity for guests to create a piece of artwork on a vinyl record.
Tacoma’s Nearsighted Narwhal provides a unique opportunity for guests to create a piece of artwork on a vinyl record.

Nearsighted Narwhal
This quirky little zine, art and book retail spot is also known for their reading events and being a creative hub in general. They also host record art parties where you can paint, draw, collage and more on a vinyl record. This may be an exciting, artsy journey for kids who have no idea what an album came on before the days of iTunes. A party (up to 10 people) fee of $125 includes instructions to get the ball rolling, a blank record for each participant, and unlimited art supplies to create your circular masterpiece plus a designated section in the neat little joint.

Nearsighted Narwhal
2610 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406

Contact Nearsighted Narwhal by visiting their website here, or call to schedule a painting party.

Go forth and get creative during your next friend or family gathering. Paint parties beat the heck out of pin the tail on the donkey any day, and no piñata accidents are likely to occur.