When the weather turns cold and blustery and it’s time to head inside, the days can get long and monotonous, especially with little ones underfoot. It’s during these times when all the toys have been played with, all the puzzles solved, the games played out, the books read, and the screen time used up, that an art project sounds appealing.

This sounds like a good idea except that art projects with my boys in my home always go horribly awry and end with me completely harried, frazzle with paint smeared, spattered, swirled and dripped everywhere. It’s at that point that I recall the last wayward art project and my promise to never do art in my home again.

It’s not that I have anything against arts and crafts and the creative process. In fact, I think they are grand, but I do think this is something best tackled in a studio set up and ready for my creative crew. And, thankfully, there are a number of artistic and inspired “paint your own” choices throughout the Twin Cities.

The kids love choosing a piece to paint, picking the colors and going at it. The pieces always come out beautiful and totally unique. We have created one-of-a-kind art to give as special gifts for grandparents, godparents, teachers and friends. The kids are so proud of what they have designed and love to give these gifts.

The only possible negative about these studios is generally the price. The pieces can get expensive; so, be sure to check the prices of the items before letting your kids loose in the shop to choose their masterpiece. I usually give my boys options and point out various smaller pieces that are good choices for them. Also, if you plan to use these painted treasures as gifts make sure to plan ahead. It may be several weeks before the pottery items are ready for pick up. I learned this one the hard way.
Find a paint-your-own-shop that best fits your needs and your kids’ creative inclinations:

(credit: Thinkstock)

Kiln Kreations

10150 Hudson Rd #114,
Woodbury, MN
Phone: (651) 998-0862
Sunday – Monday, Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $1 – $58 plus, depending on the type and size of project you choose

There’s a lot to choose from here: paint your own ceramics, glass fusing, clay handbuilding, mosaics and silver jewelry making. Kiln Kreations is sure to bring out the creative side of you and your kids. Drop in anytime for ceramics, mosaics and glass fusing fun or schedule a part or class for clay and jewelry making activities. Kiln Kreations encourages people of all ages to come and use their imaginations while creating one-of-a-kind pieces.

(credit: Simply Jane)

Simply Jane

5411 Nicollet Ave. S,
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Phone: 612-354-3961
Check calendar on the website for the schedule for each day of the week
Cost: $5 to $10 Studio Fee per family or group activity fee, plus the cost of the item you choose to paint

At Simply Jane you can choose items ranging from stickers to canvases to wooden pieces to tote bags and more to paint and design in your own unique style. Drop in any time to paint or choose from a special group time. On Thursday mornings First Brush (for toddlers through 5 years old) introduces little ones to painting with large handle brushes, lots of colorful paint and fun designs. Another option is to bring the whole gang for a family date night and work on a larger project together. A newer group activity is Paint the Greats for adults on Friday evenings. Painters will create their own versions of well-known masterpieces on a 12″ x 16″ canvas. Participants are encouraged to bring a bottle of wine and have a laid back, fun evening of painting. For these and other group classes, activities and parties, check the calendar and call to reserve a spot, otherwise, come when inspiration strikes.

(credit: Color Me Mine)

Color Me Mine

3324 Promenade Ave.
Suite 100
Eagan, MN 55121
Phone: 651-454-4099
Monday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Cost : $6 Studio Fee for kids 12 and under; $10 Studio Fee for Adults, plus the fee for the piece you choose, starting at $2 and going up from there

Everyone will have a blast choosing a ceramic piece to paint and letting the creative juices flow. You can certainly just drop by to paint, but be sure to check the calendar for the daily specials and monthly events. There are also special activities for kids and families. Beginning on Friday, September 9th, Color Me Mine will have Kids Night Out; 2 hours of painting, a snack and a movie for $20 per child, ages 7 and up while the parents get some time to themselves. If you don’t want to leave your child, the whole family can stay and paint, have a snack and watch the movie together. Color Me Mine also offers classes for homeschoolers ages 5 – 12 and Girl Scout Troops. You can schedule a birthday party there or have it to go and paint at home; a really cool option.

(credit: Manic Ceramic)

Manic Ceramic

17685 Kenwood Trail
Lakeville, MN 55044
Phone: 952.898.6978
Hours vary; check schedule on website
Cost: Varies, depending on the piece you choose to paint

Once you choose a piece from the collection of over 100 ceramic items, you can stimulate your imagination with a selection of stamps, stencils, sponges, brush, ideas and samples to help find your creative vibe. This is a great spot for a child’s birthday party or other group activity. Drop in and get creative.

(credit: Grey Fox Pottery)

Grey Fox Pottery

1157 Grey Fox Rd.
Arden Hills, MN
Phone: 651.765. 2651
Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Varies, depending on the cost of piece you choose to paint

There is no studio fee here. Simply pay for the piece you choose and use their materials for free and receive basic instruction too. Their space is available for parties or just drop in and paint when you feel like it.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Paint Your Plate

5027 France Ave. S
Edina, MN
There is no website
Hours vary, please call for schedule; 612-929-6666
Cost: Varies, depending on the cost of the piece you choose to paint

There’s a huge selection of pieces to choose from, tons of bright colors and every size brush imaginable. You can paint to your heart’s desire and leave the mess there. There is no studio fee here either, which helps to cut down on the cost of this fun, creative and sometimes pricey activity. Just like the other options, Paint Your Plate does offer birthday party options.

If Paint your own pottery isn’t your thing, no worries! Here is our guide to great indoor activities for your family!

Anna Berend is an attorney and the author of Motherly Law Blog. On Motherly Law, Anna writes about legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources that pertain to those legal topics. On occasion, inspiration strikes and Anna writes about something totally unrelated to the law. You can find Anna at motherlylaw.com, on Facebook at Motherly Law and on Twitter @MotherlyLaw.