Paint Ceramics
by Dave

Couple painting ceramics on their creative date
It's time to dust off your creative side and make something special for your date. That's right, actually make it with your own two hands and a little imagination. There are these little ceramics shops all over the country where you can pick a blank bowl, plate, or mug and spend a few hours together painting them exactly how you want. Ok, right now I know the girls are thinking "Oh, that sounds fun!" and the guys are wondering why I'm ruining their night, but it's a lot better than you think guys. Not only is the painting part more fun than it sounds, but you'll enjoy having a special mug or cereal bowl as a daily reminder of the girl who made it for you. I speak from experience here; an ex-girlfriend made a monkey-shaped soap dish for me some years ago and even though we're not together I still enjoy seeing that thing. It's just nice to know that a person cared enough to make something unique for you. Plus, if the relationship doesn't go well you might feel a lot better smashing it to bits! So it's a win-win really.

Couples can either sit down ahead of time and figure out what they want to paint or wing it when they get there. I think it's fun to just kick ideas around on the ride over and then see if anything from the shop's book of ideas or stencils jumps out, but go with your style. A word of caution: bring samples when painting things like a cartoon character or superheroes, regardless of how many times you've seen them. Upon arrival you'll head over to the wall of unpainted stuff – things like bowls, mugs, plates, vases, teapots, tiles, pet bowls, etc. Pick one or two and then get all the rest of the supplies from the front counter. You can either paint freestyle or sketch out a design in pencil first and then paint over it. Penciling is an easy way to get started and the markings will burn off in the kiln. Painting generally takes about an hour or two, and most shops will let you bring wine or other spirits to enjoy while you're painting. The shop will glaze, fire, and have your creations ready for pickup within 5-7 days.

Here are some ideas for themes or objects to paint:

  • Does your date have an item that defines them like a surfboard, football, or motorcycle?
  • How about a favorite cartoon character, superhero or other popular figure?
  • Maybe a favorite animal or pet?
  • Think about visualizing their best personality traits like a picture of a person (or people) laughing and the text "You always make me laugh"
  • Is there an object or place that has significance to your relationship such as the place you met, a moonlit walk, or the ice cream you were eating when you first kissed?
  • "Have a great day!" on a coffee mug or cereal bowl is a good way to start the day, or maybe a favorite poem or song lyrics, or a simple "I Love You!"
  • Something describing what the item is used for. Think Cap'n Crunch on a cereal bowl, coffee beans or tea leaves on a mug, etc.
  • Pick an animal, object, or scene and then both paint your own interpretations of it.
  • Seasonal themes are always nice like spring, fall, summer, winter, Halloween, Christmas, etc
  • Still having problems? Ask them what they like!

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Ranges from $3 - $60
$15 - $20 for items like mugs and bowls

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