Pinterest craft parties are all the rage, not only with small groups in private homes but with large groups in public places.
Nearly 50 women gathered on the second floor of the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville recently to make wall hangings based on artist Robert Indiana’s iconic “LOVE” image.
They painted and glued, talked and laughed, sipped wine and munched on appetizers.
“It’s just a fun night out away from our kids,” said Sara Colvin, 39, of Glen Carbon. “It’s just a girly thing to do, and it’s productive.”
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Sara put Mickey Mouse ears on the “O” and ship windows on the “V” of her canvas.
“We’re going on a Disney cruise for my son’s fifth birthday, and when we get home, I’m going to hang some cruise photos with ribbon at the bottom of it,” she said.
Sara has shown up for several Pinterest parties sponsored by Edwardsville Parks and Recreation, along with her mother, Vicki Stroud, and friend, Rachel Clothier. They’ve made everything from wreaths to hoop art.
“It’s nice to take something home,” said Rachel, 30, of Wood River.
Pinterest is a website that allows people to find, collect and share images related to their interests, including crafts.
The Wildey parties originated with Barbara Tingley, 31, of Edwardsville.
“I’m an art teacher, so I’m always crafting and making things on my own,” she said. “I noticed among my friends that we all seemed to be pinning the same things, but nobody was making them, and I think it was because they were intimidated.”
Tingley offered to buy materials and lead craft-making at Pinterest parties in friends’ homes. One of the women was Hayley Verheyen, 29, of Edwardsville, the city’s assistant recreation coordinator.
“I was like, ‘I think we could definitely do this as a parks program, and we have the Wildey Theatre now,’” she said. “We started it last January, and we’ve been pretty much selling out ever since.”
People pay $20 or $25, which includes supplies and materials. They bring appetizers to share. Wine and beer are available for purchase.
Brenda Malson and her friend Camey Tinnon came to the party in January, but they chose to drink water, instead of booze.
“I probably couldn’t be drawing like this if I had anything more than water,” said Brenda, 43, of South Roxana, a pharmaceutical technician.
Many women used stencils to paint LOVE on their canvases, while others cut letters out of scrapbook paper with polka-dots, stripes or plaids.
Brenda drew her letters freehand, making the “O” a baseball and the “V” a ball field.
“She’s a St. Louis Cardinals fanatic,” said Camey, 44, of Wood River, an interior decorator. “She goes to all the games.”
Camey followed a music theme, drawing two guitars to form an “L” and making the “O” a record album.
She planned to give the wall hanging to her husband, Steve Tinnon, as a Valentine’s Day gift. He’s lead singer for the Silver Bullet, a Bob Seger tribute band.
“The whole family loves music, but he happens to be a wonderful singer,” Brenda said.
Barbara begins each Pinterest party with a few simple instructions and encourages people to get creative.
“Walk around and look at what everybody else is doing,” she said last month. “Bounce ideas off each other.”
Barbara and Hayley take photos of participants with their finished crafts and recently started Instagramming them at edwpinterest. So far, the city has offered parties only in the winter, figuring residents have plenty of other recreational choices in the summer. Remaining dates this winter are Feb. 20 and March 13. Seating is limited to 45 people, ages 18 and older.
Hayley has considered adding a party for parents and children in April and one with a Fourth of July-themed craft this summer.
“It’s kind of a low-pressure situation,” Hayley said. “You get to hang out with your friends and go home with a cute craft.”