No-Mess Graffiti Party

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About: I'm an engineer, designer, and maker studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

You know what's fun? Spray painting. It's the best. But unless you're a graffiti artist or a model maker, most people don't get the chance to experience the fun of spray painting. For my birthday, I wanted to share the fun experience of graffiti-ing walls in a safe, legal way with all of my friends, so I hosted a graffiti party. Based on the CelloGraff project, this activity allows for easy clean-up - just tear down your art when you're done!

It was a SMASH hit. Everyone loved it, and people are asking when I'm going to host a party like this again. Feel free to take this unique idea and impress your friends with a cool, creative party that results in a colorful and beautiful backdrop for pictures.

Step 1: Supplies

Safety/Clean-up

  • rubber gloves (nitrile or latex)
  • disposable respirators (highly recommended)
  • drop cloth - optional (I didn't use one, and we didn't get paint on the grass.)
  • box cutter

Paints

  • Spray paints of any brand (est 2 cans per guest to provide color variety)
  • Extra spray caps

"Canvas"

  • cellophane packing wrap - 2000' for $15, before shipping. 2000' will last you at least 5 of these style of events.
  • a broom

Extra Fun

  • stencils
  • cardboard

Step 2: Wrap Your Temporary Wall

All you need to make a canvas is 2 or more vertical poles. I used the 3 trees in my back yard!

Take the roll of cellophane, and slide it over the broom handle. This is critical - if you try to wrap your wall without having a rod for it to roll on, you'll get burned by the cardboard tube.

  1. Anchor It - Starting low to the ground, circle one of the trees twice, pulling the wrap tight as you go. Because the wrap sticks to itself, this forms a firm anchor for your canvas.
  2. Walk It to the Next Anchor - Walk to the next tree, holding the broom's brush and the handle as you go. Keep the wrap vertical as you walk, letting it freely spin and unwind as you walk.
  3. Keep It Taut - When you are about a foot away from the tree, keep the roll from spinning freely, and stretch the existing wrap to meet the tree.
  4. Anchor - Once you have get the wrap touching the tree, you can wrap around, resuming the free spin.
  5. Repeat - Keep wrapping the cellophane in this manner, elevating the cellophane by 15 or so inches each time you make a full circuit. Make sure that you leave an overlap of about 3" in the layers.

Step 3: Secure Your Temporary Wall

Once your wall reaches your desired height, complete the circuit around the first tree.

Rip the cellophane roll free with an additional 3 feet of cellophane past the tree.

Pass the free cellophane end up over your wall, and pass it between two of the existing cellophane anchors.

Step 4: Smooth Out the Wall

After you've secured the wall, you need to make sure that the cellophane sticks to each other. Walk along the wall, and gently press the the wall over the places where the cellophane overlaps to make sure that the sticks together.

Step 5: Patch Holes

If you weren't able to keep tension while you were wrapping the trees, it is likely that the cellophane folded and stuck to itself - which means you probably have holes in your wall.

This is no big deal. Cellophane sticks to itself, so just wrap a quick patch over the surfaces where it's needed.

Patches don't have to be anchored, because they don't weigh very much, so they aren't in danger of tearing themselves down.

Step 6: Prep the Paints

If your guests are anything like mine, they love colors. I have an enormous backstock built up of spray paints from my various projects, along with extra caps. I also suggested to my guests that they bring some cheap spray paint with them, if they want particular colors.

Step 7: Go Wild

Watch in amazement as your friends turn your backyard into a colorful expression of personality... and memes.

I was too busy enjoying my party to snap a lot of photos of people making cool art.

Step 8: Clean-Up

Cleaning up this party was a snap!

Wait until the paint dries, then cut down through your wall. The wall will drop to the ground, and then you can just gather and roll up the cellophane and paint into a massive ball, then toss it!

Boom! Ready to go for the next party!

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    5 Discussions

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    38ren

    6 months ago

    Amazing idea! Thank you so much for sharing, a friend had just asked me for ideas for activities for her birthday event :)

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    Kink Jarfold

    6 months ago on Step 8

    This look interesting so I opened to read about it and then got drawn into the other things you've posted and then -- low and behold -- I got hooked. So I clicked on FOLLOW. I will be browsing your Instructables in days to come.

    HERE'S LOOKING.png
    1 reply
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    vspencerKink Jarfold

    Reply 6 months ago

    Awesome! Glad to get a new follower, and I'm glad you like my content. :)

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    Matlek

    6 months ago

    Very cool! I've tried many years ago and it was really interesting. Everything stays clean after the cellophane has been removed.

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    vspencerMatlek

    Reply 6 months ago

    Yeah, that was the best part. All I had to do was remind my friends that they can only paint on the cellophane. (Surprisingly, college kids still remember how to color within the lines.)