Math IS Real Life- November 2014 Edition: Painting Party Profits?!

It’s the first Wednesday of November which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!



 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by

 4mulaFunThe Teacher StudioTeaching to Inspire in 5th, AND MissMathDork,



When I first sat down to write this post, I wasn’t exactly sure what to write about…  I through around quite a few ideas: driving to professional development all over the state of Virginia (1800+ miles and 30+ hours over an beyond my normal daily school commute); Halloween being ‘celebrated’ on November 1st in our county (1/2 priced candy, say what?!), schedule management (see driving statistics above)…. and then I remembered last year this time, I wrote about our amazing monthly get-together “Ladies Learn”.  Remember that post? If not, here’s the post talking about making homemade apple cider!

Two weekends ago, my mother-in-law hosted our October Ladies Learn and we had a painting party!  I’m sure you’ve seen all about these on FB and pinterest….  Get a group together, enjoy a refreshing adult beverage, paint a common picture, laugh, enjoy yourself, relax.  Yep!  We wanted that!  So my mother-in-law searched and searched and searched and found a lady in our area (this was NOT an easy task! – we’ll chat about this part in a moment) and booked our party!

Here are some pictures of the wonderful day we had together:


Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide7 Slide8

Looks like a ton of fun? Right?   It was!!  I am NOT an artists BY ANY MEANS (ask my students they make fun of my drawings ALL THE TIME!!!) but I did manage to make that last picture!!  Pretty impressive, eh?

So where am I going with this… my mother-in-law and I both tend to be pretty business minded, and realizing how few people have parties like this in not-as-populated areas…. we started talking.  Throwing a ‘painting party’ would be an AWESOME part time job!

The average price to attend one of these parties is between $35 and $40.  Let’s go with $40 to make calculations faster.  If, as the business owner, you required a minimum of 6 people to attend, you are making $240 in a 2 hour period (3 hours is you count set-up and break down) so $80 an hour!

Okay, okay… let’s take some other things into consideration.  From what we could tell most of your costs would be start up costs.  You need easels, aprons, large bottles of paint, paint brushes and canvases.  The bottles of paint and the canvases would be the only recurring cost, and really, if you bought the HUGE bottles of paint they wouldn’t need to be purchased that often.

Sooo…. after the initial start up of probably $200-$400, you basically have to replenish canvases each show.  If you found a bulk art supply store like then you could get those canvases at a reasonable price… say $5 a piece

First party…. 6 people – $240 (all of this probably pays back your initial start up)

Second party…. 6 people -$240 (a chunk of this probably goes to initial start up …. start profiting…)

Third party …. 6 people – $240 (Pay $30 for canvases…. profiting…

Now, imagine how much faster that would go if more than the minimum showed up! If you gave this idea to a classroom to play with you could go in various directions :

organizing data, finding patterns, system of equations, function tables, tax, discount, party planning, the list goes on….

I wish I had the time to add a new hobby/job to my list!!  What say you?!

BTW… make sure to stop by my Facebook page!!  I just hit 3k followers and there are still a few days to join the giveaway!


 I do hope you enjoyed the amazing woodwork Scott created and that they brought just a bit of mathematical joy to you!Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!


Categories: #mirl, computation and estimation, math is real life, and mathematical reasoning.


  1. Beautiful job Jamie! Painting parties would be a blast. Any excuse to get crafty with friends is a good one, as I never take the time/find the time to do it on my own.

Leave a Reply