BIRTHDAY PARTIES

frequently asked questions

How do I reserve a party date?

You are welcome to book online (click here for themes), call the studio or stop by during studio hours to check a date for availability.  When a party date and time has been selected, a $50.00 deposit is necessary to secure your reservation. The deposit is non-refundable and must be received at time of booking. Call 972.547.4472 to make a reservation by phone. For your convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Can I tentatively or “pencil” in a date until I talk to my husband, daughter, son, etc.?

We cannot hold or reserve a date without a $50 deposit.  If you are hesitant to reserve because you are not sure of the theme, no worries! Reserve the date first, securing the ideal date is the most important part, and decide on the theme later.

What days of the week can I have a party?

Parties can be scheduled 6 days a week (closed Mondays); Saturdays and Sundays our most popular party days.

Year-round, our Saturday schedule is as follows; 10:30 – 12:00, 12:30 – 2:00, 2:30 – 4:00, and 4:30 – 6:00. Our Sunday schedule is 1:30 – 3:00 and 3:30 – 5:00.  And we can be flexible Tuesday – Friday.  You can also reserve the studio after hours, which is a little bit different than our regular themes, but great for teenagers and adults.  Click here for more information about private events.

I would like to visit your location before booking a party, what are your studio hours?

Walls of Clay has open studio hours Tuesday through Sunday.  We are open 11 – 6 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11 – 9 Friday, 10 – 6 Saturday and 1 – 5 Sunday 1 – 5.

How far in advance should I book my party?

We suggest booking parties at least 2 – 4 weeks in advance. However, if you need a last minute date, please call or email to check availability. And you are more than welcome to book up to a year in advance if you have a special date and time.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, check and major credit cards for deposits. Checks are NOT accepted as final payment, please use cash or a credit card when paying your balance at the end of the party.

When do you need the final count of guests?

A final headcount is required three (3) business days prior to the party. An email will be sent the Wednesday prior to your party date requesting the final head count. There is a maximum of 12 kids, this includes the birthday child(children).

What ages are your parties for?

Our party themes can be adapted for any age, but here is what we find works best…

Pottery:

Party Animal…5 – 8 year old
What-A-Dish…5 – 12 year old
Ice Cream Dream…6 – 12 year old
Box-It-Up…6 – 12 year old
Mug Shot…10 – 16 year old
You Name It…10 – 16 years old

Glass:

Fuse It Up 6″…8 – 16 years old

Canvas:

Canvas Create & Celebrate…8 – 14 years old

For our teen/tween parties, we recommend reserving the studio after hours for two hours.  This makes for a great event and just requires a minimum of $225 in pottery to be painted.  You can select a budget based on the number of guests and we will have lots of fun!

What if I have twins, triplets or best friends that want to have their party together?

Our packages are priced for a total of 9 kids, which typically means 8 party guests plus the birthday child. If you have twins, triplets or friends that want to share a birthday party, subtract the number of birthday children from 9 to figure out how many guests are included in the package price. Extra guests are always welcome, the price per extra guest depends on the package. For example, if you have twin girls, the package price will include the twin birthday girls + 7 guests for a total number of 9 guests. Likewise, if you have triplets, the package price will include triplet birthday kids + 6 guests for a total number of 9.

Can I invite boys?

Absolutely! Boys thoroughly enjoy painting and within each theme, there are “boy-friendly” options such as geckos, dragons, x-boy controllers, football banks, monsters and more.

How long is a party?

Our parties are 1 1/2 hours.  However, for the younger kiddos (ages 3 & 4) – we strongly recommend reserving an hour for the party.  The younger ones paint faster and we don’t want you to feel stress about how to entertain the younger ones when everyone is done with painting, cake and presents.  Please note, that if you opt for the full 90 minutes, our staff will do our best to keep the kiddos entertained, but we are limited as to the activities we can do in our party room.

What happens if I have to cancel my party?

Once a deposit has been paid, parties may only be postponed once. We will gladly work with you to find an alternate party date. If you choose to cancel our services for ANY reason, your deposit is non-refundable and cannot be applied to other services or merchandise. If you need to postpone your party more than once, your deposit will be forfeited.  Deposits can only be applied to another party time, not in the studio.

What happens if the birthday child becomes ill and I must cancel?

If the guest of honor becomes ill, we will gladly work with you to choose an alternate date for your party based on availability. Your deposit is non-refundable, however we will apply it to another party date one time and there is no penalty on your behalf!

Is there a minimum or maximum number of guests I can invite?

The package price is for up to 9 kids (typically 8 children plus the birthday child). If less than 9 attend your party, you will still be charged for the same amount. Attendance over 9 will be charged an additional rate per person. Additional charges per guest varies depending on the package, see package details.

 As for a maximum, we can seat 12 painters. Our space is limited, so while we will definitely accommodate the party guests, there is very limited room for adults other than the birthday child’s parents.

What if I have to invite the whole class, can I have more than 12 kids?

Unfortunately, no, so please do not over-invite as we do not want anyone to be disappointed.  Based on feedback from our past guests and staff, a maximum of 12 painters is all that we can seat, serve and assist at a time.  Our private room simply is not big enough to accommodate larger groups, especially when extended family and parents of guests stay during the party.

We would love to host larger groups, but cannot do so in our working studio.  If you must invite the whole class, team, etc then we are probably not the right venue for you at this time, sad to say but true. 🙁

What if I have less than 9 kids at the party?

The downside is that you will still pay the minimum package price. The upside is that we will be staffed the same way as if you had 9, so painters will receive extra attention from our staff.

If I have less than 9 kids, can the birthday child paint an extra piece?

We generally don’t recommend this since it is sometimes hard for younger guests to understand why someone else is painting more than one and they cannot.  If there is an older sibling, parent, relative that wants to paint the extra piece(s) during the course of the party, they are welcome to.

If I have less than 9 kids, can I come back another time to paint the extra piece or bring it home to paint?

Painting party pieces needs to be completed during the allotted party time. This is customary for most party venues. For example, if you have a bounce house party and not all guests are there, free passes are generally not handed out for a future visit for the guests who were unable to make it.  Likewise, if a minimum is required at a catering hall for a wedding and someone was not able to attend, they are not given a meal for next time around.  We do try to be fair and hope that you understand that we are a small business that continually strives to use fair practices so that it is a win-win situation for us all.

What happens if a guest arrives late?

Our parties are packed with fun and follow a schedule. Guests who arrive late may join the party at whatever point the party has progressed to.

What should party guests wear, do you have smocks or aprons?

Our glazes are very washable and therefore we do not have smocks or aprons.  Guests can come in their everyday clothes and rarely leave with paint on them.  An apron does make a great party favor though…if you have some extra time!

For our CANVAS parties, we will provide an apron for each guest to wear during the course of the party.

Can other parents and/or siblings stay for the party?

Simply put, we just don’t have the room for a lot of adults and/or siblings that are not painting.  Walls of Clay is a working studio, this means the front end of the studio is for walk-in customers, so we respectfully ask that your guests do not use these tables to sit at while waiting for the party to end.  And the hallway between the studio and party room is where is used frequently by staff and front end painters, so we again ask respectfully that we keep this hallway free and clear.  Downtown McKinney is a great place to walk around, we encourage adults to take advantage of the local shops, art galleries and eateries – your kiddos will be in good hands with our staff.

What do I need to supply?

The Cake! Parents are responsible for the cake, cupcakes, brownies or the “sweet” of your choice. Parents may also bring pizza or other food choice for “lunch” or “dinner”. If you bring in food other than the sweet treat to sing happy birthday to, please let us know in the beginning so that we can adjust our schedule accordingly. Walls of Clay provides paper and plastic products such as plates, forks, napkins and cups and we will serve lemonade to the painters.

My child doesn't like lemonade, can you serve water instead?

We supply lemonade for the kiddos, if you prefer something else like water or juice boxes, please feel free to bring in a cooler with the beverage of your choice.

Do you have a freezer for ice cream?

Sure do!  And spoons too!  If you decide to bring in ice cream, please bring in the individual ice cream cups.

Can I bring in food?

Absolutely! Though most of our parties do NOT bring in food other than cake/cupcakes; time and space are limited.  If you want to stay away from food, a note on the invitation “cake & lemonade will be served” works great for letting parents know what to expect.

I want pizza delivered, what do you recommend & what time should it be delivered?

Dominos delivers the most, we recommend delivery time 45 minutes after the start of the party; for example 11:15 for a 10:30 – 12:00 party or 5:15 for a 4:30 – 6:00 party.  Most often we see Dominos and you order online (www.dominos.com) and pre-order, pre-pay and set up delivery in advance. Please note guests will eat after pottery painting.

Can we eat first and then paint pottery?

Unfortunately, our parties follow a particular time schedule and we always paint first. Once painting is complete, we are happy to serve food and/or cake.

I have my own paper goods, can I use them? Can I get a discount because I am not using your stuff?

You are welcome to bring in your own paper goods. Or, you can use some or all of our components; whichever works best for you.  Our plates and napkins are kind of fun though and fit right in with the painting theme. We do not offer a discount or credit if you provide your own paper goods.

Can I switch themes?

Absolutely, please give us at least 1 weeks’ notice so that we can be sure to have the theme pieces set aside for your group.

How soon will the party pieces be ready?

Generally party pieces are ready in 7 days. During holiday times, this time may be extended.

Can I mix themes, for example a blend of Box-It-Up and Party Animal?

We offer a great selection of pieces within each theme; we do not recommend mixing themes, as it creates second-guessing and confusion among guests.

Can I let the kids pick their own piece from the studio?

Unfortunately, no. However, we do offer a great variety of pieces within each theme that appeals to various ages, as well as both girls and boys.  If you want to give the children “open” selection, please reserve the studio for a private event, which occurs after studio hours.  Click here for details regarding private events.

Can older siblings paint something different than the chosen theme?

Sure! If siblings choose to paint something outside of the theme, they are charged the price of the bisque.

Do you offer favors for guests?

At this time, we do not but we are working on it!  Feel free to bring in your own favors or goody bags.

How soon will the party pieces be ready?

Generally party pieces are ready in 7 days. During holiday times, this time may be extended.

Can I have the parents pick up the pieces instead of my picking up all of the pieces at once?

Each piece will be individually wrapped and labeled with a gift tag with the painters’ name so they are easy to distribute. The birthday family picks up all of the pieces and then distributes them accordingly. No exceptions please.