Family Time with Kil’n Time Studio!

Family traditions can come from just about anything, and in this case it started over 10 years ago at a (different) paint-your-own pottery studio in Des Moines, Iowa. One of my cousins was getting married and the women on my mom’s side of the family decided that we would go have a pottery painting party as a different style of “bachelorette” party. Except instead of painting for ourselves, we painted things for the happy couple! It was so much fun! And when the next cousin was getting married, we decided to do it again. Voila, a family tradition was born!

Along with that tradition, my mom and I developed our own when I was in middle school. She and I, along with a couple of my friends, would go paint pottery almost every Spring Break. This even continued into college, though usually just the two of us, now at Kil’n Time! A few years ago, some of the women that did the “bachelorette” parties decided it was so much fun that they would join my mom and I for our painting!

Sadly, this year I could not attend, though I hear it was a great time πŸ™‚ So when I took a mini-vacation earlier this month, my mom and I decided that we would set up a little party there to hang out and kick-off the summer! It ended up being myself, my mom, one of my cousins and her three kids. We all brought brunch food, took over a table and had a fantastic time!

Right from the start, Kil’n Time is always a welcoming and friendly place to be. The staff on hand that day was the owner, Cynthia, and Jennifer, her daughter. I got there first and started setting up the table with what I brought for food, Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins and Baked Oatmeal Cups (you can find recipes for these in this post). After my cousin, her kids and my mom arrived and we had picked out what we all wanted to paint, Jennifer took anyone who needed it over to the glazes for a rundown on colors, painting techniques and answered any starting questions. It was mostly the kids getting the review, and she was great with them!


So we had our pieces picked out and we had our paints picked out, or at least our starting paints. Now it’s time to go sit back down and start painting! Now, I started out with pretty much no set design in mind other than “henna-inspired” because, well, I’ve been a little obsessed lately, as you saw in this post πŸ˜›Β It was really fun watching the kids figure out how they wanted to paint their pieces!

Getting ready to get started!
First coat!

Each color needs 3 coats for the best color after firing, with a little drying time between each coat. This gives the best coverage and brightest color. It’s not always easy getting the kids to wait for the drying time between each coat, but these three did great!


Each of us bringing something for brunch turned out really well. Not only was the food great, but the kids getting a snack between coats helped them with waiting.

I love capturing this moment between my cousin and her youngest πŸ™‚ Plus look at all that tasty food in the background! My mom’s breakfast casserole was delicious!

Seeing all the different techniques we used while painting was really neat. I used FunWriters to draw henna-inspired designs on each of my mugs. FunWriters are basically paint in squeeze bottles with 3 sizes of tips to choose from.


My mom and cousin both used a technique where you drizzle lines with a variety of colors of paint back and forth across the piece and then shake it at a lot! It was pretty fun to watch, a bit messy and turns out really cool!

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That blur is the serving platter my mom is shaking πŸ™‚ She seemed to have a lot of fun with this!

Overall, our experience at Kil’n Time Studios was wonderful, as it always is! Cynthia and Jennifer helped us to not only have a great time painting, but also created the atmosphere for us to make some wonderful memories together πŸ™‚


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I loved getting to spend this time with my family, making memories and some new mugs! I know we will be back to Kil’n Time for many more parties and family gatherings! Check our all the cool things we made this time!

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First of two mugs I painted. This one is red and black.
Second mug I painted. This one is purple and white.

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I will post an update later on when I have all the pictures of the finished and post-fired pieces, so stay tuned!

Review of Kil’n Time: As I stated above, we had such a great time at the studio, as we always do. Along with paint-your-own-pottery, Cynthia offers a few other services and artistic options as well, such as pottery wheel classes, glass fusion, canvas painting and many other awesome events and party opportunities. The studio is a great way to have some fun, create something, and learn new types of art and artistic techniques.

A pottery wheel class Cynthia was teaching while we were there.
Glass fusion necklace I made a couple years ago at Kil’n Time. It’s one of my favorites!

Estimated Cost: For paint your own pottery, studio fees start at $5 for kids 12 and under, $8 for adults. Pottery pieces vary in price, with the average costing $15-25. Cynthia also has a couple Groupons right now as well.

Have you ever done paint-your-own-pottery or something like it? Does your family have any fun family traditions or places you visit again and again?

I hope you enjoyed reading about our experience! We had a great time and I definitely recommend checking out Kil’n Time or finding a studio in the city you live in!

Disclaimer: A few years ago, I worked at Kil’n Time Studio for a few months. Also, I received a discount on my studio fee during our visit when I talked to the owner about my planned blog post. All views expressed in this post are my own.

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