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formal cooler etiquette…

Q: I go to school in the southwest and the cooler painting trend has recently started to catch on for formals. I volunteered to be randomly set up with one of my guy friend’s fraternity brothers for their weekender, so do I need to make him a cooler? I’ve never met him before and I don’t really hang out with the fraternity in general.

A: I think it’s asking a lot to paint a cooler for a total stranger. It’s very tricky and time consuming. So my instinct is to say “no” you don’t have to do it in your situation. Maybe you could bring another gift instead, like a bottle of your date’s favorite liquor. Or a couple of fraternity beer glasses with his crest on them. It’s nice to make a gesture of appreciation, but painting an entire cooler is a big job. 

On the other hand, if everyone else is getting a cooler, you may have to buckle down. If you can find out how “mandatory” this custom is in your group, it would really help make the decision. You don’t want your date to be the only one left out. I doubt that every girl crafts one, so you should be Ok, but do some asking around before you make your decision. It makes more sense for ‘girlfriends’ (who have a relationship with the guy) to go to such lengths for a formal. Hopefully some girls can do the crafting and others can give an appropriate thank you or party gift instead. xoxo ;)

• Link here for the Ultimate Cooler Painting Guide

So I notice every time a dance comes up, sorority girls decorate cups. How do they all look so perfect? Do they use stencils or what? I'm nervous because I am sooo artistic

Asked by

When decorating a cup, tumblr, cooler, or bubba keg the best technique to make it look neat is to trace your design and/or text. Lettering is especially hard to get right without tracing a font. You can paint free-hand if you are talented, but when it comes to letters, I would suggest tracing and then coloring over the words with a paint pen or Sharpie. 

Please visit my FAQ page and scroll down to the section on “cooler painting.” I have several links to crafting tips, design ideas and slogans that will also work for cups and similar surfaces. xoxo ;)

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