Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring craft for kids

I love getting my hands dirty.  I love creating things. I love crafts.  At 6 years old, E is only starting to explore his creative side. He was never really into coloring, fingerpainting, painting premade wooden vehicles, etc.  He's a man's man. He likes mud, legos, k'nex, toy cars, and wood working.  The kid will stack firewood for hours on end but ask him to color a picture- he'll usually pass.  But every now and then he'll ask to make something with me.  Last week he asked if I had any cool ideas for something he could make for his teachers.  Of course I had ideas!  He settled on tissue paper stained glass.  If you have already done it, do it again.  If you haven't, do it!! It's fun, easy, almost mess-free, cheap, and the results are brilliant.  

Here's what our final looked like: 
Hung in a sunny window, it's even cooler.  

This is what you'll need:
*wax paper
*black construction paper or poster board
*various colors of tissue paper (save the stuff from gift bags, crinkled tissue paper is fine!) 
*liquid starch
*disposable cup for the liquid starch
*1/2"- 1" wide paintbrush
*plastic sheeting or a flat garbage bag to protect your work surface
*Elmer's white school glue (or something similar)

E decided he wanted a fishtank and had no interest in cutting one out. So to save some frustration and encourage more crafting time, I did it. You can use long strips of black construction paper or cut out actual designs.  I used poster board as it's a bit less likely to bleed and much tougher for small hands.  I didn't want to have to cut out another tank.  After I took this picture E decided the fish needed seaweed.  You'll see that in a second. 

I never got a picture of the actual setup/ process before the tissuing was done.  You can choose to trace a design with pencil onto a piece of wax paper (mine was the outline of the tank and seaweed) or just  randomly place the tissue and add borders later. 

Lay your garbage bag or sheeting out, lay  your piece of wax paper on top of it, set out little bowls with various sizes and colors of tissue paper, pour a small amount of starch into a cup, and give it a go.  Brush some starch onto the wax paper (it will bead up and not look wet), then set tissue paper into it and apply more starch over the top.  This will seal it in and give it the stained glass effect. Overlap the pieces until it looks really cool. E had some spots that were 5-6 pieces thick.

Here is his before adding the black pieces.
He overlapped the edges of the tank outline so that there would be no gaps.  
Here it is after adding the black poster board outlines:

I just used Elmer's white glue to stick the poster board down.  I wasn't sure if the starch would be enough to hold it.  

We flipped it over onto the garbage bag and laid a couple books on top to keep it flat.

The next morning I trimmed the excess wax paper off the sides and he proudly carried it into school. His teachers loved it.