There has been way too much reflective thought on this blog lately. How about a little colorful fun for a change?
It is not a secret that creative activities are my love language. So encouraging my children to participate in this activity is high on my list. But I have learned along the way what works and does not, or should I say I am STILL learning. These kids, they know how to keep things interesting.I would like to bring projects to you every now and then that are child friendly but pleasing to the grown up eye as well. And I would also love to share how I am learning to spark creative exploration in my children through the process.
Up first, an eye catching yet fail proof project with Bleeding Paper. Ooh. Sounds kinda creepy. And messy. It is not. I promise. In fact, if you are one who cringes at the thought of glue and paint and, Lord help us, GLITTER, then you may like this little project.
Bleeding paper is special paper you do have to order online or purchase at a Art supply store like Blick Art. Unfortunately, I was not successful in finding this at a big box craft store. But with the a few dollars (ok $6) and the joy of Amazon Prime drones you get a bajillion sheets (ok 100 sheets) to use for endless projects. It looks and feels just like tissue paper but I don't believe it can be substituted with tissue paper. The bleeding paper has special bleeding qualities (go figure) when wet that spread the color onto paper or canvas.
Here is how it works. Cut out your paper in whatever shapes you desire. I cut it into 1" squares but you could tear the paper or punch shapes. Whatever strikes your fancy. The next stages are pretty much all child led.
Caroline took the pieces of paper and placed them on top of a blank piece of paper. I then guided her to take the spray bottle and spray mist over the paper. You want to make sure that each piece is damp enough that it sticks to the paper. Sometimes after she took a turn spraying, I went back and did a quick mist. I also found at times that some of the paper stuck better when the backing paper already had a bit of a mist from the spray bottle. Again, you can't screw this up. You just need the bleeding paper to get wet.
Leave your paper to dry. When dry, you can peel off the little pieces of bleeding paper and you will see color is left behind on your back ground paper. It gives it this beautiful water color look, with zero mess. (And also, without the ugly black and brown colors that come from a child's watercoloring because they insist on mixing all the colors together. Is anyone else annoyed by this or is it just me?)
The finished paper is beautiful as is to hang in a window or wall as a stained glass look. But we took this paper further to use it as a medium for creating a mobile for Elliott's room. I cut up the paper into triangles and she helped pick out the triangles as I taped to string to hang like a mobile. She was beyond proud of this mobile showing it to anyone who came to visit. This is what is so fantastic about creative projects with children. They take such pride in their own creations focusing very little on the effort or quality. And by turning her art into something I also loved to look at made it that much sweeter. Yes, I am a mom so I think the Disney princess coloring page taped onto our fridge is adorable. But that just ends up in the trash (by accident, of course.) This, however, is an art project we are all proud to showcase in our home. And even more special, it was a gift she made for her little brother.
Mesmerizing isn't it? I think I might have her make one to hang over my bed next. Happy crafting!