My girls love anything that involves copious amounts of glue and spray bottles. This project held their attention for 1+ hours - which I think must be a record for us!
For this project I used:
- a piece of plain white muslin/cotton
- a bottle of Batik EZ (you might be able to substitute this with a liquid washable glue like Elmers) I poured the Batik-EZ onto a craft tray - but I think you could use any vessel as long as you can dip your leaves into
- cotton balls
- spray bottles
- fabric paint - I use BioColor paint with their BioColor Fabric medium - it is non toxic and certainly works!
- leaves & flowers from around the garden
- plastic sheet - I just used a large black bin liner cut down one side to protect our patio
- additional fabric for the border, backing & binding
The girls were told to dip things into the Batik EZ and then place them on the fabric. Our aim (I say 'our aim' but really is was 'my aim') was to make a sky with clouds in the middle and leaf prints and grass on the outer edges.
Putting the cotton balls apparently was boring and the girls wanted to move on to cutting leaves off plants and sticking them down asap. Once they had finished with the cotton balls I just emptied the remaining balls from the bag into the middle of the fabric - no additional Batik EZ.
There was some consideration to where every leaf or flower should be put.
Find a leaf, dip and stick. They didn't seem to tire of it.
Everything was precisely placed.
Here is our finished fabric after the cotton balls & leaves were all stuck down and they declared the project to be 'done'.
What they didn't realize was that after lunch - once everything had dried we got to spray everything. I used four colors - two green tones & two blue tones - I also watered down the BioColor Paint & Fabric Medium combo so the paint would be lighter.
My four year old was good at following the 'blue in the middle for sky' & 'green around the outside for grass' instructions. But my 2 year old just sprayed what ever and where ever she fancied.
Here is our fabric after the spray paint. We left it to dry in the sun & then I moved it into our boiler room where it sat for 5 days - just to make sure.
To remove all the leaves and cotton balls I just soaked the fabric in cold water. Everything came off very easily - but the waxy coated leaves (Ivy & Lillies leaves) came off the easiest. I put the fabric into the washing machine and ran it on a hot cycle & tumble dried it on a hot cycle too.
Once I had added a simple border to the fabric I layered, quilted & bound the picnic blanket.
I don't think you need to quilt your picnic blanket like I did - you could tie it if that is easier. If your children are older you could also get them to outline the leaf shapes with a fabric marker. There are many ways you could take this idea.
The girls LOVED having a fairy tea party in the garden with their new picnic mat.
You can tell these kids are somewhat English by their tea party skills!
After the tea party was over the girls set about inspecting the clouds & leaves on the blanket.
Our other kid painted fabric projects this summer have included:
Kid painted Quilt #3 - Spraying PaintKid painted Quilt #4 - Shaving Foam Rainbow Paint
Please do not forget about the charity I Spy quilt - we are still looking for scrap fabric donations.