Want to learn a new fun way to craft? Then follow these steps to create your very own shrinky dink!
Step 1: Get your creative juices flowing!
Draw or even trace a picture onto a shrinky dink plastic sheet! Colored pencils and markers work best as coloring tools.
Step 2: Cut it out!
After finishing decorating your design it is time to cut out your design. If you are planning on making jewelry or key chains out of your shrinky dink it is also a good idea to punch holes into the plastic before you shrink it.
Step 3: Bringing your shrinky dink to life!
Pre-heat the oven to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your design on some non-stick aluminum foil and bake your design for about 1 to 3 minutes. As they begin to bake they will begin to shrink! Once you have finished baking your design remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
Step 4: Enjoy! Once your shrinky dink has cooled show them off!
Running a summer art program for kids can be a challenging balance game. Keeping campers entertained and interested while keeping projects simple and relatively mess free is the ultimate goal, and I always try to mix things up so our returning campers aren’t doing the same projects year after year! I’ve done tie-dye and bleach out shirts, tiles, clay, watercolor, shrinky-dinks, silk painting and more, but I’ve always wanted to do a batik project.
Batik is the process of dying intricate designs on fabric using hot wax to block out shapes while dying the fabric with various colors. Hot wax is a tricky thing to use and keep track of when working with kids, and the materials can be expensive though, so I have strayed away from it in the past. This year however I have tried a different version of batik that is simple and kid friendly! We made a batik design on bandanas and they turned out great!
plain white bandana
bottle of washable Elmer’s Glue
Acrylic paint, paint brushes, and water
Step One: On scratch paper, lay out a design for your batik. It could be words, images, or just a cool line design. Sky’s the limit! Just think about how you want to add color and what your design will look like in the end. Once you’ve perfected your design on paper, you’re ready for the real thing!
Step Two: Using the bottle of Elmer’s glue, draw out your design on your bandana. Be careful not to make thick lines of glue or heavy dots. You want your lines to be thin and steady across the surface of the fabric.
Step Three: Let the glue dry in the sun and work on something else!
Backup projects are a huge part of the Art Shack at camp. Things like jewelry or friendship bracelets, lanyards, coloring book pages, etc. are important to have ready while projects dry or if a camper isn’t particularly involved in the project you are doing. Check out this video of another simple project that we do at camp.
Step Four: Now that the glue is dry (about 30 minutes or so of drying time), it’s time to paint! Using acrylic paint, add water to the palette to really water the paint down a bit. This makes it much easier to spread across the fabric and gives the finished project a cool, lighter effect. Cover the entire face of the fabric in paint putting colors wherever you’d like, and there’s no need to avoid the glue lines- you can paint right over the top of them! Again, reminder that you do not need heavy paint on the bandana- the lighter the layer, the better it will look and the easier it will dry.
You may want to cover your surface with paper for the paint portion, since the fabric is thin and tends to soak through onto your working surface. (You don’t want to put paper underneath for the wet glue portion however, as the glue will soak through and dry to the paper, eventually taking the paper with it when you pick up the bandana. It is easier to pull the fabric off of the table surface and wipe it down after you are finished to get rid of any glue that may have stuck to the table.)
Step Five: Let the paint dry (acrylic dries rather quickly). Once it is completely dry, throw your bandana in a wash cycle with cold water and tumble dry on low. This sets the paint in, washes the glue off of the bandana and leaves thin white lines wherever your glue was, exposing the original design you made! It also softens the fabric so now you are ready to use your bandana or display it somewhere for it to be admired! Voila!
DIY Algae presses are a fun way for students to take a little piece of CIMI home with them. After learning about the three different types of algae (Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta, and Rhodophyta), each student has an opportunity to design their very own algae art piece. Now if you’re trying to do this at home, you may not have easy access to tons of algae, like us, so feel free to go find some plants or flowers in your neighborhood to use.
Things you’ll need:
Something to press, like flowers or leaves (stay away from anything with a large stem, as it won’t press very flat)
A piece of cardstock or thick paper cut to about 6 by 9 inches
Some wax paper or parchment paper
Cardboard cut into small 6 by 9 inch sections or so
A few heavy books
Two weeks of patience
To start, gather all your plants and decide upon a design that you want to create.
Take your piece of cardstock and carefully place your plants down in the shape you picked out. Try not to overlap pieces of plants, instead try to keep just one plant layer all over your paper.
Do not use glue to stick the plants down; they will change shape and size as they dry.
Once you have positioned your plants as you like, place a sheet of wax paper on top of your creation. This will keep the plants from sticking to the cardboard as they dry.
When you are ready, place the cardstock and wax paper in between two piece of cardboard. Basically making a sandwich.
Then use 4-5 rubber bands in both directions to hold your project together.
Find a few heavy books and place your project in a cool dry place for about 2 weeks.
If you check your press after two weeks and its not completely dry, leave it there for another week.
Once everything is dry you can remove your press from the cardboard and wax paper. If the plants aren’t staying in place, feel free to glue them or get your press laminated, this will protect it from general wear and tear.
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