Moments after I saw them I plunked all three packages into my basket thinking that Violet and Henry and their preschool class would love these! They use craypas at school (and at home) on a fairly regular basis so why not use fabric craypas!
It took me a while to decide what they should use these Fabric Fun Dye sticks on though...I finally settled on having them decorate their own little bag.
Of course, you can buy blank canvas bags at your local craft store to make this project super simple, but I wanted to give the kids a little chance at the sewing machine while I was there, so I made my own bags.
I simply bought two yards of utility muslin, washed it and then cut out ten rectangles that were 12" x 24". Once cut I finished off the long sides (the 24" sides) with a zig zag stitch. I folded the top edges (the 12" sides) down about 1/2" and sewed a strip of ribbon over top the edge to finish it, and to add a bit of pretty to the inside of the bag.
I used my double needle to do this which gave a fun little line of stitches on the outside as well. Lastly, I added the handles, 18 1/2" of nylon strapping (I melted the edges to prevent fraying) 4" from each side edge and 1" down from the top. The end result, a large rectangle with handles on it... Lots of them... I gave each child a rectangle with handles, had them place their fabric on the ground or table with the ribbon facing the floor and explained to them what we were doing...then we got started coloring.
(* Helpful tip: tape fabric down to your drawing surface to help keep it in place while drawing.)
Some used stencils, some scribbled, some had a vision immdediately, others took a while to think it through. Everyone, ages 2-5, seemed to enjoy themselves!
Once they were finished with their designs it was time to sew the bags up. We folded our bags in half, with the ribbon on the outside and the design facing inside. And then sewed up each side with a 1/2" seam allowance.
I had the kids sit on my lap while I was sewing. Each helped to hold the fabric in place as I sewed. Each got to choose if they wanted the sewing machine to go "turtle slow" or "Lightning McQueen fast". Some chose slow for one side and fast for the other.
Once each bag was sewn up I teased each child that we accidentally sewed their bag inside out! But then I had them reach their hands inside to pull out their design.
It was like magic!
Because, you know, it kind of is, isn't it? Their eyes lit up with pride and excitement when they saw their new bags. Many put them on their shoulders and told me what they were going to use it for. I was so impressed by each and everyone of them! Here are a few of them...It was a ton of fun! And very hard to get good pictures of the bags, because no one was very interested in putting them down for very long. Although, Violet had no problems posing with hers...I may have created a monster! Ack!Henry immediately deemed his new bag his "rock collecting bag" which is fine with me, especially if that means that I don't have to carry rocks around in my bag anymore!
Once we got home I heat set the dyes using an iron and a piece of paper. You could see all of the excess oil being lifted up from the fabric and onto the paper.
Once heat set the design is then permanent and washable, very cool! The colors from the dyes are so bright!
Ahem, did you notice Henry's bag is a bit off kilter?...
Yeah, it's from all of the rocks! I encourage you to give this a try. It is so enjoyable to watch a child take pride in something that they made themselves and for themselves.
Of course, this would be a lovely gift to give as well! Either using my simple make your own bag instructions above or buying blank canvas bags to color on.
**Hint, hint** Think Mother's Day, small bags for toting around small things...Dads could totally make them with their kids to give to mom. Or, wouldn't they be lovely end of the year teacher gifts? Add in a hand written card and gift card and you are all set.
Another handprinted "adventure" done...and now I'm thinking about giving these fabric craypas a go too, can't let the kids have all of the fun, right?!
Have a lovely day.